Literature and Society
For my essay this week, I chose to use the Reader-Response Perspective to write about Kate Chopin’s piece The Story of an Hour and Bobbie Ann Mason’s story called Shiloh. I believe this approach works well for both of these stories because “one benefit of using reader-response perspective to interpret literary works is that you begin with what is primary and basic—your initial reaction, your primary responses” (DiYanni, R. pp. 2177. Since both stories deal with the subject of death, I found a common thread between the two pieces and thought I could explain my interpretation of the character’s reactions upon the death of a family member. “When I read a piece of literature, I typically consider my initial response to the story and how sometimes my primary reaction changes as the reading progresses” (DiYanni, pp. 2179. A writer must use words and mental imaging as aids to create powerful emotions from their readers which can be anything from sorrow to happiness to disgust. Often a reader’s early response to a story changes as they continue to read and their perspective changes because of the words and mental picture the writer has used to create his writing, his work of art. Language is a powerful tool which allows readers to interpret and respond to written stimuli used by writers. A writer uses words as descriptors to reflect on community values and on the particular time period for which they are writing in order that the reader can bring the social experience to life in order to underswtand how literature and society affect each other. In Bobbie Ann Mason’s writing “Shiloh” the writer directs the reader to the effort involved in maintaining a marriage by describing what is taking place between the two main characters. This is a tale of a husband and wife who have gone down dissimilar paths after the death of their infant son from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. At first, the reader may think that Leroy Moffitt and...
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