Texts can be interpreted in many different ways. Phone Call by Berton Roueche, is a short story drama about a delivery man whose truck breaks down and gets into a bit of trouble. This short story is a good example of how you can find two very different readings in the same story. The dominant reading is that the male is innocent and the woman is just paranoid and overly suspicious. The resistant reading is that the female is innocent and has the right to be suspicious and the male is guilty with the intent to take advantage of her. In the dominant reading it is told through a first person male point of view, this positions the audience to believe what the man is saying. The dominant reading portrays the man as an innocent and confused delivery man that just wants to call his boss so he doesn’t get fired or in trouble. After seeing a house that has a German police dog, the man decides to pick a house that seems to be more reassuring to him as it has a ‘Piano Lessons’ sign in the window, showing that whoever lives there might be welcoming to strangers. When he goes to the house he reveals how innocent he is. “I don’t know what you are talking about.” He seems to be genuinely confused when the woman starts questioning him. “I just want to call the store.” This shows he is worried about getting in trouble at work and doesn’t want to get fired. The woman still starts to get suspicious and paranoid. “How do you know my name?” and continues to make comments. “I don’t live alone.” She is trying to prove she isn’t as fragile as she seems. This is one of the ways that you could interpret the text. In the resistant reading the fact that is told in a first person point of view might make you think about that it could be unreliable as we don’t hear the story from both characters. The delivery man avoids the house with the German police dog indicating that he might have a criminal record or have some possession of illegal substances. The man then goes around the...
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