February 8, 2012
Response to “Say Yes”
Before I started my reader-response paper, I read an article by Steven Lynn to help me know the right approach to a reader-response. There is two ways that I can approach this “by describing how readers should respond to the text or by giving the critics’ own personal response or by giving the critic’s own personal response.” I found this to really help me understand the concept of a reader-response paper. I decided to mostly give my own personal response but react on how some other readers might react.
I looked at the title and author to form a perspective on what to look for. “Say Yes” seems to be a desired answer from some person. This could be a threat given by someone, such as the character is forcing another character to give in. I thought it was a longing answer that someone is hoping for but will never receive. Thus I thought it would be a situation of conflict. I then read the author’s name “Tobias Wolff” and I actually couldn’t quite tell if it was a guy or a girl honestly. I guessed it was a guy and that the perspective would be from a guy’s eye.
The first sentence “They were doing the dishes, his wife washing while he dried” revealed that the story would be about a married couple. This seems like a stereotypical marriage that the husband is trying to help the wife with home chores and they have a happy life. The rest of the first paragraph describes the husband being a “considerate husband” that implies the other wives get jealous of their relationship. The story seems to be a perfect relationship with a loving husband and a great wife that is deserving of the husband. The beginning of the story doesn’t really describe much about the wife. Tobias Wolff decided to write his story in 1st person view of the husband. So he wanted to have the husband be more well-rounded understood than the wife; perhaps for the purpose to keep our creativity open and different possibilities of how
Cited: Wolff, Tobias. "Say Yes." Texts and Contexts: Writing about Literature with Critical Theory. New York: Longman, 2001. 245-249. Print. Lynn, Steven. "Reader-Response Criticism” Texts and Contexts: Writing about Literature with Critical Theory. New York: Longman, 2001. 19-21. Print.