Atlas Shrugged - Iser and Bakhtin on the Closed Text Essay

Atlas Shrugged - Iser and Bakhtin on the Closed Text Essay

Length: 2992 words (8.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Atlas Shrugged - Iser and Bakhtin on the Closed Text


The process of reading places the author, text, and reader into a dynamic relationship in which, through a fusion of the author's literary vision and the reader's creativity, the text is transformed into an informative and enjoyable experience. This process is especially apparent in the novel form. As the theorist Wolfgang Iser states, a novel must be "conceived in such a way that it will engage the readers imagination in the task of working things out for himself, for reading is only a pleasure when it is active and creative" (Iser 51). Similarly, another theorist and philosopher, Mikhail Bakhtin, argues that within a novel an author creates numerous different voices and languages, each of which contributes to the dynamic reading process; every word and sentence has a context both inside and outside of the novel. Though there are many other theories regarding reader-response, these two form a cohesive definition of the process: Iser's theory broadly explains the interaction-or intersection-of the three components in the process, while Bakhtin's theory explains the specific subjectivity of the novel language.

Both of these theories, however, rely on the basic assumption that all texts are intended to be interpretable; that is, in the words of Umberto Eco, that all texts are 'open'. Eco describes an 'open' text as one that attempts to force the reader "into an interplay of stimulus and response which depends on his unique capacity for sensitive reception of the piece" (Eco 49). In essence, an open text invites the reader to fuse his own unique experiences with that of the text to form an interpretation that is his own. Conversely, Eco also describes an antithesis to the...


... middle of paper ...


...tes reader anticipation. Thus, one must conclude that while Eco's theory is fascinating and may very well have a solid basis outside of the novel form, it is impossible for a novel to be closed; though the author's intentions bay be set in stone, the reader's intentions certainly never will be. A novel, by virtue of being a novel, will always be more open than closed.


Works Cited

Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Diologic Imagination. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
Eco, Umberto. The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979.
Iser, Wolfgang. "The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach." Published in Tompkins, Jane P. ed., Reader-Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism. Maryland: John Hopkins UP, 1980.
Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1957.
 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Closed Adoption : A New Home

- Closed Adoption About twenty years ago, my Uncle Hosea had a son named Javion. He was the first boy out of all the girls my uncle had conceived, which made him very proud. However, due to some underlying circumstances, he was taken away from his mom and put into the system. He was somehow adopted and never seen again, nor has any information been given out to our family to help locate him. He had entered closed adoption, which is an irreversible system where parents give up their rights to know any information and right to ever take part in their children 's lives....   [tags: Adoption, Closed adoption, Orphanage]

Research Papers
1125 words (3.2 pages)

The Parasites of Atlas Shrugged Essays

- The Parasites of Atlas Shrugged   In this world, and in the world of Ayn Rand’s imagination, there are two kinds of people: those who live to create, and those who wish to live as parasites feeding off the benefits of those creations. In Atlas Shrugged, she explores what might happen when the creators of the world stop creating; the parasites are left to try to live on their own. The novels that Miss Rand writes always reflect this sort of thing. She writes of the battle between the two types of people as some write of the battles between good and evil....   [tags: Atlas Shrugged]

Research Papers
1357 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Characters of Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged

- The Triumphant Characters of Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged     In reading the fiction works of Ayn Rand, one becomes quickly aware of her use of characterization to display a set of mores that apply to a group in today's society she is describing. In Anthem, for instance, even the names hold significance toward the point of the story. The name Liberty 5-3000, a gross smear of the philosophy of her world, becomes The Golden One, and then Gaea in the eyes of the protagonist. This use of a name, a face, to convey the message of a group becomes a common thread through all four of Miss Rand's novels....   [tags: Atlas Shrugged]

Research Papers
1256 words (3.6 pages)

How does Cloud Atlas offer an Interpretation of Marxism in a Highly Technological Society?

- ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need’ is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx to illustrate a communist society which will produce an abundance of goods and services to satisfy everyone’s needs. It is important to note the significance of differing time periods – Marx wrote in the 19th century, whilst Cloud Atlas was written in 2004. Whilst Mitchell utilises aspects of Marxist theory in his novel; unlike Marx, he explores how pertinent Marxism is to a modern and technological society....   [tags: marxism, cloud atlas, societies]

Research Papers
1346 words (3.8 pages)

Objectivism in Atlas Shrugged, Anthem, The Fountainhead, and We the Living

- Objectivism in Atlas Shrugged, Anthem, The Fountainhead, and We the Living         Warning - this paper is not formatted !     Who Is I. In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand provides a well-written explanation of objectivism in a monumental novel about those who hold the world on their shoulders. Her characters are a myriad of individuals, ranging from the highest achievement possible: a human, to one of the most horrid creatures on this planet: a once-human imbecile. She gives the reader insight into the psyche of society and the motivations behind our actions....   [tags: Atlas Shrugged]

Free Essays
1924 words (5.5 pages)

Extraordinary Potential of Man Revealed in Atlas Shrugged Essay

- The Extraordinary Potential of Man Revealed in Atlas Shrugged   Freewill is the tenet on which men founded the United States of America, and the glory of "America the Beautiful" stems from the unlocked potential of its people. The callused hands of the laborers sip from the cup of American wealth, not the lazy plowman demanding government help. The inventor's mind synthesizes, theorizes, and designs the American dream, not the indifferent, insolent mechanic. The steel will of the industrialists propels the nation to greater heights, not the selfish arrogance of the beggar....   [tags: Atlas Shrugged]

Research Papers
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Adoption, Closed Adoption And Private Adoption Essay

- Sealed records for adoptees should be illegal due to the emotional, medical and the history of an adoptee. How is sealing a person’s life away upon any kinds of adoptions and never allowing them to know who they are, where they came from, and their medical background be close to right. How can being for sealed records ever help the ones who really need the support. When you are adopted there are many different kinds of adoptions like open adoption, closed adoption and private adoption. Although adoption is great, only one out of the three types of adoption have open records....   [tags: Adoption, Closed adoption, Open adoption, Adoption]

Research Papers
1617 words (4.6 pages)

The Powerful Message of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged Essay

- The Powerful Message of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged     Capitalism, according to John Galt, is "mutual trade to mutual advantage," (Rand Atlas Shrugged 989) or as Adam Smith put it: "[trade] by mutual consent and to mutual advantage." In true capitalism, the economy is strictly separated from the state, just as there is a separation between church and state in the USA. This basic tenet of capitalism describes the only economic system that can be morally justifiable. Communism, fascism, socialism, dictatorships and "regulated capitalism" are all systems that breach upon an individual's basic rights, while capitalism respects and recognizes a man's right to control the product of his...   [tags: Atlas Shrugged Essays]

Research Papers
1220 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on atlas shrugged

- Book Review: ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand Taggart Transcontinental is not to be excluded on the effects of declining economic situations experienced by the whole country. Dagny Taggart, the vice president in-charge of operations, upon her visit to the Rio Norte Line to inspect the damages it maintains, goes straight to her brother’s office and reports that the line needs immediate attention and for that she has already ordered Rearden Metal to be used for that line. Jim denounced her decisions and actions not just because she does not have authority to make those orders but also Rearden Metal is not yet tried before by others....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
2332 words (6.7 pages)

Essay on Atlas

- Atlas In Greek Mythology, the Titans were a race of giants. Atlas was the strongest of all the titans. His father was titan Iapetus and his mother was the Sea Nymph Clymene. His brothers were Prometheus and Cronus. Atlas was the father of the Hesperides (Daughters of the Evening,) the Hyades, and the Pleiades. He was also the king of the legendary Atlantis. In etymology Atlas means “bearer'; or “endurer.'; An image of Atlas is a person with the world on his back. Also a book of maps is called an atlas....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
580 words (1.7 pages)