Approaches to Reading Text with Examples from Jane Austen's Emma Essay example

Approaches to Reading Text with Examples from Jane Austen's Emma Essay example

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This paper presents the two of the four main reading approaches to
reading a text. In this paper, Jane Austen’s novel Emma will be used
to demonstrate these approaches; providing a detailed description into
both reading practice, including reader-centred and author-centred. As
it is now widely acknowledged that no text is neutral, these practices
are one way of conceptualising changes in the theories and practices
of literary study that have occurred during the twentieth century.
Each approach is characterised by particular assumptions and values
and therefore places greater or lesser emphasis on the interactions
that occur between both the author and the reader as we read. To
justify these approaches, I have also used defenses.

Reader-Centred Approach

Since its release in the early years of the nineteenth century, the
novel Emma has never ceased to impress and intrigue. While being
criticised for its lack of action and development, the novel, I found,
provides the reader with a remarkably accurate and surprisingly
hilarious portrayal of life in the upper middle class during the
Victorian period. With the ability to one minute have me ready to pull
out my hair and the next be in hysterics as Jane Austen repeatedly
pokes fun at the characters and their unanticipated antics and
imperfections, this book is a work of art. Events are miscalculated,
actions are misinterpreted and emotions are toiled with, but as with
many of Jane’s novels, a neatly tied (even teary) ending is produced
and all that should live happily ever after do. In the end, what I had
presumed to be both dull and strenuous turned out quite the opposite,
and my immense appreciation for the novel, as you will no-doubt
discover, clearly dem...


... middle of paper ...


... glossary.
Chalkface Press: Cottesloe, Western Australia.

* Queensland Studies Authority, (QSA). (2002). English Extension:
Reading Approaches, QSA, Queensland.

* Ricoeur, Paul (1991). From Text to Action, Essays in hermeneutics
2. Kathleen Blamey and John B Thompson, trans. Northwestern
University Press: Evanston, Illinois.

* Robina State High School-Senior English Extension (Literature).
(draft syllabus, 5.3.2).

* Rosenblatt, Louise (1968). Literature as Exploration, revised
edition. Nobel and Nobel: New York.

* Thomson, J. (1992). Reconstructing Literature Teaching. Australian
Association for the Teaching of English.

Websites:

* (1) Fitzgerald, C.
http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides3/emma2.asp.

* (2) Jalic, L, 2000-2004.
www.online-literature.com/austen/emma/

* (3) Wilber, A.
www.amazon.com

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