Reader Response Theory, And Désirée's Baby

1382 Words 6 Pages
In terms of its fundamental ideals, Reader Response Theory is drastically different from the other aforementioned theories in the manner in which it places the reader at its center. Most other theories have a systematic approach to analyzing literature; however, Bressler argues that reader response should focus on the individual and unique perspective of the reader. Making an appearance in the 1920s and 1930s, it wasn’t until the 70s that this theory became a major contestant in the critical study of literature (Bressler 66).
It was around this time that the general idea that of the reader being passive, a consensus which had been widely accepted since the 1800s, swayed towards the reader being more active and influential in the search for
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From my own understanding, the story serves as a call to action against social injustices, and Chopin acknowledges some of these crimes in the form of the oppression of women and racial discriminations. Throughout my reading of the story, I saw repeated evidence of Désirée’s portrayal as a weak, and helpless female character or a damsel-in-distress. Her identity is established within the identities of the more dominant male characters in the story, and when she is not associated with them, she is left void of purpose and …show more content…
New Historicism is a theory which revolves around the historical time period and culture in which a work was written. Reader Response is a theory that places its primary focus on the relationship between the individual reader and the text and the meaning that results from this relationship. Désirée’s Baby is a literary work that has no single or correct interpretation and can be analyzed from any of these theoretical perspectives as well as many others. Understanding and utilizing different theories is key to good literary criticism, as narrowing one’s focus to only one interpretation closes the doors on additional insight the other theories can

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