Reader Response Theory Essay

740 Words May 9th, 2013 3 Pages
Readers have been responding to what they have read and experienced since the dawn of literature. For example, we have Plate and Aristotle who were concerned about audience responses and how plays generated pity and fear on them. Still, the audience or readers were passive. After the appearance of reader response theory, readers are activated. They involve themselves to elaborate the text, fill in the gaps and enact their experiences with the text. Most reader response critics can be divided into three groups. One of these groups is, as they are called, the structuralist. They believe that the reader must be an active participant in the creation of meaning. The meaning, for them, is considered as a complex system of signs and codes that …show more content…
We can see that the gloomy natural events reflect the human events. For example, “oppressively low”, “singularly dreary” and “melancholy house of Usher” all of these represent the gloomy and sad situations of the characters. Moreover, the building has the same atmosphere “bleak wall, black and lurid tarn”. Therefore, we have a mysterious unity that links time, house and people. At the end of the story, all of them collapse in one fall after the death of Usher. To speak about the first code which is hermeneutic one, it is concerned with enigma, puzzle or unanswered question. We can notice the use of this code through the narrative of the story. The way of narrating mystifies us. It makes us ask several questions such as why the scene is frightening? Why the year is not specified? Who does Usher fear? What will happen next? This code works since the narrator kept the solutions for these questions hidden. He only gives us partial answers such as “I know not how it was… but is was a mystery” and “it was beyond our depth”. The second code is symbolic one. It concerns about the binaries that may control the story. Binary operation can be pictured in Poe`s story from the boundary between humans and non-humans which are transgressed. For example, the building has human`s features as he said, “vacant eye-like windows”. Therefore, we can feel the merging of human and

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