February 19, 2007

O'Connell and the Important Narrator

O'Connell, ''Narrative Collusion and Occlusion in Melville's 'Benito Cereno''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"My interest is in showing how this manipulation of the reader is accomplished and suggesting a theory as to why, at this particular moment in political and literary history, such an approach was both available and effective" (Keesey 188).

Catharine O'Connell brought up a different side to reader response that multiple people usually do not notice in literature: The effect of the narrator and his or her presentation to the audience or reader. The reader is really dooped into believing what the narrator is presenting to him, because of the implications of Delano's and Babo's character, and the actual situations that Melville provides in the story. The one concept that I fail to understand is the overall idea on how a reader-response critic can show the reader that what he thinks is not necessarily as important as the narrator implies. Is that not Authorial Intent? I can understand that the reader is supposed to understand the meaning behind the story, but if the narrator is the so-called "puppetmaster," then how is the reader any more important than the person telling us the story?

Posted by The Gentle Giant at February 19, 2007 3:23 PM
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