Keesey Ch 3 Mind games

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Keesey, Ch 3

“ Unarmed readers may believe they are responding to the surface level, but they are really being affected by the underlying patterns of archetypal symbolism.” (131)


All through school, students like myself have been taught that commercials are lying and that we should not believe them. That they are subconsciously convincing us that we want something that we really don’t. Writing affects people in the same way.  The Author writes to convince its audience of something or to show them how they feel. There have been some writings in the past based on scientific evidences however evidences can also be written to sway the opinion of someone reading it.  Specifically today readers are not reading for scientific value and or destine for literature. People “do not live by scientific truth alone”(131).  An every day reader looks at a work of literature through his or her response and not what is behind the words that is actually trigging the emotion. This being said, I think that it is relatively imposable for someone to critic a work based off of reader response because each reader has a different response and can never be assumed.  The value of the reader’s response is limited though not valueless. When evaluating a work the reader response may be beneficial if used as the most common reader response and not as a specific reader response. The reader response can be used to predict what the author wanted but cannot be the only evidence to prove a point. Many of the schools of criticism work in the same way.  “One advantage of Richards’s view is that it offers to account for all features of the literary work” (132) For an argument in criticism of a work of literature to be considered valid it must have evidences to the conclusion in more than one school of criticism.

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