Does A Text Have Only One Meaning?
A text does not contain only one meaning. We assign meaning to a text based on our individual as well as collective experiences which influence our mindset when we read or engage with text. Hence, literary theory tries to explain how this mindset affects our evaluation of and reaction to a text. Also, it endeavours to bring forth the manner in which readers construct meaning and appreciate art and literature. The meaning we assign to a text is also shaped within the context that people hold different values and morals. Therefore, what one sees as beautiful, ethical and moral would be viewed as ugly, unethical and immoral.Is A Text Always Didactic?
Didactic text is one that intends to teach a moral lesson. A text is not always didactic. There are other competing intentions within the text. For a text to be considered didactic, it must have been created and transmitted as one whose purpose is to inculcate morals or to instruct and regulate behaviour of the audience. A didactic intention can be identified in a text where there the author explicitly portrays himself as a moralist of as an educator and goes ahead to give advice.
Can A Text Only Be Read For Enjoyment?
Literary criticism is intended to increase our understanding and enjoyment of literature. Therefore, a text can be read for enjoyment. Enjoyment, in this context, implies to derive a sense of pleasure or satisfaction. However, literature can be read so as to evaluate our actions and feelings, critique our culture and society, to safeguard against unwanted foreign cultural influence or to define the standards of taste in a way that determines the shape of taste.
Does A Text Affect Each Reader In The Same Way?
Literary criticism concerns itself with the text and the responses that this text elicits from its readers including the questions they ask, the statements they make, the opinions they express and the feelings they feel after reading the text. Hence, since literary criticism involves judgment, the impact cannot be the same to each reader. The evaluation or analysis given to a particular text can also be influenced by the moral or ethical background of the reader. What a particular reader would consider to be moral and ethical can be perceived by another as immoral or unethical.
How Is A Text Influenced By The Culture Of Its Author And The Culture In Which It Is Written?
Literature is a significant component of our cultural heritage. Literature enhances our understanding of our individual lives, history and the society in which we thrive in. People affect literature just the way literature affects people. The text that everyone reads is influenced by the political or cultural context in which it is written, the individuals the author knows as well as the entire society where the literature was framed. A work of literature is a secondary work that mirrors the world of the author. It stands the test of time; it has a cultural value
What Part Or Function Does Gender Play In The Writing Or Reading Of A Text?
Feminist criticism tends to exclude women from literary work. This is assumed to arise from the differences in education and experience as well as financial support which determined the manner in which men and women would participate in literature as writers, readers or even as characters.
Can A Text Become A Catalyst For Change In A Given Culture?
Literary works are often open to interpretations. Therefore, the authors can use them to champion for change in the society. The intention of the text can be created developed and tailored towards inculcating morals, advising, and teaching the readers in a given culture.
Literature and Gender. (1996). doi:10.4324/9780203714317
Kirk, A. (2012, November 02). The Importance of Historicism and Context in Literature. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://www.ashley-kirk.com/2012/11/the-importance-of-historicism-and.html
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