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The process of negotiation between reader and text in As I Lay Dying
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The reader’s experience in As I Lay Dying, or in any novel, can be explained as a process of negotiation between the reader and the text. The reader tries to apply his or her normative expectations of plot and narrative to As I Lay Dying, producing the model us-them, where the reader categorizes the characters as either good or bad, with or against him/her. The result of this model, is that the characters Darl and Cora become us, while the rest of the Bundren’s are antagonized as them. Another part of the negotiation between the reader and the novel is the opinion of the journey itself, which the reader regards as antagonistic because of Darl’s attempts to keep the journey from completion. Both the us-them model and the reader’s opinion of the journey are binary opposition which the novel itself deconstructs during it’s last third. This deconstruction is moralizing in nature, in that it points to the reader’s faulty construction of morality, that characters can only be with or against the reader, and questions it. This moralizing deconstruction can thus be said to be the result of the negotiation between the reader and the novel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 19 p.
Keyword [en]
Process, negotiation, characters, deconstruction, Wolfgang Iser, Paul de Man, us-them.
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64097OAI: diva2:455134
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-12-02 Created: 2011-11-08 Last updated: 2011-12-02Bibliographically approved

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