Reader-Response vs. New Criticism Essay

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New Criticism vs. Reader-Response A piece of work can be evaluated in plenty of ways. Critique methods such as Reader-Response, Deconstructive Criticism, New Criticism, and many others act as examples of literary evaluations. All of the critique methods share similarities, but differ in other ways. Reader-Response and New Criticism, for example, share characteristics but they are also two very opposing things. Reader-Response focuses on attention towards the text influenced by the reader’s thoughts. New Criticism aims towards the text with no influence, but the text alone. The two methods share the same features such as excluding the author’s intentions and recognizing details from the texts, and they also contrast by having a different …show more content…
New critics read the text closely and try to comprehend what the words alone are saying. They avoid whatever the author’s intentions were, as well as the reader’s thoughts, unlike Reader-Response. They believe that to truly recognize the literary art of the piece, the focus of the text should not involve the author or the reader. In other words, while reading the text, all the attention concentrates on the text and nothing else. In contrast to Reader-Response, New Criticism, however, restricts to one meaning and one meaning only. New critics believe that the meaning is within the text waiting to be found. Having said that, the way you focus should exclude all other thoughts besides what the reader believes what the text is really trying to say. A person may read a piece of material over and over again, but the meaning of it must remain the same. For instance, in The Things They Carried, the quote, “He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war,” (626). After repeating the quote a numerous of times, no other interpretations seem to exist. The quote clearly means a feeling of guilt will be carried on for a long while in view of the fact that the character was blaming himself for his soldier’s unwanted death. In reference to New Criticism, only one meaning was obtained for this quote. As said