My reader response paper was one of the most difficult to write simply because it is deeply personal and much too revealing for my taste. I found the reader response theories to not only be incredibly helpful for the paper but also very interesting. They guided me in expressing my reaction to the chosen text and therefore alleviated any immediate feelings of discomfort. Because I feared this paper the most, I felt I had no choice but to wrench open my defenses and publish it in my presentation portfolio.
Mesmeric theory sounds absurd, of course, but I could not help but be enthralled by the public’s acceptance of it in the mid-19th century. Though I recently discovered in Poe’s letters that he writes his involvement with it off as pure fiction, he sure makes a convincing case for mesmerism in a few of his stories.
For my psychoanalytic paper, I immediately gravitated toward Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” I knew the story contained the evidence to diagnose Usher with Misophonia, and I used Jacques Lacan’s theory to solidify my argument. This paper has ingrained a fascination with post-structuralist theory in me that I have yet to see diminish even by the slightest degree.
Having read Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises several times over, I found great pleasure in focusing on the presentation of flawed masculinity in relation to empowered femininity in regard to the male characters’ reaction to Brett Ashley.
The summary and evaluation of Eagleton proved to be quite challenging due to the density of his argument. However, after a few attempts at deciphering the text and re-writing my drafts, I feel I ended up grasping his ideas fairly well.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing my new criticism paper on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw due to the immensely fascinating amount of ambiguity James evokes even when examining the novel strictly at the textual level.