In essence, reading texts is about understanding the perspectives and experiences of others. However, the way that we interpret their communication is very much dependent on the learned practices we apply to every text we come across.
John Green's 'How and Why We Read' is an interesting introduction to why Literature study is beneficial, but it is also a product of its time and is imbued with values and assumptions.
Authorial intent is not important.
The value of texts is the impact they have on the reader.
We use language to try to communicate our experience of our world to others.
All texts (this youtube video included!) are products of their context and reflect particular ideologies and value systems.
John Green referred to the study of literature being of benefit to future careers in fields such as Business. He made references to Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Think about what these references suggest about the context in which the text was produced. What values are embedded in the text? What assumptions are made about the reader and the society in which they live?
Which groups are privileged by this text? Which are silenced?
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