Chapters one through three reveal how literary theory can be relevant to real life. The quote by Bonny castle caught my eye, “Theory is subversive because it puts authority in question.” (p.34) This is the reason why I love to analyze people as well as literature when I look through critical lenses, it’s fun!
The educational systen should stop cultural transmissiveness, where young readers are introduced to certain books as being classics “by academic law” and they are not allowed to question these texts under any circumstances.
The startling statistic was that colleges don’t really teach theory. About 72% of high school literature teachers (with the good teacher label) reported to have little to no familiarity with literary theory.
The most enjoyable part of the chapter was when the author took stories like Humpty Dumpty and the Three Little Pigs and analyzed them through critical theory.
Appleman helped me understand the reader response diagram. “Reader” and “text” both point to the “meaning” of the text as it relates to real life.
Appleman talks about a 12 grade english teacher named Martha who analyzed Richard Wrights book Native Son. She had her twelth graders analyze the text through Marxists, Feminists, and Reader response theories.