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William Faulkners A Rose for Emily can have many different reader-responses as any story can however it is the responsibility of reader-response critics like Robert Crosman to determine if they are valid and helpful in understanding the story How Readers Make Meaning is a failed attempt by Crosman to show that any reader response no matter how far fetched can be helpful in the interpretation of a storyReader-response critics claim that there is no one correct response to a story but all responses are correct as long as the basics of the story are grasped Reader-response critics do not have a set way to interpret themes of stories like new critics but instead they concentrate on how and why readers interpret themes differently The idea of reader-responses can be traced back to the Western culture of ancient Greeks and Romans but it hit the main stream in the seventies with Stanley Fishs theory stating that literature exists and signifies when it is read Another reader-response critic Wolfgang Iser is known for his Gaps that are in the text Iser suggests that texts contain gaps that the reader must fill in explain in their mind what the text is incitingTo show that readers make the meaning of literary texts Crosman and one of his students Stacy read A Rose for Emily for the first time to compare each others reader response Crosmans response although tainted by knowledge of the story was that Emily was an old hateful woman that murdered and slept with a dead body Crosman went on to say that he had viewed this story through sexist eyes in that all women are mean menacing and inferior to men With a totally different look on the story Stacy missed the main points of the story but came up with some rather kind remarks about Miss Emily Stacy compared her grandmothers life to that of Emilys which in her eyes was one of endurance faith
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