Essay on Reader Response Criticism of "All Bears"

717 Words 3 Pages
When an audience reads a piece of literature, the author is often not over their shoulder interpreting the text as he or she meant it to come across. The readers are usually equipped with their own previous knowledge, as well as society biases based on his or her previous life experiences. Solely from the use of these tools, as well as the reader’s vocabulary, will a reader interpret the words in front of him or her.
Reader Response Criticism argues this very point. The point of any piece should be subjective, as in, it should give everyone the right to explore their own interpretations rather than seek ones that some other nameless face has published. In other words, “knowledge is made by people and not found” (pg 69). Why should the
…show more content…
The ultimate goal is to bring to light any evidence that one may leave out, which could, in theory, change an entire interpretation of a work.
Proponents of this claim that the process of using one’s own knowledge will engage the student more. “There’s no right or wrong” (pg 69). The student, instead of fearing a wrong answer from the instructor, or ridicule from their peers, they can be open and honest about interpretation with the assurance that they are contributing to the wealth of knowledge.
Now that I have explored the meaning of Reader Response Criticism, I will attempt to analyze the poem “All Bears” by Caroline Fraser. In it, she uses a variety of words to describe what it is that bears really want. She starts out by listing bush berries, and then goes into describing the living areas of the bear, such as the golden forests. To me, these factors all represent a peaceful and quiet existence. The tranquility of the woods paired with the beauty of nature paints a picture of purity and an everlasting Utopia. The poem then slides into technology and man-made items, such as canned spaghetti and freight trains. These words depicting the invasion of nature have unleashed the wrath of the beast, so to speak. The bears did not seek out humankind.