Understanding A Literary Work Of The Book ' Meaning '

1645 WordsMay 16, 20177 Pages
Humans try to find knowledge or meaning in what we encounter every day, especially when interacting with literature. In this paper, knowledge will reflect the meanings one receives from reading a literary work. Usually, knowledge equates to ‘factual’ information that someone acquires through educational or formal practices. While this definition may not represent the majority’s perception, it’s still beneficial to explain how this paper chooses to use knowledge. In this case, not only does knowledge represent facts, it simply describes what a person knows or understands about a piece of information. For literature, this includes everything on and in the book, especially any meanings or messages that a reader derives. This aspect that the…show more content…
Before describing Barthes’s work and arguments, noticing how both writers published their works in the same year holds interest because they still managed to display contrasting ideas. The literary society’s perceptions of the author and meaning should’ve been cemented at that time or at least represented the majority’s opinion. However, Barthes and Hirsch argue that the majority has opposing views that they disagree with. While their works don’t portray a substantial reason for this discrepancy, it should be questioned and kept in mind during the explanation of their ideas. At the beginning of Barthes’s essay, he describes the author’s history, which includes how the author became a powerful being. During the Middle Ages, the author emerged as a notable figure and began gaining social power. After this initial change, people started recognizing the “prestige of the individual”, leading to the author’s new identity as a “human person” (Barthes, 143). With this identity as a “human person”, their background, personality, likes and dislikes gain more importance than before, especially while reading their material. Understanding and knowing their life validates the author to the reader, making them appear ‘real’. As Barthes said, the author “confid[es] in us” as if they try to present themselves and their problems into their work (Barthes, 143). These beliefs surrounding
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