ERIC Number: ED208363
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
A Social Interaction Model of Reading. Technical Report No. 218.
A model for the levels of social interaction between author and reader provides a framework for examining the devices through which the author engages the reader. An important aspect of this model is the creation of additional levels of social interaction involving, for example, an "implied author" and an "implied reader." Newly created characters may in turn create additional levels of social interaction. Various devices, such as explicit embedding, commentary, and irony, are used by authors to create the various levels of a story and the interactions that will engage the reader. The successful layering of story features causes the reader to become deeply involved with the beliefs and intentions of the implied author and determines the latter's relationship with the implied reader. Layers of embedded stories, with corresponding implied authors and implied readers, complicate the task of the real reader; but this very complexity provides more characters that come alive for the reader and makes the reader care about what is being said. This is one clue to the effectiveness of story telling as communication: by inducing active involvement of the reader, the story form ensures that the reader is working at making the communication successful. (Stories used to illustrate use of the social interaction model include "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving, "The Tale of Benjamin Bunny" by Beatrix Potter, and "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James.) (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.