The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Doctoral Student (and Full-Time Teacher)

November 13, 2010

Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob, Rosenblatt?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelski @ 4:00 pm

In the 5th chapter of Making Meaning With Texts: Selected Essays, Rosenblatt digs into the dynamics of teaching literature. True to her research, Roseblatt advocates for the importance of the relationship between the reader and the text, explaining that a “lifelong personal relationship between books and people,” (p. 63-64) is the goal of literature education. However, literature education often neglects developing the relationship between the reader and the book, instead focusing on the teaching of methods, background knowledge, and knowing about the text (as opposed to knowing it in a personal way). Rosenblatt cautions educators to not use substitutes for the actual texts, such as critiques, analytical pieces, background information on the author or setting, without actually exposing students to the real text.

As I was reading this chapter, I felt like Rosenblatt was a women woven from the same cloth as me. The relationship between the reader and the text has almost magical powers. Bringing to life characters from the page, visiting the places that those said characters visit, or sharing an emotional moment with the people of the text represent quality reading experiences. Rosenblatt explains that we create relationships with texts based on our own experiences and the ability to empathize with the characters. All that being said, I began thinking about myself as a reader. I tell my students what makes me a good English teacher is not my background and training in English (as there is none), but my identity as a reader. I love to read, and my reading palate is not what I would describe as refined. I will read it all (except Jane Austin, try as I may I cannot get into her). I imagine Rosenblatt respecting that.

Twilight is a text loved by pre-teen and teen girls all over the world. It’s also loved by grown women. The series receives a lot of criticism: it’s lack of a developed plot, gender roles in the text, etc. As a reader, I found it very enjoyable to read. In fact, I have read the whole series on multiple occasions. Since Rosenblatt focuses on the read connecting with the text, I can only imagine that she’d view the Twilight series and other popular contemporary works as a positive element in creating a relationship between the reader and the text. Team Edward vs. Team Jacob–announcing alliances for the two love interests, this division is a direct result of the text, but it is not part of the text. There were not characters announcing their support to one boy over the other. This phenomenon is a direct result of readers interacting with the text.


Team Edward vs. Team Jacob



Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob, Rosenblatt?


1 Comment »

  1. I love the point you bring up about the relationship between reader and text having magical powers. I experienced this for the first time when I read A Walk to Remember in high school and then again as I read the Harry Potter series and the Twlight series. The relationships I develop with the stories took me to new and exciting places. I see this in my students who choose to read Twilight for their literature circles. They bring up ideas like the team Jacob vs. Edward one but also issues like the way society views teen love and how women are harder on each other than men are. These are not issues presented head on in the text but because of the students relationship with the text they develop.

    Comment by Lacy Anderson — November 27, 2010 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

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