Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 1 January 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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My Responses to The English Teacher

T. Aparna, M.Phil.


The English Teacher by R K Narayan is the story of a young man teaching English in a missionary college. The story is set in Malgudi, in the twentieth century colonial India.

The Reader Response theory is a form of literary theory which focuses on the reader and his understanding and interpretations of the text. It explores and seeks to explain the divergence and diversity of reader's responses to particular texts. In the school of reader response criticism, the varied responses and interpretations of a reader to multiple readings of a literary text are analyzed.

When I first read The English Teacher, I was surprised, for I had hitherto known R K Narayan only as a writer of children's stories, having read only his Swami and Friends. The inclusion of the super natural in the novel surprised me and I felt it was irrelevant. I didn't understand the plight of Krishnan in coming to terms with his wife's death and all that interested me were the antics of the child Leela.

I have now read the book as a part of my curriculum. I found that I have responded entirely differently from how I have responded to the book in the first instance. I now find the book an engrossing example of how human relationships are to be depicted. The descriptions of Krishnan's married life, his agony during Susila's illness and his trials in coming to terms with her death have moved me.

In this paper I discuss the implications of the reader response theory and my responses to the novel The English Teacher.

My Responses to The English Teacher

The Reader Response Theory is a form of literary theory which lays emphasis on the reader and his understanding and interpretation of a text. It arose in large measure as a reaction to the New Criticism or Formalistic approach.

The history of literary criticism can be broadly categorized into three stages:

i. A preoccupation with the author (the nineteenth century).

ii. An exclusive concern with the text (New Criticism).

iii. A marked shift of attention to the reader over recent years.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Linguistic Purism and Language Planning in a Multilingual Context | The Problems of Teaching/Learning Tenses | Language and Literature: An Exposition - Papers Presented in Karunya University International Seminar | Similes in Meghduta - The Absolute Craftsmanship in Language | Culture of the Tamil Society as Portrayed in Ponniyin Selvan | Deconstructing Human Society: An Appreciation of Amitav Ghosh's Sea Of Poppies | Enabling Students to Interpret Literary Texts Independently by Enhancing their Vocabulary | Coping with the Problems of Mixed Ability Students | Displaced Diasporic Identities - A Case Study of Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz | English Language Teaching in Developing Countries Error Analysis and Remedial Teaching Methods - An Overview | Diaspora Literature - A Hybrid or a Hybridized Product? | Anita Desai's Journey To Ithaca - A Manifestation of Vedantic Knowledge | A Study on the Physiological, Psychological and Spiritual Perspectives of Different Selves in a Self with Special Reference to Yann Martel's SELF | Conveniences and Complexities of Computer-Aided Language Learning | The Danger Lurking Within: The African American Woman in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye | Practices and Paradigms of Using Multimedia and Language Laboratory for Teaching Communication Skills to Technical Students | English: A Blessing in Disguise - A Study of Chinua Achebe's Technique of Hybridization | Language Teaching - The Present Day Challenges | Is Literature a Viable Medium for ESL Acquisition? | The Lord of The Rings : Galadriel, The Light Of Middle-Earth | Teaching Reading - A Challenge in Itself | The Silent Way | Translator as Reader: Phenomenology and Text Reception - An Investigation of Indulekha | The Dysfunctional Women in Mary Gordon'sThe Other Side | Utopia and Dystopia, Conflict Between Two Extremes - An Appraisal of Anita Desai's Cry, The Peacock | Reading 'god' Backwards | The Comic Vision in the Stories and Sketches of R.K.Narayan | My Responses to The English Teacher | 'Fall from Grace into Grief': Putting into Perspective the Outrages of Terrorism in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown | Style and Language in M. G. Vassanji's The Assassin's Song | Affirmation of Life in Lloyd C. Douglas' Magnificent Obsession | Effectiveness of Group Investigation Model and Simulation Model in Teaching English | A Mathematical Treatment of Feministic Literature for the Prediction of Social Trends | Multiple Intelligences and Second Language Learning | Amitav Ghosh's The Circle Of Reason - A Study of Diaspora | The Role of Multimedia in Teaching Writing in English | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JANUARY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of January 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

T. Aparna, M. Phil.
Acharya Nagarjuna University
Hyderabad 500047
Andhra Pradesh, India

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