Cognitive Analysis of Unexpected Reader Response: To What Degree Does Authorship Influence Perception of Richardson’s Enigmatic Lovelace in Clarissa Compared to Laclos’ Calculating Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons?
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Deaton, Pamela S.
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CitationDeaton, Pamela S. 2019. Cognitive Analysis of Unexpected Reader Response: To What Degree Does Authorship Influence Perception of Richardson’s Enigmatic Lovelace in Clarissa Compared to Laclos’ Calculating Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons?. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThis thesis uses reader response criticism and theory of mind as interpretive tools, juxtaposed with authentic reader response, to cognitively analyze unexpected reader reactions to Lovelace, the villain of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. Structural strategies of transparent character introduction, unambiguous intentionality, and consistent characterization affect impression formation and expectation bias as readers progress through a novel. Likewise, epistolary form, intertextuality, and socio-cultural norms all figure heavily in reader perception and experience. Characteristically and contextually comparing Lovelace to a differently drawn villain, Valmont in Laclos’ Dangerous Liaisons, illustrates the importance of authorship and characterization to readers’ sympathetic identification with characters as well as psychic perception during the reading process.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42004094