Reader-Response Criticism: Langston Hughes’ Dream Boogie Essay

1208 Words Jun 14th, 2011 5 Pages
Reader-Response Criticism: Langston Hughes’ Dream Boogie
T Wilkins
ENG 125 Introduction to Literature
Instructor M. XXXXXXXXX
May 22, 2011

Literature, no matter what the topic of form it comes in, has the ability to raise issues, spark thought/imagination, and/or draw out emotions that have been buried deep within us as people. It is expected, from the authors, that readers will form opinions and criticisms for their works. Be it that the readers’ emotions parallel those of the writer or differ; some thoughts and opinions are expected. While reading through the text for week one I was drawn in by the many different poems throughout…but there was one poem that captured my attention more than the others. That poem is/was “Dream
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It also gives the reader more room to come to their own conclusions on the work that they read. “The easiest way to explain reader-response criticism is to relate it to the common experience of re-reading a favorite book after many years. A book one read as a child might seem shockingly different when re-read as an adolescent or as an adult…The book has not changed. However, our life experiences between the first reading and any subsequent re-reading can affect the way we respond to a story…” (Gioia, D. & Gwynn, R.S. n.d.) When analyzing a literary work using the Reader-response approach there are certain questions that one must ask themselves…Instead of just listing the questions I will first state the question then give personal examples, from my reading of “Dream Boogie” by Langston Hughes. The questions are as follows:
1. What captured my imagination?
The reading made me imagine swarms of young black men and women discovering a new sound (music; specifically jazz) and a new dance to go along with it. I also imagined these young black people moving from a black and white picture to a world filled with color and lots of movement.
2. Was it a feeling, an emotion, a curiosity, or aspiration? I would have to say that there was a combination of all four. The feeling that this reading gave me was “good vibes”, which led to me being emotionally

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