An alternative to close reading that emphasizes pluralistic meanings instead of a “single, objective meaning” is reader response criticism. Reader response criticism is an approach to literary analysis that focuses on the reader’s subjective response to a text, rather than on the text itself or the author’s intent. It recognizes that readers bring their own experiences, values, and perspectives to a text, which can shape their understanding and interpretation of it.
Reader response criticism emphasizes the idea that there is no single, objective meaning of a text, and that meaning is instead constructed by the reader. This approach encourages readers to engage with a text in a personal and subjective way, and to explore the various meanings and interpretations that can be derived from it.
Unlike close reading, which seeks to identify the author’s intended meaning and analyze the text at a deep level, reader response criticism is more interested in the reader’s experience of the text and how it affects them. This approach can be more flexible and open-ended, allowing readers to explore multiple interpretations and meanings without feeling constrained by a single, objective meaning.
Overall, reader response criticism offers an alternative to close reading that emphasizes pluralistic meanings and encourages readers to engage with texts in a personal and subjective way.