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Title: Readers and text worlds of dystopia
Author: Hasan, Arwa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 0136
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is an exploration of reading styles and stylistic patterning in relation to dystopian fiction. Situated within an empirical cognitive poetics, the study draws upon naturalistic reader-response data, with specific reference to Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Vonnegut’s ‘Harrison Bergeron’, as case studies of dystopian texts that produce a spectrum of readings. The notions of preferred and dispreferred responses are defined in cognitive linguistic and pragmatic terms, and non-normative readings of these dystopian texts are investigated. The thesis adopts a text-world theoretical description, and provides both naturalistic reader-community data as well as focused interviews and reading protocols. It was found that some readers insist on producing dispreferred readings even in the face of lack of textually-driven evidence. Such readers allow their own emotions, outlooks and dispositions to over-ride the textual patterning, in producing dispreferred and non-evidential readings. These readings are nevertheless genuinely held. This study raises questions for all text-driven models of literary reading and analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature ; PS American literature