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An Analysis of the Employment of Wolfgang Iser’s Blank Theory in Young Goodman Brown

Yunlin Wang

Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

*Corresponding author: Yunlin Wang

Published: 24 January 2024 How to cite this paper


Wolfgang Iser is one of the most important theorists of aesthetics of reception. His reader-response theory is mainly concerned with the reading process, in which the text could ultimately find its meaning through the interaction between the reader and the text. Because literature is not only a kind of imitation of real life, but also a product of the author’s imagination, thus there will be gaps or uncertain points between the real world and the world portrayed in the text. Those gaps and uncertain points are called “blank” and by this phenomenon, Iser proposed his “calling structure of texts”, aiming to demonstrate that the blank itself is the texts’ structural mechanism calling readers who are promoted by curiosity to read them. During the reading process, the readers’ reading ex-pectation is prompted to fulfill those blanks because of the contrast between the experiences written in the text and the experiences they confront in the real world, thus materializing the complete meaning of the text. In this paper, the author tries to explain the blanks used in Hawthorne's masterpiece Young Goodman Brown, explore the types of blanks appearing in the text, Hawthorne's real intention to arrange these blanks, and what reading experience these gaps bring to readers.

KEYWORDS: Wolfgang Iser, Blank, Young Goodman Brown


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How to cite this paper

Yunlin Wang. An Analysis of the Employment of Wolfgang Iser’s Blank Theory in Young Goodman BrownOA Journal of Education Research, 2023, 2(1), 34-40.

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