Levels of
Interpretation
1
Basic question 2
(closed question about representation)
‘Explain the ideas about y presented by the
text.’
y = idea about the world
2
Key Skill 2
Interpreting texts on more than one level
• Overt content – specific people, places
events
• General ideas underlying overt content –
issues, themes: representations
3
Overt Content
Discuss the ideas
presented by the text
about the management of
Ningaloo Reef.
How does the passage
construct the main
character of this
passage.
General Ideas
Discuss the ideas presented
by the text about the
relationship between
humans and the natural
environment.
Discuss the ways in which
the text attempts to shape
your ideas about childhood.
4
• Representation: what a text can be read as
suggesting about an aspect of life in general
(world view)
• Need to distinguish between subject and
representation: representation is the way of
thinking a text suggests about a subject
• Representations are produced by readers from
the text: finding represeentations is a way of
reading
5
A way of thinking about reading for
representation and ideology
If we were to accept some element of a text
as normal of its kind, what conclusions
would we draw?
6
Men
7
Women
8
Families
9
Not Just Groups
Places e.g. Western Australia
10
War
11
Reading for
representation
sometimes
takes time and
requires
practice
12
Heroism
13
the aged
the city
beauty
youth
the country
almost any concept
Issues such as:
capital punishment, violence
Concepts such as:
bravery, love, beauty, attractiveness
Virtually anything
14
When reading for representation
• Still need to generate interpretations of
specific characters etc
• Treat our interpretations as being about
the topic we have been asked to focus on
15
Reading on the overt level:
‘Sredni Vashtar’ constructs Conradin as a
desperately unhappy little boy whom the reader is
invited to feel sorry for.
Reading on the level of representation:
‘Sredni Vashtar’, suggests that childhood can be a
time of great unhappiness for many children.
16
Reading on the overt level:
Conradin is constructed as a rather lonely boy, who
is full of hatred, and has a vivid imagination.
Reading on the level of representation:
Childhood is represented in this passage as a time
of loneliness, strong emotions and vivid
imagination.
17
Talking about representation
Reflects/promotes/encourages the
the
view/idea/belief
18
How does the passage from ‘Rodney
Darling’ represent childhood?
19
Strategy for General Ideas Questions:
Predicting
Ask yourself:
What attitudes/ideas and responses is a
passage likely to encourage to x?
ie
What are the possibilities?
ie
What ideas are floating around in society
which might turn up in the passage?
20
Activity: Have a go at predicting
1. Discuss how the text encourages readers
to view the relationship between teachers
and students in modern education.
2. Discuss how sport is represented in the
text.
3. What attitudes towards violence are
presented in the text?
21
Using one of the answer types, produce an
introduction for an answer to the following
question:
How is the mass media presented in the
passage from Popcorn?
22