February 2013 | PDF |
The Role of Emotions in Reading Literary Texts: Fact or Fiction?
Katayoon Afzali (Ph.D.)
Sheikhbahaee University, Isfahan, Iran
Katayoon Afzali, assistant Professor at Sheikhbahaee University, Isfahan, Iran. Her research interests are (but not limited to) discourse analysis, reading literary texts, stylistic analysis and translation studies.
Considering the role of emotions while reading literary texts, the current research was designed to investigate first whether or not the participants’ emotional involvement can improve their comprehension of short stories and second, if emotional involvement while reading short stories assist students in recognizing literary elements, such as irony, symbol, theme and foreshadowing. To this end, 79 Persian speakers (30 males and 49 females) selected from the population of sophomores in one of Iranian Universities participated in the study. A questionnaire based on Miall and Kuiken’s (2002) categorization of feelings was designed to assist the students in involving their emotions while reading literary texts. There were two experimental groups and a control group. Initially, a pretest was assigned to these groups to ensure that they are homogeneous. The designed questionnaire was employed in teaching literary texts in experimental groups. At the end of the semester, a posttest was assigned to all participants. An ANOVA test indicated statistically significant difference across control and experimental groups in comprehending short stories. The Tukey HSD test was also applied to investigate where those differences lie. To address the second research question, a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used; however, MANOVA test did not show any statistically significant difference across control and experimental groups in recognizing literary elements.
Keywords: Teaching literature, Emotions, Literary elements