Applying Reader Response Literary Theory To American War

This should be a writeup for the first SEVEN chapters of the book “American War” by Omar El Akkad. Analyze
the deeper meaning of the text beyond the surface meaning.
Aim for approximately 500 words. The writeup should contain direct references with parenthetical citations,
written in well developed sentences and paragraphs as well as keeping it informal. Additionally, ENSURE that
you reach deeper than the surface of the text entails. Think about the choices being made in constructing said
text. Finally, identify specific stylistic techniques and conventions and explain why they are effective or
ineffective when it comes to communicating a particular idea.
Questions to help guide you as you write:

  1. Predicting or Generating Expectations: What sort of things could happen in the short and long term?
  2. Puzzles: What puzzles or problems are you formulating at various reading moments? What specific
    questions are you asking of the text?
  3. Filling the Gaps: What gaps are you filling in the text? What connections between events are you making?
    What is the point of each event? Why was a particular character included in the novel? (Keep in mind that you
    can still use the term character if you’ve chosen a piece of creative non-fiction even though the “characters” are
    real people.)
  4. The Repertoire of Personal and Literary Experience: What connections are you making between events in
    your own experience and events in the novel? Does the book remind you of other books you have read?
  5. Mental Images: What mental images are you forming of people, places and events in the novel? Consider
    the nature of these mental images and where they come from. For example, are they purely pictorial or are
    they more significantly “feelings about” things?
  6. The Implied Author: What impression is the book giving you of the kind of person who wrote it? Do you find it
    difficult to sympathize with his or her view of the world?
  7. The Implied Reader: What kind of reader do you think the author had in mind as his or her audience for this
    book? Are you having any difficulty suspending your own values, prejudices, and worldviews sufficiently to
    enable the book to work on you? Why?
  8. Ideology: There is no such thing as an ideologically neutral text. What is the ideology of this text? What is
    the ideology of the society that saw fit to regard it as a great work of art? If the novel is not contemporary, why
    does it still speak to us today?
  9. Reflection/Self-Understanding: From considering questions like 1-8, what are you learning about:
    a. Yourself as a person?
    b. Your own strengths and weaknesses as a reader? What are your really productive reading strategies? (For
    example, when you come to “boring” bits, think about what boredom means to you, and what you are learning
    about yourself from being bored.)

Sample Solution