A text can be read and interpreteddifferently by two different readers. It is because the significance of a textis determined by the reader himself/herself. Every other reader is different.There could be differences in the cultural background, experience, age, gender,experiences and personal status.
Therefore all readers read a text differentlyand they can make their own unique interpretation of the text that they read.This is also the case in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel CODF (Chronicles ofdeath foretold) 1981. The reader always determines the meaning ofa text, because each reader has another personal attraction to the novel. Inall actuality, the writer wants the reader to feel personally attached to thenovel. The writer writes down the feelings and thoughts of the characters inthe novel in a very detailed way. The reader possibly can recognize thisspecification from his own experiences. If a reader has in some way theidentical feelings or thoughts as the protagonist, he can replace himself inthe role of the protagonist and he will find a part of himself in theprotagonist. This will make a novel very memorable and unforgettable for itsreader because readers will be comparing themselves to the main protagonist ofthe novel.
The reader will think about what he and the character has in commonand he will remember this. Thus, each reader generates a different meaning fora text.For example there is one quote in COTD, “She wrote a weekly letter for over half alifetime. ‘Sometimes I couldn’t think of what to say’, she told me, dying withlaughter, ‘but it was enough for me to know that he was getting them.’ At firstthey were a fiancée’s notes, then little messages from a secret lover, perfumedcards from a furtive sweetheart, business papers, love documents… nevertheless,he seemed insensible to her delirium; it was like writing to nobody.
“This quote is taken from the end of thefourth chapter, in which Angela Vicario explains the letters she obsessivelywrote to Bayardo San Roman.This quote shows that Angela has deepfeelings for Bayardo but Bayardo seems to care less. Some readers will have some personalattachment to this quote because of their life experiences. Some readers mightbe ignored just as the way Angela was being ignored of her love and affection.The readers can recognize the pain behind not being acknowledged of yourfeelings and the fear of rejection from a loved one.
They will compare theirlove with Angela’s love. Because they are personally attached to Angela, theywill determine a different meaning to the quote compared to readers who don’t haveany love interests. This quote is also evidence that Bayardo ignored theletters. Some readers will replace themselves in Bayardo’s place in the novel. Another reason for the fact that readersdetermine the meaning of a text is that readers create an image for themselves.This often happens in descriptive writing. The writer describes a character orenvironment very detailed, which stimulates the imagination of the reader tothink more about the descriptions and use it for the creation of images in theirbrain. Even thought the writer createsvarious details, there is always room for the reader’s own creativity.
Therefore, each and every other reader will create his own unique image and thetext is read and interpreted differently by its readers. The readerhimself/herself can always decide which image he/she creates. The reader will begin to think about theseimages and will give significance to them. For example, in Chronicles of deathforetold, Santiago Nasar is described: “Isaw him in her memory. He had turned twenty-one the last week in January, andhe was slim and pale and had his father’s Arab eyelids and curly hair.”Although Nasar’s description given by the writer is very clear and detailed,each reader will create an own image of Santiago Nasar. Some people will createan image where Santiago looks good and handsome whereas some people will createan image where Santiago looks bad and ugly.
The various interpretation of the novel hasto do with the various ages of the reader also. Readers who have come to amature age with proper understanding of the texts and the time it was writtencan find out the cultural and political status of the setting in the novelwhereas readers who are very young can not find this out quickly. A reader determines significance in novels,but also each reader determines different significance in novels. Every readerfeels a different personal attraction to a text and they consider their ownthoughts and experiences when determining meaning of that text.
Of course, eachreader has other experiences and thoughts; therefore the readers will allinterpret the text inversely.