A Study of the Effects of Intertextuality Awareness on Reading Literary Texts: The Case of Short Stories

Moussa Ahmadian, Hooshang Yazdani


Intertextuality can be generally defined as the influence and presence of previous texts in the construction of the present one; it shows the internal relations of a text with all other relating texts (Booker, 1996; Halliday, 2003). The consensus is that no text is a complete creation of its author; rather, it is constructed through the process of interconnections of textual elements of the relating texts and the author’s creativity. In literary texts, intertextuality plays crucial roles (Abrams, 1993: 185-6; Peck and Coyle, 2002: 143). The author, un/consciously appeals to intertextual elements, elaborates them in his artistic career and creativity to create the intended text—prose/poetry. Accordingly, in reading literature, being aware of intertextuality seems to be important in better understanding of the text. The present paper studies possible effects of intertextuality awareness on reading literary texts—short stories. To this end, a group of 25 homogeneous students of English literature at Arak University, Iran, were asked to take part in the study. Two short stories, as tasks of elicitation, were first given to them as pretest to read and answer the questions. Then, after 6 sessions of treatments relating to intertextuality, its features and examples, they were given the same stories, as posttest, to read and answer the questions. Their answers in both pre- and post tests were scored by two raters, and then compared. The results revealed strong effects of intertextuality awareness on reading the texts. Possible causes of the results along with the implications of the findings are discussed.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n2p155

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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