stock response

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A routinely insensitive reaction to a literary work or to some element of it. A stock response perceives in a work only those meanings that are already familiar from a reader's or audience's previous experience, failing to recognize fresh or unfamiliar meanings. Writers may deliberately exploit stock responses (e.g. our sympathy for the hero or heroine), but often fall victim to them when attempting to reach beyond readers' habitual expectations.

Subjects: Literature.

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