Readers’ Empathy

Suzanne Keen

in Empathy and the Novel

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780195175769
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199851232 | DOI:
Readers’ Empathy

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This chapter examines several kinds of evidence about reactions to reading a novel based on a study conducted by Wayne Booth which surveyed readers of different ages and backgrounds about the novels that had led them to make a change in their behavior or beliefs. It discusses readers' experiences related to narrative empathy and explains a set of working hypotheses about the qualities of novels that evoke empathy in readers. It also analyzes the result of empirical studies concerning the effects of reading and discusses ideas about readers' empathy.

Keywords: novel; behavior change; belief change; Wayne Booth; readers; narrative empathy

Chapter.  15989 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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