Allington, D. (2005) ‘Re-reading the script: a discursive appraisal of the use of the “schema” in cognitive poetics’. Working with English 2: 1-9.
This paper argues that what at first sight appear to be claims about the minds of readers can often be better understood as arguments about the qualities of texts. It is both a critique of schema theory as applied to literary analysis and a study in the rhetoric of literary evaluation.
Two literary readings that employ schema theory are analysed: Sara Mills’s reading of Martin Amis’s novel, London Fields, and Guy Cook’s reading of Edward Bond’s poem, ‘First World War Poets’. It is argued that the rhetorical effectiveness of these writings is largely independent of the validity or otherwise of schema theory.
This peer-reviewed article is open access. It can be downloaded here: