the reader not only moves the senses, it also educates them.
the movie asks you to look beyond what is seen, to hear more than what is heard, to stretch the horizons of your understanding and to re-evaluate your feelings in order to unlock the mysteries that the movie posted from the start.
kate winslet’s performance made the reader a sensual journey about love- the love that transcends the walls of the norms set by the society, the love that endures time, the love for literature, and the love for oral interpretation.
…oral interpretation – the study of literature via performance – features the text and makes use of body, voice, and other accoutrements to suggest the life of prose or poetry as understood by the reader after a careful study of the literary piece. unlike that of acting or impersonating, oral interpretation's primary goal is for the piece of literature to come alive from the printed page; the performer is merely a vessel through which listeners get a taste of literature as performed – as it should be, that is. (more sophisticated speech departments have renamed this area "performance studies" which has generated a number of advanced theories on text and performance.)
…the depiction of hannah's debilitating illiteracy has its ups though – at least to me as a viewer. her appreciation of a book read aloud – of the spoken word – seems rare and distinct from how most of today's and even the previous generations would find, say, homer's "odyssey" interpreted orally. thanks to kate winslet, hannah's character as a non-literate woman but whose mind operates in an oral culture comes very much alive to me. – professor gene navera, phd, uplb
the reader’s (michael berg as portrayed by ralph fiennes) oral interpretation of the text to hannah inspired her to appreciate literature and eventually teach herself to read and write.
the movie’s message regarding literacy is clear. some people would rather accept punishment than admit that they can neither read nor write. up to this time, societies forged by men still throw a certain level of discrimination against illiterate people. some people who can’t read and write are most likely to take those discriminations as derogatory, stifling them to move forward to their lives. hannah was different. she would rather find work and ask people to read books for her than to wallow in self pity.
the reader is that movie that made me realize how much i miss teaching.
michael and hannah’s may-december love affair was somehow reflected at anton chekhov’s the lady with the little dog; one of the stories that michael constantly reads to hannah.
you can read the lady with the little dog here.