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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown

Rhetorical criticism:

A term used by Wayne Booth to describe the kind of criticism that regards fiction as the art of communicating with readers. According to Booth, such criticism focuses on the rhetorical resources available to a writer as that writer tries, consciously or unconsciously, to impose his or her fictional world upon the reader. To foreground the author's means of controlling the reader, Booth isolates narrative technique and other means of achieving effects on readers from the sociohistorical and psychological forces that affect authors and readers.

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
Director: Ian Lancashire.
Last modified: March 31, 1997