Tami Wisniewski wrote this article.
Literature serves as a catalyst for thought. Implicit in the idea of reading is the notion of action. This action can be accomplished on two levels: the “private” or personal interpretation of the literature, and its “public” or communal meaning. While these two levels of interpretations may not always be in conflict, the messages conveyed may not be inherently similar either. Private interpretation allows the reader to identify with the content of the literature, and consequently make personal judgments. These personal judgments however, can sometimes neglect to reflect on the public interpretation; essentially what greater good is served by the literature. However, the greater public good can be questionable. In essence, this greater public good may be an excuse that explains away the perversity of a particular topic expressed in the literature. The question must be posited: do we learn from the mistakes presented through the greater public good, or do we merely re-form the problem within another context?