2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

A Reader- Response Criticism of "The Family Guy"
Jeffrey R. Hutchinson
Dr. Elizabeth M. Clark, Faculty Mentor

The television series "The Family Guy" is an interesting text because it is intended to be polysemic, and as a result of this it is very appropriate to perform a reader-response analysis on it. Usually the author’s intentions are not important in reader-response, but in this case it is because Seth MacFarlane intentionally tires to confuse the audience by having many aspects of the show open the text to interpretation. Some of these aspects are the sexuality of Stewie, a one year old baby, the ability of Stewie and the family dog to talk, numerous jokes and references that require background knowledge to be able to understand, and the overall theme of the show. Some of these aspects are controversial, so as a result, the audience sometimes forms negotiated readings because they do not agree with the intended reading of the author. This paper will examine these aspects, the intended reading, and the interpretations of the audience.

Keywords: The Family Guy, reader-response, intended reading, negotiated reading

Topic(s):Communication

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 34-4
Location: VH 1304
Time: 3:00

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