Why is it correct that when reading Valley Song enjoyment of the story and critical understanding of the aesthetic cultural and emotional values are needed? And what are these values?
Teacher Prompt: The learner must be able to read and view for information and enjoyment, and respond critically to the aesthetic cultural and emotional values in the text.
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I think that the statement is true in the appreciation of Fugard's work. In order to get the most out of the drama, I think that there has to be a commitment on the part of the reader or learner to appreciate the work on as many levels as possible. I think that this involves an aesthetic appreciation as well as a cultural and political sensitivity to what is being rendered in text or on stage. In doing so, a greater level of understanding can emerge. The statement views literature as a vision of concentric circles in which meaning is layered and sedimented within one another and to understand different levels of the text reveals greater enjoyment and appreciation of it. Certainly, Fugard's work demands that there is an emotional sensitivity to the conditions of Buks, Veronica, and the Author. Adding to this is the condition of apartheid that defines all of their being that has to be understood. In this, the appreciation of the work exists on both personal and political levels. This is where I think that a greater appreciation and understanding of the literature emerges. I would only suggest that I have a slight challenge in the use of the word "must." I think that the reader should engage in this indepth analysis of a work to get more out of it, but to forcibly compel is something that defeats the purpose of freedom in scholarship. One can hope that the reader "should" or "might want to engage" in such analysis. In the end, though, the statement applies to nearly every work of literature in which greater calibre of writing is evident and thus a greater amount of attention might be warranted in order to gain more from it.
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