Does having a different world view from that of an author create an obstacle in understanding their text?
When an author begins writing, they usually pen down their very own interpretations and the reflections of the society they live in, hence their work is a representation of their own world view. World views not only impact how one sees and interprets the world around them, but also what influences them and how they express themselves. As readers from a different world view, it is indeed difficult to understand a text set in a completely different era, timeline, or location since we have a fair share of varying tendencies and beliefs. What may have been praised may be considered unacceptable these days, what may be acceptable in some cultures is frowned upon in others. Every world view is different and conflicting.
Our interpretations may be influenced by our own world views and prejudices which makes it difficult to comprehend and interpret conflicting views fairly, but taking the time to overcome such biased difficulties to understand other world views will give a reader the opportunity to become more internationally minded and develop a better understanding of different viewpoints and opinions.
Also, understanding other world views may even make one wonder what different world views have in common. Despite our contradictions, us humans aren’t that different after all.
For instance, ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a modernist novel about jazz-age America, often regarded as one of the greatest novels in American literature, was not an instant hit when it was originally published in 1925. It did so poorly that Fitzgerald thought of himself as a failure until the day he died. This story only gained popularity after World War II and the years that followed after. Despite being from a different time period and location, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is still relevant because it explores universal themes- love, societal constructs, money, and fate. We have all at some point struggled or faced such themes in our lives.
In conclusion, having different world views may be a minor obstacle to understanding a text, but one can always find some common ground and try to understand and respect different viewpoints.