How did Steven Mailloux decide what critical methods he would use?: 

a Model for the Final Paper in 215

        Mailloux's introduction argues that a set of theorists and practicing critics provide methods he used to create a set of tools for studying Hawthorne's story.  This solves a problem which he discovered in the many disagreements among published critics' readings of the story.  Consider this as possible a model for what you might attempt in the 215 final paper.  You need not agree with Mailloux's conclusions in order to learn from his interpretive strategy.  In the chart below, I have summarized the assumptions and critical terms he borrows from Barthes, Booth, and Fish.  Together they form his "toolkit" for what we might call his "Working With Hawthorne and Reader-Response Theory" paper, which you read.

Barthes' S/Z "hermeneutic code" of enigma and discovery gives Mailloux names for things readers do and for things texts do to readers thematization (repetition of a datum until it becomes a problem to solve)

formulation (the reader's working with thematized data to construct the enigma lurking in the text)

snare (a plot move designed to trap readers in a mistaken solution that will be disproved)

equivocation (a plot move designed to direct readers in two different directions for solutions)

partial answer (an insufficient set of data designed to produce a temporary reduction but not elimination of the desire to solve the problem/enigma)

disclosure (any revelation of plot data, but especially the revelation of enough data of the right kind to enable solution of the problem/enigma)

the "code in the discourse" sets up readers as detectives trying to establish what enigmata need to be solved in order to make sense of the text, and what information or reasoning is required to solve them, arousing readers' desires for that resolution and frustrating them in an erotic pattern Barthes called le plaisir du texte (pleasure [erotic] of the text).
Stephen Booth on Hamlet gives Mailloux a way to explain why so many critics differ in their readings of NH in so many ways Frustration and fulfillment can occur simultaneously We both want and do not want the information that creates and solves enigmata Interruptions in resolution can be essential to the text's effect on reader response
Stanley Fish "Reading the Variorum" gives Mailloux more ways to interpret reader behaviors and to explain their significance Hypotheses of the whole work's intentions are formed from the start and tested against events (Rosenblatt's "blueprint function") References accumulate within and outside the text (by allusion) and must be sorted out by the reader's alternating forward reading progress with static global stock-taking moments.  Each is as important as the last one, which "holistic" interpretation typically privileges as the most important or only one. Reading is an act of judgment upon our own meanings in cooperation with the text's stimuli, but meanings, which we cannot judge true or false, relevant or irrelevant, continue to accumulate as part of the text's strategy of reader-entanglement.
Mailloux's own additions to the "toolkit" Holistic readings can be surveyed for evidence that readers have arrived at differing views of the text, creating the need for a "temporal" (Structuralist "diachronic") analysis to explain how the differing holistic readings result text-reader interactions.. Temporal analysis looks for the text's repeated patterns of engagement by which readers are placed in intentionally designed interpretive positions which are the text's temporal structure.  The proairetic code of actions moves the plot, but the readers' judgments also follow the hermeneutic code of expectation and fulfillment, mystery and solution.  Why things happened is as important as what happened. Temporal reading can take place only after submitting to the text's devices and experiencing them first-hand.  Re-reading allows the analyst to detect the readers' moves as they navigate the hermeneutic codes (enigma/solution) and proairetic (action) codes (conflict/resolution).