When reading Trigg’s discussion of affect verses the other words like emotions or passions, I think a light bulb finally went off for me. Throughout the semester, I have thought that I understood the difference between affect and emotion, however, Trigg’s essay revealed to me that I had not fully understood. Affect has to do with the preconscious responses rather than the socially constructed responses. When a heart races, tears burst out uncontrollably, or sweating begins, these are bodily responses rather than conscious decisions. One of the most helpful aspects of today’s discussion was the reference to the experiment in which Japanese people initially reacted with disgust (an affective response), followed by changing to a straight face (a culturally determined response). In terms of the medieval literature we are reading, the distinction between the words affect, passions, sentiments, emotions, and feelings is important for critical conversation. In order for critics to build on each other’s works, the definitions must be clear. Now that I have a better grasp on what affect means, I think I can more successfully understand the critical conversation.