Lampshaded: "This story means nothing...unless you want it to."
Invoked: Ms. Troper gives her English class a reading assignment.
Exploited: Ms. Troper gives her English class a reading assignment which they'll think is deep and symbolic to keep them busy so they'll shut up.
Defied: The audience takes the story in question completely at face value.
Discussed: "I want you to notice..."
Conversed: "This story doesn't mean anything!"
Deconstructed: The Death of the Author. Authorial intent has absolutely no bearing on what the story conveys. The story can only be considered on its own elements through outside non-authorial analysis. A simple work someone finds deeper meaning in is complex, regardless of the way the author saw it.
Reconstructed: While stories can take on meaning beyond what the author intended, that they emerge from the writing is due to conscious or subconscious effort from the writer. Someone can create a simple work and intend it to be simple, and it could have deeper meaning, and they can both be right.
Played For Drama:
The book is actually a secret prophetic book with information relevant toTwenty Minutes into the Future. Only those who can decipher the symbolism and tropes in the book will gain the knowledge they need to survive/warn people/etc, and this is a race against time.