However, while I believe that knowledge of intention and context can lead to a fuller understanding of a story, I suppose that when I think about it more deeply I do also believe that we can bring our own meaning and understanding to a story. If you can glean meaning from a story or connect with a story on a personal level apart from the original intentions of the author, I think that your interpretation can be at least valid, even if it's not technically "correct." So while I might be skeptical about the importance of red drapes, I understand and can accept the validity of other interpretations of a story.
(I hope this makes sense. I had a really hard time trying to express my thoughts here...)