– deliberate attempt to detach from plot and story of narrative and pay attention to imagery,
allusion, intertextuality, syntax, and form in writing
– active consumptation of texts
– HOW meaning is structured and conveyed through its language
– we do not attempt close reading of an entire short story
– look at particular important sentences, phrases, or a single paragraph
How to do close reading:
• why the particular words, iamges, grammatical constructions, punctuations?
• How do these choices affect your responses as a reader
• what other choices may have been made?
• Allusions or quotation from other works of lit or other texts?
• HOW DOES THE VERBALTEXTURE OF THIS PARAGRAPH ILLUMINATE THE
THME OF THE STORY?
– Canadian writers have been traditionally sympathetic to women
– have been criticized as too "real"
– one story about a woman inducing abortion was considered pornographic
Lazybones, by Grove
• "energy betrayed herself"
◦ strives to keep things hidden
◦ betray: unintentionally reveal
▪ highlights Liz's problems – her capabilities makes it hard for her to conform to her
▪ aligns the daughter with mother, and the boys with the father
• the shoe problem is shared between the sons and Walt
◦ contrast against other women (pg57)
▪ Irene = a looker and a high stepper
• gender roles also projected onto the children
• Walt is almost unapologetically lazy
◦ contrast against John inAField of Wheat – the stereotypical ambitious midwest farmer
◦ also a non-conformer
◦ emphasis on his own good looks
▪ pg 52: "cowboy"
▪ pg 53: "handsome, big, tall, striking face, a figure to attract girls"
▪ pg 54: "shake handsome man, smooth milky skin"
• Liz had married Walt against general dissent
◦ "he had done this one thing, he had stayed on the farm...enabled her to stay in her own
▪ her own tradition refers to her working on the farm, take on more of the management
of the farm
▪ recasting of the notion of tradition
◦ in spite of everything, she loves him – so many "in spite of's": very compromised love
▪ Walt also has many "but's" – dog-gone poor etc
▪ "I suppose so", a muted demure reply from the robust Liz • a moment of love
• entering into a compromise
◦ treats Walt as a child
• her feelings for Walt echoed in her feelings during the day – notice the regularity
◦ beginning: joyful
◦ morning: critical, burdened
◦ midmorning: angry, rebellious
◦ after she starts helping: grateful that at least somethings are getting done
◦ when Walt takes a break: resigned
◦ when she sent her boys to go help out Walt: no longer angry
◦ milking the cows: at peace with herself and the world, when she knew contentment
• she is constantly moving, contrasted against Walt, who is almost always still
◦ "still sleeping"
◦ Liz is described fully and named by her maiden name, whereas Walt is a "grunt",