ENGL 109 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Close Reading, Lightdark, Ann Radcliffe
21 views2 pages
ENGL109 1/16 notes
• Fiction is carefully written art- the parts matter
• Need to slow down and read carefully
• Close reading
• Read it more than once
• Close read to understand a story
• What’s the purpose behind the choices that the writer made?
• Why that word?
• Why is this story set in ___?
• Why that narrator?
• Why that point of view?
• Why does that phrase keep being repeated?
• Making an interpretive argument about the text
• Thesis driven argument
• Not about the facts of the story
• When you have a work of art, there are multiple ways of coming to that painting and
thinking about the meaning or purpose- same thing with fiction
• To make an argument well, you need two things: quotes from the text, and sentences
where you reflect on the meaning of those words
• You don’t need any outside context to make an argument about a story
• Close reading- no other references
• Parts of the fiction where the matter gets grey
• Words have multiple and often conflicting meanings
• Words can mean many things and writers use words strategically
• Punctuation matters
• Sentence length matters
• Does this person yell, whisper, say it out loud, keep it in his head, etc
• What does someone see or not see?
• Why go that route and not another?
• Write as you read
• You cannot skim fiction
• if you want to be good at reading fiction and writing about it, read it slowly
• make notes as you go
• reread passages, chunks of text, sentences- flag them so you can reread them
• good close reading requires concentration
• keep a pen or pencil out
• mainly for novels- running summary at top
• use post-its to flag pages
• make a summary as you go
• jot down questions
• look up words that you don’t know