Close Reading.docx

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English 201 Close8 Reading What is it? It’s how people in literary studies provide evidence for their interpretations of literary texts (sometimes people also use “close reading” to refer to the interpretation itself, as in “This is my close reading of the story”). Close reading is the opposite of speed reading, which asks you simply to read for the gist. Close reading asks you to notice and think about details in the text (local) and then use them to form an interpretation of an aspect of the text as a whole (global). It requires you to toggle from a small piece of the text to a larger interpretation. It’s like how we looked at the evaluation in a line of an anecdote: we analyzed it to tell us something both about what the narrator meant by the line and about how the narrator wanted us to think about him or her in general or why the anecdote, as a whole, was tellable. How do I do it? There are different ways to proceed: You can start by taking a particular line or short passage and start asking questions about it like the following (local evaluation): o How does this line or passage depart from a very simple way of telling the story? Things to look at include word choice (e.g., what’s the difference between saying “friend” and “woman friend”? what does it suggest about the white narrator that
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