Learning Goal: I’m working on a English writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
One of the most important skills we are honing in this class is the ability to read literature beyond
the purely literal plot level of a sequence of events. Paper 2: Close Reading is designed to build
your intuition and ability to dig deeper into what you are reading and unpack the hidden layers of
meaning that would lay unnoticed in a quick, cursory reading. Good readers make good writers.
What is a close reading?
A close reading is a strategy used to understand texts on a deeper level. It involves reading a text
so closely that you stop to consider each word or phrase to discover pieces that offer multiple
layers of meaning. This meaning might come in a number of different forms: symbols, setting,
revealing aspects of characters or relationships, allusions to other texts, historical context, etc. A
good practice to develop is to question why an author might want to include specific things,
especially if they seem emphasized or out of the ordinary. When we stop to consider this, we
practice trying to understand the text in a new way. Especially important to building a close
reading is understanding and expressing how meaning is built throughout a passage you examine
and how that meaning connects to other areas of the text.
Your goal here is not to paraphrase the passage; it’s to show what it is saying beyond the plot
level. Assume that your reader is familiar with the plot.
- Introduction: Overview of the point of view as an element of craft elements used in Letter from a Region in My Mind by James Baldwin
- Examples of the use of point of view
- Conclusion: James Baldwin shows that the black church similarly created a hostile and long-lasting impact on the neighborhood.