Looking back at my first post, I can’t help but cringe slightly. It wasn’t anything like what a close reading should be. But I really didn’t know better at the time. Going into this blog post, I have a much better idea what I should’ve done back then.
This being said, there are some diamonds in the wasteland that is my first blog post. The close reading guide tip sheet says that imagery are pretty key. And though I incorporated these points, poorly, I did rely heavily on the imagery of Le Guin’s work. Though used incorrectly for a close reading, I feel I was on the right track in regards to imagery when I alluded to how Le Guin painted the “people of Omelas are described as “mature, intelligent, passionate adults whose lives were not wretched””. Another good point I made was pointing out the imagery, quoting, ““the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas””, which I felt also could’ve been used better than how I implemented it.
As far as what needs work. Laughably, I’d say most everything. My entire premise was wrong. Granted, I was not familiar with the concept of close reading, but it was no excuse. As is quoted in the prompt, “There’s a certain art to the technique, and you only get better with practice.” And I had no practice going into Blog 1. I was really just looking for the wrong things going into it. Focusing more on hidden meaning as opposed to trying to “examine the structure of the passage” or taking the time to “acquire a feel for the sound, meter, and rhythm” like the guide tip sheet suggests.
Why does my first blog post need work? Because I took the idea of close reading as more like interpretation of the passage, reading between the lines as opposed to reading the lines themselves. Instead of trying to prove that “the child kept in the cellar, is the embodiment of individuality, of uniqueness”, I should’ve looked more for patterns in the writing that would contribute to the entire passage.
It’s actually quite easy to improve the first blog post, I could improve it by writing it all over. There isn’t much that is salvageable from it as it is written. The whole thing needs a shift in focus. Instead of being theoretical and trying to glean meaning, I need to do as the close reading guide tip sheet says and “examine the syntax and the arrangement of words in the sentences”, that would definitely result in a better close reading.
The way I see it, close reading, as a methodology is primarily focused on using the particular words left on the page, and developing a theme, pattern, or common trend from what is available that somehow adds to enjoyment of the passage. Close reading should be done as it is a crucial tool in discovering greater meaning in the work of the author. Close reading proves that words chosen by the author were not chosen at random, but were purposely placed in the text for a reason. It is the job of close reading to interpret that meaning. That’s what I think close reading is for.