In the first post, I chose to focus in on the pattern of the people that walked away from Omelas did so alone, and without helping the unfortunate child that caused them to leave in the first place. I think that was a good start; I managed to find something that I considered a pattern in the story, and tried to draw my own conclusions from it. The pattern I found was based only in syntax, which is a valid thing to pay attention to in close readings, according to the close reading tip sheet. I think that I could have found a better pattern though, one that was hidden within the meaning of the words or the tone of the narrator, not one that was just clearly on the surface of the story.
My first post was basically a two-pronged approach. After I had identified the pattern, I focused in on the fact that Le Guin makes sure that the reader realized that the people left alone, then pointed out that everyone had left without helping the child. I think that I should have tried to relate the two ideas a little bit more, or focused heavily on just one and related to society today, and what the story had to say about it. I didn’t really go in-depth on either of the ideas, I just briefly glossed over them and left it at that.
Speaking of society today, I briefly had a short paragraph at the end where I attempted to relate the people who left Omelas to the people of today, by pointing out parallels such as even people today condemn what they believe to be wrong without doing anything to help the situation. I think that this was a valid point, but one that could have been explained better and discussed a lot more instead of one point at the end. I feel like this should have been the main discussion in my post, instead of just how I identified the pattern and what I thought about it.
The goal of close reading, as I see it, is to give readers a chance to think about what the author is really trying to say, not view their works as just a story meant to entertain or amuse. Almost every author has something they want to convey besides the story that they’re telling on the surface, but it takes work to figure out what that is. Close reading is a step-by-step guide to attempting to read deeper into the meaning of works, and draw your own conclusions from the pieces. This creates not only better writers (through close-reading essays) but also better readers, who will always be on the look out for patterns and searching for what’s beneath the superficial story.