In prompt one, I think that I was able to do well on textual context and recognizing the theme with relation and impact that it had on the work. Initially, I was able to recognize and adequately examine the moment that the children of Omelas were introduced to the hidden child. Due to this, I was able to examine the moment with relation to what role the moment played within the text by Le Guin. I wrote, “As a reader, I acknowledge the power that such a moment of introduction has on a child occupant of Omelas. The moment seized the superior privilege of the child being able to view the happiness within Omelas as unfeigned”. Additionally, I think that I was able to do well on recognizing the theme of choice that appears within the work. I wrote, “Within the depicted moment, Le Guin can be interpreted as presenting a choice that has a root within the moral code of every mind. It’s a choice that determines reality”. As a result, I was able to conclude an interpretation with my own view. I wrote, “Conclusively, I believe an interpretation of the moment depicted by Le Guin arises an uncomfortable yet quite suited moment of reflection, which may vary due to eagerness or interpretation of the reader”.
In regard to what I will need to work on and why, I think that I need to ask more questions. This will aid the narrow line of the close reading and deepen the interpretation by becoming more original or supported. While I think that I did well on recognizing the theme with relation to the meaning, I did not take the theme deep enough as I could have. According to Paul Graham, “It’s good to have a habit of asking questions, especially questions beginning with why” (Observation section). He also writes, “If you’re curious about something, trust your instincts. Follow the threads that attract your attention” (Disobedience section). So while I did follow the thread that gathered my attention, I did not see how much more deep or diverse I could have taken that thread with relation to the work. Rather, I settled upon the second thought that I had. In order to improve, I will need to ask more questions and think outside of the initial thoughts that I have. Additionally, I think that I may need to begin utilizing the act of free writing when I am contemplating the meaning of a text. When our class does this, I do find that I think much more freely than when I am thinking silently and quickly dismissing thoughts. Through the combination of asking more questions while free writing, I think that I will be led toward a more deep interpretation or possibly one that can be supported by evidence other than largely supported by opinion.
In regard to close reading as a methodology, I see the goal of becoming familiar with a work. By familiar, I mean that one must be able to feel as though they are within the mind of the author or within the story. One should be able to strongly assume what the author was conveying based on observation, analysis, and interpretation. I consider close reading as an act of becoming familiar with the author who created the work as well as the work, so I think that has a simultaneous goal of understanding a great mind of the author. Close reading provides a vast range of interpretations due to each of us having our own way of understanding instances, but I think that we each share the common goal and result of becoming familiar with a work due to our own personal twist within the interpretation. In regard as to why one must complete a close reading, I think that most literary works are meant for more than a simple read and placement upon a shelf. I think that we are meant to sit and become familiar with the works that these authors have created. It ultimately has the goal of one being able to read over a work with a sort of invisible microscope and truly understand the work rather than what appears on the page.