As I read back through my first blog post, I noted that there were a few times that I did things right. According to Paul Graham, “above all, make a habit of paying attention to things you’re not supposed to, either because they’re “inappropriate,” or not important, or not what you’re supposed to be working on.” This was one of the highlighted successes from my blog post on Omelas. In order to emphasize the “inappropriate,” I noted a section of the story that focused on an instance that would have been considered taboo in normal American society. During my first reading of the story the quote,“Let tambourines be struck above the copulations and the glory of desire be proclaimed upon the gongs and ( a not unimportant point) let the offspring of these delightful rituals be beloved and looked after by all,” struck me as strange and unsettling. I didn’t know at this point what my thesis pertaining to this quote would be but as Graham stated, “trust your instincts.” Along with the use of disobedience, I also did well correlating my recognized pattern to the quotes that were used. All of my quotes, some needing further explanation, related to the use and reuse of instances pertaining to guilt. Although these elements were done well, the build up to my main thesis wasn’t done properly. _
Many parts of my close reading were done well but there are improvements that still need to be made. Although I mentioned points that could have relation to a precise, summarized thesis, I instead used many different possible thesis that were unrelated. At this point in the close reading, this time featured as the reader, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What were you thinking?” Disorganization and rambling were my most noted mistakes. These issues need work due to the fact those who also read the close reading were most likely unable to understand what my main point was due to the lack of explanation of my main topic and unnecessary mention of other variables that did not pertain to forming an overall conclusion. Instead of forming an overall conclusion, I spoke about the mention of guilt being the author’s way of predicting chaos if guilt is always thrown to another party, the glorification of sex in society, and capitalism. According to the tip sheet provided, this wasn’t an immediate error. The article makes it clear that processes during close readings should begin with larger issues and relevant details as evidence, my issue was how different and broad my ideas about the relationship to actual society were. In order to improve my close reading, I should have picked one of those many topics to devote evidence and analysis. Instead of speaking about sex and capitalism, I should have mainly focused on my primary introduction of the patterns of guilt and what that could mostly likely mean on a larger scale. If I would have done this differently I could have made one coherent summary that would have provided the reader a new possible outlook on the elements of the story.
The methodology behind close reading really helps the reader grasp a better understanding of “reading between the lines.” The reader is allowed entrance into the author’s mind through SCFI writing in order to better understand the alternate possibilities. In general, close readings simply open the mind of the reader to a different meaning other than what is seen written down. Breaking down the text into patterns, providing evidence, followed by hypothesis and summary gives the reader a way to take a small, seemingly un-meaningful (or very meaningful) passage and REALLY analyze. The most important function of close reading is for the author to hopefully put these possibilities into action, if they are for the better. Close readings are not only enjoyable for the reader but can greatly influence the cycles of change within society.