Part One: For the first part of my applied close reading, I analyzed the purpose of Nathaniel Rich’s bizarre introduction and its proclamations of Mitchell as a “great man”. I explored how the narrator is a data reader in a certain sense. He observed several key points about Mitchell and made his conclusions based upon these observations, just as we did while reading the novel. I also discussed how Rich uses this second perspective as a way to influence our initial perception of the novel. The underlying argument of my paper was that the introduction serves to impact the reader’s interpretation of Mitchell while also illustrating the subjective nature of data.
Part Two: For the second part of my project, I created a pictograph chart (seen above), which uses icons to represent the “data” that both readers (ourselves and the narrator during the introduction) observe throughout the novel’s three parts. I also wrote up an explanation of the various icons and how they represent some of my main ideas. The explanations above sum up the rest of the project fairly well.