Project #8883 - English homework---Close Reading

Close reading is the foundation of argument in literary studies and it is the first step in beginning to write about any literary text. In class this week we have spent two days thinking about close reading, discussing why we do it, how we do it, and why it’s important. We’ve also talked about the differences in close reading practices between what the sf writer Samuel Delany calls ‘mundane fiction’ and science fiction. This short assignment asks you to begin the process of close reading by turning your attention to Joanna Russ’s short story “When It Changed.” Although the story is short, I would like you to focus on one passage only—no more than two large paragraphs or a few short ones (or a large one and a few shorter ones)—and begin to explain what you see. Reread the passage at least three times, annotating each time through. You should note what its main purpose seems to be and what, if anything, seems peculiar or notable about the language, the sentences, or the way words are used.

 

For your paper, you will do the following. Start by introducing the contextual information about the story, including the title (short story titles go in quotation marks, as such: “When It Changed”), the genre, the publication date (1972) and the author’s full name (after using the full name once you may drop the first name and continue on with the last name only). For the remainder of the assignment, I would like to continue observing what you see happening in the passage. You should use full sentences, but not feel obligated to construct perfectly ordered paragraphs (just yet). At the end of the paper, you should spend a paragraph explaining why you think the passage is important in the context of the story as a whole and be sure to at least touch on how the passage is helping to develop the role of the alien in the story, or else the theme of alienation.

 

Some questions to get you started, though you may discuss anything you like:

                --Who is the narrator? How would you describe the length and structure (the syntax) of ‘her’ sentences?

                --What does this use of language tell you about the narrator? Does the fact that the narration is mediated    change your reading?

                --What kind of words (diction) does the narrator use? When ‘she’ describes things, does ‘she’ use figurative language (metaphors or similes) very often? Write down any metaphors or similes you find in your passage.       How else does ‘she’ describe things?

                --How does the narrator discuss ‘her’ world? What assumptions does this reveal? How is this related to         what you know about the narrator and/or ‘her’ assumptions about the audience?

                -- How does the narrator discuss the ‘Real Earth Men’ whose arrival makes forthe narrative action in the    story? Does their arrival change the way ‘she’ narrates in any way?

                --What is your initial emotional response to the passage, or to a specific part of it? How does the writer         create that emotional response?

 

The purpose of this assignment is for you to practice reading carefully, especially paying close attention to things that are unusual, interesting, or potentially problematic about a piece of writing. Instead of writing a book report (in which you would be answering the question "WHAT does the writer say?"), you're exploring the questions "HOW does she say it?" and "WHY does she choose to say it that way?" I don’t expect polished writing or any introduction/conclus?ion but do proofread and make sure your entences are grammatically logical.

 The task: close-read a short selection of “When It Changed” in 2 pages minimum, max 3

Genre: Academic Essay (Close-reading)

Format: Double spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font). Your name, class number and section, and date should be on the paper along with the instructor's name. and your name at the top left. Page margins should be only 1-inch top, bottom, and sides. There should not be any extra half-spaces between paragraphs.

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/13/2013 12:00 am
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