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Essay Growing as a Reader

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Throughout this year, I have read many different works of early English literature. From reading these works and following the rules of Vladimir Nabokov, I have grown tremendously as a reader since the beginning of this year. From reading Alice in Wonderland to now, I have grown to appreciate literature much more. I have developed a better sense of the English language through the use of a dictionary and the difficult sentence structure of works such as the Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, Le Morte D’Arthur, and the Fairie Queene. Because of the difficult sentence structures, the different word usages, and the deeper meanings wrapped in each of these works, I have learned to reread to better my understanding of the text and to see if I missed anything the first or second time through. I have also learned to not only read a novel or poem just for its story but to look deeper into it while considering its context and purpose. By following Nabokov’s simple rules, I have become a better reader and re-reader.
From reading Alice in Wonderland to now, I have grown to appreciate literature much more. At the beginning of the year, I read purely because it was assigned for me to read, and I only read for important events and story plots. When reading Alice in Wonderland for the first time, I missed everything that Lewis Carroll was trying to convey to the reader. I had no idea that he had written Alice in Wonderland with the intention of preparing children for the real world. I thought it was just a story full of random events and nonsense, but after my realization of a deeper meaning, I grew to appreciate his efforts. From then on from Beowulf to the Fairie Queene, I have learned to see literary works as more than just stories but a...


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...y literary work looking for hidden or masked messages. I did not approach Alice in Wonderland like this, and I missed almost all of the masked messages. As I went through Beowulf, I began to look for these as I read and reread, and as I kept doing the same for the rest of the works I read this semester, the purposes and hidden messages became much more apparent. As with the Fairie Queene, I was able to find the allegorical messages in my first read through.
As the year has progressed, I have grown as a reader in leaps and bounds and hope to grow even more. I need to grow accustomed to using my dictionary everytime I read, and I need to reread every chance I get. I also need to obtain an optomistic attitude about each work I read instead of criticizing it before I even read it. Compared to the beginning of the year, I am a totally different reader.



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