Close Reading Analysis

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“The Ethics of Close Reading: Close Encounters” is an article written by Jane Gallop for the 2000 Journal of Curriculum. It discusses the topic of close reading itself, the social impact of the concept, the ethical aspect of reading, and the various ways close reading can be applied to daily life. The term “close reading” is used in the article more than fifty-one times, and defined on twelve separate occasions, generally being defined as, “looking at what is actually on the page, reading the text itself, rather than some idea “behind the text.” It means noticing things in the writing, things in the writing that stand out” (Gallop p.7). Close reading, according to the author, has five key components to look for; word choice, repetition,…show more content…
Everyone comes from their own background, and has their own opinions about the world around them. They bring those thoughts and prejudices with them into every text they read, meaning they see what they expect to see. The author claims that close reading leads to ethical reading, ethical reading meaning the reader is listening to the author’s voice within the text, truly understanding and listening to that which the author is saying. Close reading forces the reader to temporarily abandon their preconceptions and “by concentrating on the details, we disrupt our projection; we are forced to see what is really there” (Gallop p.11). The author provides some historical context, in relation to the “new criticism” method of teaching. Between the 1950’s and 1970’s new criticism, “allowed students to appreciate the complexity of literary writing, to see the artful work, rather than merely themes and ideas.” (Gallop p.13). The issue with new criticism being that only “great” works or authors were considered “worthy” of analysis in that manner. Unfortunately, most work that was considered “great” within that period were written by men of European descent. Within the past few decades the multicultural movement has made reading lists in schools more diverse, making understanding the voice of authors more important than ever, as to not reinforce stereotypes and
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