intro to lit

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Literary Analysis
Why do we read literature? Many times in high school, our teachers want us to close read literature to better understand its meaning. The way to figure out this meaning is to use that close reading to do a literary analysis. A literary analysis is not just a summary of the work. Instead, it is an argument that expresses a writer’s interpretation, judgment, perspective, or critical evaluation of the work. By learning details of the author's life, close reading and analyzing a piece of their writing, and personally responding, a reader can enhance their understanding and experience with literature.
Author Biography
Joyce Carol Oates was born and raised in Lockport, New York in 1938 on a small farm during hard economic times (Lewis, 2014). Even though her family did not have much money, she said she had a “happy, close-knit and unextraordinary family for the time, place, and era” (Academy, 2012). Her grandmother Blanche lived with them and in many ways inspired Joyce to start writing. She first became interested in writing when her grandmother have her the book Alice In Wonderland, which she said was the great treasure of her childhood and the most profound literary influence in her life. She then began writing at the age of fourteen when her grandmother gave her a typewriter. When her grandmother died, Joyce found out that Blanche’s father had killed himself and Blanche had then hid her Jewish heritage after that. Joyce drew on aspects like this of her grandmother’s life to write the novel “The Gravediggers Daughter”.
While Joyce was in high school, she began reading stories by William Faulkner, Henry David Thoreau, Ernest Hemmingway, and many others. She said these people influence her greatly, and stil...

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...acrifice her life. I like to think that if I were in her situation, I would do the same thing. I think this is overall a great story that can teach young girls a good lesson about thinking they are better than other people in their family. It can teach them how important their family really is and how much they will rely on them when they get older and in times of need.
By learning about the author's life, close reading and analyzing a piece of their writing, and responding on a personal level, a reader can better understand literature while experiencing it in new ways. This is the reason people read literature. By close reading and doing a literary analysis, readers can develop a deeper meaning of the piece and experience the story in a new way. This can open up new doors and make them grow into better people because they have a new type of understanding.

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