Frost seems to do something fairly standard in the octave in presenting a situation; however, the turn Frost makes is not to resolution, but to questions and uncertainty.A white spider sitting on a white flower has killed a white moth.In effect, you are putting the author’s choices under a microscope.Tags: Doctoral Dissertation SCandide Essay ManGreen Purchasing ThesisHelpful Tips Writing College EssayDe Critique D'Un Article ScientifiqueBuy Photo Paper OnlineFun Problems To SolveWriting On The InternetKafka Essay Animals HumansBusiness Plan For Consignment Shop
We can use them as a guide for our own as we go forward with our close reading. When you look at a text, observe how the author has arranged it.
After thinking about local questions, we have to zoom out. If it is a novel, is it written in the first person? If it is a short story, why did the author choose to write short-form fiction instead of a novel or novella?
This guide imagines you are sitting down to read a text for the first time on your way to developing an argument about a text and writing a paper.
To give one example of how to do this, we will read the poem “Design” by famous American poet Robert Frost and attend to four major components of literary texts: subject, form, word choice (diction), and theme.
We can guess right away that Frost’s disruption of the usual purpose of the sestet has something to do with his disruption of its rhyme scheme.
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Looking even more closely at the text will help us refine our observations and guesses.When your teachers or professors ask you to analyze a literary text, they often look for something frequently called close reading.Close reading is deep analysis of how a literary text works; it is both a reading process and something you include in a literary analysis paper, though in a refined form.The point at which the sonnet goes from the problem/question to the resolution is called the volta, or turn.(Note that we are speaking only in generalities here; there is a great deal of variation.) Frost uses the usual octave scheme with “-ite”/”-ight” (a) and “oth” (b) sounds: “white,” “moth,” “cloth,” “blight,” “right,” “broth,” “froth,” “kite.” However, his sestet follows an unusual scheme with “-ite”/”-ight” and “all” sounds: a c a a c c Now, we have a few questions with which we can start: Italian sonnets have a long tradition; many careful readers recognize the form and know what to expect from his octave, volta, and sestet.If you are not making marks directly on, in, and beside the text, be sure to note line numbers or even quote portions of the text so you have enough context to remember what you found interesting. It’s easy to think of novels and stories as having plots, but sometimes it helps to think of poetry as having a kind of plot as well.Design I found a dimpled spider, fat and white, On a white heal-all, holding up a moth Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth— Assorted characters of death and blight Mixed ready to begin the morning right, Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth— A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth, And dead wings carried like a paper kite. When you examine the subject of a text, you want to develop some preliminary ideas about the text and make sure you understand its major concerns before you dig deeper.If you want even more information about approaching poems specifically, take a look at our guide: How to Read a Poem.As our guide to reading poetry suggests, have a pencil out when you read a text.Looking at the word choice of a text helps us “dig in” ever more deeply.If you are reading something longer, are there certain words that come up again and again? While you are going through this process, it is best for you to assume that every word is important—again, you can decide whether something is really important later.