Literature close reading

Literature close reading Literature does not exist solely in and of itself, but draws some force and appeal in the ways in which it provides a lens into the social/political/economic/cultural ideas that were understood at the time of its writing and at the time in which it is encountered by the reader. For this final paper of the course, you will be crafting a well-argued, well-researched analytic paper that describes, in a way of your choosing, what larger conversation a particular text (or text) has entered into. For this assignment, you will make an argument, rooted in the text (i.e. supported by a close reading) about how a text speaks to some fundamental issue about society (broadly understood), culture, or genre conventions of crime fiction. In order to do this, you will need to conduct outside research in order to support your claims. No text exists in a vacuum; you will therefore need to educate your reader on the larger ideas which you are claiming your chosen text(s) address. You cannot, for example, claim that a text speaks to the changing conceptions of masculine identity without establishing for your reader, through the use of outside sources, what those conceptions are and how they are being addressed in the text itself. You cannot, for example, claim that two texts compared side by side reflect a change of intention or focus within a particular genre without making providing evidence of why or how such a shift in genre can be seen in the two texts as well as how this shift has been understood in the larger critical arguments about genre conventions made by other scholars. It is left up to you, the author, to determine what kind of claim you want to be making about the text(s) you choose. We have discussed various issues with respect to our readings. Some texts lend themselves to commentary about different norms and their social or literal policing (think race, gender, and class, among others). Some texts we have read have been emblematic of the cultural or political realities at the time of their writing (think about how hardboiled fiction has been argued as a “working through” of larger concerns about the impossibility of objective knowledge as a result of post-WWI anxieties). Some texts we have read have explored similar ideas in different ways with other texts we have read (think about the representation of a woman’s agency in various stories, for example). But we have by no means exhausted the ways in which various texts speak, or can be read to speak, to many other ideas and issues that are represented therein. You can select any of the readings we have done so far for this class, including those readings that were eligible for the Close Reading Assignment you’ve already completed. That said, you may not return to a text you have already analyzed for the earlier Close Reading assignment. You may also choose a text that is outside of our assigned readings (including a film, a television show, a podcast, a nonfiction article, etc.) but only if you put it into conversation with one of the texts that has been assigned and only if you get my approval for the use of that text. Here are some specifics: • The paper must be 5-8 pages in length • Use MLA format: 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, double-spaced • Include evidence of outside research to support your analytic claims • Use proper MLA citation practices for quoted material and include a Works Cited page • Number your pages • Include your name, my name, course number, and date at the top of your paper • Have an interesting title for the paper • This is an academic paper, so you should have an academic tone. This means, in general, avoiding the use of colloquial language (slang) and limiting or steering away from the use of the first- or second-person voice if possible.

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