In order to compile this first participation portfolio for Dr. Jerz's EL266 class, I had to sit down and consider all of the text that we have covered thus far. We have read several different works and I feel that I have learned something new through each reading experience and the class discussions that follow.
As I have practiced the art of close reading, choosing a quote and/or idea to blog about has been a helpful goal to have. I have also noticed that the characters become more real to me when I am reading more carefully and absorbing the character that the author worked so hard to bring to life.
For example, in Rip Van Winkle, the characters of both Rip and Dame Van Winkle are central to the whole story. I spent a little more time on this blog because I found the characters so intriguing.
Another of my more in-depth blogs is also from one of my favorite chapters of The Scarlet Letter. The interaction between Hester and Pearl in chapter 16 and all of the symbolism in the nature surrounding them makes me appreciate Hawthorne's writing.
In other blogs about The Scarlet Letter, I found that close reading helped me to focus on details I may not have seen otherwise. For example, Hester's change of attitude as she is being disgraced in chapter 2. I also came to a point where I questioned an element outside of the scope of the actual text: would Hester have a reason to live without Pearl, the product of her sin? I also considered the character of Dimmesdale while trying to move myself away from focusing too much on Hester Prynne.
The last blog to inclue is about Emerson's Nature. While this was a difficult text to read, there were certain parts that caught my attention as I looked for quotes to use. Emerson's writing seems dry, but the content of his writing is full of insight.