Close Reading

I wanted more than anything to approach this essay in the same way I approach every essay. I wanted to come up with a detailed working thesis, outline a set of topic sentences that relate back to that thesis and wrap it all up with an introduction and conclusion.

But this time I knew that I needed a new approach. My usual process was easy and produced well organized arguments, but the shortcomings were becoming apparent. My arguments were often forced. I would attempt to wrangle my own ideas out of the text, often leaping though logical hoops that were difficult to comprehend. I made the text say what I needed it to say because it needed to fit in my outline.

I started with a problem frame about Prospero’s fear of Sycorax. I had vague intentions of turning it into a close reading revealing Prospero’s fear of the feminine divine, but the text alone didn’t lead me to that conclusion or any other discernible conclusion regarding this idea. Check out the small amount I wrote about Sycorax. I also kept a document as a space to work out ideas during the writing process. The original problem frame, as well as some later reiteration is included in there. 

Eventually, I had gotten myself off track from my original idea enough to decide to focus on Prospero’s relationship with the audience. I created a new problem frame that questioned the power dynamic between Prospero, his slaves, and his audience.

I collected evidence that could answer my question and created my first draft which I brought to a peer for feedback. I was hoping to find a way to make my analysis more significant and easier to apply to the modern day world. With help from my reviewer I decided to pursue the idea that no art is truly genuine.

My instructor commended my direction and willingness to put thought into my arguments, but he also mentioned that my claim was unclear and the argument that followed felt scattered. I had a collection of evidence that fell under a broad topic. I attempted to make a claim, but I was still disorganized in my analysis and I found it difficult to make a coherent claim and support it in an organized way.

I decided that adding some historical context could bring more clarity to my essay, so I decided to leave my revisions for the Historical Context  assignment.