As suggested by the term “close reading”, it refers to detailed reading of a certain peace of literature in order to come up with various aspects of the piece under review. In most cases, materials that are close read are short and concise to ensure that the reader effectively manages to cover all the aspects of the small piece of literature.
For the purpose of this paper, two paragraphs of “A son of the forest” will be close read in order to establish several aspects that are exhibited by the section under review. The paper will examine the purpose of the selected piece of literature in helping the reader to focus towards the main theme of the entire literature. This will be done through an in-depth analysis of the styles employed as well as other aspects that are paramount in the literature
“A son of the forest” is a bibliography of William Apess which was published in 1829. Apess recount his life history at a time when bibliographies were not common to writers and were not popular with the readers. William Apess was born in Colrain, Massachusetts of a mixed race. His grandfather was white and mother was a descendant of King Philip. The first two paragraphs of this book’s first chapter will form the basis of this paper
The author introduces us to the lead character and gives us detailed information about his background as well as the background of his family. The most interesting aspect about this chapter is how it begins. The chapter begins in a dramatic tone “……in the year of our lord seventeen hundred and ninety-eight…..” (Apess and O’Connell 4). This introduction captures the reader’s attention due to its unique nature and also gives the reader the knowledge to establish when the book might have been written.
Therefore, a reader can easily classify the book as either classical or modern. According to Day and McLellan (16) such an introduction also gives the reader forehand information about William as being a religious person. This is later affirmed in the text when we learn that William was ordained in the protestant Methodist and also in his writing, we learn that he was a staunch believer.
Due to this staunch faith, we read that William has a final desire which the author summarizes as the desire to present his account to the sovereign God. He writes that “….I must render an account at the last day, to the sovereign judge of all men” (Apess and O’Connell 4). The story starts in a nostalgic mood where we are introduced to William’s family and himself as an individual.
In that particular paragraph and the one preceding it, the writer builds his own character as being a conscious person and in-particular, about being royal and holding on to a name, this is enhanced by the choice of words that he uses to describe himself, he states that there is no difference between royal and subject blood.
The tone changes and becomes satirical. A man of his stature and considering the period he lived, we would think that William should act, speak and carry himself as a noble character, but through his words, he appears as not belonging to that particular cluster of social class.
In this book, William introduces us to some sub themes in particular honesty as being his virtue. Readers are also introduced on the importance of lack of pride. To any reader, the basis of any bibliography is honesty and in particular academic honesty. William brings this aspect in the first two paragraphs of his book.
This prepares the reader for a logical and precise work that is not based on the supper ideal world that will culminate in the writer being successful in whatever venture he is involved in. This is typical of modern day bibliography, which in itself lacks intellectual honesty.
In terms of image, the writer is able to create a mental picture to his audience through vivid description and choice of words to an extent that we are able to see William and his family and the idea of them being nobles and William’s character is also enhanced as being a laid-back person who is not disillusioned by the fact that his family is of a royal status (Apess and O’Connell 6)
In conclusion, it is evident that in just two paragraphs, the writer is able to prepare the readers on what to expect in the course of the entire literature. This is an important aspect for any book as it may determine the acceptability of the book to the audience. The examined part of the book has the ability to make the readers realize the themes that are expected to be dominant throughout the novel.
This is an important aspect of literature as, apart from determining the acceptability or otherwise of the literature, it ensures that the readers embrace a piece of work with an already set expectation, which, when matched with the style of suspense, cultivates the urge for readers to read through the text (Howe 24). Through the choice of words, style, images and themes, Apess and O’Connell, drives their point home in an authentic and artistic way.
Apess, William and O’Connell, Barry. A son of the forest and other writings. Massachusetts: UMP. 1997. Print.
Day, J. Pollack and McLellan, Janet. Moving forward with literature circles: how to plan, manage, and evaluate literature circles that deepen understanding and foster a love of reading. New York: Scholastic Inc. 2002. Print.
Howe, Elisabeth. Close Reading: An Introduction to Literature. New York: Prentice Hall. 2009. Print.