How to Read a Book

How to Read a Book – There are four huge domains to explore when reading a book, especially a novel or collection of stories, for a college humanities class. These are:

  1. Theme – Emotional insight, expressible as a single sentence or short paragraph. Specific elements in the story lead to a universal insight
  2. Structure – Plot, use of metaphor, and other elements that make up the text. Examined via close reading—especially by discussion/analysis of quotations
  3. Context – History surrounding the text and its author—why was this text written?
  4. Intertext – Relationship to other texts in the class and to other texts, in general
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