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First, you will need a pencil or a marker to annotate the text.By highlighting passages and phrases, you can catch the meaning and remember essential ideas.They must return eventually to the abyss of unending night, and the darkness of death afflicted them always.
We’re going to show how to perform a close reading on the example of the excerpt of the novel by Somerset Maugham “The Magician”: “These ladies are unacquainted with the mysterious beings of whom you speak, cher ami.
They should know that during the Middle Ages imagination peopled the four elements with bits of intelligence, normally unseen, some of which were friendly to man and others hostile.
The statement that those creatures “possessed no soul” makes us curious of how they emerged.
We don’t know where this narrative will lead us, but we already try to proceed reading to know more. Observing the details of the language used in the narrative can bring us more information as well.
Observing patterns is one of the close reading techniques that help us memorise and then analyze the text. From the first lines, Maugham caught the readers’ attention with the description of how “imagination peopled the four elements with bits of intelligence”, and you start to trace further events.
A larger question normally arises – who were those creatures and what they were like?Further, you will need to interpret your observations and notes.The process of interpreting the information absorbed during close reading is called inductive reasoning.Anything that catches your attention is worth highlighting.This way, we respond to what we read and follow the ideas of the author.With reference to the Maugham’s novel, the following questions may arise: These questions make us think that we don’t know all about evolution.Maybe strange creatures surround us, but we don’t see them because they are beyond our understanding.They were thought to be powerful and conscious of their power, though at the same time they were profoundly aware that they possessed no soul.Their life depended upon the continuance of some natural object, and hence for them, there could be no immortality.You may highlight some structural elements, oppositions, the historical background of the document or other features of the text that could be interesting or useful.All these moves form the first step of close reading.