On Close Reading from the Perspective of Rhetoric

  •  Tiping Su    


Close reading places great emphasis on the particular over the general, paying close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read. And rhetoric is the art of using language as a means to persuade. Along with grammar and logic or dialectic, rhetoric is one of the three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric inputs meanings into the discourse or text while close reading outputs the meanings from the discourse or text, which are the opposite processes of constructing meanings. Close reading was pioneered by the New Critics but commonly employed by late scholars and rhetoric was and is paid attention to by the scholars, too, which are closely related to each other. Rhetoric is categorized into textual, contextual and intertextual rhetoric, this paper tries to explore the hidden essence of the text, reveal the real motivation of the author and expose the artistic connotation of the works through close reading.

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