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Jesse Mazejka
Online Discussion
Fri Sep 5, 2014 2:25pm
150.216.254.169

English has always been a matter of interpretation, yet there can only be one correct answer. So, as I dare to ask, when an author writes that an ocean is blue, does he or she mean that the ocean is blue, or is he or she using personification to make the ocean seem as if it were sad? Well that, my friend, is a matter of context clues. If there's anything that my past English teachers have taught me, it's that writing can have either relatively simple context clues that lead you to a correct assumption, or it can have more mysteries than an episode of Scooby-Doo on steroids. But it is because English is a matter of interpretation that I am indifferent towards contextual clues. Things like diction, syntax, and anything that could be used to deduct an author's true meaning are all well and good, but it all depends on the reader's ability to see eye-to-eye with the author. And should said reader be incapable of conquering such a feat, he or she will be lost without the guidance of SparkNotes and/or any other sort of online assistance. This means that students today aren't really taught to interpret; they're simply expected to.
So, in short, yes, I benefit from the likes of context clues, but I also am set back by them. It is likely that a text can be thoroughly engaging with it's simplicity, but it is just as likely that the average reader will stray away from texts that pose as more of a challenge than a source of enjoyment. However, because of my extensive amount of time spent in English class, I can interpret most of the literature that I come across with ease.
Aside from context clues and interpreting vast amounts of writing, I've actually come a long way in terms of enjoying English in its many different forms. Poetry, especially, has always been one of my most favorite subjects. The majority of my senior year in high school was spent answering questions out of a textbook after reading poem after poem. Towards the end, I suppose my sanity broke and I was finally able to enjoy it. But it did in fact help me understand the many forms of poetry, and I certainly saw it as more than just "sex" and "death", as my calculus teacher liked to describe it. Our class also read Shakespeare's "Hamlet", which I was thoroughly disappointed in when I realized Shakespeare was still continuing his self-created cliche of massacre endings, but I later came to enjoy its complicated mixture of symbolism, allusion, and several other literary items that came into play before everyone was killed. Anyways, hopefully my understanding of literature that I've obtained so far will help me through this upcoming semester, as I can be stubborn at times, but for the most part my mind is still open and able to be molded. 487

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