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Growing As A Reader Essay

1295 words - 5 pages

Throughout this year, I have read many different works of early English literature. From reading these works and following the rules of Vladimir Nabokov, I have grown tremendously as a reader since the beginning of this year. From reading Alice in Wonderland to now, I have grown to appreciate literature much more. I have developed a better sense of the English language through the use of a dictionary and the difficult sentence structure of works such as the Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, Le Morte D’Arthur, and the Fairie Queene. Because of the difficult sentence structures, the different word usages, and the deeper meanings wrapped in each of these works, I have learned to reread to better my understanding of the text and to see if I missed anything the first or second time through. I have also learned to not only read a novel or poem just for its story but to look deeper into it while considering its context and purpose. By following Nabokov’s simple rules, I have become a better reader and re-reader.
From reading Alice in Wonderland to now, I have grown to appreciate literature much more. At the beginning of the year, I read purely because it was assigned for me to read, and I only read for important events and story plots. When reading Alice in Wonderland for the first time, I missed everything that Lewis Carroll was trying to convey to the reader. I had no idea that he had written Alice in Wonderland with the intention of preparing children for the real world. I thought it was just a story full of random events and nonsense, but after my realization of a deeper meaning, I grew to appreciate his efforts. From then on from Beowulf to the Fairie Queene, I have learned to see literary works as more than just stories but as great pieces of literature with a context and a purpose.
Through the use of a dictionary, I have strengthened my understanding of the English language. With Alice in Wonderland, I had no intentions of using a dictionary for words that I did not understand, and as a consequence, I had no idea what a portmanteau was. This hindered my understanding of the entire chapter with Humpty Dumpty and also the portmanteaus throughout the book. Learning from my mistakes as I started Beowulf, I began to use a dictionary as I read, but I only looked up words that I had never seen before. Because I did not look up words that looked out of place to me due their meaning now, I misinterpreted many parts of Beowulf. As I began the Canterbury Tales, I started to write words that I did not understand or that looked out of place in my journal with a question mark by them. After I was finished reading, I would go back and look up the words I wrote down. Then, I would reread the passage to get a better comprehension of it. I continued to do this throughout the year on most of the other works I read.
I used the difficult sentence structure of the literary works I read this semester to give me a greater understanding of the English...

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