In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt, Will conducts a careful close reading to analyze the chronological ending of David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas. He begins by selectively choosing pieces of evidence from the novel, creating a strong foundation for his analysis. Importantly, this analysis goes beyond merely interpreting individual pieces of evidence; it is grounded in a surprising and compelling argument about his source. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In this close-reading of Sally Rooney’s work, Julia Walton’s junior paper explores the role of technology-aided communication in complex romantic entanglements. This excerpt deftly engages with evidence to provide compelling analysis on the significance of mirrors and photographs in Rooney’s Conversations With Friends.Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In her paper, Katherine McIntire analyzes the Disney World theme park “Frontierland,” arguing that by relying on the historically inaccurate concept of the lone cowboy it promotes problematic values that are antithetical to Walt Disney’s philosophy. Her incredibly clear introduction orients the reader to the analytic work she plans to do and to the many sources she plans to consult while constructing her argument. By giving herself space to tease out the specifics of her primary source and the various key terms relevant to her argument, Katherine effectively lays the groundwork for her motive and thesis. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In her Junior Paper for the English Department, Liana Cohen interweaves analysis and evidence in her writing through the utilization of eloquent close reading of the films Vertigo and Spirited Away. Indeed, placing her exercises of close-reading alongside richly contextualized analysis of film theorists and Freudian psychoanalysis, Liana crafts a compelling prose that explores how both films attempt to reanimate the past.
In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt of her essay on genetic enhancement and therapy, Asher Joy exemplifies how to create a motivated thesis by engaging in a complex, scientific debate. Drawing on interdisciplinary sources, Asher adds her own contribution to the debate at hand by pointing out a particular issue with the discourse surrounding genetic modifications and discusses the implications of such an error. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In her essay on William Wordsworth’s famous poem “Lines Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey,” Julia Walton enters the scholarly conversation with an against-the-grain reading of the function of William’s sister, Dorothy, in the poem. After establishing a clear motive for her reconsideration of this text, Julia combines meticulous close reading with evidence drawn from period sources to support her original thesis. Julia’s essay has been selected as our feature piece; it is published in its entirety to show how Julia’s many pedagogically successful moves work together to create a full, well-written essay. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt of her essay, Yuxi Zheng solidifies her thesis by analyzing scenes from Dolce & Gabbana commercials. Yuxi takes special care to break down the minute details of each scene to explain the messages conveyed through the dialog, acting, and directorial edits. By engaging in this close looking, Yuxi makes an astute argument that explains why D&G was not able to create an advertisement that successfully catered to the intended Chinese audience. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt, author Liana Cohen puts a new twist on a common assignment: close reading. Beginning with a close analysis of a photograph, Liana combines her observations with knowledge of the image’s historical and artistic context to make her argument.
In a Tortoiseshell: In this comic, “The Roar of a Chinthe,” Adelle Dimitui orients the reader to Burmese culture and mythology. Her story distills the myth of the chinthe, a lion-like creature that stands guard in pairs at the entrances of many Burmese temples. Together, her visuals and text showcase traditional Burmese architecture, dress, and symbolism.
In a Tortoiseshell: Madelyn Broome’s “The Language of Monstrosity” argues that in film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, the creature’s lack of language leads to a lack of depth in audiences’ emotional responses to the creature’s misfortunes. This excerpt highlights the author’s use of her key term “human” not just as a familiar tool with which to support her argument, but as a mechanism for creating motive.