What is the Harlem Renaissance?
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)
How It Feels To Be Colored Me
The Five Moves of Analysis
- Suspend Judgment: Set aside your likes and dislikes, your agreeing or disagreeing. Say to yourself, “What I find most interesting here is…”.
- Notice and Focus: Simply put, pay close attention to details. “What do you notice?” What is significant/interesting/revealing/ strange. Slow down and take your time here. Don’t jump to interpretations before you’ve exhausted the details. Uncertainty is good.
- Look for Patterns: Start sifting through the text looking for Repetitions, Strands, Binaries, and Anomalies.
- Repetitions: “Anisdel Toro” drink in “Hills Like White Elephants,” etc., sheep dog in “How to Talk to a Hunter”
- Strands: Animals in “How to Talk to a Hunter,” alcohol in “Sonny’s Blues”
- Binaries: Light/Dark in “Sonny’s Blues,” young/old in “One of Star Wars, One of Doom“
- Anomalies: Mysterious notebook in “One of Star Wars, One of Doom,” tin of chocolates with Santa Claus “fondling” children painted on it in “How to Talk to a Hunter”
- Make the Implicit Explicit: Explain to the reader what the details or the patterns imply. Explain your thought process. Pull out the implications and show them why you think they are “folded in” to the meaning of the text or image. What does this mean and So What? Why is it important?
- Keep Reformulating Questions and Explanations: What else might this detail or pattern mean? How else could it be explained? What details don’t fit my theory? Can I adjust my theory to better fit with this?