Additional Thoughts to Analyzing

Additional Thoughts to Analyzing

I watched this excellent video recently which discussed whether spoilers ruin stories. A while back, I had a short intro to my analyses category, explaining that you should expect spoilers because analyses are composed of claims and supporting evidence, and that evidence will most likely be a cited event, dialog, or character. If someone hasn’t read the story, the story would probably be spoiled. Since watching the video, I’ve thought of more reasons why I insist on analyzing the whole story, including the ending, even if it means spoiling the first experience of a reader.

Why do English and creative writing classes make students read whole stories? Like seriously, why not just one chapter or section? It’s because you can’t properly analyze all elements of a story without knowing the ending, since it is assumed that every element of the story hinges on the other. Like a mobile, the elements are connected and wheel in tandem. If one were removed, the mobile would be unbalanced, and the story would not work. I bet most of you can remember going to class having skipped or not finished a reading and being utterly lost. What are we talking about? You hope someone spoils the end for you so you know what’s going on! Since understanding how stories work and the social context in which they were written are major objectives in English and creative writing classes, it’s necessary to have experienced and critically thought about the story as a whole and by its separate parts. At least, that’s the popular view. And because the entire point of the analyses category of my blog is to understand how stories work, ends will be spoiled.

However, I am not a dick. I do like reading something before I know anything about it other than that it’s good, and I’m betting most of you are similar. Plus, I know a lot of people will read a blog post or two before plunging into the archives to read everything from the beginning. Some of you might miss this post or the analyses introduction. Therefore, I’ve decided to put a short disclaimer after the introductory paragraph of every analyses from this point forward:

As always, this is not a review. There may be spoilers for those who haven’t read the story. If you would like to know why I take this stance, please see this post. Otherwise, away we go.

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