AP Literature & Composition Summer Reading Assignment & Instructions

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1 AP Literature & Composition Summer Reading Assignment & Instructions Dr. Whatley For the summer assignment, students should read How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Do not wait until the last minute to obtain copies of your books. The student should purchase personal copies of these books. The assignments for each will require frequent reference during the summer reading and at least one full unit of the school year. I strongly encourage you to begin reading these books early in the summer, as it will limit the temptation to churn out substandard work. These readings and assignments should be completed prior to the first day of school. They are due to your AP teacher on the first day of school. Please submit assignments as outlined below. 1. You are responsible for obtaining copies of and reading the texts. Each student is required to annotate his or her selected literary work. Your annotated book is due the first day of class. Please write your name inside your book on the cover. Mark strong passages and takes notes about their significance and message in the margins. Mark examples of figurative language, strong imagery, etc. Directions for annotating a text follow the book list below. 2. Journal Responses: Complete the journal response prompts for each chapter of the Foster text. These prompts may be housed in a non-spiral notebook or on loose-leaf paper in a two-pocket folder with your name on the outside. The prompts are located at the end of this document. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster Journal Questions: Your answers will allow you to practice your literary analysis and help me to become familiar with your literary tastes. Whenever a question asks for an example from literature, use short stories, novels, plays, or films. Do not provide superficial responses; instead write in-depth providing specific examples and analysis. Introduction How d He Do That? 1. How do memory, symbol, and pattern affect the reading of literature? 2. How does the recognition of patterns make it easier to read complicated literature? 3. Discuss a time when your appreciation of a literary work was enhanced by understanding symbol or pattern.

2 Chapter 1 Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It s Not) 1. List FIVE aspects of the QUEST and then apply them to something you have read (or viewed) in the form used on pages What is Foster s overall point about journeys or trips in literature?

3 Chapter 2 Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion 1. What does communion mean? 2. For what reason does Foster suggest that authors often include meal scenes? 3. What does a failed meal suggest in literature? Chapter 3 Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires 1. What are the essentials of the vampire story and what do they represent? 2. Apply this to a literary work you have read or viewed. Chapter 4 If It s Square, It s a Sonnet 1. Visually speaking, why is a sonnet roughly square? 2. Select two sonnets and show which form they are. 3. Discuss how their content reflects the form. (Submit copies of the sonnets, marked to show your analysis). Chapter 5 Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before? 1. Define intertextuality. 2. Discuss three examples that have helped you in reading specific works. Chapter 6 When in Doubt, It s from Shakespeare 1. Discuss a work that you are familiar with that alludes to or reflects Shakespeare. 2. Show how the author uses this connection thematically. 3. Re-read pages carefully. In these pages, Foster shows how Fugard reflects Shakespeare through both plot and theme. In your discussion, focus on theme.

4 Chapter 7 - Or the Bible 1. Why is the Bible so often alluded to in literature? 2. What are some of the ways in which writers allude to the Bible? 3. What s the benefit of knowing/understanding Biblical allusions in literature? Chapter 8 Hanseldee and Greteldum 1. Think of a work of literature that reflects a fairy tale. Discuss the parallels. 2. Does it create irony or deepen appreciation? Chapter 9 It s Greek to Me 1. What does Foster mean by the term myth? 2. What are some of the ways in which writers allude to mythology? 3. Write a free verse poem derived or inspired by characters or situations from Greek mythology. Chapter 10 It s More Than Just Rain or Snow 1. How can weather be symbolic in literature? 2. What are some of the common meanings of various types of weather? 3. Discuss the importance of weather in a specific literary work, not in terms of plot. Interlude Did He Mean That? 1. What are some of the reasons Foster provides that lead him to believe that most writers DO NOT accidentally create the symbols, allusions, and patterns we find when we read critically? 2. Whether we believe a writer intended to do something or not, what s the benefit of noticing that it happened anyway?

5 Chapter 11 More Than It s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence 1. Present examples of the two kinds of violence found in literature. Show how the effects are different. Chapter 12 Is That a Symbol? 1. What s the difference between symbolism and allegory? 2. What, besides objects, can be symbolic? 3. How should a reader approach symbolism in a text? Chapter 13 It s All Political 1. Assume that Foster is right and it is all political. Use his criteria to show that a novel you ve read before (or a movie you ve seen) is political. Chapter 14 Yes, She s a Christ Figure, Too 1. Apply the criteria on pages to a major character in a significant literary work. 2. Try to choose a character that will have many matches. This is a particularly apt tool for analyzing film for example, Star Wars, Cool Hand Luke, Excalibur, Malcolm X, Braveheart, Spartacus, Harry Potter, and Gladiator. Chapter 15 Flights of Fancy 1. Select a literary work in which flight signifies escape or freedom. Explain in detail. Chapter 16 It s All About Sex 1. What are some of the things that symbolize sex and/or gender? 2. Why does sexual symbolism exist/occur in literature? Chapter 17 - Except Sex

6 1. When writers write directly about sex, what are they really writing about? 2. Why don t writers usually write actual sex scenes? 3. Choose a novel or movie in which sex is suggested but not described, and discuss how the relationship is suggested and how this implication affects the theme or develops characterization. Chapter 18 If She Comes Up, It s Baptism 1. Think of a baptism scene from a literary work or movie. 2. How was the character different after the experience? Discuss. Chapter 19 Geography Matters 1. Discuss at least four different aspects of a specific literary work that Foster would classify under geography. Chapter 20 - So Does Season 1. Find a poem (or a song) that mentions a specific season. 2. Then discuss how the poet uses the season in a meaningful, traditional, or unusual way. (Submit a copy of the poem or song with your analysis) Interlude One Story 1. Write your own definition for archetype. 2. Identify an archetypal story and apply it to a literary work with which you are familiar. Chapter 21 Marked for Greatness 1. Figure out Harry Potter s scar. 2. If you aren t familiar with Harry Potter, select another character with a physical imperfection and analyze its implications for characterization.

7 Chapter 22 He s Blind for a Reason, You Know 1. What can physical blindness mirror? 2. What is often the irony behind a blind character? 3. How are darkness and lightness related to sight? Chapter 23 It s Never Just Heart Disease 1. What are some of the symbolic possibilities associated with the heart? Why? Chapter 24 - And Rarely Just Illness 1. Recall two characters that died of a disease in a literary work. 2. Consider how these deaths reflect the principles governing the use of disease in literature ( ). 3. Discuss the effectiveness of the death as related to plot, theme, or symbolism. Chapter 25 Don t Read with Your Eyes 1. Choose a scene or episode from a novel, play, or epic written before the twentieth century. 2. Contrast how a reader from the twenty-first century could view it with how it might be viewed by a reader from that time period. Focus on assumptions that the author makes, assumptions that would not make it in this century. Chapter 26 Is He Serious? And Other Ironies 1. What does Foster mean when he says, Irony trumps everything? 2. How can you tell if something is ironic? 3. What does Foster mean when he says, Irony doesn t work for everyone? Chapter 27 A Test Case 1. Read The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield, the short tory starting on pg. 245.

8 2. Complete the exercise on pp Follow the directions exactly. 3. Then, compare your writing with the three examples. How did you do? 4. What does the essay that follows; comparing Laura with Persephone, add to your appreciation of Mansfield s story? 5. NOTE: Appropriate responses should be around 500 words How to Annotate a Book This outline addresses why you would ever want to mark in a book. For each reason, the outline gives specific strategies to achieve your goals in reading the book. 1. Interact with the book talk back to it. You learn more from a conversation than you do from a lecture (this is the text-to-self connection.) a. Typical marks i. Question marks and questions be a critical reader ii. Exclamation marks a great point, or I really agree) iii. Smiley faces and other emoticons iv. Color your favorite sections. Perhaps draw pictures in the margin that remind you about the passage s subject matter or events. v. Pictures and graphic organizers. The pictures may express your overall impression of a paragraph, page, or chapter. The graphic organizer (Venn diagram, etc.) may give you a handy way to sort the materials in a way that makes sense to you. b. Typical writing i. Comments agreements or disagreements ii. Your personal experience 1. Write a short reference to something that happened to you that the text reminds you of, or that the text helps you understand better 2. Perhaps cross-reference to your diary or to your personal journal (e.g., Diary, Nov ) iii. Random associations 1. Begin to trust your gut when reading! Does the passage remind you of a song? Another book? A story you read? Like some of your dreams, your associations may carry more psychic weight than you may realize at first. Write the association down in the margin! 2. Cross-reference the book to other books making the same point. Use a shortened name for the other book

9 one you ll remember, though. (e.g., Harry Potter 3 (This is text-to-text connection.) 2. Learn what the book teaches (this is the text-to-world connection.) a. Underline, circle or highlight key words and phrases. b. Cross-reference a term with the book s explanation of the term, or where the book gives the term fuller treatment. i. In other words, put a reference to another page in the book in the margin where you re reading. Use a page number. ii. Then, return the favor at the place in the book you just referred to. You now have a link so you can find both pages if you find one of them. c. Put your own summaries in the margin i. If you summarize a passage in your own words, you ll learn the material much better. ii. Depending on how closely you with to study the material, you may wish to summarize entire sections, paragraphs, iii. or even parts of paragraphs. If you put your summaries in your books instead of separate notebooks, the book you read and the summary you wrote will reinforce each other. A positive synergy happens! You ll also keep your book and your notes in one place. d. Leave a trail in the book that makes it easier to follow when you study the material again. i. Make a trail by writing subject matter headings in the margins. You ll find the material more easily the second time through. ii. Bracket or highlight sections you think are important. e. In the margin, start a working outline of the section you re reading. Use only two or three levels to start with. f. Create your own index in the back of the book! i. Don t set out to make a comprehensive index. Just add items that you want to find later. ii. iii. Decide on your own keywords one or two per passage. What would you look for if you returned to the book in a few days? In a year? Use a blank page or pages in the back. Decide on how much space to put before and after the keyword. If your keyword starts with g, for instance, go about a quarter of the way through the page or pages you ve reserved for your index and write the word there. iv. Write down a keyword and a page number on which the keyword is found. If that isn t specific enough, write T, M, or B after the page number. Each of those letters tells you where to look on the page in the question; the letters stand for top, middle, and Bottom, respectively. v. Does the book already have an index? Add to it with your own keywords to make the index more useful to you. g. Create a glossary at the beginning or end of a chapter or a book. i. Every time you read a word you do not know that seems important for the purposes of reading the book, write it down in your glossary. ii. In your glossary next to the word in question, put the page number where the word may be found.

10 iii. Put a very short definition by each word in the glossary. 3. Pick up the author s style (this is the reading-to-writing connection.) a. Why? Because you aren t born with a writing style. You pick it up. Perhaps there s something that you like about this author s style but you don t know what it is. Learn to analyze an author s writing style in order to put up parts of his/her style that becomes natural to you. b. How? i. First, reflect a bit. What do you like about the writer s style? If nothing occurs to you, consider the tone of the piece (humorous, passionate, etc.) Begin to wonder: how did the writer get the tone across? (This method works for discovering how a writer gets across tone, plot, conflict, and other things.) ii. Look for patterns. 1. Read a paragraph or two or three you really like. Read it over and over. What begins to stand out to you? 2. Circle or underline parts of speech with different colored pens, pencils, or crayons. Perhaps red for verbs, blue for nouns, even green for pronouns. 3. Circle or underline rhetorical devices with different colored writing instruments, or surround them with different geometrical shapes, such as an oval, a rectangle, and a triangle. a. What rhetorical devices? i. How he/she mixes up lengths of sentences ii. Sound devices, alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, repetition, internal rhymes, etc. iii. Pick a different subject than that covered in the passage, and deliberately try to use the author s patterns in your own writing. iv. Put your writing aside for a few days, and then edit it. What remains of what you originally adopted from the writer s style? If what remains is natural and well done, you may have made that part of his/her style part of your own style. The first week of class, students will be expected to complete an in-class writing for one of the AP released essay prompts below. This essay will serve as an introduction and pre-assessment to AP level writing. The assignment also holds the AP student accountable for the summer reading.

11 Frankenstein Essay Choices Choose one of the following essay prompts (from previous AP exams) and write an essay following the AP guidelines (2-3 pages in length). 1. In The Writing of Fiction (1925), novelist Edith Wharton states the following: At every stage in the progress of his tale the novelist must rely on what may be called the illuminating incident to reveal and emphasize the inner meaning of each situation. Illuminating incidents are the magic casements of fiction, its vistas on infinity. Choose a novel that you have studied and write a well-organized essay in which you describe an illuminating episode or moment and explain how it functions as a casement, a window that opens onto the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary. (You must write about Frankenstein ) OR 2. In a literary work, a minor character, often known as a foil, possesses traits that emphasize, by contrast or comparison, the distinctive characteristics and qualities of the main character. For example, the ideas or behavior of the minor character might be used to highlight the weaknesses or strengths of the main character. Choose a novel in which a minor character serves as a foil to the main character. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the relation between the minor character and the major character illuminates the meaning of the work. (You must write about Frankenstein )

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