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AP Literature and Composition. November 16, 2011 Mr. Houghteling “It’s a ‘ Write it Out’ Wednesday! and because it’s a Wednesday before a four-day weekend, you know what that means…”. “It’s great to be alive!”. AGENDA. Unpacking the prompt Option 1 or Option 2.

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ap literature and composition

AP Literature and Composition

November 16, 2011

Mr. Houghteling

“It’s a ‘ Write it Out’ Wednesday! and because it’s a Wednesday before a four-day weekend, you know what that means…”

  • Unpacking the prompt
  • Option 1 or Option 2
what are you going to do today
What are you going to do today?



Complete the lesson as planned:

  • Work in groups.
  • Unpack the prompt.
  • Create a thesis statement from the prompt in your group.
  • Report out to the class.
  • Write your essay in 40 minutes over the weekend.
  • Read and unpack the prompt and write your essay in class today.
unpacking the prompt
Unpacking the Prompt
  • Get in groups of four.
  • Each group is assigned ONE prompt to work on, using the card given as your assignment.
  • Use your analytical paraphrasing skills to discern exactly what the prompt is asking the writer to accomplish.
  • After unpacking, create a claim or thesis statement from which to plan your essay.
  • Report out to the rest of class.
group responsibilities
Group Responsibilities
  • Leader: Make sure group members are on-task and timely.
  • Reader / Reporter: Read prompt, identify difficult vocabulary, report out to class.
  • Recorder: Write down “unpacking” notes and claims that may be formed into thesis statements.
  • Researcher: Look for and present quotes from the novel that may support claims or thesis statements and share with group.

In Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899), protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess "That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions." In a novel or play that you have studied, identify a character who outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Then write an essay in which you analyze how this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning contributes to the meaning of the work. Avoid mere plot summary.


2. Morally ambiguous characters -- characters whose behavior discourages readers from identifying them as purely evil or purely good -- are at the heart of many works of literature. Choose a novel or play in which a morally ambiguous character plays a pivotal role. Then write an essay in which you explain how the character can be viewed as morally ambiguous and why his or her moral ambiguity is significant to the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.


3. The eighteenth-century British novelist Laurence Sterne wrote, "No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man's mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time.”

From a novel or play choose a character (not necessarily the protagonist) whose mind is pulled in conflicting directions by two compelling desires, ambitions, obligations, or influences. Then, in a well-organized essay, identify each of the two conflicting forces and explain how this conflict with one character illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. You may use one of the novels or plays listed below or another novel or work of similar literary quality.


4. The British novelist Fay Weldon offers this observation about happy endings. "The writers, I do believe, who get the best and most lasting response from their readers are the writers who offer a happy ending through moral development. By a happy ending, I do not mean mere fortunate events -- a marriage or a last minute rescue from death -- but some kind of spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation, even with the self, even at death." Choose a novel or play that has the kind of ending Weldon describes. In a well-written essay, identify the "spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation" evident in the ending and explain its significance in the work as a whole.

  • Do 10 minutes of prewriting for your essay:
    • This may include creating bullet lists of ideas, outlining, drafting thesis statements, and pulling appropriate quotations from The Awakening.
  • You will write your essays at home over the weekend. You must only give yourself 40 minutes in which to write your essay.
  • Let’s tie this text up with a bow!