Monday, April 29, 2013

AP Practice Essay

In the novel 1984 by George Owell, Winsten Smith, lives in a society dominated by the totalitarian party and Big Brother. The immense degree of control taken by the government, along with his thoughtful nature, shape Winston into a paranoid and extremely pessimistic person. Winston’s pessimism reflects Orwell’s pessimistic  attitude towards totalitarianism.

Winston inhabits a society in which, even the thoughts of its members are maintained. If anyone is suspected of defiance against the party, even minutely, the government intervenes and eliminates the threat. This extreme degree of control by the government, coupled with the threat of torture or execution, leads Winston to drastically increase control over her, in order survive. This suppression of ideas is always conflicting with Winston’s thoughtfulness, as a result he must be even more careful. Orwell uses this conflict to express the idea that a government with too much influence over its constituents, will eliminate individually and intellectualism.

Winston’s strongest character trait is his pessimism, it is constant throughout the novel. Winston’s hopelessness in his surroundings plays a role in Orwell’s idea that totalitarianism leaves no chance for change from within. Orwell was bringing attention to his belief that totalitarianism regimes should be challenged by other nations, in an effort to persevere freedom.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Extra Credit Lit Analysis

The Great Gatsby


1.The Great Gatsby is focused around Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota, who moves to New York in the summer of 1922. He finds himself in West Egg, an area that is populated by the rich. Nick Carraway's neighbor is Jay Gatsby, a rich, highly mysterious man, who throws lavish over the top parties every weekend. Nick gets invited to one of Gatsby's parties, and through Nick's newfound love interest, Jordan, Nick is able to learn a bit about Gatsby. He founds out Gatsby is madly in love with a woman named Daisy, who he has not spoken to in years. Daisy happens to be Nick's cousin and married to a man name Tom. Regardless of this marriage, Gatsby and Daisy start a love affair. Things turn awry when Tom confronts Gatsby. This confrontation leads to a distressed Daisy taking Gatsby's car and driving off. In the midst of all this chaos Daisy ends up hitting and killing a woman named Myrtle. Myrtle's husband thinking Gatsby was driving the car ends up shooting Gatsby and killing him. Nick throws a funeral for Gatsby where there is little attendance. Nick then ends up cutting off all relationships he has in West Egg and returns to the Midwest.


2. The theme of the novel The Great Gatsby the destruction of the American Dream. These characters were after wealth rather than happiness. Being so consumed by money and social status eventually led to the corruption of the true American Dream. This corruption not only destroyed the American Dream, but also destroyed relationships, like that of Gatsby and Daisy.


3. The author's tone in The Great Gatsby is cynical.

-"This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose."

-"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..."

-"I shook hands with him; it seemed silly not to, for I felt suddenly as though I were talking to a child."


4. The author used similes, imagery, symbolism, allusion, and foreshadowing in order to convey the theme and tone.

Simile: Similes occur regularly throughout this novel

-"In his blue garden men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

Imagery: The author is very detailed when describing the world that Nick has entered.

An example of imagery is the constant use of the color green throughout the novel

Symbolism: The green light at Daisy's house represented the unattainable for Gatsby

-"A single green light, minute and faraway, that might have been the end of a dock..."

Allusion: There are numerous references throughout the entire work to literature, such as the John L Stoddard Lectures, and Hopalong Cassidy.

Foreshadowing: Throughout the entire novel the author foreshadows the demise of Gatsby

-"He snatched the book from me and placed it hastily on its shelf muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse.”


Saturday, April 27, 2013


Prompt #1

        The speakers' attitudes towards Helen differ in that Poe evokes her classical beauty and link to nature, while Doolittle seems to hate and revile her completely. Poe's nature imagery, use of punctuation, and lively rhyme scheme convey the joy he feels about Helen. Doolittle's poem is stark in contrast, as is his view of Helen; he uses parallel structure and desolate imagery to express his contempt for the weak, superficial Helen.
            The Poe passage, written in the first person, uses very careful diction to exalt Helen's beauty. Adjectives like "gently ... perfumed" describing the sea to which Helen is compared, communicate a quality of serenity and calmness inherent in her beauty, as does the alliteration of "weary, way-worn wanderer." The imagery of the narrator "long wont to roam [on desperate seas]" gives the reader a sense of isolation and loss, until Helen's beauty "brought me home" to comfort and luxury and familiarity. The description of Helen's beauty is also present in images like "hyacinth hair," "classic face" and "Naiad airs," which recall "the grandeur that was Rome," and "the glory that was Greece." For the speaker, Helen is a source of comfort and glory and majesty.The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, for the most part, and divided into five line stanzas with a gradually constant rhyming pattern. The stability and order of such a literal arrangement provides the perfect atmosphere in which to pay homage to Helen's beauty. The tone is one of infatuation and romance, particularly noticeable in the comparison of Helen to "Pshyche, from the regions which  are Holy-Land.
            In contrast to Poe's poem, full of life, is Doolittle's stark and desolate tone, which contributes to her view of Helen as too beautiful and shallow. The first stanza is five lines long, the next six, and the last seven. This rational progression of gradually building contempt contrasts to Poe's lovely, spirited composition. The repetition of the words "wan" and "white" (4 times) stresses the lack of character in Helen, as well as her lack of color or substance. "Cool feet" and "tenderest knees" do not "move" Greece, because these are merely external things. Each stanza is a single sentence. There are no exclamation points, nor any rhyme scene. The poem seems to be nearly strapped of energetic feeling; its tone conveys cold disapproval. The parallel structure, in which "All Greece" is repeated at the beginnings of the first and second stanzas, serves to emphasize the solid, flat, emphatic hatred of Helen. This hatred is as extreme that the poem closes by mentioning that she could only be loved if she were buried as "white ash." The disapproval is so extreme it seems hard to believe it could be directed against a single woman from antiquity. Perhaps Doolittle, a modern woman, is trying to make a disparaging statement about the traditional "ladylike" woman who lacks any substance or personality, striving only for beauty and marriage.
          Poe is attracted by the same beauty which made Helem such a poisoned object in the past; Doolittle sees past Helen's exterior to the consequences of her magnetism and feels the pain of Menelaus's Greece. The details of the two poems allow the two poets to access their contrasting sentiments and provide two views of the Ancient beauty; her passionate, flowing nature could also bring hardship.



Prompt #2
            The poem “Elegy for Jane” by Theodore Roethke  illustrates the speakers lament over his former student whom he was in love with. He metaphorically describes Jane characteristics but he also suggests his erroneous feelings he had for Jane and his apologetic feelings towards Jane.
            He provides the image of the animal to demonstrate that Jane was cheerful and talkative but most importantly innocent. He gives the reader an image of a wren wagging its tail. He describes her speaking style to be like a startled frog. Wrens wag their tails when they are happy therefore describing her as the wren suggests she used to be happy. Frogs leap suddenly when they are startled, with great energy they leap until they are far away from the startled source, meaning, when she was spoken to she talked until she moved away from her speaker. Animals are innocent unlike humans; in the animal kingdom there is no betrayal, corruption, deception or evilness. Jane is described with animal characteristics rather than human ones which suggests that the speaker believed Jane was innocent.

            Jane and the speaker
erroneous relationship is revealed when he says he leaves, their whispers turned to kissing, this metaphorical phrase suggests the importance of Jane innocence. Since Jane was his former student, he leaves and suggests this personification is education related. Teachers can get to know a student views, personality and their beliefs through essays and assignments which are written on papers, the student eaves. Jane personality was whispered to the speaker through the papers. The speaker suggests a shift in the teacher's and students relationship that it turned to kissing.

            The speaker further provides evidence about his unnatural relationship when he confesses his love towards Jane in line 20. He proposes that he had no right to love her since he was either her father nor her lover. Although he loved her, she did not belong to him, and the speaker again uses animals to deliver his attitude. Sparrows and pigeons are common birds, they do not have owners, and it is not natural to own a sparrow or a pigeon. Therefore, by calling Jane his sparrow and his pigeon, he implies the perversity of his feeling towards Jane and again Jane is described as an animal which in our world(stick to their own species to not fall in love with the wrong species, which implies that the speaker thinks Jane was innocent.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Today in class my group was not on task, so they were not very helpful. I did some research online and that helped me a lot in understanding the theme and meaning of the poem. I also searched definitions of words that I didn't understand.