Monday, April 23, 2012

AP Personal Study Plan

Multiple Choice Practice is definitely the number one area I need to study in. I will take the practice tests on Dr. Preston's blog and others I can find. I can find websites and other information on the internet that can help me to develop the skill of taking this part of the AP Exam.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Remix the Text Book: Poetry Analysis

Prelude I by T.S. Eliot:

The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots.
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.


1.)  Dramatic Situation:  The speaker is someone ambiguous; the reader might know them or not.  Whether male or female, there is no distinction or explicit details into this.  The speaker is describing a setting to the reader.  "Of withered leaves about your feet," this line shows that the reader is in the setting and they are placed outside.  The situation is much like standing in a painting.

2.)  Structure:  There is rhyming but it doesn't follow a set pattern of ABBA or ABAB.  The poem flows in triplets of two, 8 syllable lines followed by a 4 syllable line with the exception of line 3 which is 3 syllables.  The poem ends with two couplets of two 8 syllable lines.  The poem seems to be divided in two big chunks by the semi-colon in line 8.

3.)  Grammar/Mechanics:  Usage of periods to end complete ideas.  Semi-colon used to separate two parts of the poem.  One comma used in a place of natural pause and where the thought continues down to the next line.  Set in present tense.

4.)  Theme:  I think that the central message of this poem is the condition of the industrial slums and the passage of time (a very common theme in modernism).

5.)  Imagery:  The whole poem is really an image that the poet is setting the reader in so that they can experience the atmosphere and mood and take away the poems meaning.

6.)  Single words/Diction:  This poem doesn't contain any repeating words that contain a particular emphasis from the repetition.  The diction is used heavily to convey the mood:  "wraps," "scraps,"vacant," "beat,"broken," "lonely,"withered,"burnt-out," "smokey," all of these words create the image of a run down, poor industrial city area and set the mood of this city as well.  These words don't paint a bright city, but one of smoke, cold, rain, fracture, and emptiness.

7.)  Tone:  Monotonous and reserved yet forceful enough to push you into the sight of the poem.

8.)  Literary Techniques:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poetry Analysis: Out of the Cradle and Endlessly Rocking

1.) Speaker is a boy.  He is on a seashore, watching two birds quietly out of curiosity and translating in his mind what their chirps and whistles mean.  The bird is also a speaker.  The boy is reflecting, reminiscing, and telling it to his brother.  The boy’s soul is another speaker.
2.) Poem is structured more like prose.  No rhyme pattern, merely broken up and divided by ideas.  Many commas and periods mark end of completely thought much like prose.  Divided too by speaker.
3.) Grammar:  Clew is used in place of Clue. 
4.) Theme: “The messenger there arous’d, the fire, the sweet hell within, the unknown want, the destiny of me.”  All the knowledge the speaker gained was through listening to some part of nature, wether it be a bird, grass, or the sea.  Perhaps, this lends itself to the theme.
5.) Imagery and Figures of Speech: “From under that yellow half-moon late-risen and swollen as if with tears.  
6.) Single words: Death is a single word that is greatly repeated
7.) Tone: Reflective.
8.) Literary Techniques: Personification is used in giving the bird speech and imagining what the bird is saying in his songs and calls.  It is also used to give a lot of imagery, for example, “The yellow half-moon enlarged, sagging down, drooping, the face of the sea almost touching.”  
Anaphora is also used; Whitman constantly repeats “O” in the beginning of many lines in stanzas repeating it throughout the stanza. 
9.) Procity:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

AP In Class Test Practice 1: Essay

     What I found easy this first time around was the relation between prompt and lecture.  It was very easy for me to recall upon what was said in lecture and how that contributed to Dickens' meaning and knowing this made that part of the prompt easy.

     What was difficult was organizing the essay.  The intro was fine and explaining how, for example, a character had a power struggle and how this helped create an overall meaning for the novel, was fine too.  But breaking this in to three paragraphs was hard.  I couldn't decide if the three paragraphs should have been three examples from the story or literary techniques.  The Time frame was difficult too of course.  But not being obligated to write full essays made that much easier and more relaxed.  The time and amount of prompts was definitely unexpected.  Writing a clear enough thesis was hard for these prompts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities: Lecture Notes

Lecture Here:


Third city involved is Manchester.
Inspired by the Frozen Deep, performed with friends and family.
Very personal novel
Dickens suffered all experiences when writing the novel
In his life he suffered similar experiences to those of the novel
Self-Sacrifice and love triangle of The Frozen Deep heavily influenced The Tale of Two Cities.
The plot outline is nearly the same
Fell in love with Ellen
Ellen played Lucy in the Frozen Deep
Lucie, in Tale of Two Cities, is modeled after Ellen
Sydney parallels Richard in the Frozen Deep
1858: began series of Public Readings for profit.
Became greatest reader of the greatest writer

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities: Title Explanation

            Superficially, it can be explained that this novel is set in and is about London and France during 1775, the time of the American Revolution.  The title, not directly stating the names of the two cities corresponds with the indirect tone that Dickens sets in the introduction of the novel.  This helps create a sense of the past, since this novel was written 67 years after the historical events it is based on.  The title, in a way, reminds the reader that the novel is, in fact, a tale or story, and not a non-fiction historical account.  A historically based fictional tale is a great medium for communicating the themes and lessons of the time period and history it is based upon.