The Art of Literature THE OPEN QUESTION by Joan Nichols The Open Question THESE ESSAYS ARE ABOUT WHAT THE AUTHOR IS DOING!! ( Focusing on the author will keep you from just summarizing the plot) THE UNIVERSAL THEME TOPICS IN LITERATURE The Kite Runner Shame Silence Redemption Loyalty Cruelty Trust Friendship Home Courage Guilt Resilience Discrimination Justice Family Love Another topic you see? UNIVERSAL THEME TOPICS CON’T Beauty of simplicity Capitalism or other economic systems– effect on the individual Changes of power – the effects Change versus tradition Chaos and order Character in the face of outside forces – destruction, building up Circle of life Coming of age Communication – verbal and nonverbal Companionship as salvation UNIVERSAL THEME TOPICS Convention ( conformity) and rebellion Dangers of ignorance Darkness and light- goodness and evil Death – inevitable or tragedy Desire to escape Destruction of beauty or innocence Disillusionment and dreams Displacement or Empowerment Emptiness of attaining false dream Everlasting love Evils of racism Facing darkness- metaphorical or otherwise UNIVERSAL THEME TOPICS Illusion vs reality Immortality Individual versus society Injustice vs justice Isolation-Isolationism – Knowledge versus ignorance Loneliness as destructive force Losing hope Loss of innocence Lost honor Theme topic to AP prompt CHOOSE A CHARACTER FROM A NOVEL OR PLAY WHO RESPONDS IN SOME SIGNIFICANT WAY TO JUSTICE OR INJUSTICE. THEN WRITE A WELL-DEVELOPED ESSAY IN WHICH YOU (1)ANALYZE THE CHARACTER’S UNDERSTANDING OF JUSTICE, (2)THE DEGREE TO WHICH THE CHARACTER’S SEARCH FOR JUSTICE IS SUCCESSFUL (3) THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS SEARCH FOR THE WORK AS A WHOLE. What book will you choose? You should be prepared in advance!!! You will choose from the list provided or have several major works in mind to use. Know the names of the characters and the authors? Make flashcards! Remember the the significant scenes and the order in which they were developed(major works data sheet will help!) Read the prompt with your books in mind and look for your best choice. What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in The Kite Runner? What is the reader supposed to understand? What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in Hamlet? What is the audience supposed to recognize in the end? What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in Huckleberry Finn? What reaction is sought from the reader? What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in The Scarlet Letter? How are we supposed to view Hester? Why? What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in To Kill a Mockingbird . What are we to learn in the end through the eyes of the Scout? You will choose a character to focus on in your book who represents the search for justice? What is the author doing with the topic of justice through the character of Hassan in The Kite Runner? How does Hassan understand justice? Does Hassan find justice? What should the reader understand in the end? What is the author doing with the topic of justice through the character of Amir? How does Amir understand justice? Does Amir find justice? What should the reader understand in the end? You begin the essay with Insight or just state the obvious THE OBVIOUS: In Kahled Hasseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, young Amir lived with his best friend Hassan. While living in afgahanistan, Amir witnessed Hassan being raped by Assef, a childhood bully. Amir never told anyone of the incident, even after years of living in America. Amir’s father’s friend Rahim requests Amir to save Hassan’s son, Sohrab. After Hassan and his wife were murdered. Knowing this, Amir returns to Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab. Duh! THE INSIGHTFUL In today’s society, justice is almost exclusively viewed as an obligation of those who have chosen to become civil servants; however, Khaled Hosseini, in his novel The Kite Runner, portrays justice through the character of Hassan as an inalienable human right, and it is often that the injustices committed against Hassan are carried out by the supposed guardians of that justice. As he progresses through the novel, Hassan ‘s character demonstrates that justice is no concrete set of laws but a facet of human character. The author leads us to see that the purpose of justice is to establish equality, not to be used as a device to subdue the weak by the strong. WOW! I’M IMPRESSED ALREADY! COVER THE BASICS The Body Paragraphs: Claims- convince me that you know what the author is doing. Data- tell me which scenes in the novel or play ( IN ORDER) best demonstrate the progression ( beginning, middle, end) or shifts in the “search for justice.” Have some theme or character based quotes ready to use that will support your essay well and advance your argument. Commentaries- tell me the effect of the scenes on the reader- how do they change our perspective or reinforce our understanding. Please don’t end a paragraph with a quote!!!!! Don’t leave me wondering where you were going with that great idea you just mentioned!!! I will CRY for you in my heart! PROVIDE DATA! FOR THE OPEN ESSAY - You must know which specific incidents or scenes from the text that can demonstrate your claims. You must know the sequence of the significant scenes. You must know some significant quotes that reflect the “meaning of the work as a whole.” ( This means theme!) NO DATA? = NO UPPER LEVEL SCORE CRITICAL COMMENTARY! Through this scene (or character’s actions) the reader becomes aware that…….. (Insert insight here) The author used the events or characters to bring the reader to a new understanding of…….( insert insight here) Commentaries are about the author’s intent or the readers shift in perception! CONCLUSIONS? YES OR NO? YES - IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING FRESH TO SAY- something insightful that you want to leave the reader thinking about. NO- IF YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO RESTATE YOUR THREE MAINS POINTS AND BORE ME( this kind of repetition is the sign of a weaker writer) MY BEST ADVICE: Know fully at least three texts that are RICH AND COMPLEX- texts you can write confidently about. Memorize QUOTES that capture the essence of the work as a whole for each of the books you choose to prepare. ( Hello, flashcards- Hello major works data sheets!) ( I suggest three or four major works – at least one tragedy) FORGET THE CLICHÉ’ expressions: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” “To be or not to be. That is the question.” “The Horror. The Horror.” THE ISSUE OF TIMING Do this essay first! You will be prepared and can relieve your mind of the memorized material. Don’t worry about writing them out of order- we will find them Allow yourself up to 10 minutes to analyze the prompt- and write up a planbetter to plan than to fail at coherence. Check to be sure you are ANSWERING ALL PARTS of the question- work these into your plan. REMEMBER…….. THESE ESSAYS ARE ABOUT………………………………….