The Art of Literature

Report
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
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Shame
Silence
Redemption
Loyalty
Cruelty
Trust
Friendship
Home
Courage
Guilt
Resilience
Discrimination
Justice
Family
Love
Another topic you see?
UNIVERSAL THEME
TOPICS CON’T
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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
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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
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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
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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!)
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Read the prompt with your books in mind and
look for your best choice.
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What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in The Kite Runner? What is the
reader supposed to understand?
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What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in Hamlet? What is the audience
supposed to recognize in the end?
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What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in Huckleberry Finn? What
reaction is sought from the reader?
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What is this author doing with the topic of Justice in The Scarlet Letter? How are
we supposed to view Hester? Why?
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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?
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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?
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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
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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!
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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!
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COVER THE BASICS
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The Body Paragraphs:
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Claims- convince me that you know what the author is doing.
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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.
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Commentaries- tell me the effect of the scenes on the reader- how do
they change our perspective or reinforce our understanding.
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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!
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PROVIDE DATA!
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FOR THE OPEN ESSAY - You must know which
specific incidents or scenes from the text that can
demonstrate your claims.
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You must know the sequence of the significant
scenes.
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You must know some significant quotes that reflect
the “meaning of the work as a whole.” ( This means
theme!)
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NO DATA? = NO UPPER LEVEL SCORE
CRITICAL COMMENTARY!
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Through this scene (or character’s actions)
the reader becomes aware that……..
(Insert insight here)
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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?
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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)
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MY BEST ADVICE:
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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)
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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.”
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THE ISSUE OF TIMING
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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
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Allow yourself up to 10 minutes to
analyze the prompt- and write up a planbetter to plan than to fail at coherence.
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Check to be sure you are ANSWERING
ALL PARTS of the question- work these into
your plan.
REMEMBER……..
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THESE ESSAYS ARE
ABOUT………………………………….

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