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I am very much looking forward to being your teacher for this class. Before we begin in the fall, you must complete the following assignments. THE ESSAY AND THE READINGS ARE DUE ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS. (Expect a test in the first week.)
1. Read and prepare for a test:
2. Write: one of the following essays (which were taken from past AP exams) with reference to either Snow Falling on Cedars or Native Son. (In the 1000-1500 word range, typed, double spaced, in standard essay form.) Use ample detail and direct quotations from the text for support, using correct citation for page numbers. Make sure that your essay poses a thesis and follows the standard format(attached).
A. "And, after all, our surroundings influence our lives and characters as much as fate, destiny or any supernatural agency." Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces
Choose one of the novels you read, and write an essay to discuss the ways in which cultural, physical, or geographical surroundings shape psychological or moral traits in a character. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how surroundings affect this character and illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole. (2012)
B. A symbol is an object, action, or event that represents something or that creates a
range of associations beyond itself. In literary works a symbol can express an idea, clarify meaning, or enlarge literal meaning. Focusing on one symbol, write an essay analyzing how that symbol functions in one of the books you read and what it reveals about the characters or themes of the work as a whole. (2009)
C. In some works of literature a character who appears briefly, or who does not appear at all, is a significant presence. Choose one of the novels you read and write an essay in which you show how such a character functions in the work. You may wixh to discuss how the character affects action, theme, or the development of other characters. (1994)
3. While you read Harry Bauld's book (we will start right off in the fall working on this style of writing personal essays), pay attention to the cliches he tells you to avoid as well as the models of good esssay writing he provides. Prepare a list of possible essay topics that you might consider writing about for your own application essays.