AP Lit & Comp.
Summer Work

Summer reading assignments permit some works to be read in a more leisurely and careful pace
over the summer, resulting in more thoughtful discussions in the fall. In
addition, the course can begin the first day of class, without having to wait for students to read
several texts. Finally, completing the summer assignments demonstrates that the
students have the maturity and self-discipline to succeed in an AP class.
By the first day of Class in August, students must have completed (and will be tested on)
the following three assignments:
    1. Read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
    2. In addition, each student will choose to read one of the following novels:
                The Women of Brewster Place, Gloria Naylor
                Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
                Reservation Blues, Sherman Alexie
                Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
                Song of Solomon, Sula, The Bluest Eye, or Beloved, Toni Morrison
                Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
                One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
                Obasan, Joy Kogawa
                The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
                Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
                All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, The Road, Cormac McCarthy
                The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
Most of these titles are available in paperback editions and many are on display for summer
reading in local bookstores. You should mark up your own copies or take notes on those
borrowed from a library. This is how to learn to read actively, not just to acquire “facts” for a
quiz. Students must submit on the first day of school, a five paragraph critical analysis essay of a
theme, an aspect of style, and the author’s tone for EACH of the summer reading requirements.
You will be given plot and vocabulary tests during the first day of class on the two under number
1. Later, you will write free response essays that may list one or more of the choices under
number 2. Do not sign up for this course unless you can make a commitment to complete
the summer assignments. A test on the summer reading will be given the first day of class.
    3. Carefully define the attached vocabulary of literary terms and tone words to be used
        in discussion and writing. You should not use the dictionary definition, but refer to The
        Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms or M. H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary
        Terms to serve as a guide to the terms used in college-level literary criticism. Make flash
        cards of the terms to help review for the AP Test in May. A test on the vocabulary
        words will be given the first week of school.
    4. Purchasing a MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed) by
        Joseph Gibaldi or Writing Research Papers (10th ed. or later) by James D.
        Lester is advisable. These are good college resources and handbooks that will
        include extensive information on electronic media and the Internet. Of course the
        http://www.owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01 website is also good for
       MLA formatting and style guide.
AP Lit & Comp.
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Authors use themes, style, and tone to convey the underlying meaning of their writing.
Analyzing these aspects of a reading helps the readers to have a deeper understanding and
to think critically about what they have read.

THEMES: These are the main ideas/topics of a work or reading.
Think of themes as “WHAT” the author is writing about in the story. Some sample themes
might include, but are not limited to the following:
Love/hate relationships                        Father/son relationships
Family issues                                  Jealousy
Gender issues/roles                            Discrimination
Class issues/differences                       Cultural differences
Generation gaps                                Cowardice
Race issues                                    Human rights violations
Political issues                               Abuse (all types)
Religion issues                                Corruption
Economic issues                                Deformities
War                                            Human Condition
Poverty                                        Mother/daughter relationships
Ambition                                       Power
Greed                                          Selfishness
Friendship                                     Good vs. Evil
Illusion vs. Reality
Bildungsroman (story of a youth’s journey to maturity)

STYLE: Style indicates “HOW” the author writes the work. Authors use several stylistic
devices/aspects to help the reader gain insights into the story, the characters, and the messages to
the readers. Style includes the following:
Language: Diction/word choice, denotation (dictionary meaning), connotation (inferred
meaning), paradox (a false statement that is actually true), descriptive, formal, informal, dialect,
local color, etc. Look at the language to see how the author describes the setting, characters, and
events to not only convey the story, but to interpret the tone.

Pacing/Rhythm and Sound: Slow or fast pace. A slow pace indicates that the author wants the
reader to reflect. This usually occurs when a character is not engaging in action, but thinking.
The pace is slowed by using longer sentences. A fast pace is used during action scenes and the
author wants to create a sense of urgency for the reader. Shorter sentences speed up the pace.
Repetition of words or letters also affects the pacing and creates a sense of importance. The
Sound of words also affects the pacing and rhythm. Sound includes alliteration, assonance,
consonance, and onomatopoeia.

Structure: The structure of a plot is either in chronological/organic order, episodic, or circular.
Chronological order tells the cause and effect of the plot events. An Episodic plot may have
AP Lit & Comp.
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several seemingly unconnected episodes that have a recurring character or location in each
episode. A circular plot will end where it began.

Figurative Language: This includes metaphors, similes, personification, allusion, oxymoron,
ironic contrasting parallels, imagery, symbols, etc. Most poetry uses figurative language, but
prose does as well. Most students find it difficult to understand and you must teach them
visualization and association of symbolic with actual. Abstract thinking is higher level, but it
helps them to extend their critical thinking for all that they read. The concept of Ironic
Contrasting Parallels is a little difficult to grasp for most students. The easiest way to explain it
is via example: An ICP compares and contrasts the similarities and differences between two
things, people, events, or situations with an ironic outcome or overall meaning. For example: the
Viet Nam War and the war in Iraq.
Similarities: both are wars; both involved American soldiers going into Asian countries to fight
local powers; both were long commitments to an unpopular war.
Differences: Time period, soldiers, enemy, undeclared vs. declared war. Irony: War does not
resolve the conflict. Also, America’s good intentions do not accomplish good results.

Rhetorical Strategies and Devises: Authors use the Rhetorical Strategies Ethos, Logos, and
Pathos to persuade readers that their opinions are correct. Ethos refers to the credibility of the
person speaking or telling the story. Logos refers to the logic or reasoning in the story. Most
readers want the story to make sense logically and will reject unbelievable plots. Pathos relies
on the sympathy/ emotions of the readers or audience. Authors are very aware of how readers
will react to certain issues that raise an emotional response. Some Rhetorical devices include
parallelism, repetition, sentence types, juxtaposition

Narrative Techniques: This refers to point of view, foreshadowing, flashbacks, and any other
manner in which the author tells the story. Review these devices with the students.
1st person: (I) Always ask can we trust our narrator? The person telling the story in 1st person
appears to have first hand knowledge, but also has the most control over what is being told. This
narrator manipulates the emotions and opinions of the reader.

2nd person: (you) This is rarely used and makes the story universally applicable.

3rd person: (she, he, they) If the narrator is also a character in the story, ask what is his/her stake
in the outcome or how his/her role is perceived?

Foreshadowing: This is a hint at what is to come in the story. Notice when the author gives hints
and if they come true. Does the narrator use it to manipulate the reader?

Flashbacks: A story that is told by a character to relate what happened in the past is told from
memory. The memory can be distorted or reconstructed like a bad dream. Again, watch the
narrator to see his/her role and ask what is trying to be worked out for the narrator?

Irony: This is an unexpected twist in a story. Most modernist and contemporary stories use irony
as a stylistic device to help convey tone.
AP Lit & Comp.
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TONE: This reflects “why” or the author’s purpose for writing the work: the underlying
message. Tone is the author’s attitude about the subject-matter, the characters, and the audience.
Through language, mood, atmosphere, and irony in portraying the themes and the stylistic
devices in the story, the author lets the reader know his attitude about the issues, the characters,
and the readers themselves. The author is trying to persuade the reader to adopt his/her attitude
and opinions.
AP Lit & Comp.
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Define each of the following words and place them on note cards for the first day of school.

   1.     Allusion                                   49.   Foot
   2.    Ambiguity                                   50.   Free verse
   3.    Analogy                                     51.   Gothic novel
   4.    Antagonist                                  52.   Heroic couplet
   5.    Antithesis                                  53.   Meter
   6.    Aphorism                                    54.   Metric line
   7.    Consonance                                  55.   Panegyric
   8.    Convention                                  56.   Pedantic
   9.    Cosmic irony                                57.   Personification
   10.   Denouement                                  58.   Sonnet
   11.   Elegy                                       59.   Spenserian sonnet
   12.   Imagism                                     60.   Stanza
   13.   Impressionism                               61.   Anaphora
   14.   Peripety                                    62.   Carpe diem
   15.   Persona                                     63.   Catastrophe
   16.   Romance                                     64.   Catharsis
   17.   Romantic comedy                             65.   Ellipses
   18.   Round character                             66.   Empathy
   19.   Sarcasm                                     67.   Farce
   20.   Symbol                                      68.   Feminine (double) rhyme
   21.   Anticlimax                                  69.   Figurative language
   22.   Comedy of manners                           70.   Masque
   23.   Conceit                                     71.   Melodrama
   24.    Concrete detail                            72.   Metaphor
   25.   Enjambment                                  73.   Ode
   26.   Epic                                        74.   Onomatopoeia
   27.   Epigram                                     75.   Oxymoron
   28.   Homily                                      76.   Paradox
   29.   Hyperbole                                   77.   Renaissance
   30.   Metaphysical poetry                         78.   Repetition
   31.   Realism                                     79.   Revenge tragedy
   32.   Refrain                                     80.   Socratic irony
   33.   Restoration comedy                          81.   Blank verse
   34.   Rhyme                                       82.   Bourgeois tragedy
   35.   Rhythm                                      83.   Burlesque
   36.   Septet                                      84.   Caesura
   37.   Stress                                      85.   Caricature
   38.   Style                                       86.   Connotation
   39.   Subjective                                  87.   Dissonance
   40.   Terza rima                                  88.   Domestic tragedy
   41.   Active voice                                89.   Hubris
   42.   Allegory                                    90.   Lyric
   43.   Alliteration                                91.   Lyric poem
   44.   Ballad stanza                               92.   Malaproprism
   45.   End-stopped line                            93.   Masculine rhyme
   46.   Flashback                                   94.   Pastoral
   47.    Flat character                             95.   Restoration
   48.   Foil                                        96.   Rime royal
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   97. Unity of action               147.   Metonymy
   98. Verse                         148.   Motif
   99. Villanelle                    149.   Parallelism
   100.        Wit                   150.   Ploce
   101.        Attitude              151.   Point of view
   102.         Ballad               152.   Problem play
   103.        Bathos                153.   Prose
   104.        Bildungsroman         154.   Soliloquy
   105.        Emotive               155.   Stream of consciousness
   106.        Enlightenment         156.   Tension
   107.        Euphemism             157.   Theme
   108.        Expressionism         158.   Tone
   109.        Jargon                159.   Triple rhyme
   110.        Juxtaposition         160.   Quintet
   111.        Limerick              161.   Anachronism
   112.        Litote                162.   Apostrophe
   113.        Narrative technique   163.   Archetype
   114.        Naturalism            164.   Assonance
   115.        Neoclassical          165.    Couplet
   116.        Octave                166.   Imagery
   117.        Quatrain              167.   In media res
   118.        Repartee              168.   Morality plays
   119.        Tragicomedy           169.   Satire
   120.        Triplet (tercet)      170.   Satiric comedy
   121.        Atmosphere            171.   Scansion
   122.         Devices              172.   Sentimentalism
   123.        Dialect               173.   Synecdoche
   124.        Diction               174.   Syntax
   125.        Epiphany
   126.        Epistrophe
   127.        Myth
   128.        Narrative devices
   129.        Narrative poem
   130.        Ottava rima
   131.        Parody
   132.        Passive voice
   133.        Protagonist
   134.        Pun
   135.        Romantic irony
   136.        Sestet
   137.        Shift
   138.        Simile
   139.        Slapstick
   140.        Stylistic devices
   141.        Denotation
   142.        Descriptive detail
   143.        Didactic
   144.        Dues ex machine
   145.        Invective
   146.        Irony
AP Lit & Comp.
Summer Work

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