Thursday, April 29, 2010

Homework for Monday 5.3.10

Please read through this packet:

AP Binder packet # 1

Though we do not meet as a class, I would like you to post 10 different introductions by Monday @ noon. List the prompt year, followed by your introduction. You must use five different books.

At this point, this is really to 'prep' you for the exam--you should really try and put yourself in the exam mindset when completing this assignment.

(You may include as many introductions as possible in each post.)


oliviak said...

Prompt year 1991

In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the protagonist Jane Eyre undergoes an experience in nature that helps her discover her independence. Eyre was living in a large house in Thornfield as a governess, before she ran away. Bronte uses nature as a symbol for cleansing the soul, allowing her character to discover her independence and her true self. In this way, the contrasting locations of Jane Eyre serve as opposite ideas of what Bronte had; rural houses constrict Eyre's thoughts and freedoms, while nature allows her to explore them.

Prompt year 1997

Social occasions can say a lot about a person, depending on the event. Such is the case with F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby. Set in New York in the 1920's, Fitzgerald describes many scenes where Jay Gatsby is hosting some type of party. These parties are allusions to the Jazz Age, and while they may appear glamorous on the outside, hold many secrets once within. Using these events throughout his novel, Fitzgerald is able to show the values that his characters hold in their society. The personalities of Tom Buchanan, Daisy, and Gatsby come out at the parties to show their carelessness in spirit and their inability to assume responsibilities.

Stephany J. said...

PART 1: Open Response


In the play A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen the opening scene immediately depicts the traditional dominant role of men. Trovald Helmer’s overbearing behavior is apparent through how he treats Nora more like a child than a wife. He calls her silly names and scolds her for eating macaroons. Nora’s behavior within the opening scene is a prime example of what was considered to be accepted by society. Nora doesn't seem to mind Torvald's demeaning treatment at first. In fact, she even encourages it. Ibsen dramatizes how Torvald is a product of his society, just like Nora.


In many works of literature violence appears to be an outlet for aggression, hate, and even corruption. In the Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet , Prince Hamlet primarily seeks revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering his father. Claudius’ quick accession to the throne and marriage to Gertrude fueled Hamlet’s detest for his uncle. Shakespeare uses these three events to catapult the actions of the protagonist for remainder of the play.


In the Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, Ophelia proves to be a character that causes the reader a healthy confusion of pleasure and disquietude. When it comes to her relationship with Prince Hamlet her questionable decisions classify her as an unstable character. In one scene Ophelia is apparently swooning over Prince Hamlet. While in another she is running to her father to tell him of Hamlet’s barbaric actions. Shakespeare depicts Ophelia in this manner to illuminate the frivolous behavior of women in society. By doing this he is able to show that women are unable of making critical decisions.


Roles in society have the power to dictate the way in which a person lives their life. In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Hassan is discriminated against because he is considered to be Hazara. Ironically, Hassan’s saintly behavior only infuriates the protagonist because he resembles the qualities that Baba always looked for in a son. The Hazaran people were not viewed as equals within Afghanistan. They are an ethnic minority that have be consistently persecuted and massacred.


In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts extravagant parties as the ultimate corruption of the American dream. The various speculators who attend Gatsby’s parties symbolize their greedy scramble for wealth. The clash between old money and new money manifests itself in the novel’s geography: East Egg and West Egg. East Egg represents the established aristocracy with older money and credentials. While West Egg represents those who made themselves rich, new money. Fitzgerald uses the location of the parties in East Egg to dramatize the true values of society.

Stephany J. said...

PART 2: Open Response


In the novel Jane Eyre Mr. Rochester feels as though he is being pulled in two conflicting directions. As a predominant member in the community Rochester is expected to uphold a specific type of image in society. On the other hand, Rochester attempts to prove to Jane Eyre that he is not the type of man that he used to be. He only made decisions that would ensure the flawless image that he worked so hard to create. Rochester tried to keep these two elements separate, but as the novel went on it became more difficult to keep the conflicting directions under control.


In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen structures the novel around the social hierarchy of England. Since the Bennet daughters were not as properly educated in the area of social graces in relation to other females, their thoughts were not the same as other people in society. It is apparent that the societal customs of women was important in the Bennet household because of Mrs. Bennet. Her main priority seemed to revolve are getting her daughters married. She believed that their happiness would emerge as a result of having a man in their life.

PROMPT 2006, Form B.

In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë the protagonist makes a physical journey revolving around Thornfield and Lowood. Throughout the novel Jane attempts to find the family that she always desired. Yet, her struggle with individuality eventually caused her to be left with a conflicted identity. Jane’s emotional pattern of loneliness and happiness can be followed within her different environments. The temporary environments in which Jane places herself acts as a metaphoric refuge. Jane feels the need to travel back and forth between these towns to discover the type of excitement she always wanted. Brontë uses Jane’s literal movement to illuminate the protagonists journey of finding herself.


In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen uses Jane Bennet as a foil character to emphasize the actions of Elizabeth Bennet. Jane’s relationship with Mr. Bingley portrayed the typical courtship for the timer period. Jane gave into the expectations from society and the pressure from Mrs. Bennet when it came to her relationship. While Elizabeth found joy in rebelling against the societal expectations of women. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth were the epitome of a love-hate relationship. Elizabeth represented behavior that was frowned upon within courtship. Jane represented the type of submission that women were expected to have. Austen’s depiction of these relationships illuminates their differences as characters.

PROMPT 2008, Form B.

Fulfilling the expectations of parents may cause one to feel as though they are constantly under pressure. In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini the protagonist blames himself for the death of his mother during childbirth. Amir knows that didn’t live up to the standards that his father laid out for him. As a result, he betrays his best friend so that his father will be proud of him. Even though he felt guilty for what he did, the unconditional love her received made it all worth it. Hosseini depicts the remainder of Amir’s childhood as a time of tribulation and terror. If his father were to ever find out what he did, Amir would truly be disgraced.

oliviak said...

Prompt 1990

William Shakespeare's play Hamlet involves a conflict between the protagonist Hamlet and his mother Gertrude. The misunderstanding between one another serves as a motivation for Hamlet to avenge the death of his father. Gertrude married Hamlets' uncle shortly after her previous husband, Hamlet's father, died. Throughout the play, Hamlet goes mad and looks for a way in which to end the marriage, and his uncle's life. The conflict between the two characters is what drives Hamlet to his madness, and what Shakespeare uses to set up his theme of madness in Hamlet.

Prompt 2001

In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the protagonist Hamlet goes mad shortly after the death of his father, when he is confronted by his father's ghost and is told that he was murdered by his own brother. Besides his uncle Claudius, the brother of Hamlet's father, only Hamlet knows the truth of his fathers death. The other characters in witness to Hamlet's irrational behavior justify it as him grieving; however, that is not the case. Using this, Shakespeare shows how people reason with madness, and how society often avoids or alienates a mad person because of their condition.

Prompt 2002

Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre, seems to be built upon secrets. The mysterious Mr.Rochester hides his past from Jane Eyre; fearing that if she ofinds out about what happened, she will leave him. Mr.Rochester has plans to tell her the truth after some time after they marry, but on their wedding day, his secret is exposed. His secret, regardless of the hidden information, is important to building Jane Eyre's character. His decision to hold it from her allowed her to get close to him and find love, and when it came out, it allowed her to explore herself independently from the world. Bronte successfully witheld Mr.Rochesters' past life throughout the novel, slowly building up to the importance of finding ones' own independence and desires.

Prompt 2005 Form B

In Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Achebe explores the power struggles that arose in old village tribes. The main character Okonkwo expresses his desire to have the highest power, because of the shame his father left on him by being lazy in their society. Okonkwo is a powerful man in his village, however he seeks too much control and it becomes his demise. Achebe shows that the desire for such a great amount of power leads to failure, and ultimately, ones' own weakness.

Prompt 2007

Past events serve to many people as learning experiences for the future. In the novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author explores how sometimes the past can be difficult to contend with and lead to repeated actions that have negative consequences. Jay Gatsby is, and has been, in love with Daisy for most of his love. He lost her to a different man though, but was never able to accept it. Using Nick Carraway as a supporting character to Gatsby's desire, Fitzgerald shows that trying to repeat the past only leads to the same, devasting result, while hurting everyone else who was involved.

oliviak said...

Prompt 1987

The play A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen, portrays the authors inclination of changing the roles men and women should have. Nora and Helmer are a couple in the nineteenth century who seem to be following the stereotypical roles that dominant men and inferior women should play. However, Ibsen explores his idea through Nora, who is holding a financial secret from Helmer that their society would greatly look down upon. Nora embodies the spirit of change in womens roles that A Doll's House successfully expresses.

Prompt 1983

In the novel The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, the owner of Darlington Hall, Mr.Farraday, is depicted as an inconspicuous villian, but a villian nonetheless. Mr.Farraday appears as a kind man, however he deceives his butler Stevens, as well as everyone else around him. Ishiguro explores in depth the misconception of outward appearances, and uses Mr.Farraday's seemingly casual and innocent personality to symbolize that appearances are in fact incredibly deceiving.

Prompt 1995

Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House centers around Nora, a woman who is alienated and looked lesser upon in society because of her gender. Nora is introduced as an innocent house-wife, highly dependent on her husband for every aspect of her life. However, Ibsen adds depth to her character by revealing that she is independent and has even paid for a vacation she took with her husband, yet lied to him about the expenses. Highlighting this event, Ibsen shows how Nora's society holds little value in women, and simply assumes that they are incapable of doing anything on their own.

Gaelle said...

2006 Form B
In Charlotte Bronte's novel, with her uncle death, Jane Eyre had no choice but to live with her uncle wife. While living with her uncle family, she was been mistreated, not cared for, being put down and take advantage of. Jane traveled from Lowood to Thornfield confused, trying to find herself, and what life has for her in the future. All Jane wants is to be love by someone and being accepted. Bronte shows that by using nature, she puts Jane alone in the middle of nature where she could find herself and figure out what she want in life.

In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Act 3 Scene 1 Hamlet show how he felt toward his uncle and other related things that’s going on in his life. it’s one of the famous quote “To be or not to be”. Those lines bring a lot of question to the readers. The way Hamlet present those words, shows that his depress, mad with all those thing that’s going in his life such as Ophelia, his mom married to his uncle, which led him to start questioning himself about killing his uncle.

In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare portrays Hamlet as a mad man. Facing to deal with his father death, he also had to deal with his mother Gertrude who instantly married with His uncle in a heartbeat. The negative part out of all that, his uncle was the one who murder his dad. Shakespeare put him in a position where society had turned their back on him; make it seem he has gone crazy, out of his mind.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, Jay Gatsby is a mysterious man living in the West Egg district of Long Island across from his past love. Gatsby is extremely wealthy and owns a mansion with a large swimming pool, a fancy car, and dozens of servants. He has a routine every Saturday to throw extravagant party, in which consists with live music. In those parties, half of the people in there he didn’t even knows. Fitzgerald show that his a very powerful person, money is not a big problem for him.

Gaelle said...

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby Daisy is surrounded by the love of two wealthy, strong well raised men. On one Hand, Gatsby and Daisy had a relationship, but ended the day he was ship to war. She stills love Gatsby. With Gatsby gone out of her life, she move on to Tom, where she didn’t like at the start, but ended having strong feeling for him. Fitzgerald puts Daisy in a position, where no woman wants to be in. Through to this allusion, this shows what type of women Daisy is.

2002 Form B
In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Mr. Rochester a very wealthy man falls in love with as low class girl named Jane. As he gets comfortable with Jane, he starts telling her secret about her past. But somehow he was still holding onto something. To create a new life or relationship, he has to let go of his past. His mad ex-wife bertha has been living in his attic, no one knew about expect the people that works in the house. Finally this came out to the open to Jane, which jane was very confused. With this secret out in the open, this cause Jane to go out in the nature finds herself and figure out what she wants in life.

Jess said...

1981: In the short play Waiting for Godot, the character Godot, who never actually makes an appearance in the play but governs the actions of the two protagonists, is constantly brought up and thought about by the characters. His name itself is an allusion to God, and his omnipresence in the minds of these two characters creates a religious parallel. This sustained reference shows the futility of the characters' lack of willpower, as they wait for Godot to turn their lives around and give them purpose rather than taking action themselves, and this makes a statement about the folly of religious followers in society.

1997: In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the biggest parties in town are held regularly at Jay Gatsby's mansion in West Egg. Through the narrator Nick, Fitzgerald presents the readers with a materialistic society, who attend his high end parties but have never even seen Gatsby. This environment feeds into Jay Gatsby's societal standing and success but also allows the collapse of his dreams.

1999: In the novel Jane Eyre, the author Charlotte Bronte uses the protagonist Jane as an outlet for the conflict between religious and human desires. Jane is torn between her want of a traditional family life and her want of a closeness to God. Because of her bringing up in an example of a failed Patriarchal family, she longs for her idea of a romantic family where she feels needed and belongs. She looks to both God and Mr. Rochester for these results, and this choice also sheds light on women in Bronte's time, who also had limited choices and faced the failure of the traditional family- many examples of which are given throughout the novel.

1994: In the short play Waiting for Godot, two men are, as the name implies, waiting together for a man named Godot. However, the reason they are waiting and who this man is are left out. Because of the similarity in his name to God and the unwavering manner in which these men are waiting for his arrival, many religious implications can be found throughout the play. The effects of Godot himself, whether viewed as a parallel to a religious figure or not, can be seen in the actions of the two protagonists even though he takes no action in the play,

hillary said...

In The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby is a stereotypical upperclassman with more problems and ulterior motives than what meets the eye. It is Gatsby’s perfectly stereotypical character that aids in Fitzgerald’s overall purpose. His execution of grand parties versus the subtle backdrops of Gatsby’s lonely house demonstrates attention to mood and setting. Fitzgerald attempts to prove that wealth masks the complexity of each unique individual.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare characterizes Hamlet to have great opposition to the kingdom’s wishes as Prince of Denmark. Hamlet wishes to go to school and to completely escape the confines of his motherland instead of staying, marrying, and complying with princely duties. Hamlet conflicts with his inner passion and his blood-entitled duty to his kingdom. Society pushes towards Hamlet’s best effort in hopes of having a great king in the future. Shakespeare operates his play to parallel a decision between heart and mind and challenges the question of “Who has the say in Young Hamlet’s life?”

Oftentimes we become conflicted with the morality of our actions. In Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester’s imprisonment of his first wife Bertha is of a cruel nature. However, it is through Jane’s first person narrative and her undeniable love for him that downplays Rochester’s evil act. Her contemplations and inner observations always conclude with positive assumptions towards Rochester’s “true” character. Bronte also manipulates the different aspects of Rochester’s life to be much more complex than what is expected from his “cold” exterior. It is our own human instinct to sympathize with Rochester because of his forced marriage and Bertha’s insanity. The author suggests that a person’s character should be given a chance to be considered with more than just a first impression.

At times it becomes difficult to distinguish wants between needs. In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Jane must choose between a life of freedom and a life of a wife. Jane’s desire for freedom, excitement, and nature is her moral calling. However, as a woman of the Victorian era, Jane is also expected to settle for a family at her young age according to social customs. There is much conflict within Jane’s character about which road to take, which holds true for most (if not all) humans. Bronte challenges the ethics of staying true to one’s own desires or staying accustomed to traditions.

hillary said...

1982 bulletin #1
In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the men of a typical African village challenge each other in annual fighting tournament that determines the strongest man in the village. All of the men dream of achieving this title because it allows for a high social position and many wives. Achebe depicts this struggle to compare this seemingly farfetched African village to our society nowadays. The animalistic violence of these men demonstrates his use of imagery as well as parallelism. He suggests that the pressures feeding power hungered people are the societal standards that our human race created.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Queen Gertrude is the target of both King Hamlet and Hamlet’s vengeance. As a woman, a queen, a mother, and a wife, Gertrude is expected to emanate control and gentleness. She, however, betrays her family in marrying again shortly after her husband’s death. Her innocent façade throughout the play was the root of all the trouble the royal family went through. Shakespeare’s play on the delivery of her lines manipulates first impressions on this seemingly blameless queen. His decisions to omit information and include what scenes to show control the intended flow of suspicion. Shakespeare ultimately suggests that women are generally to blame for any source of malevolence due to their selfish nature.

In Jane Eyre, Bronte introduces modern society and compares it to the natural countryside. Jane’s residency in each of these two habitats creates completely different settings and mindsets for the story. Bronte demonstrates this change through Jane’s ability to meditate within the protecting walls of Mother Nature as opposed to Jane’s restricted privacy in Rochester’s home. The author ultimately suggests that escaping to nature is the best way to resolve problems.

In Henry Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Torvald is a minor character that proves to be much more than a clueless husband. His character is very conscious of the potential damage Nora has done to his name and he quickly shows her the door. Only through Torvald’s lack of sympathy does Nora finally understand the strength of her relationship and her standing in society: a naïve housewife. Only then does Nora make her concluding move of righteously leaving and following her own path. Ibsen’s use of Torvald’s character highlights the demeaning treatment and oppression of the female race in the 1800s.

A story should never just end, but it should conclude as well. Charlotte Bronte ends Jane Eyre with powerful words from one of St. John’s letter to Jane. It reconnects religious and moral aspects to Jane’s character that she had temporarily committed to when in need. Jane ends with St. John’s proclamation to establish an official end to their mutual journey of finding the “peace of God” that previously seemed unattainable. Bronte’s decision to end with St. John provides moral tranquility that complements the tragedies of Jane’s story throughout the novel. She suggests a reconnection with God is always proper and necessary even when peace is hand.

2006 Form B
Sometimes running away is the best option. In Kavalier and Clay’s Amazing Adventure by Michael Chabon, Josef makes a physical move from Prague to New York in escaping Nazi-infested Europe. His escape parallels with his fascination with escapism and further heightens his risk for excitement and adventure. His physical environment changes along with his mental adaptation to the American life.

Kellie said...

Year: 1977
In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the reoccurring event of Jane’s search for her true self is an event that is seen throughout the entire novel. Jane’s continuous action of running away from her problems is seen ever since she is a little girl being sent away to school, as well as when she runs away into nature when she feels the need to find herself. Every time Jane is in a situation where she feels shunned or looked down upon by society, she always leaves and escapes by running away. Jane does this predominantly through the entire book, but she never knows what she is running towards. This sequence of reoccurring events plays a huge role in Jane’s entire mission, because she portrays herself as someone who keeps running away, regardless of her ability to face her fear of not being accepted by others in society. The impact that social influence plays on Jane is apparent in her reoccurring flee from society, as well as herself.

Year: 2006
In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, a country setting is used as Jane’s ultimate safety place. This is the only place where Jane feels like she belongs. Through this nature, Jane is able to connect with her true self, isolating herself from society, and the pressures it has formed upon her throughout the entire novel. This country setting is used by Jane as a way to disconnect with expectations of society, and form a connection with something greater and more powerful, which is a spiritual being.

Year: 2007
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, betrayal is a huge theme that is highlighted by most of the characters. The most significant and important betrayal is Ophelia’s betrayal to her love, Hamlet. Though Ophelia is in total love with Hamlet, she goes behind his back and runs to her father when Hamlet overreacts. Ophelia betrays Hamlet through her father. This betrayal is evident through the entire play, and touches upon the important role of family versus the self, and what is best for Ophelia.

Year: 2004 Form B
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, death is a reoccurring theme throughout the play. The scene which impacts the play the most is the last scene, where there is a mass murder, and everyone dies upon the poisoning by Hamlet. This death scene proves to be very important to the play as a whole because it highlights the idea of misfortune and misery upon everyone involved in the play. This also proves as important because it highlights how oblivious everyone is to their own destiny. In using a potion to kill a numerous amount of characters, this death was quick and easy, which also contributes to the idea of how oblivious everyone is of their own destiny.

Year: 2003 Form B
Cultural collision plays a huge role in the book Heart of Darkness, especially for Marlow, a white man, who embarks on a journey to Africa. After being surrounded by the numerous different aspects of this new land, Marlow is faced with difference. In responding to this cultural shock, Marlow is not so accepting of the different people and places he is faced with. Marlow associates everyone and everything he sees as “shadows” and dark figures. This darkness that Marlow associates the new land with contributes to the non-acceptance of other cultures as a result of fear or confusion of being subdued to such a different land.

Kellie said...

Year: 1981
In Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot”, the two main characters are waiting for a character whose name is in reference to God, “Godot”. The entire story is a biblical reference to the coming of the Lord. The allusion of this biblical reference enhances the work because it gives deeper meaning to the reason as to why the men are waiting. Contrary to the work as a whole, this reference contributes to the idea that everyone must have something to look forward to, or even wait for.

Year: 1979
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster Frankenstein is seen as a monster and villain because he does not fit the role that society puts upon him. This monster is seen as a threat, and as something that can cause harm to anything in its path. This monster can be viewed in a different light when its full presentation is put forth. By Shelley using so many contributing factors such as background information and context of his creator, she humanizes this monster, creating a more sympathetic reaction from the audience.

Year: 1975
In the short story, “A Doll’s House”, Nora is stereotyped as the typical wife who has no control of her life, or of her family. She is solely dependant on her husband, and his support. The author creates Nora’s character as a portrayal of numerous women and their weakness in society. The effect of Nora’s weakness contributes to Nora’s final act of leaving her husband and children. In developing such a weak character, the effect of Nora’s final action is greater and more dramatic.

Year: 2008 Form B
In the book “A Raisin in the Sun” by J.D. Salinger, the character Holden is faced with the terrors and trials of adolescence that he goes through on his journey in finding himself. Though Holden is an older child, he still faces identity problems that some children face as well. He does not know where he belongs, and what he should be doing with his life at times. Through this journey of adolescence, Salinger hints upon the idea of growth, and the destruction that society can play on its children.

Year: 2005 Form B
In J.D. Salinger’s “A Raisin in the Sun”, Holden tries to free the grip of society from himself and its influence upon himself. Holden struggles to find the power within himself to free himself from the eyes of society, and he creates a character that is specifically a social outcast. In finding this power that he must gain, Holden displays themes of growth and maturity, as well as an acceptance of himself, regardless of what society puts upon him.

Jen said...

In the novel, All Things Fall Apart, there’s a scene of celebration that demonstrates the society the characters live in and Okonkwo’ level in that society. The town celebrates the death of a fallen hero, to show the importance of men in the society. Okonkwo is also the leader throughout the ceremony. To honor this man who has died Okonkwo fires a gun, and he ends up accidentally killing a young man. The way they honor this man shows that this society is not completely civilized. After killing the young boy, Okonkwo loses all he has worked for, and becomes and outcast. This novel demonstrates the clashes of different cultures, and how they go about keeping order in their society, because it’s something all man kind need to keep order.

Shakespeare uses Hamlet to comment on many of society’s faults through his characterization of those of different gender in the upper class, in his play Hamlet. Through his female characters Ophelia and Gertrude he projects many ideas. With their actions of betrayal he is able to perceive women as weak, cunning, and untrustworthy beings. Shakespeare conveys the idea that society is destructive by shunning those who goes against the norm; which is why many of the characters view Hamlet as crazy. He also demonstrates how n society women are the weaker gender, because they can’t survive without the guidance of men.

In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses Mr. Rochester to demonstrate how keeping a secret can affect the life of others. Because of his decision to keep his first wife a secret Mr. Rochester ends up losing Jane. Rochester keeping his wife a secret allows him to have a semblance of a normal life where he won’t be shunned for having an abnormal wife. The way the secret is revealed through another characters, pushes Jane to run away, because she then realizes that men are untrustworthy. Mr. Rochester keeping a secret from Jane leads her to a journey which allows her to find herself. Charlotte Bronte demonstrates the decisions made affects the life of others, and that pain and doubt are needed in order for individuals to find themselves.

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness focuses on the life of Marlow and his experience in the Congo. His character fights against the savageness found in the natives in Africa, while trying to stay rooted to his English civility. This character’s journey reveals, the savageness, and barbaric roots that can be found in all men no matter how civilized they have become. This shows the contrasts between the societies in which he lived in, with rules, tameness, and civility; compared to that primitive calling of wildness that he finds in Congo. This novel demonstrates that those who claim to be civilized are a dark and savage as those called uncivilized, through the torture, and treatments of the natives. Conrad shows the destructiveness of mankind, and how that darkness, and that connection to the untamed side can never be forgotten.

In A Doll’s House Ibsen shows the sacrifices made by women throughout society in order to please the men. Nora. This idea is shown through the contrasts between the role and status of Nora and her husband. This novel focuses on women sacrificing their integrity for men, by being these men play things. They follow and act out everything these men tell them to Nora represents the women who have suffered through the hands of their husband, fathers, brothers and other men in their lives. The way Torvald treats and views Nora as a child who cannot make a decision for herself leads to her realizing how much she’ being manipulated, and how much she’s given up.

Jen said...

In the novel Beloved by Tony Morrison, Beloved seduces her mother’s boyfriend which causes him to have an internal conflict having to choose between his love for Sethe and his lust for her daughter, Beloved. Coming back into Sethe’s life he’s become the man of the house who Sethe is creating a new life with. The reader sees this character struggling to stay faithful to Sethe while being tempted by Beloved. This conflict that’s pulling him apart demonstrates the destructiveness of human kind and how betrayal is part of their nature.

Charlotte Bronte demonstrates the state of society through her novel, Jane Eyre. Using her main character, Jane, as an outsider in society she is able to demonstrate the importance of class and its role and effect on human kind. Jane’s displacement throughout the novel shows how the rules of society for both gender and class must be followed or that individual will be seen as an outsider. Bronte demonstrates this through the many journeys taken by her main character in order for Jane to find herself after being rejected by society.

Jen said...

In Ibsen A Doll’s House, Mrs. Linde can be viewed as a foil character because the way she is portrayed contrasts Nora’s character. Nora is seen as playful, naïve, and irresponsible, whereas Mrs. Linde is seen as a mature, responsible, lady. The relationship between Nora and Mrs. Linde allows the reader to vie the complexity of Nora’s character; because at times she can be just as mature as her friend and when she’s with her husband she acts very childish. Through the relationship of Nora and Mrs. Linde Ibsen is able to demonstrate how women are viewed as weak, irrational and irresponsible, however they are smarter than they act and can be very manipulative.

2006 Form B
In Pride and Prejudice, every time Jane takes a journey it’s to further her relationship with Mr. Darcy. Each journey taken to new place brings them to a newer level that helps their relationship grow. Austen shows that journeys can lead to different things in life.

R. Gallagher said...

For Sampy, who is having trouble with her sign in:

Symbols often are ambiguous throughout novels. In Philip Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, a symbol that appears frequently is in the form of a dangerous narcotic, called Substance D. Dick’s use of the drug symbolizes the change that society and outside forces can have on good people and turn them into a villainous character. The symbolic element of the Substance D allows Dick to create an alternate society that shows how difficult it is to conform to the norm and how easy it is to allow one’s life to be torn apart.
2009, Form B
The social dynamic of women has drastically changed within the last hundred years or so. In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, there are many examples of feminist ideals that Nora, the protagonist, faces with her oppressive husband, Torvald. Throughout the play, Nora is played as inferior to her husband, where he acts more like a strict father than anything else. Ibsen tackles the issue of women and the sacrifices they make to their husbands and children within his play. While describing the role of women in the late 1800s, the author is able to create the world of those suffering in her role.

2006, Form B.
In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, the young protagonist encounters more than one physical journey throughout the novel. The trips she makes from the only home she’s ever had, with her aunt and cousins, in search of a family who truly loves her. She ends up with a man, Rochester, in Thornfield and, upon finding out he has a secret wife, leaves to go on another journey. During this time, she finds out what she wants for herself, leading her back to Rochester. Through her journey, Eyre was able to find the family she never knew she had and completed her symbolic journey within herself, ultimately marrying Rochester.

2005, Form B

In Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, the young protagonist, Lily tries to escape the oppressive and abusive control of her father, T. Ray. In this struggle, Lily creates friendships and is able to live a life free from her father’s abusive power against her. The novel is a depiction of those who fight the control of those who should not have it. In Lily’s escaping her father, she allowed herself the forgiveness of the accidental death of her mother and created her own person. The lack of power over her allowed her strength to show.

2004, Form B

Those who die in plays and novels are often more important in death. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia’s death impacts ever living character, especially Hamlet and Ophelia’s brother, Laertes. Her death released Hamlet from his acted insanity, and he confessed the love he denied for her through the middle portion of the play and Laertes expressed expected grief for his lost sister. The death caused a conflict between the two men, leading to everyone’s death at the end of the play. The theme developed in her death was that of family hatred. Laertes never wanted Ophelia with Hamlet, nor did Hamlet want anything to do with Laertes. After Ophelia’s suicide, the plot unfolded in an increasingly negative way.


In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, the ambiguity that Rochester creates is necessary to create his interesting personality within the text. He comes off in many different lights – he is considered strange, cold, warm, loving, or friendly. He changes his tone with Jane throughout the novel, never really showing how he truly feels until he asks to marry her. Once his first wife is exposed, shut up in the attic, it is still textually unclear whether or not Rochester did a good thing keeping her hidden in the attic and taking care of her, or if it was a terrible thing to do. Through his strange and possibly terrible actions, the reader receives a skewed view of Rochester through Jane’s narration.

Sandy. J said...

1970 Prompt
In Henrik Ibsen’s A Dollhouse, the protagonist, Nora lives in a society where women’s roles are limited. The story takes place during the Victorian era, and during that period of time women were supposed to be submissive, and only seen as wives and mothers. Ibsen portrays this idea through Nora’s character and the manner in which she acts with her husband Torvald. In the play, Torvald refers to Nora as his “little skylark”, and Nora obediently responds with no complaints. Nora’s character exhibits the role women in played in society during that time period, they were submissive and dependent on either men or the jobs they had to define themselves. Although Nora proved to be independent in some ways, her sole responsibility was to be the caretaker of her home. Nora showed society’s expectations on women when she asked Torvald about buying a gift for Christmas, she needed money from him; therefore she acted as whatever he wanted her to. Nora’s portrayal of a dependent and obedient woman thus showed Ibsen’s message about women in society in general.

1976 Prompt
In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the protagonist Jane doesn’t conform to the society that she lives in. Jane is characterized as a young girl who strives for individuality and personal growth, which has nothing to do with society or its expectations of what a young girl should be like. In the novel, Jane undergoes a conflict within herself. As a young girl, Jane was an orphan that lived with her uncle’s family. She never belonged, thus began her search to find herself and her purpose in life. Bronte shoes the development of Jane’s character through a series of places that Jane traveled on her journey. One of the most important ones was her finding religion and how that pertained to her character. Jane developed morals through religion and learned that God is omnipotent and is always there for his children. Bronte displays the idea that although one lives in society, one doesn’t have to live by society. He or she can resolve his or her conflict through experiences and his or her personal understanding of it.

1990 Prompt
In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Hamlet and her uncle who is also his stepfather aren’t on good terms. The new king (Hamlet’s stepfather) married hamlet’s father after only two months of his decease. Hamlet is infuriated about the whole situation, and called his mother “Frail” as a result. The conflict between the King and prince Hamlet shows the struggle of power that existed during that era. Shakespeare also demonstrated Hamlet’s perspective on women and through that shows how women were seen generally in society. The conflict between the two is because the King Married Hamlet’s mother. Shakespeare introduced an idea of immorality through Hamlet’s thoughts and actions. Shakespeare showed how individuals lost their morals for personal and selfish desires. He also suggested that women were weak, and were dependent on men for support and happiness.

Sandy. J said...

1992 Prompt
In A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Mrs. Linde served as Nora’s confidante. She is a childhood friend that reappeared in Nora’s life as both of them became adults. Nora trusts in Mrs. Linde, and she listens to her marriage problems. Mrs. Linde’s role in the novel is the mature character that has had some horrible experiences in life. Her character helps guide Nora into being a more serious character that deals with serious issues. Mrs. Linde’s rigid character makes Nora appear sillier than she actually acts, and reveals her true personality. When Nora is around Mrs. Linde, her diction changes, and so do her approaches towards certain subjects. Ibsen utilizes Mrs. Linde’s character to reveal complexities within Nora’s character and how she adjusts to different situations.

1994 Prompt
In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the minor character Horatio does not appear often in the play. His presence is significant because he appears when Hamlet truly needs him. Horatio was present in the beginning of the novel when the Ghost of King Hamlet appeared and he had a message hamlet. The fact that Horatio appeared at the beginning of the play has major significance, it shows that he is at the beginning of the story and plays a major role of how it’s going to develop. The whole play was based on Hamlet’s revenge for his father’s death, and it was the Ghost’s wish which Horatio was there for and was the first person to see the ghost. Horatio was Hamlet’s Kinsmen, but he was the only character in the play that was completely loyal to him. Horatio also appeared at the end of the play when Hamlet was dying, and he was right there for Hamlet to die in his arms. Shakespeare shows how Horatio was the only man that didn’t betray hamlet, the irony is that he seems to play such a small role in his life, but yet it might have been the most important. Through that Shakespeare suggests that the farthest one to an individual might be the most important.

1997 Prompt
In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby held these fancy parties for the elites. The parties were lively, and many people showed up to them dressed up and ready to mingle with the other social elites. The irony in the novel is that Gatsby didn’t know the people that were at his party. Fitzgerald uses the parties to illuminate Gatsby’s desperation for acceptance into a society to which he did not belong. He threw those parties for people to know him, and for him to feel rich when in reality he wasn’t. The parties were a representation of Gatsby’s loneliness, and they contributed to his web of lies. They were a part of this whole identity that he had created, the same identity he had to keep inventing through lies and falsity. In reality Fitzgerald showed the reader how poor Gatsby really was, not financially, but internally and psychologically. He was not only lying to himself, but to everyone around him, and he had to live with that fact every day.

Sandy. J said...

2002 Prompt
In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, Walter Lee is a morally ambiguous character. Walter Lee was ambiguous about which decision to make that was in the best interest of his family. Walter Lee was a confusing character because at times, he seemed good, at times he seemed evil. Walter Lee wanted to utilize the money his father left to open a liquor store, but that was his dream, and not his family’s. He was acting selfish, and as if he’s a man that lacks morals. Walter Lee’s family didn't live in the best conditions, therefore whatever decision he was making should have benefited his family. Hansberry stresses the importance of family in the novel, and shows that family comes first. She implies that one ahs a moral obligation to take care of his or her family, and that contributes to his or her morals and outlook on life.

2002 Form B
In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll had to keep his creation Mr. Hyde a secret. The reason why Dr. Jekyll had to keep his alter ego a secret was because of the eerie felling that he provoked from people. Mr. Hyde was a horrible creature that represented the dark side of Dr. Jekyll himself. Dr. Jekyll was a respected man in society; he was a well known doctor that was known for his philanthropies. Dr. Jekyll did not want the ugly side of himself revealed, Mr. Hyde was described as an ugly deformed man, and some people even questioned if he was human. Mr. Hyde is violent, and mean, Dr. Jekyll couldn’t risk losing his reputation because of him. Stevenson displays that humans in general have a darker side; we put on a facade, or our good side to be pleasant and to be accepted in society. In the novel, Stevenson shows the split personalities of man and the effect a secret can have on an individual.
2004 Form B
In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the death of King Hamlet was the central point of the story. The whole play was based on his death, and how Hamlet is going to avenge it. Shakespeare uses the king’s death as a way to introduce the plot of the story and the characterization of the characters. The king’s death is what caused the marriage between Queen Gertrude and the new King Claudius. It was also what drove Hamlet mad, and what caused a series of events throughout the play. Through the king’s death, Shakespeare showed family betrayal, along with many other important themes. The death allowed for Hamlet to get revenge, and it showed that revenge was a major theme in the play.

2006 Form B
In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Jane goes through a physical journey with many different paths. The journey symbolized her spiritual and mental growth as an individual. She moved to different locations such as Thorn field and Longwood to show what she has been through throughout the course of her life. Jane undergoes a spiritual journey when religion played a role in her life. She learned that she could turn to God for her problems, and that God was “omnipotent”. Jane also wet through a mental journey where she went to nature to find solace within her self and her environment. The physical journey represented Jane’s search for her identity and the ambiguity that she went through as she grew older. In the end, Bronte showed us how Jane finished her journey and found solace in a home and a happy marriage.

Jackie said...

In the Great Gatsby, the protagonists Gatsby and character Daisy, struggle against the oppression that the society of the 1920’s puts upon them. Though on the surface the society of the time period seems liberated and carefree, it is clear that there distinct tension between the older wealthy upper class, East egg, and new money of West Egg. Though there love affair goes back for many years, society will forever keep them apart because it is unacceptable for old class and new class to mix. Throughout the book Gatsby and Daisy struggle to be together in the end destroys them, with Gatsby losing his life and Daisy being forced to accept her fate as a domestic stereotype.

1975. #2
In Waiting for Godot, the story of two unlikely companions unwinds around the awaited arrival of a mysterious Mr. Godot, though the Samuel Beckett does employ a narrator, what is most effective to the audience reactions are the explicit stage directions as well as a never changing setting that highlights the characters qualities and key aspects that illuminate the idea of never ending faith and patience.

1977 #2.

In Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, each act begins the with the same opening with only minor changes, the characters repeat conversations that they had in previous acts as well as actions that they had previously done. However, in each act something about each of the characters changes either physically, mentally, or emotionally. This almost identical repetition of events, shows how something expectations can drive the mind mad.

In Robert Louis Stevensons Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll’s alter ego, Mr. Hyde, is characterized as being evil to the core. His crimes of murder, robbery and assault, all prove him to be so, however when taking into account the oppressive society of the book as well as the duality of Mr. Hyde, it is apparent that his actions are only demonstrations of the frustrations that people of the Victorian era all faced. Mr. Hydes actions combined with his life in the shadows and protection of his lighter side Dr. Jekyll, depict the fact that man must always hide his true self from society, he must fight the vices inside of him, the ugliness that is in the human mind, Mr. Hyde is only evil because he is the physical representation of this.

In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester, despite his hard exterior and mysterious actions falls in love with and proposes to Jane Eyre. However his plans for marriage are dashed by the revelation of a marriage between him and one Bertha Mason, the mysterious woman in the attic. Though his heart belongs to Jane Eyre, he is forced to let her go and respect his duty to his mad wife. This inner conflict within Rochester echoes the conflict of the current battle between the old nobility against the new emerging industrial merchant class.

Jen said...

2005 Form B
Human’s desire for power can be seen through the struggle of those affected by it. This idea is shown through William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. The king’s brother demonstrates this through his action of poisoning his brother at an attempt to gain the crown and become the new king. He classifies hamlet as crazy and irrational and he ruins the relationship between Hamlet and his mom because of their incestuous marriage. Hamlet demonstrates what humans will do to gain power and how others are affected by their decisions.

Jackie said...

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Jose Buendia commits murder in his wife’s honor, killing a man who claims that there marriage was never consummated. He kills this man with a spear through the heart and is later haunted by his ghost. This act of violence not only serves as the turning point that causes the family to leave and establish a new town but also as a constant reminder of why the family will never find peace and will forever be cursed for there sins and actions.

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nick Bottom is a man who has his head turned into that of an ass, by the mischievous Puck. Though the physical part of this provokes laughter, it is the idea that Nick Bottom is indeed an ass, he is ignorant to all others, and is self-serving, thus proven in the fact that he does not notice until he is told. Bottom’s situation is a pun showing man’s ignorance and greed. Bottom’s realization of this and change of heart shows how man can evolve to look inside of himself to bring out his greater good.

Stephanie A. said...

In any community, there are standards that are set by society that ultimately dictate the lives of individuals. When an individual steps out of society’s definition of what is acceptable or normal, often that individual will have a difficult being themselves because of the influences around them. In Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the society she grows up in puts a huge emphasis on class and family. Different social classes did not mix well and if one was not directly related to a family member, they were looked down upon. Not did Jane struggle with acceptance within her family and class structure, but she was an out casted in general. As Jane lived with her aunt she learned all this and this affected her rebellious nature into a tamed woman when she grew up. Jane conformed to wanting a family and having money in order to be accepted by the people around her.

Women are often stereotyped as the weaker character when compared to men because back in the days when women were typically house wives and ever further back in history before that, women always played the role of being vulnerable and needing a man to guide them. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy is a character who acts as the stereotypical naive young women who marries only I want of feeling secure. Rather then go for the man she loves, she settles for a man with wealth because she allows her actions to be dictated by men. Unfortunately women in novels often reside with what they believe they have to do in order to be normal, comfortable, or financially stable rather then doing what they want to do in order to fit in with the high class society.

It takes a strong personality to maintain their opinion against a society that opposes. It takes an even stronger personality to not only maintain their opinion, but take action against a majority who has no choice but to obey the standards of the society they are living in. In the story of Antigone, her society is forbidden to have a funeral for her brother, but Antigone rebels and has her own funeral for her brother because she believes it is the right thing to do. Society may have agreed with Antigone all along but our of fear of disobeying the rules of their society, no one dared to oppose the rules, not even Antigone’s own sister. By following what Antigone felt was right, she goes against the manipulated society and does what is morally correct in her heart.

When a jury gets involved in determining an outcomes it becomes complicated because bias opinions can often become a part of the determining factor and can over shadow was done wrong. In Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester commits an act that is completely unmoral. He tricks Jane into almost marrying him while he himself still has a wife. As a result, Mr. Rochester is about to do something completely unmoral but we feel sympathy for him as an audience because he wants to marry Jane out of true love. Because his reasoning is so genuine, it almost cancels out the horrible act that he is committing.

Feuds and the fights that can often follow are also instigated by a series of events that prompted the whole situation to happen. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo’s friend and Juliet’s cousin, have a fight scene. Interestingly enough, the pair seems to not be fighting on their own terms, but fighting in representation of each family. The reason for their fighting has nothing to do with themselves personally. As a result, the two end up dying and show unresolved drama does not only have an effect with the people directly involved, but if never resolved, can plague the ones you love as well who might ultimately pay the price.

Stephanie A. said...

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the villain of the entire play is the new King, Hamlet’s uncle. He is the villain for obvious reasons of tearing the entire kingdom down. The kingdom seems to be ok but in actuality, the new King does things in order to get what he wants, every man for himself. He kills his own brother in order to steal his brother’s wife, he wants to get rid of Hamlet, and takes over the kingdom. At the end, the King pays the consequences of his actions and shows that you really can not just do what you want, a price will be paid no matter how well you keep your actions a secret, they’ll always come back to haunt you, and in the cause of the entire play of Hamlet, this haunting is literal.

Women have always seemed like the victim when it came to being in control of ones situation. Women have always played the role of being vulnerable. But as time changes and progress, so must the ideas of society that seem to oppress a group of people, in this case woman. The author of A Doll’s House, portrays this idea of women taking charge as the main character, who is the typical house wife and treats her husband as a master she must completely obey and life for, realizes she must live for herself and discover what makes her happy in life. Through this, a message of having to live for yourself is shown as well as how women during that time had to take control of their own lives rather then live to please others within the house wife role.

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, there is a conflict between Juliet and her father. Juliet must choose between following her heart and being with Romeo, of obeying her father which would ultimately give no stable reason to the continuation of the feud between Romeo and Juliet’s families. Although the father does not realize it, allowing Juliet to be with a man from the opposing family, could have had a positive affect on the feud, possibly ending the entire conflict, but the ego and pride of Juliet’s father gets in the way and the feud that could have ended, ends in tragedy to the expensive of true love.

The main character in the play A Doll’s House, confides in her friend what is going on with her life and the trouble she is in. Because the main character is so clueless and the friend is move experienced in life, the friend plays a bigger role the just a friend that will listen. The women who is the friend of the main character ends up pushing the main character to be independent and honest with herself and as a bigger picture, forces the main character to grow up and be a real adult. This female friend to the main character acts as the under tone reason why the main character progresses as an independent individual showing how good friends can lead us in the direction we need to be heading in with our lives.

2002, Form B
Secrets are kept secret because it’s vital information to the beholder of the secret or because it has a significant meaning to the secret holder’s life. With the existence of secrets, they are more then often pieces of information that has to be told in order to advance in a plot or set someone free. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet has to keep a secret that he is told by his father who embodies a ghost. The secret is that his uncle killed his father and Hamlet must seek revenge in his father’s name. The problem with the secret is that it can only be revealed at the right moment. If Hamlet revealed the secret too early, he might be seen as crazy or no one would believe in. But the secret being revealed at the right moment would only enable Hamlet to seek his revenge although in the end, no revenge is sought after and everyone seems to pay a consequent price.