Review for the Mid-Term Exam
January, 2006, in A. P. Writing

A) Sections of the Test"

I) First Essay Question, on Hamlet (25%):

Preparation before the test and what you must bring in, for a one-essay question response:

            1) A single sheet of paper with normal font or normal-sized photocopying

            2) Numbered direct quotations from the play, which you may then refer to by the number when your write, instead of re-copying the entire quotation.  Do, however, thoroughly incorporate the quotation within your analysis.  [Here the easy double-check.  Can we read this and understand it, w/o having to refer constantly to your sheet?]

            3) You may also write a short outline or some key phrases, but NO COMPLETE SENTENCES OR PARAGRAPHS in your own words.

            4) You do not HAVE to use everything on the sheet, and you may use other things "on the fly" if you think of them during the test. 


Basic essay topics:


            1) A. C. Bradley's literary criticism essay on Hamlet's "Intellectual Genius."  I will include a few paragraphs of excerpts from the essay.  We talked about passages on p. 14 and 16 in class.


            2) "To Act"" Definition 1: to pretend, to deceive, to disguise the truth

the honesty issue vs. who is pretending or deceiving whom


            3) "To Act"" Definition 2: to do something

Is Hamlet a big procrastinator, or is he the rational, thinking human who must know for sure before he acts?


            4) "The Imagery of Decay"

            Combining literary critic W. H. Clemen's essay about numerous metaphors, symbols and other literary devices to focus on the recurring idea of "life as an unweeded garden" in the play, of how Claudius has disrupted the natural order of things and it's Hamlet's duty to set it right.


II) Second essay Question (30%): 

Will use Song of Solomon as at least half of the essay

and use examples from either 1984 or Huck Finn as the other half, or use both summer novels as one-fourth each. 


You could also use two examples from the Norton Reader for the second half of the essay, instead of or in some combination with a summer novel.  I will suggest some specific examples for each question. 


Likely subject matter includes:

1) The individual against an often hostile setting; battling with elements of society or your family which clash with the protagonist's beliefs; trying to break free or form your own "mini-society"


2) The protagonist's struggle for identity, often using another important character to either learn from and be guided by, or perhaps to share goals, confirm existence


III) Mechanics and Grammar  (20%):

from The Elements of Style and every final draft of a major essay you've written


1) Converting the passive voice to the active voice

2) Eliminating deadwood and repetition and streamlining sentences

3) Combining two or three weak or overlapping sentences into one   subordinate, more condensed sentence and substituting active main verbs for a main predicate as a form of the verb "to be"

4) Eliminating all sentence fragments and run-ons


IV) One paragraph explanation section:  (25%)  choose 5 excerpts, and write a paragraph each

on mostly the shorter works, with some examples from full-length works as well.   I will use the list below for some of the examples, asking about the significance of the image, action, setting, or quotation, to the work itself.  With section E covering a lot of ground, you will only choose three passages, not six, and write a paragraph each.  Since listing specific passages may help to review, the list at the bottom of this web page will be lengthy, but on the actual test itself, I'd like to keep your choices far lower, perhaps 12-15 passages to choose three responses from.


B) Limits and formulas of how much or how little to repeat:  


1) Sections A and B guarantee a reasonable amount of coverage for Hamlet and Song of Solomon. 


2) The other half of the second essay question offers you an opportunity to use Huck and / or 1984, although it allows you to favor one work more than another, or to use a lesser amount of each work, equally (so an essay might be roughly half on Morrison, a fourth on Twain and a fourth on Orwell, or half Morrison and half one summer novel).  If two shorter works from Norton click with you, you could also pair them with Morrison, instead.


4) I'll include a few excerpts from Twain and Orwell in the paragraph response, but require you not to over-use any particular work, in combination with the second essay question.  So if you use either Huck or 1984 in the second essay, you may NOT use either as one of the three one-paragraph responses.


5) Do not repeat ANY writer in the five one-paragraph choices.


C) Literary terms you should be able to recognize and discuss, especially for the one-paragraph responses:  


1) The Big Six":  syntax, diction, style, imagery, tone, use of concrete details


2) Imagery sub-divides into half a dozen more specific terms, such as metaphor, simile, analogy, personification,


3) Other Rhetorical or literary devices include: hyperbole, irony, allusion, paradox, understatement


4) Syntax and language / grammar: the length and type of sentences used, parallel structure, grammatical structure and use of pronouns,


5) Style: distinctive opening or closing lines, framing devices or extended metaphors to unite an essay, listing of details, the use of point of view (unreliable narrators, shifting points of view, etc.)


D) Material responsible for


A) Major Literary Works to Draw from:


1) Orwell's 1984


2) Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


3) Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon


4) William Shakespeare's Hamlet


B) Norton Anthology and handouts:  shortened, to cover only material possible for Mid-Term

1) General Essays for Discussion: 

the only ones to review for the Mid-Term are:

Dillard's "Sight Into Insight" (p. 700)

Welty's "Clamorous to Learn" (p. 244)

John Holt's "How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading" (p. 249)


2) The Modes of Discourse: Narrative Model Essays

Annie Dillard's "Terwillinger Bunts One" (p. 69)" 

E. B. White's "Once More to the Lake" (p. 52)

Terry Tempest Williams' "The Clan of the One-Breasted Women" (p. 386)

George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant"


Jewelle Gomez's " Swimming Lesson  (p. 251)


3) Thematic Unit on Civil Liberties and Civil Disobedience:

the only ones to review for the Mid-Term are:

Gloria Naylor's "Mommy, What Does 'N _ _ _ _ r' Mean?" (p. 271)

Maxine Hong Kingston's "Tongue-Tied" (p. 293),

Richard Rodriguez's "Aria" (p. 297)

Staples' "Black Men, Public Space" (p. 229)

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (p. 521)

Thoreau's "Essay on Civil Disobedience (handout in class)

Jonathan Swift's " Modest Proposal" (p. 499)


E) Completed List of Passages, 1-13-06


Terry Tempest Williams' The Clan of the One Breasted Woman

           "In Mormon culture, authority is respected, obedience is revered, and independent thinking is not. I was taught as a young girl not to "make waves" or rock the boat." . . . But one by one, I watched the women in my family die common, heroic deaths. We sat in waiting rooms, hoping for good news, always receiving the bad. I cared for them, bathed their scarred bodies and kept their secrets. . . . In the end I witnessed their last peaceful breaths, becoming a midwife to the rebirth of their souls. But the price of obedience became too high."


Page 362, paragraphs 52-54, "As one officer cinched the handcuffs around my wrists, another frisked my body. She found a pen and a pad of paper tucked inside my left boot.

"And these?" she asked sternly.

"Weapons," I replied."

"What they didn't realize is that we were home, soul centered and strong -- women who recognize the sweet smell of sage as fuel for our spirits."


John Holt "How Teachers Make Kids Hate Reading" 

"This is exactly what reading should be and in school so seldom is- an

exciting, joyous adventure. Find something, dive into it, take the good

parts, skip the bad parts, get what you can out of it, go on to something

else. How different is our mean-spirited, picky insistence that every child

get every last little scrap of 'understanding' that can be dug out of a



"From the very beginning of school we make books and reading a constant

source of possible failure and public humiliation. When children are little

we make them read aloud, before the teacher and other children, so that we

can be sure they 'know' all the words they are reading." (Pg. 230)


"Third, and most important, we learn to write by writing, not by reading

other people's ideas about writing. What most students needs above all else

is practice in writing, and particularly in writing about things that matter

to them, so that they will begin to feel the satisfaction that comes from

getting important thoughts down in words and well care about stating these

thoughts forcefully and clearly."



Annie Dilliard "Terwillinger Bunts One"

Page 79, paragraph 38, "Eisenhower's going to win," I announced after school. She lowered her magazine and looked me in the eyes: "How do you know?" I was doomed. It was fatal to say, "Everyone says so." We all knew well what happened. "Do you consult this Everyone before you make your decisions? What if Everyone decided to round up all the Jews?"


"Torpid conformity was a kind of sin; it was stupidity itself, the might stream against which Mother would never cease to struggle. If you held no minority opinions, or if you failed to risk total ostracism for them daily, the world would be a better place without you."


"And in fact it was always clear to Amy and me, and to Molly when she grew old enough to listen, that if our classmates came to cruelty, just as much as if the neighborhood or the nation came to madness, we were expected to take, and would be each separately capable of taking, a stand."


Gloria Naylor, "Mommy, What Does 'Nigger' Mean?"

"Words themselves are innocuous; it is the consensus that gives them true power." p. 271

"I don't agree with the argument that use of the word "nigger" at this social stratum of the black community was an internalization of racism."-p.273 added 1-18-04 "Meeting the word head-on, they proved it had absolutely nothing to do with the way they were determined to live their lives."



Maxine Hong Kingston's "Tongue-Tied" (p. 273) 

            Maxine Kingston: "Why did you do that to me, Mother?"

            Her mother: "I told you."

            Maxine: "Tell me again."

            Her mother: "I cut it so that you would not be tongue-tied. Your tongue would be able to move in any language. You'll be able to speak languages that are completely different from one another."



Staples' "Black Men, Public Space" (p. 217)

            "My first victim was a woman in white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties. I came upon her late one evening on a deserted street in Hyde Park, a relatively affluent neighborhood in an otherwise mean, impoverished section of Chicago. As I swung on the avenue behind her, there seemed to be a discreet, uninflammatory distance between us. Not so."


"It was in the echo of that terrified woman's footfalls that I first began to know the unwieldy inheritance I'd come into, the ability to alter public space in ugly ways. It was clear that she thought herself the quarry of a mugger, a rapist, or worse. Suffering a bout of insomnia, however, I was stalking sleep, not defenseless wayfarers. As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken--let alone hold one to a person's throat--was surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once. p. 218



Martin Luther King Jr. "Letter from Birmingham jail

Page 503, paragraph 3, "But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid."


Page 506, paragraph 14, "We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter."


"Justice too long delayed is justice denied."


"Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty." (p. 515, 50)


 "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."


          "If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me."



George Orwell "Shooting an Elephant"

"And suddenly that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. The people

expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly...But I did not want to shoot the elephant."


            "When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick--one never does when a shot goes home--but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant." added 1-18-04, to round out the description: "He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralyzed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time, sagged flabbily to his knees".


"The sole thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning corpse like that Indian up the hill. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh. That would never do."



Thoreau's "Essay on Civil Disobedience (handout in class) 

"There are 999 patrons of virtue to one virtuous man; but it is easier to deal with the real possessor of a thing than with the temporary guardian of it. . . . Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one."


A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.


"Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one."



Jonathan Swift, " A Modest Proposal"

"I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout."- p. 478


Page 479, paragraph 13, "Infant's flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in March, and a little before and after. For we are told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that fish being a prolific diet, there are more children born in Roman Catholic countries about nine months after Lent than at any other season; therefore, reckoning a year after Lent, the markets will be more glutted than usual, because the number of popish infants is at least three to one in this kingdom; and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of Papists among us." . . . "Men would become as fond of their wives in pregnancy as they are now of their mares in foal--nor offer to beat or kick them--for fear of miscarriage."


Jewelle Gomez's "A Swimming Lesson (p. 251)

            "Now when the weather turns cold and I don the layers of wool and down that protect me from the eastern winter, from those who think a Black woman can't do her job, from those who think I'm simply sexual prey, I remember the power of my grandmother's broad back and I imagine I'm wearing my swimsuit."

            "Face up, eyes open, air in, reach."



Passages from Huck Finn:

A) "Jim looked at the trash [in the river] and then looked at me, and back at the trash again. He had got the dream fixed so strong in his head that he couldn't seem to shake it loose and get the facts back into its place again, right away. But when he did get the thing straightened around, he looked at me steady, without ever smiling, and says: ' . . . Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren's en makes 'em ashamed.'"

It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a

n _ _ _ _ _ r, but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn't do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn't done that one if I'd a knowed it would make him feel that way."


            B) "All right„that's might good; they won't find me, and they'll [the Sheperdsons and the Grangerfords] think I've been killed, and floated down the river, there's something up there that'll help them to think so„so don't you lose not time, Jim, but just shove off for the big water as fast as ever you can."

            I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi. . . I was powerful glad to get away from the feuds, and so was Jim to gety away from the swamp. We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smoethery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft."


            C) "Don't it 'sprise you, de way dem kings carries on Huck?" [the Duke and the King are passed out on the raft, after a drinking bout]

            "No," I says, "it don't"

            ƒ "But Huck, dese kings o' ourn is regular rapscallions; dat's jist what dey is; dey's reglar rapscallions."

            "Well, that's what I'm a-saying; all kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out. . . . [He then cites numerous historical examples] All I say is, kings is kings, and you got to make allowances. Take them all around, they're a mighty ornery lot."


       D) Huck first decides he is morally bound to turn Jim in and writes a letter to the Mrs. Watson. He later tears the letter up and vows to burn in hell, rather than betray Jim.

            It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come.

            [Huck then writes a letter to Miss Watson, telling him about Jim]

            I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off . . . And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river, and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time.  It was a close place. I took it [the letter] up and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied for a minute, sor tof holding my breath, and then says to myself:

            "All right, then, I'll go to hell" and tore it up.


Passages from 1984:

       A) The Inner Party's 3 slogans: 1) "Slavery is Freedom," 2) "War is Peace," and 3) "Ignorance is Strength."


B) "We shall meet in a place where there is no darkness."


C) [In the Golden Country with Julia for the first time] "In the old days, he thought, a man looked a t a girl's body and saw that it was desirable, and that was the end of the story. But you couild not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act."


            D) "Does Big Brother exist?"

            "Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party."

            "Does he exist in the same way I exist?"

            "You do not exist," said O'Brien.


            E) "The mask [of rats] was closing on his face. The wire brushed his cheek. And then„no, it was not relief, only hope, a tiny fragment of hope. But he had suddenly understood that in the whole world there was just one person to whom he could transfer his punishment, one body that he could thrust between himself and the rats. And he was shouting frantically, over and over:

            "Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!"


F) "O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." 

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