AP Language: Great Gatsby Exam

The Gatsby exam will be on Wednesday. You’ll be expected to write two brief essays (2-3 paragraphs, plus a thesis) in response to two of these questions:

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that “there are no second acts in American lives.” Do the life and death of Jay Gatsby demonstrate this claim or refute it? Does the novel ultimately argue that one can never re-invent himself?
  2. How does the motif of accidents reflect the cynicism of the Modernist worldview?
  3. What is ultimately the most to blame for the tragic end of the novel: Tom’s philandering, Gatsby’s nostalgic desire for the past, Daisy’s selfishness, or Nick’s silence?
  4. Fitzgerald is known as the preeminent chronicler of the Jazz Age, perhaps better depicting its excesses and virtues better than anyone. How does Nick Caraway demonstrate both attraction to and repulsion from the lives of the incredibly rich inhabitants of Long Island?
  5. Does the novel argue that Jay Gatsby is a tragic hero responsible for his own downfall or is it a critique of a society in which romanticism is no longer allowed/permitted?

AP Language Essay 6: Welfare in the United States

Your sixth major piece of writing, about welfare in the United States, is due Sunday, November 12 or Sunday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. Please make sure to share it to my Google Docs account before then.

The prompt is located here.

AP Language Essay 4: Media Sensitivity

Your fourth essay prompt, about the role of the media when it comes to publication of sensitive photos, is available for download here.

  • You can do some thinking about the essay, but don’t start until class on Monday. For reasons.
  • Don’t look up outside information.
  • Write brilliantly.

This essay will not be due until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 29.

AP Language: Wilderness and Nature Writing Exam

Below is the list of questions that could potentially appear on the AP Language Wilderness exam. The test will have two portions: one section in which you identify the author of a passage and one section in which you write fully-developed paragraph responses to four of these questions. For the paragraph portion, plan to write detailed, specific arguments that demonstrate knowledge of the text and our class discussions. During your answers, you will need to make reference to at least seven sources.

Potential Paragraph Responses

  1. Contrast the attitudes of John Muir and Aldo Leopold when it comes to the human response to nature. How does each see our role?
  2. Does the life led by Chris/Alex reflect Thoreau’s attitude about simplicity? Or does he go too far in his pursuit of uncomplicated, natural life?
  3. Why does Rachel Carson believe that the American definition of progress is threatening our future and what we should do to respond?
  4. Using at least three sources, make an argument for what should be done to the national parks.
  5. Chief Seattle asked, “what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night?” and Emerson argues that the solitude of nature is essential for the soul. Using these and at least one more source, discuss the argument that nature is necessary for a healthy soul.
  6. Explain Aldo Leopold’s idea of the Land Ethic and apply it to a contemporary environmental dispute.
  7. How does Henry David Thoreau use his examination of nature to explain human behavior?
  8. Time appears as a central concept in many of the pieces we read. Using at least three sources, discuss how environmental writers argue humans should adjust their perception of human time and the natural world.
  9. Using at least three authors, one of whom should be Wallace Stegner, explain how some authors believe that humans only tend to appreciate certain parts of aspects of nature.
  10. Using Thoreau and at least one other source, explain how writers who defend the natural world believe that simplifying our lives is essential for our survival.

AP Language Revision Guide for Unjust Laws Essay

All the first draft comments will be completed by 6:00 p.m. on Monday in Google Docs and many are already done.

Your revision guide for the essay on unjust laws is available here. Your revision is due in class on Thursday, printed with changes bolded. Only substantial revisions that reflect serious changes will be accepted and no late revisions will be accepted.

While some of you are demonstrating real progress in your writing, there were a number of very disappointing responses in this batch. Please review the revision guidelines and follow those suggestions as well as the comments on your paper when you revise. If you have questions, please come see me.