Monday, June 3, 2013


Welcome to AP English.  You may complete the second part of your summer assignment as a comment on this post.

Happy Blogging!

-Ms. H


  1. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
    Carly Trombley

    The personal meaning of Alice in Wonderland for me was the act of growing up. Alice encountered many different challenges during her journey through Wonderland, but the way she reacted to the challenges given to her showed that she was learning and growing up. At the start of the novel she would get flustered with the characters of Wonderland and cry out of confusion. But toward the end of the novel she handled the given obstacles with composure and collectiveness, thus making it easier for her to get out of difficult situations. I find as i get older i learn the same things and apply them to obstacles that i have to face every day.

    The personal meaning of Through the Looking Glass for me was to recognize how quickly childhood passes by. Before Alice knew it she was making more adult decisions than the adults of Wonderland. But no matter how much maturity she gained over the novel, she was still able to keep the childhood imagination that she had in the first book. Going into my senior year I am beginning to realize that adulthood is just around the corner. This could apply for people in general of all ages as well. Children realize at some point that they are growing up, and more adult choices need to me made. Adults who have already grown up could potentially wish that they had their childhood years back to re-make those decisions that got them to where they are. It was a realization for Alice to find her voice at the end of the story, both figuratively and literally, and that is something that we all go through growing up.

  2. After reading The Color Purple by Alice Walker, the most important meaning was how humans are blessed with the ability to alter their lives no matter what their circumstances are. While being born into a poor household in Georgia, Celie is automatically faced with hardships. Her sexually, mentally, and physically abusive father gives her away to an equally abusive man as a wife. The responsibility of taking care of children, cooking, and cleaning maintains the same for years of her life as well. WIthout talking back, resisting the abuse, or standing up for herself, Celie had many reasons to have no faith or positivity in her life.

    Two women influence Celie to create a new life for herself. Shug Avery, a famous singer from Georgia that Celie's husband is in love with is one of them. The other is Sophia, the girlfriend of Celie's "husbands" son Harpo. They together teach her to stand up for herself and be her own person. She ends up moving to Tennessee with Shug, and makes a living for herself. While having every reason to give up, Celie took the positive in her life and made the best out of it. It shows that no matter what the circumstances, no one has any reason to quit. When faced with difficult situations, the best can be made out of them. Even if it seems like we have too much going against us, that should be used as motivation to turn around our situation and make the best out of something. This lesson can be applied to any person, without exceptions. No matter what curveballs life throws our way, we have the ability to react and make the most out of it.

  3. After reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde the meaning to me is that just because someone is attractive and beautiful in appearance, it does not always mean that they are actually that way in their personality. Dorian Gray was a young beautiful man painted by Basil Hallward because Basil saw his beauty. Years passed and Dorian’s appearance changed very limitedly but the portrait changed drastically. Dorian killed Basil, murdered him actually, and the portrait portrayed the real Dorian because it showed the ugly person that he is. After Sibyl committed suicide, the portrait got extremely ugly and after that Dorian wanted to hide it and keep it away from everyone seeing it.

    I feel that if Wilde did not make the painting change as dramatically as he did, the readers would not have really understood how ugly of a personality that Dorian really had. Society can make a person have certain images based on how they look and how they act and that is what the English society did to Dorian. They did not know what he had the potential of doing and did not inform everyone that he was a killer. Dorian had many different personalities that made his portrait become so different than the beautiful young man that was initially painted at the beginning of the story.

  4. The Stranger, I see not only as the title, but the overall meaning of this novel. Meursault discoverers that he is living in a society which searches for constant reassurance and meaning to every past action. He focuses on the future and does not find need for explanation in events that are over. He becomes accidentally involved deeply into the poisonous relationship of his neighbor and a woman. He is threatened by an enemy of his neighbor and murders him. After eleven months in prison, his trial begins and shortly ends. He is found guilty and given the death penalty. With his future already determined, he sees no point in living anymore. He comes to the conclusion that life’s events have no meaning because it always ends the same way.
    Humans as a race has evolved politically, globally, and socially to accept differences. Meursault comes to this realization at the end of his life, but many of those who testified against him in court, had not at all. They all were too focused on finding the meaning behind the murder that Meursault committed. I believe that the goal of Camus when writing this piece was to teach readers that there is no separation or differences between mankind. Everyone is equal. We all have the same future regardless of social standing, race or beliefs. One should never feel alone or, a stranger, in society because ultimately, everyone is the same. Our fate is determined for us with the resolution of death.

  5. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass have been read for generations, and for good reason. Both books are loved by children and adults alike, do to Carroll's keen ability to hide symbolism behind seemingly meaningless objects. Children are fascinated by the talking animals and objects which come to life, as well as the playful imagery that is vivid throughout. Children can always relate to Alice, who is playful and kind, and also has the same fears that all children experience. The novel inspires creativity in its young readers, just as Alice's stories inspire her sister and later her children.
    Adults however, have much to gain from reading the novels. Political satire is abundant throughout Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, challenging faulty judicial systems and overpowered monarchies. Alice is also an interesting case study from a psychological point of view, as the reader must remember that both worlds are created in Alice's mind, and everything serves a purpose. The Queen and Duchess can represent Alice's view of her mother, as their cruelty can be viewed from a child’s point of view as similar as that of a parent's punishments. Constantly characters insult Alice about her intelligence and looks, showing her insecurity and fear of being inadequate. Both novels will continue to fascinate children and adults for a very long time.

  6. Reflection on The Stranger
    After reading The Stranger, I’ve come to realize that the narrator was a very dull man with a relatively emotionless monotone existence until he murdered that man on the beach. Although through that experience we saw him change slightly as a character, he often showed no sentiment and had a relatively black-and-white view about the world. Even with his closest companions he couldn’t bring himself to admit any deep love for them. His lack of feeling made him come off almost as a frustrating character because he was so closed minded. I feel that all people should be able to express themselves even if it is slight, and should always keep an open mind to new ideas. Just because you listen to them doesn’t mean you have to necessarily accept what they have to say nor agree with it, but you should at least have the courtesy to not day dream while they’re talking to you, which our main character did often.
    Also our narrator was very hostile to change. In almost everything, he saw no change at all in it over time. I think that this is a miserable way to look at life. To me, change is a very positive and natural thing and should be willingly accepted throughout the course of life. Change creates diversity, and diversity is the spice of life. This was probably the most frustrating things as a reader to have to read; the unwillingness to be aware of and the refusal to accept any type of change in life.

  7. After reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin, I realized that not everything is as it seems. Edna Pontellier is the wife of Léonce Pontellier, who seems to have an easy life to the outside world. Her husband does all the working and she takes care of the children, which to her feels like a trap. While on a family vacation to a cottage in Grand Isle, she develops a relationship with the owners son Robert. She feels happy with Robert, unlike with her own family, but there is one thing in her way and that is her family and children. She feels like a bird, trapped in a cage known as her life. The relationship she develops is the first step in the process of “awakening” and self-discovery, which constitutes the focus of the book. Edna becomes ignorant to the feelings of her family and husband due to her long term of unhappiness.

    When Edna finds a letter from Robert bidding his farewell, she now feels alone in a world in which she feels she doesn't belong. Escaping from the hauntings of her children and her husband, Edna swims far out into the sea and drowns. The moral of the story to me, is that one should do what makes them happy. Not being yourself and changing who you are for someone else, can only make for a long regretful life. The author used Edna to show the reader that if you wait long enough to do what makes you happy, nothing is worth doing anymore. Why do something if it makes you unhappy?