2006 Open Prompt

In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses a country setting to show how primative the country can often be. He has many simple laborers working in a secluded area, where murders take place without anyone in the outside world really noticing. The country setting also manages to create some simple characters, such as Lennie and Candy. Lastly, the setting influences the dreams that the characters have while living there.

Having sheep dogs killed, and Lennie’s puppy, shows that nobody in the country of this book really cares. It is a part of life, and the people just accept it. When Candy’s sheep dog is killed, everyone accepts it, and they try to get him a new dog. Lennie pets his puppy to death, and Curley’s wife to death. The killing of a human being would ordinarily make the news, and cause sensation, but we are left thinking that soon this will only be a memory. The country setting serves to cover up some of the more viscious crimes that take place.

The setting creates a few simple characters. First we have Lennie Smalls, who has always lived in a country area with his protector, George. We have Candy, who offers his life savings for a farm, without any guile or tricks. Carlson is also a part of the story, with him playing a simple brute of a man. The country setting shows how uncomplicated many of these people are. When Candy offers giving all of his money to three strangers, only George is a little apperhensive at first. He warms up to the idea as well, something that would not happen in a city setting.

The biggest influence the country has on the story is with the dreams of the characters. Candy’s dream is to work his own land. He has spent his entire life working for other people, and now he wants to work for himself, still within the country. If this had been any other setting, he wouldn’t have wanted that. Curley’s wife wants to be a movie star, something that is as far away from the country as possible. George and Lenny’s dream is similar to Candy’s dream, to have their own farm with rabbits. Crooks wants his own garden where he can plant what he wants. All of these people clearly want things based on what they have seen. Curley’s wife wants to get out of the country, everyone else wants a better version of it for themselves.

The country setting in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men leads to many mishaps, dreams, and adventures that would not be possible without it. The pleasant setting belies many of the killings that take place there, the people have dreams due to it, and some of the characters are quite simple.

Open Prompt 1 Jan 28

2006 Question 3

3A

This response does a really well job of responding to the prompt and staying on topic. The author focused on the setting of the book, and the specific development it had on one character. The main issue with this response was how much it overfocused on only one aspect of one character. While there was some comparisons between two settings, the majority of the essay was talking about how the Anne was innocent and smart, just like the countryside. As I read it, I felt that the author was simple repeating themselves, without giving much new information. I also thought that the author could include more focused detail. Certain characters were introduced without giving much more thought, when related to the setting. Overall, this author definitely connected the setting to the values of the character they chose, Anne. This is a very strong response.

 

3B

This response tries to respond to the prompt, but doesn’t do that well of a job. One entire paragraph is dedicated to just plot summary, without focusing on the details of the setting. This author connected setting to plot influence, but barely touched on the values of the setting that add to the story. The only affect the author describes is one of confusion due to the contrasting countryside and city. The conclusion makes a different point than the introduction. The conclusion says that the main point the play makes is that of comedy through confusion, whereas the introduction says that the setting develops confusion, in a comedic play. I feel like the author should have focused more on the point they were making in the conclusion rather than the thesis they put forward at the start. The value they would have used would be comedy, and they could show how the differences between the two settings creates comedy. Adding the confusion intermediate weakens their response.

 

3C

The thesis starts out weak, and simply spits back out at the question/prompt. The second paragraph gives no specific examples of setting. The author simply makes generic statements about how the text uses diction and has a stream of consciousness. The third paragraph makes a generic point about how Faulkner says that the south has backward values in his story, but the author fails to provide any specific evidence or plot points to corroborate this argument. The next few paragraphs start to make a point about a specific character being influenced from where they are from, but that is not the same as setting. The book doesn’t (from what I could gather) actually take place in the south. It just has characters that are from the south. All of the comparisons that the author makes seems to rely on calling southerners stupid, even though the south isn’t the setting. The conclusion says that all of the weird bits in the story can be blamed on the south. The author never discusses any values or ideals that might lead to this conclusion.  

Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Summary and Analyses

Author  – Sophocles. Greek playwright, not all of his work survived. He wrote this play for an Athenian contest, where he came second.

Plot:

Oedipus rules a troubled kingdom. He sends his brother in law (Creon) to a oracle, to see how the problem may be resolved. Creon tells Oedipus that the killer of their king must be apprehended for everything to return to normal. Oedipus resolved to find the killer, and asks everyone to find him. Jocasta (his wife) and Oedipus talk, and they summon the sole survivor of the attack that killed Laius. A messenger arrives, and says that Oedipus’ father is dead. Oedipus is happy, because he didn’t kill him, stopping the prophecy. The messenger says that Oedipus’ father is adopted, as is his mother. He tells Oedipus that one of Laius’ men gave him a child, who he gave to Oedipus’ parents. They interrogate that man, who tells Oedipus that he is the son of Jocasta. Jocasta hangs herself, and Oedipus uses her brooches to gouge his eyes out. He leaves, and banishes himself.

Characters:

Oedipus – Prideful king who believes that everything he does is right, and often disregards other people. He holds himself to very high standards.

Creon – Intelligent man who helps in managing the kingdom, and provides advice to Oedipus. He is a little prideful, but is willing to reconcile with Oedipus after their spat.

Jocasta – Oedipus’ wife, who is scared of the truth. She begs him to go back on his promise, and would rather live in ignorance than embrace the bitter truth.

Tiresias – Blind prophet who knows everything. He refuses to tell Oedipus the truth, and when he does, he enrage Oedipus. They have some verbal wordplay, and then Tiresias leaves.

There is no narrative voice here. The point of view is that of the person watching the play. You don’t see anyone’s inner thoughts, just the drama playing out in front of you. The tone is also rather impersonal. Since this is a translation, the author can’t add additional remarks, and interpreting what Sophocles may have meant 2000 years ago is very difficult. The imagery he uses is very strong, especially near the end with the blood pouring out of Oedipus’ eyes is shown. Whenever a character reminisces about their past, it is well described and easy to understand.

Symbolism is very strong. The fall of a prideful arrogant man, with pride being symbolized by Jocasta’s golden brooch. A blind man who sees symbolizes intelligence, such as Tiresias. The majority of the story happened at a crossroads, showing that even though a prophecy was declared, it wasn’t forced on anyone. Oedipus and Laius made it happen on themselves.

Quotes:

Creon – “You are stubborn—obviously unhappy to concede, and when you lose your temper, you go too far. But men like that find it most difficult to tolerate themselves.” This quote is foreshadowing what will happen later in the story, as Oedipus gives up on himself. He would have killed himself, but he was too proud to do that as well. The best form of torture that he can come up with, is to live with himself, because that is the thing he most fears.

Tiresias – “Let me go home. You must bear your burden to the very end, and I will carry mine, if you’ll agree with me.” Tiresias knows what Oedipus will do. He also seems to liken their burden as being similar, foretelling the blindness that will occur to Oedipus. Oedipus chooses not to agree with Tiresias, making his story that much more tragic.

In Oedipus the King, Sophocles illustrates how pride brings downfall, by looking at Oedipus’ character and showing his stubbornness.

This is illustrated by dialogue. Everything is illustrated by dialogue, since there is no voice, and any style is translated. Oedipus starts out by calling his citizens children, and pretends to know what has been going on. He quarrels with the only threat to his rulership, Creon, even when Creon is just trying to help him. He talks with Tiresias, and belittles him, just because of the truth. He does irrational things because of his pride. He finds out who is true mother and father are because of the promise he makes to all the citizens, not because he hates ignorance.

 

Reponse to Course Material

We learned about the different tones that authors will use when talking about literature. This felt like a review of what we learned in British Literature.

Then we started Kite Runner. It was a great book, that kept me hooked while I was reading it. By breaking up the story the way Hosseini did, he was able to keep talking about his themes while appearing fresh. He showed the parallels and the differences between two very different cultures. Our discussions were a bit slow and awkward, but it was nice to hear the thoughts of other people who had just read what I had read. Not going to write much else here, we spent a lot of class time reading. We studied this book quite well, and came up with a good theme statement. The most important theme, in my opinion, was that guilt leads to redemption.

We did peer reviews of poetry blogs this time around, and that was super helpful. I needed to be more concise and accurate with my words and thesis. We also did some practice multiple choice on the Kite Runner, which went smoothly. I need to do more practice AP Lit multiple choice. I did not do well on the 52 that we were given in class. Reviewing my answers made me realize that there are usually two that are similar, but one is always backed better by the text.

We did a final Kite Runner summary and analysis blog. We also read through all of Oedipus Rex, which is a very unique play. It explores 2000 year old tragedy, and I am still amazed by how well it was written, despite being so old. It was still fascinating.

That is all we did. It was mostly reading Kite Runner, which I enjoyed, and some multiple choice work.

The Kite Runner

AUTHOR & SETTING

Khaled Hosseini was born in Afghanistan, during a tumultuous time. He moved to America in the 1980’s, escaping much of the brutal Taliban regime. This novel takes place in Afghanistan for Amir’s childhood, and in America for his adulthood. He returns to a very different Afghanistan in 2001. Amir’s timeline parallels Hosseini’s in many ways.

 

CHARACTERS

The major characters are Baba, Hassan, Soraya, Assef, and Sohrab.

Baba is Amir’s strict father, who wants his son to be like him. He is often disappointed in Amir.

Hassan is Amir’s best Hazara friend growing up. He is raped by Assef while Amir hides, later feeling guilty.

Soraya is Amir’s wife. She moved to the US earlier and ran off with a different man, which divides her from the Afghan community.

Assef is Amir’s tormentor. He hates Hazaras, and brutally beats Amir as an adult after joining the Taliban.

Sohrab is Hassan’s son. He is abused by Assef, saved by Amir, and goes to America. Eventually he smiles.

 

PLOT

The story starts in Amir’s childhood, of him and Baba’s relationship being strained. He has fun with Hassan, and teases him about his illiteracy. There is a kite fight scene, with Amir winning to gain his father’s acceptance, but that is also the same day Hassan is raped by Assef. Amir withdraws from Hassan, and manages to get Ali and Hassan to leave his house.

 

He leaves for America with his father when he is 18, because of the hostilities due to Russia. He and Baba move to Fremont, California, and he finishes high school while Baba smokes and pumps gas. Amir is accepted into college, and he meets Soraya, his future wife. Baba gets cancer, Amir asks him to help him get married to Soraya. After their marriage, Baba dies, and Amir lives in peace for several years.

 

Rahim Khan, Baba’s old business partner and Amir’s favorite adult, sends a message asking for Amir to come to Peshawar, Pakistan. He goes, and a dying Rahim Khan asks him to rescue Sohrab, Hassan’s son, and that Hassan was Amir’s half brother. Hassan is now dead, and Amir feels guilty enough to go to Taliban occupied Afghanistan, and starts searching for Sohrab.

 

He and his driver Farid find Sohrab being abused by Assef, now an adult. Assef and Amir fight, with Assef beating Amir. Sohrab threatens to shoot Assef’s eye out, and then he does. He and Amir escape with Farid to a hospital. Amir recovers, encounters numerous difficulties in getting Sohrab back to America. Sohrab tried to commit suicide, but Amir is able to save him and take him to America. Sohrab is silent for almost a year, but through kite flying they are able to connect, and Sohrab finally smiles.

 

STYLE

Hosseini uses his point of view, as an adult reflecting on his childhood, to add many details to the story. He uses it to foreshadow events to come, and to criticize his choices. We get truly feel when Amir regrets something, or when he was proud of something.

The tone of the novel leans towards the factual and emotional. Hosseini is trying to get you to notice things that people don’t like to talk about. Mainly the horrors committed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, rape, and abuse of power. He also tackles classism, and uses his tone to show what he thinks of each of those topics.

 

There is a lot of imagery in the novel. The imagery of Afghanistan tends to be much more run down and dark when compared with the way Fremont is described. When Amir is injured, we can see exactly how badly beaten he is in our mind. We can picture the darkness that swallows him as he is smuggled into Pakistan.

 

Some symbols I noticed was Assef being abuse of power, Sohrab being innocence, and Amir + Bab showing redemption through guilt. In general, each character can represent a facet of life. There are definitely more symbols in this book, I just need to think about them more.

 

QUOTES

“True redemption is . . . when guilt leads to good.”

This quote serves as a direct theme statement from someone in the book. Many people feel guilt throughout the story, nearly every character. All of them do good things after feeling guilty.

 

“Baba loved the idea of America. It was living in America that gave him an ulcer.”

This quote can be used to explore the ideas of classicism and the difference between what you see and what you get. Baba became a lower class worker once he moved, but he still embraced the idea of the country that would kill him

 

THEME

In Kite Runner, Hosseini makes a compelling argument that guilt leads to redemption.

 

Plot – Amir goes back to Afghanistan because he feels guilty. Baba creates charities to deal with his guilt. Hassan felt guilty for lying about taking money, so he moves in with Rahim Khan. Sohrab feels guilty about being abused, redeeming himself by talking with Amir about a new life.

 

Closed Prompt 2 Blog Post – Arham Jain

Blake focuses on different aspects of a chimney sweeper’s life in his “The Chimney Sweeper” poems. In the first one, he uses anecdotes and imagery to emphasize the work that the sweepers do, and to show the difference between the dirty work and heaven. In the second one, he uses dialogue and metaphors to show a child’s point of view. Both poems convey similar information, but each leaves the reader with a different understanding of the situation.

The first poem focuses on using anecdotes and imagery to convince the reader that the life of a chimney sweeper can be joyful. By using common names such as “Tom”, “Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack” and describing how the chimney sweepers live, Blake uses an anecdote to help build a connection with the people he is talking about. He also uses great imagery, such as “coffins of black” and “green plain, leaping, laughing they run” to show the difference between their work and heaven. He seems to be describing a dream that Tom has, that encourages him to keep sweeping since he will be rewarded in heaven, even though his life is terrible. Black coffins also seems to imply that many of the children are dying due to the soot they inhale.

The second poem uses lots of dialogue to show a conversation between a man and a child who appears to be crying. The entire poem is a conversation, with a child telling the man why he is so sad, and his life’s story. The words “They are both gone up to the church to pray.” tell us, for example, that the child is an orphan. The dialogue makes the story seem more believable, and gives the reader more freedom to interpret, since it is word for word what the child said. Whatever interpretation the reader has, is more powerful because they had to come up with it. This poem also uses metaphors such as “the clothes of death” and “notes of woe” that show how close many of these chimney sweepers are to death. Such drastic comparisons leave an impression in the reader’s mind of what fate eventually befalls young children.

Blake is criticizing the exploitation of children to sweep chimneys, and is using religious elements to make the reader feel even worse for the kids. He does this in two different poems by using literary elements like metaphors, dialogue, anecdotes, and imagery. He is argue for a better future for poor children though his writing.

Closed Prompt 2 11/18

Evening Hawk describes a hawk flying around, and its viewpoint, during sunset. Robert Penn Warren uses his poetic language to describe the majestic hawk, and relates it to embracing how powerful life is. He talks about Time, and the world to show us the different aspects of life..

The first stanza has many references to geometry, with “plane of light” and “black angularity”. Warren is paints a picture of a perfect place through his use of mathematical terms. He talks about light, and describes the contrast with the darkness of the peak. He uses these lines to describe the setting that the hawk is flying through and exploring. The reader gets the impression that the hawk is going from the light of the setting sun, and into the darkness of the mountain willingly, representing how life has its ups and downs.

The second stanza focuses on a different aspect of life: aging. The hawk “Scythes down another day”, showing how we are always losing time. The scythe is a reference to Kronos, who was considered the Titan of time by the Greeks, wielding the same weapon. The rest of the stanza talks about time passing, such as the “crashless fall of stalks of Time”. The next stanza, of one line, states that we all have regrets, that each stalk is “heavy with the gold of our error”. Warren is also alluding to increasing consumerism, which happened during his lifetime, by using the word gold.

The fourth stanza references the Sun. The “last light” alludes to this, but the phrase “world… swings into shadow” makes it clear. Warren is trying to say that only celestial objects can be perfect. Humans make mistakes, and inanimate objects cannot make mistakes.

The last two stanzas describe how all humans can do is learn while we live. Warren mentions a bat whose “wisdom, Is ancient, too, and immense”, telling us that there are other creatures than the hawk, who are part of this world. He is telling us to be like the bat, and learn as much as we can while fumbling through life, before Time catches up to us and the inevitable happens. The description of history “drip in darkness” is simply reinforcing that humans must learn about our past as well. He is asking us to make sure that history is embraced in the light, and not forgotten in a cellar.

Warren uses his language, with powerful diction and allusions, to describe the scene and convey his interpretation of the meaning of life, and how humans can do better. While he may be a little critical of our society, similar to Albee, his words have good intentions behind them. He is hopeful that humans can change the way we look at life.

Response to Course Material

We started out this unit talking about Absurd theatre and comedy. I hadn’t heard of these topic before in a school setting, especially not Theatre of the Absurd. The definition of comedy was very interesting as well. I hadn’t thought about humor following a defined set of rules.

 

Our main focus was The American Dream. I learned so much about Albee, and the time period surrounding that literature. I always feel like literature is a reflection of a time period, and this piece was no exception. This was also the first time I had seen an author critique their time period. I was used to praise of the time they lived in, not outright attack of the era.

 

This was the first Absurdist play I had read, and it was a good introduction. Based on what I have seen so far, this play had absurdist elements, but it wasn’t the best example. The play was non-circular, because the Young Man replaces Grandma at the end. This play has had so many different interpretations as well. We read one interpretation that Grandma represented the old American Dream, while the Young Man represented consumerism and what society was moving towards. While I agreed with this interpretation, I also felt that being given an interpretation was bound to influence the rest of our discussion, which I saw in our theme statements. Most of them seemed to take for granted what the Young Man and Grandma represented.

 

The vocabulary we learned through vocabulary.com was useful in describing the themes from The American Dream. I knew some of the words already, but a few were new to me. Learning new words that can be used to describe is always a good thing. The terms we learned, on the other hand, is only useful to literature. Some of the terms, such as poetry, blank verse, and foot, I will use throughout my life, but words such as epizeuxis I am likely to forget once I get to college. Still, learning all of these terms was an interesting challenge, and recognizing them will be another challenge.

 

Learning about how to tackle the MC AP Lit questions was difficult. Literature is inherently open ended; asking students to narrow choices down between two options was tough. The questions are written so that most of the viewpoints are defensible, but only one is correct. I personally hated that, but I can think of no other way of incorporating MC questions into a literature based class. That is why I enjoyed the writing assessments we had more, because they asked us about our thoughts, and we were free to pick from whatever we wanted to.

 

We covered many different topics over the course of this last month. Most of them can be related to each other, especially the essay writing and the American Dream. I look forward to reading more great literature!

 

American Dream Summary and Analysis

The American Dream, by Edward Albee

Setting

An apartment, set in the 1960’s. Multiple shops near by. The apartment is spacious enough for 3-4 people.

Author

Edward Albee  was adopted when he was very young by rich conservative parents, who he always felt apart from. His parents sent him to multiple boarding schools and academies, which he kept changing. He always felt like a poster child, a toy on display. He left his family in the 1940’s because he wanted to be a writer. He wrote mostly plays that critiqued American culture. He was also a homosexual man, and his parents still forced him into an engagement with a woman.

 

Characters

Grandma – A unique old woman who critiques Mommy, and tries to be caring to most others. She argues with Mommy at the beginning, then says that she is quitting her act and talks normally with Mrs. Barker. Later, she encounters the Young Man, and compliments him on being “The American Dream”. She looks around the house, missing it, before walking out with her boxes. The boxes contain her past 86 years of living, and her dog. She then leaves, escorted by the Young Man. At the end of the play, the audience can see her as an outsider, where she breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience, closing out the play.

Daddy – A man who doesn’t feel right in his own gender. He doesn’t have much say in what goes on, and tends to simply accept what is happening. He shows suicidal thoughts, hoping he could just get it all over with. He is tired of what happens every day in his household. On the whole, he is a hollow character, unusual for the time period. We don’t know his job, but he recently had a gender change surgery.

Mommy – She has most of the lines in the play. As a child, she was a decietful little girl, tricking kids into giving her candy. As an adult, she argues frequently with her mother. She states that “the van man”  is coming to take Grandma away. When she doesn’t get something that she wants, she belligerently attacks the person who is denying her satisfaction. When Grandma leaves, she appears to show some remorse and misses her, however this quickly passes once the Young Man replaces Grandma.

Young Man –  He is in his twenties, and was an identical twin. He claims that he feels hollow inside, after incidents occurred to his twin.He seems  to represent a Gilded Age, where everyone just wants what they can buy with money. He is quite happy to comply with whatever if someone has money. Despite with the young man says, he is still quite caring towards others. At the end of the story when Grandma is walking out, he offers to escort her to the elevator.

Plot

The play starts with Mommy and Daddy complaining that some visitors are late. As they complain about how they can’t get satisfaction, Mommy recounts how she went to go buy a hat, and returns it after she feels the color was off. Daddy nods along and just goes with the flow.

Grandma enters the scene, carrying many nicely wrapped boxes. She complains about the bathroom which leads to Daddy insulting her. Grandma then goes off on a tangent, saying old people are always treated unfairly.  Mommy recounts her childhood remembering how nicely Grandma wrapped boxes for her during lunch. She talks about how she was able to convince her classmates to give her food everyday.

Grandma calls Mommy a tramp for marrying a rich husband, just for the money. Mommy seems proud of the fact that she was a able to marry him. The doorbell rings, and Mrs. Barker enters the scene. Mrs. Barker removes her dress, and asks Mommy and Daddy why they called her here. Grandma and Mommy get into a fight, with Mommy leaving to get Mrs. Barker some water. Daddy leaves to break Grandma’s television.

Grandma and Mrs. Barker talk about the “bumble”, Mommy and Daddy’s child from 20 years ago. They mutilated the child until it died because they were unhappy with how imperfect it was. Grandma leaves Mrs. Barker with this thought, not explaining much about it.

The Young Man enters the home, and immediately attracts the attention of Grandma. She describes him as the “American Dream”. The young man says that he will do anything for money, to which Grandma replies that there is plenty of money around here. the young man recounts his tale,  explaining how he felt being mutilated throughout his childhood. He says that he was born with a twin, and that they were separated at birth. He explains how as life went on, he started to lose the feelings that normal human beings are able to have. Grandma seems to realize that the “bumble” and the young man were twins.

Grandma decided to leave the house and replace herself with the Young Man.  Mrs. Barker explains to Mommy and Daddy how the van man came and took Grandma away. Mommy is emotional for a moment, but then Mommy and Daddy realize that the Young Man is there.  mommy directs the young man to get out some drinks, so he gets out 5 glasses. Mommy admonishes him for bringing out 5 instead of 4, signifying that she can no longer see Grandma while the Young Man still can.

The play ends with Mommy promising how she will tell the Young Man what happened to their previous child, and Grandma breaking the fourth wall, saying “Good night”.

 

Notes

There is no point of view, since this is a play. Albee is criticizing American culture and the path that we are on, and he longs for the true American past (Grandma).

The historical references here are quite important. This is a period right after WWII, with the baby boomers still growing up. Most of the people watching this play would have remembered some effects of the Depression. Grandma at one point says “150 years”, which in context means the start of the American way of life. Mrs. Barker may be related to Eleanor Roosevelt, as both have husbands that had wheelchairs, and both were women of power.

 

Quotes

“I no longer have the capacity to feel anything. I have no emotions.” – Young Man

This is showing the despair the Young Man feels inside, while looking fine on the exterior.

“She’d have you carted off too, if she thought she could get away with it” – Grandma

Grandma is pointing towards how conniving her daughter is, and how she would have Daddy removed if possible. Hints towards Mommy having power, rather than the patriarch.

“The truth is, there isn’t much you can say to old people that doesn’t sound just terrible” – Grandma

Grandma is criticizing the way the world is today, by saying how nothing that is said to her nowadays feels nice. She actively feels the passage of time.

Theme Statement

In Albee’s American Dream, he argues that modern American ideals are leading us to a path of destruction, and that our older American values are vanishing.

Grandma is an old lady who disappears with her values. The Young Man describes himself as a broken person, and laments the death of his twin. These two are important plot elements.

The way the Young Man describes his inner self being terrible, while Grandma simply says he looks nice, draws a contrast between new and old through diction. Albee is stressing that the Young Man lives a terrible existence, and just because he looks good doesn’t mean he feels good.

Closed Prompt 1 2008

Author 1A

Overall, this author does a great job analyzing Keats and Longfellow’s poems and meaning. The thesis statement is made well, and quite defendable. Saying that Keats and Longfellow have different viewpoints on life is the answer this prompt is looking for. The claim that both authors feel that life is short is well backed with textual evidence. The usage of the word anaphora is correct and shows that they know what they are talking about. The second paragraph analyzes the differences very well, pointing towards the contrast between the lives of Keats and Longfellow. The meaning that they are able to extract from a few words makes sense. The last paragraph fully backs the thesis and establishes the different viewpoint on life and death. The only thing I believe the author could have done better is add more to the thesis, by adding the first and second paragraphs’ argument. I would have mentioned the differences in love in the thesis, rather than say vague words about regrets they both have. This disconnect feels like the author started writing their thesis, found a better argument, but forgot to modify the thesis to fit their argument. Still, the body paragraphs and conclusion are very strong.

Author 1B

This author’s thesis is not as strong as the Author 1A’s. The only difference that this author finds is actually a similarity. He says that each one symbolizes a wasted life, but lists it as a difference. This author ties their claims and warrants together very well, along with supporting textual evidence. The first body paragraph is a good example of how one should approach one of these prompts. Evidence is all metaphor based, but all of the in text quotes make sense and are not mislabeled. The next body paragraph outlines more similarities between the two poems. However, no differences are discussed except for in the thesis, when the author states that they both have different feelings about death. There isn’t any in text evidence used to prove that claim. The conclusion is very abrupt and doesn’t do well to sum up their argument. This author needs to find more varied sources of evidence to back up their claims, and make more claims. The thesis needs to have a compare and contrast, not just a compare. The essay as a whole is lacking in substance, like the author was rushed. This piece could use a bit more time on the conclusion, and a third body paragraph where the differences are discussed.

Author 1C

This author focuses on only one aspect of both poems: the rhythm. The thesis statement does not discuss anything about the viewpoint of the poems. Furthermore, the thesis only focuses on similarities between the two. The first body paragraph doesn’t mention what type of literary device is being used to convey that the author is close to death, or has a fear of dying. The second body paragraph lacks explicit references to the text. Both of these body paragraphs come up with defensible conclusions. However, the author fails to back them up with claims, evidence, or warrants. The conclusion is also weak, as the author simply comments on how the two poems are similar and different. There is a sense of wrapping things up, but there is no argument to wrap up. The entire piece is rather weak, and it is hard to see what argument is being made, and how.