The Function of Setting, Character, and Symbol in the Short Story

cause-nobody-wants a charlie in the box

Charlie in the Box on the Island of Misfit Toys from “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” 1964

Our next short story (Sep. 10 & 11) is Flannery O’Connor’s classic “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”  (or here as a doc) Again, use literary patterns, setting, and character to decode the symbolism and put together what moral, social, or spiritual experience this story represents.  How do we end up with misfits in our society and what are the consequences?  And what the heck does he mean “she would of been a good woman, [ . . . ] “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life” (O’Connor)? The Canvas assignment is here, and a supplemental reading is here: The Element of Suspense in A Good Man is Hard to Find  Enjoy!

banksy show me the monet

Banksy, “Show me the Monet” from CBS News

EXTRA CREDIT:  “Greasy Lake” by T. Coragessan Boyle.  Here you will need to use literary patterns and setting (like in “Hunters in the Snow”) along with tone and point of view to discern character: what are these boys really like?

Literary Patterns and “Hunters in the Snow”

As a way of introducing prose analysis (which is the second essay question on the AP exam) we’re applying Patterns in Literature (Note page to help you follow along: Patterns in Lit brainstorming) to Tobias Wolff’s “Hunters in the Snow.”  (or as a downloadable doc here)

Directions for your assignment on the short story can be found here: Hunters in the Snow, or after the page break.  You can write out your answers in a notebook or on a piece of paper, or type them into the assignment document or one like it. This should be included in your learning portfolio that we will review at the end of the quarter.

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Introduction to Literary Interpretation

AP English 12 focuses largely on the interpretation of literature.  In addition to analyzing poetry and prose on the multiple choice section, you’ll also have to write three essays, one of which is analyzing a poem, another of which is analyzing prose.

Check out this PowerPoint and/or this video for an introduction and some review on how to do that.

If I lose you, don’t worry, there are other ways to think about this approach and we’ll be practicing it a lot.

The prompt and poems used in the presentation can be found here: Icarus Prompt or after the page break: Continue reading