AP Lit

AP Lit Course Description:

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition is for students who want to be challenged with college-level course work.  This course is designed to be a culminating experience for students who have been involved in honors course work and who value the study of literature.  Students are expected to be academically mature and focused on enhancing skills in critical thinking.

College-level development of literary analytical/interpretive skills and of writing skills are the focus of this course.  While in-depth analysis and interpretation of novels, drama, poetry, and short stories from various countries and periods are included, the major emphasis is on twentieth-century writings and the application of the reading experience to critical writing.  Students are introduced to and then apply various forms of literary theory and then apply those theories to their readings of literary texts. Through this study, the students sharpen awareness of language and understanding of writers’ craft.  They develop critical standards for the independent appreciation of any literary work, its language, characters, action, and themes.  They consider its structure, meaning, and value, and its relationship to contemporary experience, as well as to the times in which it was written.  This course places emphasis on oral discourse, incorporating a seminar model; hence, oral participation is vital to the strength and integrity of the course. Completion of summer reading and writing is a requirement of this course.

A more detailed course description is available here:  AP LIT COURSE DESCRIPTION / EXPECTATIONS HANDOUT



Mr. Nulf - dnulf@fairfieldschools.org

Tuesday, 1/2:
Read/annotate each of these supplemental materials, trying to build meaningful bridges to The Sound and the Fury.  Be prepared to discuss and cite from them.
  • The Hollow Men, by TS Eliot
  • Abbreviated Sources on Fertility Rites and Grail Legends read by Eliot and Faulkner.
  • "Appendix Compson" from the back of your Norton Critical edition.
Thursday, 1/4:
Final draft of Stream of Consciousness Writing
Do the first 23 multiple choice questions on this Practice AP Literature Exam.  Give yourself 25 minutes to do them.

Wed, 1/17:
Carefully read and review the three handouts:
1. Most common terms on AP Lit test - you don't have to memorize all of them to be successful, but may wish to brush up on those that are unfamiliar.
2. "Thou Blind Man's Mark" AP Lit poetry prompt.  Carefully annotate poem, and make a brief outline of how you would answer this question.
3. Practice Multiple Choice: give yourself about 20 minutes to do these.  We will review in class.

Thurs, 1/18:
​Review the major works of fiction that we have studied (novels and plays).  For each, you need to be able to:
  • Spell the title correctly.Identify the author and spell his/her name correctly.
  • Remember character names and spell them correctly.
  • Refer to specific scenes in the text.
  • Use memorablelines/quotations.
  • Integrate specific details from the text into an essay.
  • Identify symbols and use them to enhance analysis of the text.
  • Discuss the central themes of the text.
  • Discuss the author’s style (use of narrative techniques and literary devices).
Also read "Douglass" and answer included questions.

Thurs, 1/25
Bring The Oedipus Cycle to class.
In class: Listen to THIS INTERVIEW. What does it reveal about the purpose of theater, and literature?  I made THIS POWER-POINT with accompanying visuals. Then we started reading Oedipus Rex.

due Tues, 1/30
Read Oedipus Rex (pgs 1-81). Take notes as you read (your questions, observations, etc.). Consider, what values does this play impart?  What does it reveal about its culture?  Why do you think it is still considered a cultural touchstone, today?
Greek Tragedy resource.
Strophe and Antistrophe meanings.

Fri, 2/2
Carefully read the beginning of Sound and Sense Chapter 4 (Imagery), pages 49-54. Consider and be prepared to discuss the questions for poems 34 & 35.  You may also scan the questions for the other poems in the chapter.  Then, read and annotate "Scars" by Peter Meinke, and make a set of 6 guide questions for the poem so that it would fit into this chapter.

Thurs, 2/8
Bring Hamlet books.
Before class, carefully re-read and analyze Hamlet's first soliloquy ("Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt...) from Act I, Scene ii.
Prepare some questions and comments about its specific poetic elements, esp. but not limited to imagery as delineated in Ch 4, or other elements on the sheet distributed in class.  How does the soliloquy offer the audience an immediate, intimate window into Hamlet's psyche? 

Wed, 2/14
Read Chapters I-IX of To the Lighthouse.
Use these GUIDE QUESTIONS to focus your notes and thinking.

Tues, 2/20
Bring in Permission Slip and $35 cash if you wish to go on MoMA field trip on 3/28

Thurs, 2/22
Finish Reading "The Window" (Chs X-XIX; up through page 124) of To the Lighthouse. Continue to take notes using focus questions above.

Mon, 2/26
Be sure you turn in the Hamlet Act I and Act II questions

Wed, 2/28
Read To the LIghthouse up through "Time Passes". If you have been behind, or fuzzy on "The Window," please take the time to get caught up and be accountable for the reading.

Tues, 3/6
Finish To the Lighthouse

Monday, 3/12
Sonnet due - two copies, one annotated
Also see Sound and Sense, pages 218-220


Paper on sonnet due
See assignment sheet above.
Review pages 344-373, "Writing About Poetry" in Sound and Sense.

Tues, 3/20
Final Drafts of Sonnet and Explication due
Select 3+ specific passages from To the Lighthouse that you feel can help create bridges to specific elements of Hamlet. You need not find specific allusions, per se, but can think about common issues of theme, conflict, and general humanistic questions raised.  Be prepared to discuss your ideas in brainstorming groups.

Mon, 3/26
Carefully read and annotate these "Postmodernism" handouts, which offer some initial definitions of "postmodern" literature (and art). Be prepared to discuss handouts, and consider - Even though Hamlet is a 17th century work, what elements of the play anticipate modern or post-modern themes, so far?

Wed, 3/28
MoMA Trip - 
Arrive at Southbound Fairfield Train Station (downtown) BEFORE 7:15AM.  Meet inside the building for attendance. Check in with me.   MORE INFO on Field trip. MoMA website.

​MoMA Assignments

Tues, April 17th
Read Chapters 1-26 (I-XXVI) in Jane Eyre.  Complete notes on handout.  Notes will not be collected or graded, but please take notes for discussion prep.

Thurs, April 19th
Complete Draft of Hamlet / To the Lighthouse Essay due.

Wed, April 25th
Finish Jane Eyre
Continue notes as above.

Tues, May 1
Final To the Hamlet/Lighthouse essay due.