Open Ended Essay Question and Antigone

Objectives: Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the overall meaning of  the play, Antigone, through character analysis.

Aim: How do we illustrate or support a theme through character analysis?

Do Now: Select one of the AP Literature exam open-ended questions and identify the specific tasks the essay questions asks you to do. List the tasks.

2005, Form B. One of the strongest human drives seems to be a desire for power. Write an essay in which you discuss how a character in a novel or a drama struggles to free himself or herself from the power of others or seeks to gain power over others. Be sure to demonstrate in your essay how the author uses this power struggle to enhance the meaning of the work.

1995 Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using characters who are alienated from that culture or society because of gender, race, class, or creed. Choose a novel or a play in which such a character plays a significant role and show how that character’s alienation reveals the surrounding society’s assumptions or moral values.

2004, Form B. The most important themes in literature are sometimes developed in scenes in which a death or deaths take place. Choose a novel or play and write a well-organized essay in which you show how a specific death scene helps to illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

2015 Question 3 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

In literary works, cruelty often functions as a crucial motivation or a major social or political factor. Select a novel, play, or epic poem in which acts of cruelty are important to the theme. Then write a well-developed essay analyzing how cruelty functions in the work as a whole and what the cruelty reveals about the perpetrator and/or victim. You may select a work from the list below or another work of equal literary merit. Do not merely summarize the plot.

2014 Question 3 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

It has often been said that what we value can be determined only by what we sacrifice. Consider how this statement applies to a character from a novel or play. Select a character that has deliberately sacrificed, surrendered, or forfeited something in a way that highlights that character’s values. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the particular sacrifice illuminates the character’s values and provides a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole. You may choose a novel or play from the list below or one of comparable literary merit. Do not merely summarize the plot.

2012  Question 3 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

“And, after all, our surroundings influence our lives and characters as much as fate, destiny or any supernatural agency.” Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces Choose a novel or play in which cultural, physical, or geographical surroundings shape psychological or moral traits in a character. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how surroundings affect this character and illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole. You may choose a work from the list below or one of comparable literary merit. Do not merely summarize the plot.

Materials: copies of Antigone play, AP Essay 9-point rubric

Resources: 

Agenda

  1. Review lesson objectives and aim
  2. Do Now
  3. Mini Lesson with guided practice
  4. Student Independent practice: essay writing
  5. Closing

Mini Lesson with Guided Practice

We’ll use the 2014 Question 3 to practice steps you’ll need to perform such a challenging task within 40 minutes.

2014 Question 3 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

It has often been said that what we value can be determined only by what we sacrifice. Consider how this statement applies to a character from a novel or play. Select a character that has deliberately sacrificed, surrendered, or forfeited something in a way that highlights that character’s values. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the particular sacrifice illuminates the character’s values and provides a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole. You may choose a novel or play from the list below or one of comparable literary merit. Do not merely summarize the plot.

Step 1: Make a list of the tasks the questions asks you to do.

Step 2: Turn the tasks into questions: What are the sacrifices? How doe a particular sacrifice illuminate the character’s values ? How do the characters’ values provide a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole?

Step 3: Select a literary work,  in this case, Antigone and do the following-

  1. a)Describe separately in each paragraph the sacrifices Antigone makes. b)Analyze why she needs to make the sacrifices. c) So what: how does the value contribute to the overall meaning of the play( your thesis)?
  2. State the values Antigone’s sacrifices illuminate and explain why( one sacrifice in one separate body paragraph)

Independent Practice: Follow the steps and write a response to the Question you have selected.

Homework: Complete the 1st draft of the essay. Due on Dec. 23, 2015.

 

 

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