AP Lit: Picking Up “Prufrock” & Studying Sonnets

Today in class, we will finally give J. Alfred his due.

We will also complete another multiple choice test prep.  This one revolves around Richard Wilbur’s “Advice to a Prophet.”

When we close read J. Alfred today, we will use the TIQ process I described last week.  

H/W: For next class, you’ve got a pile of poetry to read and it’s gonna be great.  We will be examining the sonnet form and discussing why it endures.  I’ve put three links on our Diigo — and highlighted the poems you need to read on the “Sonnet” page.  There are two Shakespearean sonnets you need to read as well,  “Let Those Who Are in Favour” and “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”

For the blog, continue the dramatic monologue creative endeavor assigned last week.

Oh yeah, turn in your Synthesis #3.  Today.


AP Lit: Open Ended Test Prep, Synthesis #3 Workshop & J. Alfred Prufock Sings

How much Prufrock, test prep and synthesis thinking can we pack into 80 minutes?  Let’s find out.

We’ll start with an open ended writing prompt. You will have fifteen minutes to write your thesis and first body paragraph for the following:

  • 1986 AP Question:  Some works of literature use the element of time in a distinct way.  The chronological sequence of events may be altered, or time may be suspended or accelerated.

Choose a novel, an epic, or a play of recognized literary merit and show how the author’s manipulation of time contributes to the effectiveness of the work as a whole.   Do not merely summarize the plot.

We will workshop the structure of the thesis statements and body paragraphs, looking especially at trying to develop variations on “Through use of  _[descriptor]___ __[literary device]__, _[descriptor]___ __[literary device]__. and _[descriptor]___ __[literary device]__ the author  [whose name goes here] argues [bigger thematic point to be made in the work].

We’ll look at synonyms and syntax to employ here.

Then we need to choose whether to look at “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” or our synthesis essays next.

The synthesis work will involve looking at our body paragraphs and seeking to embed text support vs quote bombing.

Looking at “J. Alfred” will practice a straight-forward close reading strategy.

Take Notes

Identify Patterns

Question Why

And if you can’t remember those steps, just do what I do: think about Ke$ha. (“TIQ Tok make it rock . . .” )


Synthesis #3 is due on Monday.  You will be turning it in and it will be assessed.

Creative Endeavor: Dramatic Monologue is due next Friday.  See the assignment description on Tuesday’s entry.

AP Lit: Synthesis Thinking, Test Prepping & Introducing J. Alfred Prufrock

Quarter 4 starts.  Sure, you are seniors, but isn’t that all the better reason to make the most of these next two months?

We’ll open with multiple choice test-prep, something we haven’t yet done.  (Anticipate test-prep work every class between now and the test.)  I’ll be sharing the test prep material on this one via e-mail as I want to keep it a surprise and post this the night before.

After taking thirty minutes for that work, we will workshop synthesis #3 by listing the works we referenced and sharing our introductory paragraphs and thesis statements. (If you are reading this before you come to class and are anxious about having a complete draft completed . . . well . . . you might consider having at least this much done so you are able to workshop.  The more you have complete, the more you will benefit.)

Those thirty minutes will be followed by an introduction to the night’s reading, T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”   While this poem may not seem it at first, it is a multilayered, multifaceted masterpiece of the form and serves as a great way to discuss poetic devices as well as an important poetic form we haven’t mentioned since we looked at Browning’s “The Last Duchess.”

While we are doing intense analysis and synthesis thinking, I would like us to continue our creative endeavors as they have proven to be amazing products and demonstrations of out-of-the-box thinking coupled with legitimate analysis.

The following is an excerpt from … bite my tongue . . . SparkNotes.

““Prufrock” is a variation on the dramatic monologue, a type of poem popular with Eliot’s predecessors. Dramatic monologues are similar to soliloquies in plays. Three things characterize the dramatic monologue, according to M.H. Abrams. First, they are the utterances of a specific individual (not the poet) at a specific moment in time. Secondly, the monologue is specifically directed at a listener or listeners whose presence is not directly referenced but is merely suggested in the speaker’s words. Third, the primary focus is the development and revelation of the speaker’s character. Eliot modernizes the form by removing the implied listeners and focusing on Prufrock’s interiority and isolation. The epigraph to this poem, from Dante’s Inferno, describes Prufrock’s ideal listener: one who is as lost as the speaker and will never betray to the world the content of Prufrock’s present confessions. In the world Prufrock describes, though, no such sympathetic figure exists, and he must, therefore, be content with silent reflection. In its focus on character and its dramatic sensibility, “Prufrock” anticipates Eliot’s later, dramatic works.”

So . . . create your own dramatic monologue (in poetic form) following those above guidelines and with one of two audiences in mind:

The senior class of MBC 2013 or an incoming ninth grader for the fall of 2013.  

You may contextualize it however you like.  Perhaps it is just a poem, perhaps it is embedded in a piece of artwork, delivered in spoken word form, or perhaps something else altogether.

Considering this may be quite the involved piece and I’m hoping you consider an audience well beyond our classroom walls, this is the creative piece for both the first and second weeks of the 4th quarter.