Timed Writings

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first drafts of timed writings written in AP literature and composition for 2008-2009 school year

Text of Timed Writings

Foreword

1

Foreword

This is a collection of timed writings I have written in my senior year of high school for my class for AP literature and composition. All of them are typed as they were written in class, so they are filled with a number of errors. The order they run in is the order in which they were written. The foundation for this writing comes from what I learned in my previous class. My writing has been improved by what I have learned in this year and can been seen reading the works from the earliest to the most recent.

I feel I have learned to become more analytical with the pieces of literature my class has looked at over the course of this year. It helped me expand my line of thinking to look at the hidden meanings behind the pieces I read in order to decipher the authors purpose. Going back over these pieces I learned that I have improved significantly when bring up a point and being able to support it analytically, but there are still times where the support is weak or nonexistent. This is a problem I still struggle with and need to work on. Another issue in the writings is the length. I have issues writing at any length when constricted by time. I think, if I start to add in the support needed by making sure that the line of thinking that is in my head is on the paper, then the essay will be an appropriate length and of higher quality. I realize that length does not always reflect on the quality of work, but with a few tweaks in style, my essays would be better. In addition to detail and analysis, I need to focus on improving my diction and sentence syntax. This will allow my papers reflect my true potential and level of thought.

I know these papers, being timed writings, are not suppose to be my greatest works. I know these papers show that I have many things to learn and work on. I know I need to work harder, focus more, and read back over more carefully on my future timed writings, but I think these are a good starting place and show my ability to reason.

Table of Contents

The Things They Carried v Slaughterhouse V.......................................4

Short Story..............................................................................................6

Frankenstein............................................................................................8

Poetry.....................................................................................................10

Whitman v Hughes................................................................................12

Helen......................................................................................................14

The Pawnbroker.....................................................................................16

Obasan....................................................................................................18

Violence..................................................................................................20

College Essay.....................................................................................22

The Things They Carried v Slaughterhouse Five

An ending can make a book great or ruin the book completely. It depends on if the conclusion flows with the rest of the story. In two books The Things They Carried by Tim OBrien and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., the endings are extremely unique to the books. OBriens ending complements the book and makes sense of any confusion about the way the book is written. On the other hand, Vonneguts ending adds more confusion to his storyline, but this fits the spirit of the story, which makes it an appropriate conclusion also.

OBrien chooses to write a conclusion that ties the story together with an epiphany. I realize it as Tim trying to save Timmys life with a story proclaims OBrien. This line gives insight to the motivation of the author for this work. He is trying to preserve the innocence of his youth as it was before and as it was as he entered Vietnam. He does this by weaving fictional tales base on a grain of truth. He portrays them in a way that brings understanding to the actions of the soldiers in the war. He creates a world that is easily understood and sympathy is the only thing that can be felt for the American soldiers. This ending is an appropriate one. It makes the sympathy grow to the strongest level, which makes the book feel complete and heartwarming.

Vonneguts ending creates a very incomplete story line. The very last word of the book is a bird singing Poo-tee-weet? This only serves to enforce the ambiguity that surrounds the entire storyline of the book. It is designed to allow for several conclusions to be drawn about several situations. The creativity behind it is the fact that it does not twist the main point of the book. The reason for this book is to display the bombing of Dresden as Vonnegut saw it and to give insight to the inexperience of the soldier fighting near the end of World War II. These points are the clearest in the book. Everything else the book touches on is for personal amusement and interpretation. The ending follows the rhythm of the book, which makes it an appropriate one.

An appropriate ending does not have to be a satisfying one. Tim OBrien has one for The Things They Carried, but Kurt Vonnegut Jr. does not for Slaughterhouse Five. Despite this, both endings are appropriate conclusion for both books. To follow the same spirit from beginning to end in a story makes it worthwhile, regardless of how outlandish or unbelievable it may be. It makes a book a worthwhile read and truly gets an authors point across.

Short Story

Many authors try to emphasize a theme or display a true aspect in society. In The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Conell, the purpose of the story is to demonstrate that mans mind is always evolving and changing, seen through the point of view and the characters in the short story.

The Most Dangerous Game is narrated by a limited third person view. The only character that is fully revealed is the main character, Rainsford. In the beginning of the story , Rainsford reveals that he believes that the prey he hunts as a hunter has no feelings or knowledge of what is going on in the hunt. This soon changes when he himself becomes prey. As fear of death sets in, he starts to know exactly how the things he has hunted have felt near the end of the hunt. This could only truly be observed by the point of view in the story.

Richard Connell uses his character to help create an environment that would foster the main point of the story. Rainsford is the protagonist who changes and matures in his thinking, while General Zaroff is the antagonist that forces the change. Both character view hunting in the same way until it comes to using humans as prey. Rainsford is a moral man who cannot stand the thought of intentionally harming another man. He takes up the same position as his frien Whitney took earlier in the book when the two where discussing hunting a jaguar. On the other had, General Zaroff is used to the idea and finds no problem with it. In fact, the sport satisfies a lust in him that no hunt before was ever able to do. It is also morality that makes this change a permanent one. It is only through the trials set up by Zaroff that makes this possible. Through the character, Conell is able to display his purpose.

The easier it is perceive the more likely the work is received well by the general public. Some authors take this into consideration when developing their work. Others build the entire work around it. Conell makes his purpose easily known in a way that is appealing and well developed.

Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a book that demonstrates several characteristics a human can have and how they can be perceived as strong but in reality lead to ruin. Victor Frankenstein is the main character whose traits are shown best when he is interacting with the foil characters. One of the best foil characters to Victor in the story is Henry Clerval. Being Victors best friend, at one time his nurse, and his traveling companion, Henry brings out Victors true personality, resolve, and motives.

To bring out some ones true personality one must get close and befriend the person. Henry is the only childhood friend that Victor has outside his family. Their manners are quite different from each others. Henry is quite and contemplative, while Victor is obsessive in his studies. Victor has a tendency to follow a subject and then fixate on an idea to a self-destructing point, such as the creation of the monster. Henry also has interests that vary extremely to Victors. He is interested in humanities and plans to study eastern (oriental) languages, while Victor wraps himself in natural sciences. They both are good students, demonstrated by being able to join and succeed in a school in Ingolstadt. However, Henry is more focused in his studies, while Victor is easily dissuaded from his passions after the blunder of creating the monster and turns to follow Henry in his studies when Henry starts to study at the school.

Before Henry is able to start his studies, he must nurse Victor back to health. In this time, more of Victors personality comes to life. Henry is caring and dedicated to help in the healing of his friend. His is passionate about the job at hand, but he does not neglect his duties to his family, friends, and self as Victor did while creating the monster. This also goes to show that Henry is more selfless, while Victor is more selfish. Henry cares for others and looks out for their safety without snooping forcibly into their lives and problems. Victor tends to be centered around himself and thinking only of the short term results of his actions, an