11th Grade AP English

11th Grade AP English Summer Assignment
All students must read The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne relied heavily on
symbolism to convey his various messages in The Scarlet Letter. (A symbol is a
concrete object that represents an abstract idea.)
1. You are to select one of the following symbols and answer the questions below.
the weeds
the scaffold
the community
the elf child
the Black Man
the woods
the prison
the cemetery
(Consider what your symbol means above and beyond the obvious. How does it relate
to the message?)
A. The symbol you are discussing
B. What does it represent?
C. Provide two examples from the novel that mention your symbol. What is the
context of the symbol; that is, discuss the surroundings in which the symbol is used.
D. How do you think these examples support Hawthorne's message?
2. Discuss the scarlet letter, itself. What does it symbolize? Does today's society place
a "scarlet letter" on any particular individual or group? Discuss this fully by explaining
your thoughts and supporting them with examples. (Be sure to include why society
does this.)
3. Write an autobiographical essay that focuses on a specific incident or event that
taught you a valuable lesson or changed your life. (These may be read in class so do
not write about anything so embarrassing or so personal you'd be uncomfortable
sharing.) Length: minimum one page; maximum one and one-half pages.
Type the above assignments using the following criteria: size 12; 1"margins;
prefessional font
4. Research and print a copy of a speech from an American author from any time
period. Write a one-half to three-fourths page essay discussing your reaction to this
speech. Be sure to include what you think the aurhor's message is. Remember to
include the setting/reason for the speech. Your response should also be typed.