12th Grade AP English Literature Ms. Kouns and Ms. Williams (Summer 2015) Summer Reading Assignment “Storytelling is imaginative and creative in nature. It is an act by which man strives to realize his capacity for wonder, meaning, and delight. It is also a process in which man invents and preserves himself…Man tells stories in order to understand his experience, whatever it may be. Generally speaking, man has his consummate being in language, and there only. The state of human being is an idea, an idea which man has of himself. Only when he is embodied in an idea, and the idea is realized in language, can man take possession of himself. If there is any absolute assumption in back of my thoughts tonight, it is this: We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined.” --N. Scott Momaday Course Overview: “The AP English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work's structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone… Reading in an AP course should be both wide and deep. This reading necessarily builds upon the reading done in previous English courses. These courses should include the in-depth reading of texts drawn from multiple genres, periods, and cultures. In their AP course, students should also read works from several genres and periods -from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century -- but, more importantly, they should get to know a few works well. They should read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work's complexity, to absorb its richness of meaning, and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form. In addition to considering a work's literary artistry, students should consider the social and historical values it reflects and embodies. Careful attention to both textual detail and historical context should provide a foundation for interpretation, whatever critical perspectives are brought to bear on the literary works studied.” (The College Board, AP English Literature Online Course Description for Students, 2007) Because reading, evaluating, and writing about complex texts is at the heart of the 12th grade AP English Literature course, summer reading is required for all students. An understanding of common texts is essential for initiating conversation and sharpening evaluation from the first day of the course. Reading Assignment: Read the following novel, paying attention to structure, style, and themes, as well as character development, setting, symbol and motif, irony, tone, repetitive elements, etc. Note aspects throughout the work that you find significant. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood The deadline for having the books read is the first day of fall semester. Registering for this course indicates a commitment on the student’s part to follow through with course assignments. A failure to complete summer reading assignments is not a valid reason to request a schedule change at the beginning of fall semester. If you have any questions about the reading or the course, please contact us at any time). You can see Ms. Kouns in the TAG office (B105) or email her at [email protected] You can see Mrs. Williams in her classroom (E104) or email her at [email protected] We hope that you enjoy the reading. Have a great summer!