Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In class essay (4-30-13)

The compulsion of desire is indeed a fundamental facet of human nature. In works of literature, poetry, desire for wealth, desire for fame, desire in innumerable permutations propels individuals towards some ultimate ambition, wants. Sir Phillip Sydney's poem Thou Blind Man's Mark engenders the authors own perspicacity on the subject of desire. Employing various poetic devices such as repetition of key words, couplets, to emphasize central ideas, or imaginative but thematically relevant metaphors, Sydney conveys his respective perspective, attitudes towards desire: do not absorb, mindlessly enthrall yourself within self-desires lest you will lose yourself, your desires become you.

"Desire, desire!" Utilizing strategic repetition of choice diction, like in the preceding quotation, rapidly establishes Sydney's stance on desires ensconced in the poetic work. When he repeats with "too, too long" he brings attention to how for too long he has been wrapped in the self serving thralls of his own desires, his compulsion to achieve his desires overriding any and all other aspects more so crucial when he says "who should my mind to higher things prepare." Directly referencing higher more noble causes he simply ignores due to careless wants. "In vain, in vain" in vain, Sydney again uses repetition to emphasize how all of his actions to accomplish his desires have been in vain. "In vain thou maddest me to things aspire" the compulsion of desire as Sydney connotes only caused him grief madness as he could only obsess about those things that he "aspire(s)" or in other words desires. "In vain thou kindlest all thy smoky fire" here thy smoky fire connotes yet again how selfish desire ultimately bears no fruit, kindles only smoke no fire or results, his actions in vain. Thru repetition Sydney reveals the follies of mindless pursuit of desires, emphasizing his own attitudes by way of repeating diction, emphasizing how actions towards only the seizure of self desire are ultimately all "in vain".

"Band of all evils, cradle of careless care" With this metaphor Sydney makes use of the poetic device to clearly and cleverly convey his attitudes towards desire. "band of all evils" or desire, as Sydney furthers, is the root of all dilemma, metaphorical "band of all evils". The later half of the excerpt " cradle of careless care" again conveys Sydney's perception of desire as the conception point birthing recklessness as well as careless self-obsession, forgetting anything and anyone not relevant to his mad lust of desire. "Thou web of will whose end is never wrought" is another notable example Sydney's use of metaphor, the author likening desire as an inextricable web trapping all "will" except those relevant, again, to the pursuit of desires. Never ending, "never wrought" Sydney implements the device of metaphor to convey his attitudes, his seemingly endless torment, despair unable to rest without accomplishing selfish-avarice, his desires never ending, "never wrought".

Ambition is hailed in American culture, utter dedication to achieving a goal, aggressively acquiring our wants, obtaining our desires no matter the cost, perceived as a positive societal trait. Sir Phillip Sydney's Thou Blind Man's Mark warns against such recklessly selfish pursuits of avarice, warns against the blinding mark of desire. Whether it be strategic use of the device of repetition to emphasize the vain of self-vanity, or the instrumentation of metaphors to identify the "web" of inextricable trappings that is desire, binding and blinding all will other than wants, Sydney clearly conveys his perspective, attitudes towards desire. The mark of ignorance, a " blind man" is one who forgets any and all things not relevant to himself, the stigmata of a "blind man" one who forgets, allows his wants, his desires to become him, forgets, forgoes and loses his self in the process.

Monday, April 29, 2013

In class essay (4-29-13)

In Barbara kingsolvers The poisonwood bible, there is a cast of characters widely varied but all experiencing some measure of change prompted by there environment, surroundings, no more so than Leah Price. At first and foremost the daughter of a priest an, following her fathers zealous religious footsteps, Leah's experiences in the african congo amongst the native populace makes an indelible impact on her character. Maturing mentally, intellectually, Leah by novels end becomes enlightened, empathetic towards the differing values, cultural beliefs of the African tribe she came to "purge" the surrounding culture shaping her development as well as helping shed light, illuminating the ultimate meaning of the work.

Arriving in the African Congo the prices are a god fearing family. Led by their zealous father Nathan price, the family is on a mission delivered unto by Christianity, god to purge the native paganism of the local tribes. Indeed Leah Price is at the outset of Poisonwood bible the paradigm of daddy little girl following in her fathers footsteps blinded by his misguided idealism, ignorance, she so to wishing to purge the locals of there fundamental faith. Yet her time in the Congo, observing and interacting with the locals soon comes to change her. When she begins "educating" the locals on ger Christian values early in the novel, Leah soon learns the culture and customs of the indigenous rapidly realizing her faith to be to excluding and too out of touch out if place for the Congolese. Effectually falling in love with not only Africa but the locals beliefs, she marries a local boy named Anatole so to effectively marrying the ideals of Africa rather than that of her fathers blind, ignorance unaccepting of others perspicacity. Leah is shaped by her surroundings, her developmental odyssey, sojourn from being blind and ignorant attempting to purge and force her own ideals to eventually understanding, empathizing and embracing the congolese views, her conversions ultimately illuminating the most prominent overarching theme, meaning vested in the work: tolerance for others beliefs and culture.

Within Barbara Kingsolver's novel The Poisonwood Bible we witness the effects, indelible impact of surroundings upon a character. Leah price begins as daddy's little girl following the religious zealous ideals of her upbringing lacking at first any and all understanding, tolerance for others cultures, beliefs. Initially arriving to purge the paganism of the Congolese, Leah's time in Africa, her interactions with the local denizens, her surroundings quickly shape her, engender new beliefs. It is she who is educated when attempting to educate and exterminate the culture of the locals she learning only what they could teach: acceptance of others, tolerance. When she marries the congo tribesman Anatole she symbolically marries Kimgsolvers ultimate theme, her surroundings marrying her to the very meaning of the work: tolerance, acceptance of others culture, beliefs.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Party like it's 1999


·      Prose Essay


A master of the written craft, Cormac McCarthy employs a plethora of literary techniques, rhetorical strategies within his vast catalog of works. In his novel The Crossing, McCarthy’s particular utilization of grave similes as well as pastoral, solemn imagery plays to the dramatic impact of the given traumatic event upon the title’s primary character, indirect characterization so to ultimately revealing his sorrow.

            “His trousers were stiff with blood. He cradled the wolf in his arms and lowered her to the ground…” McCarthy opens in the passage of above with the introduction of the unnamed protagonist traveling with a notably bleeding, injured wolf. The specific diction of “cradled” is a device that instantly and indirectly characterizes the protagonist’s nurturing nature towards the wolf, his actions characterizing the protagonist’s peculiar tenderness for the wolf as if cradling gently a napping babe. Further on the following quote furthers McCarthy’s aims of conveying the protagonist’s intimate sense of despair, loss, ultimate sorrow towards the dying wolf. “He fell asleep with his hands palm up before him like some dozing penitent” With this marked simile “like some dozing penitent” McCarthy likens the character to a “penitent” or an individual shamed and sorrowful for committing  a wrongdoing, subsequently the author sheds light upon the internal sorrow, the impact of the wolf’s petering hours of perish upon our character in question. “He squatted over the wolf and touched her fur. He touched the cold and perfect teeth. The eye turned to the fire and gave back no light and he closed it with his thumb and sat by her and put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes that he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight where the grass was wet and the sun’s coming as yet had not undone the rich matrix of creatures passed in the night before her.” This passage excerpt conclusively reveals the impact of the wolf’s death upon McCarthy’s primary character. McCarthy employs yet again indirect characterization to deliver the impact of the event with the first half of this excerpt when “He [the protagonist] squatted over the wolf and touched her fur. He touched the cold and perfect teeth. The eye turned to the fire and gave back no light and he closed it with his thumb and sat by her and put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes”  the protagonist laments the death of the wolf sorrowfully combing thru her fur, “touched the cold and perfect teeth” closing her eyes and his own to paint a pastoral, romanticized reflection, imagery of the wolf alive where “he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight where the grass was wet and the sun’s coming as yet had not undone the rich matrix of creatures passed in the night before her.” This pastoral imagery on part of McCarthy further connoting his deep seated loss, sorrow.

          Indeed, Cormac McCarthy is an undeniable master of the written craft he utilizing a menagerie of literary techniques, rhetorical strategies in his works such as The Crossing to further plot as well as the development of his characters. Making use of grave similes likening the unnamed protagonist as a “penitent”, the protagonist is unequivocally perturbed, impacted if not personally shamed, sorrowed by the loss of the wolf. Gently “cradling” the wolf like that of a human babe, McCarthy indirectly characterizes the character thru his tenderness and peculiarly intimate actions as he brushes the wolfs fur, as he  closes her lightless eyes and his own to romantically recreate, imagine the wolf alive and running in  vivid pastoral imagery. Unquestioningly a master, Cormac McCarthy in all of his works develops not only his plot but so to his characters, The Crossing in particular depicting the impact of a character’s character, his loss, revealing his sorrow all via the use of literary techniques, rhetorical strategies.


·       Open Essay


"Nobody, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man's mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strengths, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time." – Laurence Sterne

Conflicting ideals, wants, ambitions, indeed these are the seeds of action, driving force of myriads of characters throughout literature. In William Shakespeare’s legendary gothic tale Macbeth, the eponymous title character, Macbeth, experiences an internal struggle as two competing  desires, Lady Macbeth’s power lust  and his own guilty conscious, not only characterize the character but so to the ultimate meaning of the work as a whole.  

“Fair is foul and foul is fair.” The three witches of the deity Hectate serve as both the prophesiers and proponents propelling Macbeth towards his ultimate destiny: to kill his king and become king. Yet, throughout the play Macbeth struggles internally and externally with his own ideals as his wife, Lady Macbeth has her own desires, racks against his own hesitation essentially forcing Macbeth’s hand. When Lady Macbeth hears word of Macbeth’s potential usurp of more power, potential crowning as the new king, she wastes no time, has no hesitation in what she must do. She goads and manipulates Macbeth against his own desires and guilt so that she may achieve her own agenda: more power. She forces him to kill the King, Duncan, even whilst Macbeth himself questions why, has differing competing desires. Why would he kill a kind and magnanimous ruler? Why would he kill his King when he has already praised and promoted Macbeth to even higher royal rank, social stature? Why would he kill his own King, intermediary of his God? Indeed Shakespeare prompts Macbeth’s struggle between his own desires and Lady Macbeth’s lust for power. In the eponymous play Macbeth eventually gives in to his hesitation, his own lack of desires for that of Lady Macbeth’s and ultimately killed himself by the play’s climax subsequently Macbeth is a symbol of ambition. Macbeth’s corruption of his morality, his desires for that of Lady Macbeth’s, killing a king a high sin of treason and god fearing faith in an Elizabethan age, fulfills the works ultimate theme, purpose: a cautionary tale warning against excessive, selfish, ambitions.

“A little water clears us of this deed.” Lady Macbeth’s desires of power ironically lead to her own as well as Macbeth’s demise. Although Macbeth had his own desires, or at least saw little need to kill his king he eventually, after an internal struggle, gave in to Lady Macbeth’s agenda, lust for power. These two competing desires deliberately employed by Shakespeare to fulfill the ultimate theme of Macbeth: a testament, a cautionary tale warning against excessive, selfish ambitions.

Saturday, April 27, 2013



  • Prompt: [1994] Poems: “To Helen” (Edgar Allan Poe) and “Helen” (H.D.). The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.


Thursday, April 25, 2013


My group was comprised of Torre Reddick and Dylan Samarasena. After thorough individual analysis on the three selected poems of our choosing (Hope by Emily Dickinson, Life by Charlotte Bronte, The Poison tree by William Blake, etc.) we indeed gleaned a few beneficial new insights with our group thinking collaboration. As a group "tank" we collectively discussed our own interpretations of the various thematical elements of say the poison tree as a metaphorical symbol for festering anger/wrath for example. When transitioning to Emily Dickinson's hope our group conversation yielded personal clarification on the identification of the poems structural components (at first Dylan believed it to be a sonnet before Torre and myself clarified that a sonnet requires 14 lines unlike hope amongst other features the poem in question lacked). Charles Bronte's "Life" was universally comprehended by our group but, thanks to multiple minds, we as collectively dissected subtle connotative details like that of the use of the specific word/diction "sages" in our interpretation connotes commentators/philosophizers of life's various adversities, for one example.
All in all I would dub this group thinking activity as both insightful as well as beneficial in preparing for the ultimate ap exam as it aided in my group as well as my own personal comprehension of the selected poetry's superficial structural composition/ connotative "critical thinking" analytical details.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


NOTE: I used the TPCASTT template method to analyze the poems below :)

Life by Charlotte Bronte

LIFE, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall ?

Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily,
Enjoy them as they fly !

What though Death at times steps in
And calls our Best away ?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope, a heavy sway ?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair !


Title: "Life". Will undoubtedly reflect upon the meaning of some crucial aspect of life.

Paraphrase: begins with the allegorical likening of life to a storm. With the rain, the "bad" always temporary as long as you have hope, the storm and clouds eventually go away for the sun to have its stay.

Connotation: the word use of "Sages" connotes philosophers/commentators on life's dark difficulties. The use of a storm is a metaphor in and of itself ( see above)

Attitude: somber and melancholic initially, Charlotte Bronte's attitude seems to always shift from dark to light, ultimately hopeful sentiments thus following her overarching theme of hope.

Shift: the shift is visible in the first stanza blatantly with the lines "oft a little rain foretells a pleasant day" from this line to the proceeding stanzas a pattern forms wherein Bronte shifts from identifying a negative, dark perspective to then shift to a positive silver lining perspicacity after the proceeding darker line(s).

Title revisited: my initial suspicions where accurate Charlotte Brontes poem "Life" indeed endeavors to convey a crucial idea, perspective on existence, as I will explain in theme below.

Theme: Hope in life no matter the darkness the "bad", as long as we maintain a positive perspicacity, endeavor to change our situations, as long as we have hope the clouds, the storm, the rains of misfortune will eventually wash away.


Hope by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Title: "Hope". I suspect this poem to focus upon the ideas of hope and its role/necessity.

Paraphrase: the entire poem likens a feathered "thing" (a bird) as a symbol embodying hope. Various metaphors and imagery (ex. prompting the bird to sing in the most destructive gales of storms) is deliberately created by Dickinson to convey her perspective on hope.

Connotation: the bird is a symbol of the vitality, resiliency of hope even in the darkest of days "sore"-ing in the storms "singing a tune" even in the "coldest" lands hope, the bird still brings warmth ( positivity of hope) without "asking for a crumb" the crumb essentially connoting the priceless, selfless quality of hope.

Attitude: Emily Dickinson's attitude tone sprung only light and bright imagery of a bird flying thru even the worst of storms subsequently the attitude of the poem can expectedly be described as hopeful.

Shift: Unlike Charlotte Bronte's lengthier poem "Life", Dickinson's "Hope" has little if any shifts, the shifts subtle if at all present, the poem tensing consistent in tone and structure as well as figurative language throughout.

Title revisited: My initial suspicions were correct. Emily Dickinson's poem connoted the authors respective perspective on hope, it's vitality, resiliency even in the worst of times.

Theme: Funny how so many works of human product emphasize the essential, arguably most human trait of mankind: hope. Indeed like Charlotte Bronte's preceding poem "Life", Emily Dickinson's composition "Hope" is a love letter to the vitality, resiliency, the life of hope. For even in the darkest days, the worst of times, even in a storm like a feathered "thing" hope can and always shall survive, soar.


A Poison Tree by William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.


Title: (Before reading) Will possibly focus on a fictional poisonous tree? Taken literally. Maybe the tree's poison is a metaphor for some theme to be highlighted after I read the poem....

Paraphrase: Recounts a tale of anger festering like a poison, a toxic tree if you will, in the narrator as his "wrath" his anger bottled up until finally releasing upon his "foe". 

Connotation:William Blake utilizes the imagery of a poisonous tree as a connotative symbol of the growing rage/anger, "wrath" he felt towards an individual referred to as his "foe" until the poisonous tree "bore an apple" (another symbol that the narrators wrath became to great thus....) where then the foe "beheld it shine" the next day waking to see "My foe outstretched beneath the tree." thus the narrator killed the "foe".

Attitude: William Blake's tone can only be described as terse hostility, as I read i could feel the mounting, festering "wrath" growing ever more intense from line to line, very effective stylistically speaking.

Shift: A visible shift occurs directly in the first stanza as the narrator explains how he assuaged, mollified when discusing his anger healthily with a friend "I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end." .
From there on the poem transitions to ever mounting wrath/ intensity until the "foe" takes a bite of the apple.... 

Title revisited: Well, lesson to self: don't take things as literal as they may seem. No there wasn't a literal "poison tree", but I was correct in my suspicion that it played into the poem's overall theme (that will be elaborated below), who'd have guessed. O and the title refers to the poison of rage/wrath but I'll explain below.

Theme: The poison tree is a metaphor for the anger that can slowly, if not rapidly, grow within us, our wrath eventually (without proper, healthy emotional  release/maintenance, such as talking with a friend for example) bearing even more toxic fruit (like the "apple"). I.E. rage often times if not always violently released, with even more violent consequences. Thus the theme of the work can be argued as a cautionary tale of healthy emotional balance, to not let your anger fester until the poison spreads, creeps and corrupts your very being. (even if the end seems a bit sadistic if not justified by the narrator seeing as though there is no visible evidence of emotional remorse nor consequences for the murder of the foe peculiarly....)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Life by Charlotte Brontë

LIFE, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall ?

Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily,
Enjoy them as they fly !

What though Death at times steps in
And calls our Best away ?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope, a heavy sway ?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair !

Monday, April 22, 2013

Personal performance analysis on Macbeth micro ap exam

Full disclosure 15 seconds is not nearly enough time for me to personally/authentically comprehend generally any question subsequently I'm not very confident on that part of this particular mock exam. Thankfully the real ap exam is much more general/I'm able to dole out the amount of time on any given section. In many ways this micro exam was more difficult than the real test will be (not to sound presumptuous but I've taken a few ap test now and I'm comfortable/ aware of how to pace myself). The essay however, given even less time than the usual in class exercise, in my opinion is one of my better in class products. My intro, all in my opinion, was both stylish as well as supportive of my given ideas relevant to the prompt. My body paragraphs, though lacking in quantity, at least endeavor to have more analysis/critical thinking on the given concrete examples/details. Another full disclosure the conclusion could have used a but more iteration but given the time constraints I feel confident that I reiterated the central, most crucial elements of the essay content whilst tying the ideas relevant to answering the prompt. All in all I'm actually feeling pretty confident about the real ap exam and do feel that my intro practice over the weekend genuinely assisted my intro paragraph writings. All that's left now i suppose is to stand up and deliver.

(Extra credit for ap movie reference? I think so ;)

Macbeth essay (in class micro ap exam)

Ambition, in modern American culture ambition, the drive for success, is nearly exalted in praise, ambition increasingly perceived as an exceedingly positive trait. Yet in Shakespeare's landmark Gothic tale Macbeth, it is not the eponymous anti-hero's lust for power that distinguishes the play but his wife lady Macbeth's ambition ultimately the character's downfall, her tragic flaw. Whether it be the ruthless plotting of murder of a king or even loyal allies, lady Macbeth's thirst to gain power, her seemingly inhuman ambition rapidly characterizes the character, this ambition her tragic flaw enhancing the ultimate meaning of the play.

With the news of prophecy, the potential that her husband, Macbeth, is fated to be king by means of killing the current king Lady Macbeth without thought or hesitation begins plotting. Even though they have achieved even higher rank as thane of Cawdor, even though king Duncan is a virtuous, magnanimous ruler, lady Macbeth's lust for power is unquenched she boding and eventually forcing Macbeth's hand, murdering the king in his sleep. Indeed the sheer lack of any remorse blatantly characterizes lady Macbeth's ambition. Her facade of fainting at the discovery of Duncan's corpse, her willingness to deceive her loyal allies and ridicule her hesitant husband only vilifies and serves as blatant indicator of lady Macbeth's lust for power ambitions.

"With water are hands are washed clean" with this line lady Macbeth initially characterizes her lust, ambition for power but Shakespeare utilizes this line in particular as a means of irony to enhance the meaning of his work. In the Elizabethan England time period of Shaksepeares dwelling the murder of a king is high treason subsequently it can be argued the entire play is a metaphor cautioning ambition. Subsequently as lady Macbeth washes her hands clean of Duncan's blood of remorse and guilt for king killing, Shakespeare utilizes the literary technique of irony as lady Macbeth eventually stirs from her sleep skin ripping raw from the repeated washings of her hands. Shakespeare uses irony of the aforementioned line to depict at first Lady Macbeth's inhuman lust for power but so to later on her downfall as the character commits suicide racked with disillusion and guilt indeed ambition her tragic flaw, enhancing the theme of the work as a whole cautioning against excessive ambition.

In many ways Macbeth is a Greek tragedy. Lady Macbeth's lust for power, her willingness to kill a kind and virtuous king, her ambition, like the Greeks of myths, like brutus or caesar, ambition her tragic flaw. Shakespeare employs Lady Macbeth as a means of cautionary warning against excessive wants utilizing literary techniques such as irony to enhance the meaning of the work: high ambitions have high consequences. Ambition ultimately lady Macbeth's downfall, tragic flaw.

Sunday, April 21, 2013



My Multiple Choice Question Answers

Kafka on the Shore Multiple Choice Questions

·        NOTE: I made this test so…yeah :)

Carrie Multiple Choice Questions

·        NOTE: Questions not on directed blog….

Slaughterhouse-Five Multiple Choice Questions

1. B
2. C
3. A
4. D
5. A
6. A
7. C
8. B
9. C
10. A
11. D
12. B
13. C
14. B
15. A
16. D
17. B
18. A
19. A
20. C
21. B
22. D
23. B
24. C
25. C
26. A
27. D
28. B
29. A
30. B
31. C
32. C
33. B
34. A
35. C
36. C
37. B
38. D
39. C
40. A
41. C
42. D
43. A
44. B
45. A
46. C
47. B
48. A
49. B
50. C

Life of Pi Multiple Choice Questions (Kelli, Kasie, and Bernardo’s group)

1. A
2. C
3. C
4. B
5. C
6. B
7. B
8. A
9. C
10. B
11. A
12. E
13. C
14. C
15. B
16. E
17. A
18. B
19. C
20. D
21. B
22. A
23. B
24. A
25. C
26. C
27. D
28. B
29. D
30. A
31. B
32. C
33. A
34. D
35. C
36. C
37. A
38. B
39. A
40. C
41. D
42. A
43. B
44. C
45. C
46. D
47. B
48. A
49. C
50. A

Practice Essay Responses

NOTE: The weakest area that I personally feel the need to improve is my introductory paragraphs subsequently (instead of lifelessly and redundantly practicing areas I personally feel confident/comfortable with I.E. body paragraphs etc.)  I chose to endeavor to improve such byway of writing the intros only.

Kafka on the Shore

  • Prompt: Many writers utilize symbols to communicate a theme(s). Write an essay in which you identify Haruki Murakami’s use of symbols within Kafka on the Shore to connote one of the novel’s ultimate, overall, theme(s).
A “Modern Greek tragedy”, Haruki Murakami’s novel Kafka on the Shore, like the ancient Greek’s of yesteryears, employs a panoply of symbols to communicate a plethora of ideas, themes. Utilizing symbols like that of crows to connote the flights of freedom experienced during maturation, to that of crafting entire characters as allegorical concepts like that of Jonnie Walker, Murakami imbues his work with a exhaustive array of symbols to fulfill his authorial purpose. Indeed thru the aforementioned symbols and more, Haruki Murakami connotes his ultimate theme of Kafka on the Shore: coming of age.

  • Prompt: Write a rhetorical analysis analyzing Haruki Murakami’s use of rhetoric/prose (tone, syntax, structure etc.) in his novel Kafka on the Shore to further the author’s purpose and/or theme(s). 
A master of the written craft, Haruki Murakami instruments his mastery of the rhetorical strategies to augment his novels, his use of rhetoric servicing the connotation of his purpose, ultimate theme(s). In his prominent work Kafka on the Shore, Murakami’s fractured syntax, metaphorical laden magical realism, shifting stream of conscious style, as well as deliberate use of unreliable narration, serves the author’s overarching theme of bilsdungroman. The oppressive angst, psychological unease of youth, the imminence of coming adulthood, Haruki Murakami implements these rhetorical strategies in Kafka on the Shore to convey one of the novel’s primary themes: coming of age.   

  • Prompt: Throughout the novel the “primary character” Kafka/ Nakata struggles internally, these internal struggles by novel’s end characterizing the character. Write an essay wherein you identify Murakami’s use of shifting (or static) style/rhetoric/prose to characterize Kafka (or any supportable character within the novel).

In Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami’s utilizes his mastery of the rhetorical strategies to characterize the eponymous “protagonist” Kafka Tamura as well as fellow primary character Satoru Nakata. With a shifting stream of conscious style, Murakami deliberately employs unreliable first person narration from the perspective of the two characters to both directly and indirectly characterize Kafka/Nakata. Murakami, throughout the novel, intentionally shifts from the perspective of Kafka to Nakata with each protagonist’s unreliable narration, as well as liberal use of magical realism, questioning the reader’s comprehension of what is real, what is reality, this use of stream of conscious style characterizing the two byway of the reveal of their respective internal psychological vulnerabilities, tragic flaws.


·        Prompt: Explain how war affects modern life and society as it did in Slaughterhouse-Five.

War, war never changes. The theaters, locales may vary, participants continually exchanging, but war, no, war never changes, and neither does its affects upon contemporary life, modern society. In Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal satire Slaughterhouse-Five, war, however ridiculed in lighthearted jest, war is depicted as a violent catalyst of destructive change, a detriment to society. Loss of life, loss of innocence, Kurt Vonnegut’s rendition of war exaggerates the frivolity of war in general as war bereaves human life, bereaving society at large with the destruction of not just civilization itself but our own humanity. 

·        Prompt: Free will is often described as an illusion. What are your views, is free will an illusion or do we choose our own path? The authors? And how did he convey these view points.

Choice, the ability to choose is a fundamental facet of human nature, choice the definition of freedom, free will. In my opinion, free will, the freedom of choice, is an intrinsic right that all have or should be permitted (as long as they follow societal morals/ethics…). But is our free will merely an illusion propagated by oversaturated content provided by government? Slaughterhouse-Five asserts such, Kurt Vonnegut thru exaggerated parody blatantly commenting that free will is indeed an illusion, a product of societal content engineered by methodical government influence (incompetency of government officials only eclipsed by that of the sheep like citizens depicted in the work). Indeed thru the use of a comedic, satirical tone amongst other rhetorical strategies, within Slaughterhouse-Five Vonnegut connotes his perspicacity, views on freedom, the apparent illusion of free will.

·        Prompt: Sometimes lies form the basis of our society. What are the roles of lies in Slaughterhouse Five? Is the role positive or negative? How about in our society?

Lies and deception, sometimes lies are necessary for the “truth”. Lies play a pivotal role in our society whether we are aware of such deception. Lies of economic resurgence, lies of military prowess, etc., lies secure the status quo of modern civilization, in many ways is the foundation of our culture. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five depicts such government deception (however inept in satirized depiction).  In order for the maintenance proper functioning/preservation of social stability within society, the role of lies, as Vonnegut depicts, are not only necessary but positive in their affects.


NOTE:? No essay prompts at links provided.

Life of Pi

·        Prompt: In Life of Pi, the main character experiences adversities and challenges in the physical and the spiritual world. Use at least 2 literary techniques that the author uses to describe Pi’s adversities in both worlds. Avoid plot summary.

Yann Martel’s contemporary fantasy epic Life of Pi, like nearly all works of literature, features characters confronting personal adversities. Throughout the novel, Martel employs literary techniques to describe Pi’s adversities. Whether it be the use of the literary technique of allegory, Pi’s two-hundred and twenty-seven day journey surviving stranded on a boat arguably an overarching allegory of survival, a symbolic tale of spiritual enlightenment/physical perseverance, or the use of magical realism/vivid imagery as Pi confronts his internal insecurities, Yann Martel utilizes a panoply of literary techniques to describe Pi’s adversities throughout the Life of Pi in the physical as well as spiritual worlds present within the novel.

·        Prompt: Throughout the Life of Pi, the author uses multiple settings to describe Pi’s journey. Use at least three literary techniques shown that the author uses to develop setting throughout the novel.

Life of Pi chronicles the tales of Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel across a two hundred and twenty seven day maritime journey, Pi traversing myriads of diverse locales and setting throughout his boat-bound quest. Whether it be thru the use of vivid imagery, far-fetched fantastical elements of magical realism juxtaposed with reality, or a surreal, dream like quality of tone, ephemeral structure, Yann Martel vividly paints, develops the setting’s of his novel all via literary techniques.  

·        Prompt: Religion plays a big role in Life of Pi. Discuss the part of religion in the novel and how it affected Piscine's journey.

The entirety of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi can be argued as an allegorical spiritual journey of enlightenment akin to the religious tale of Joseph from the Bible. Religion, like in Joseph’s biblical tale, plays a prominent role in the development of the novel’s protagonist, Pi. As Pi struggles, confronts the adversity of his journey he becomes ever closer to personal enlightenment, religion his intimate means of coping, enduring the challenges, religion gradually developing, characterizing his character.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Macbeth active reading notes: Act 4

"Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog." With these (highly reused/re-purposed) lines of incantation the three witches summon the pagan deity Hectate to which their wicked communion is interrupted by the entrance of the enraged Macbeth demanding explanations of his prophecies, deviations of his fate. Funny today most of Shakespeare's characters, story features are so ubiquitous in the foundations of western storytelling its hard to consider Shakespeare as anything but trite. Truth is, however, he was the progenitor of these tropes, the true "og". I mean everyone has seen stereotypical trios of wicked witches in one form of media or another right? Subsequently I can't help but bock to a certain extent at the cardboard, cookie cutter characters of Macbeth as compared to the morally ambiguous/dynamics of many contemporary counterparts. But I digress. The ambiguitous foreshadowings of the three witches only furthers the idea of an imminent confrontation between Malcolm and Macbeth as well as the sons Lennox and Donalbain. A bloody end to a bloody tale act 4 saw to the merciless stabbing of Macduffs son as Macbeth further descends into guilt wrought anxiety/ delusions. Recruiting the king of England as an armed aid, Malcolm seems to be the most valiant lead in the play though I handed it to Shakespeare when I say nearly all of the characters are generously flawed in a cardinal sin kind of way. To end my rambling all signs and foreshadowings lend to a climatic, violent conclusion. Wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jane Eyre Multiple Choice Answers

3. D
4. C
5. C
7. B
13. B
14. B
15. \D
20. B
21. E
26. A
28. n/a (not there; error loading document?)
29. A

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Macbeth active reading notes: Act II

Scenes 1-2

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?” -Macbeth, act ii, scene 2

Blood freshly flowing from his dagger clutching hands, he did it...and so it begins. Reluctant to the very end scene one begins with a blatant symbol of Macbeth's hesitation as he begins to per curve floating blood soaked daggers just out of reach. Indeed Macbeth may not have even done the deed where it without his Misses persistent boding, lust for blood. Living with high status, reputation under a generous relatively virtuous ruler, Macbeth's hesitation is imaginable but Lady Macbeth's insatiable thirst for more power unimaginably greater. The quote above characterizes Macbeth's unease just staring down at his blood soaked hands...this my friends is the beginning. An interesting note: are we going to see Shakespeare employ more preternatural forces or psychological machination a further on ever increasing in their intensity as our "hero" progresses? Thus far this seems (IMO) to be Shakespeare's most compelling/highly technically complex prose can't wait to read what's next!

Scenes 3-4

"The horror!"

Arriving to visit Duncan, the other lords shriek and cower in horror at the sight of their murdered king. Fainting in feint horror Lady Macbeth's cunning only serves to further evade the Macbeth's potential suspicions. Killing the chamberlains in "uncontrollable rage", Macbeth so to tries his best to hide their guilt but Shakespeare's deliberate shift in tone, diction, the characters rhetoric to terse, curtailed responses only serves as a means for the reader to observe his persisting fear/mounting guilt. I'm really enjoying Shakespeare's use of subtle characterization in Macbeth whether it be directly thru character speech or indirect implied symbols like the dagger connoting and continuing Shakespeare's thematic signature of melodrama. Another Shakespearean trademark, the master craftsmanship of mood via a foreboding tone and the technique of foreshadowing symbolism like that of Malcolm's dying horse, falcon killed by a hawk, etc. further supports the inevitable future confrontation between Macbeth and Duncan's rightful heirs. My only question as of now is how horribly Macbeth and his Lady's end, their foretold fates, undoubtedly be...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Macbeth active reading notes: Act I Scene V

The foreboding tone of Macbeth thus far distinguishes (IMO) itself from the more romantic works of Shakespeare like that of Romeo and Juliet for example. Stormy weather, rotting alleyways decaying with even more morally degraded characters, indeed Macbeth has dark mood characterizing every foreshadow laden quote. Like the foreshadows of his previous compositions, Shakespeare begins Macbeth with a prophecy predicting Macbeth's future seizure of power via the throne of Cawdor but so to with this power a twisted fate. Having completed Scene 5 the biggest takeaway would be that of Lady Macbeth's character. Shakespeare directly characterizes the exalt as one who would do anything to seize more power and prestige, the scene concluding with a foreboding assurance that she will do what Macbeth wont...Lets hope poor Duncan realizes this before it's too late.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ap Practice Exam Multiple Choice Answers

6. B
7. A
8. B
9. A
10. A
11. D
12. C
30. D
31. C
32. E
33. D
34. E
35. A
36. B
37. E
38. A
39. D
40. C
41. E
42. B
43. B
44. A
45. B
46. C
47. A
48. C
49. C
50. A
51. C
52. C
53. D
54. E

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break Assignment: Kafka on the Shore Literature Circle

 Below is our groups' collaborated  Spring Break lit. circle efforts on: 

Kafka on the Shore 


By Haruki Murakami


     Kafka on the Shore lit. circle members:

Torre Reddick

Kathryn Greenup

Dylan Samarasena

Hayden Robel


Fifty multiple choice questions on
Kafka on the Shore
By Haruki  Murakami 

UPDATE/NOTE: These questions where created whilst reading the novel thus are very specific to the novel events unlike an AP style test analyzing a passage. Apologies in advance! (also the below is a modified multiple choice style quiz instead of the previous open ended quiz in the original posting...feel free to take either!)

1. Which of the following weather storms hits Kafka while he is wandering through the woods at Oshima's cottage?

2. After Nakata dies, who inherits his ability to understand animals?
The ability is lost forever.

3. How does Nakata kill Johnny Walker?
a.He stabs him.
b.He poisons him.
c.He shoots him.
d.He drowns him.

4. Which of the following words completes this phrase which Johnny Walker said to Nakata: "This is a war and you'll learn how to ___________"?

5. After Nakata murders Johnny Walker, what changes about him?
a.He gets his memory back.
b.He is suddenly wealthy.
c.He can no longer understand cats.
d.He is no longer illiterate.

6. Who does Nakata remind Hoshino of?
a.His father.
b.His grandfather.
c.His brother.
d.His uncle.

7. What is the name of Mrs. Saeki's spirit?
d.She has no name.

8. Who is asked to kill evil before it can escape through the entrance stone?

9. How does Nakata react when he sees some bikers beating a man at the truck stop?
a.He is terrified.
b.He is confused.
c.He is amused.
d.He is enraged.

10. How long does Kafka spend unattended at Oshima's cottage?
a.Three years.
b.Three months.
cThree days.
d.Three weeks.

11. What weather storms into the city after Hoshino steals the entrance stone?

12. How old was Nakata when his mentor died, closing the shop where they both worked?

13. Where was Mrs. Saeki's boyfriend killed?
a.At a book sale.
b.At a student protest.
c.At a birthday party.
d.At a rock concert.

14. How old was Mrs. Saeki when she opened the entrance stone for the first time?

15. Which part of the paralyzed cats' bodies does Johnny Walker eat while Nakata looks on, horrified?
a.Their eyes.
b.Their brains.
c.Their tongues.
d.Their hearts.

16. How does Hoshino carry the entrance stone back to his hotel room? In a taxi cab.
a.In a wagon.
b.In his pocket.
c.In a backpack.

17. Which of the following phrases does Mrs. Saeki use to describe herself?
a.An incomplete shadow.
b.A separated whole.
c.A boundless body.
d.A mysterious soul.

18. What is pachinko?
b.A type of sticky rice.
c.A gambling game.
d.A child's toy.

19. Who is the only other person that Kafka encounters as he is wandering through the woods?
a.Mrs. Saeki's spirit.
b.A Japanese soldier.
c.A small, frightened girl.
d.He does not encounter any other person.

20. Which of the following is NOT something that ceases to matter in the deserted village?

21. What party does the political trucker align himself with?

22. What is the name of the philosopher that the prostitute recites, that Hoshino meets?
a.Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
b.James Boswell.
c.Marquis de Condorcet.
d.Jose Celestino Mutis.

23. What is the name of the city that Nakata is trying to reach by hitchhiking?

24. From where did Hoshino steal the entrance stone?
a.From a cemetery.
b.From a playground.
c.From a religious shrine.
d.From a river.

25. What request does Johnny Walker make of Nakata?
a.He asks Nakata to kill him.
b.He asks Nakata to pray for him.
c.He asks Nakata to catch cats for him.
d.He asks Nakata to turn him in to the police.

26. What is Kafka planning to do on his fifteenth birthday?
a.Runaway from home
b.Go to Hokkaido
c.Visit his grandfather’s grave

27. What kind of life does Kafka lead?
a. lonely life
b. socially active
c. moderately social

28. Who is “the boy named Crow”?
a. A foreign exchange student
b. a long lost childhood friend
c. a part of Kafka’s mind

29. Summarize the content of the classified “Top Secret document”.
a. After an “odd event”, Kafka began talking to hallucinations of crows as well as flying cats.
b. After an “odd event” a pack of zoo animals apparently fled from their cages and now inhabit the last remaining woodlands of Japan
c. After an “odd event”  Kafka’s peers passed out for a couple of hours, only to regain conscience without remembering what had happened. One of the children did however not wake up.

30. What happens to Kafka on the bus?
a. He meets a girl who he talks to during the ride.
b. He is brutally bullied until being pushed out the bus window.
c. He trips and embarrasses himself in front of all his peers

31. Why was the boy Satoru Nakata an exception in the “accident”?
a. He did not wake up unlike the others.
b. He had a peculiar ability that allowed him to predict the oncoming danger.
c. He was the son of an ambassador thus saved before the rouge soldiers began hailing fire onto the crowds

32. What is Kafka’s idea of “karma”?
a. Some type of juice
b. A foreign religion
c. “What goes around comes around”

33. Where does Kafka decide to go after he has arrived in Takamatsu?
a. The local petting zoo
b. He goes to the library because he loves to read
c. His grandfather’s grave

34. What does Nakata reveal about himself that is surprising to the reader?
a. That he can talk to cats.
b. Himself….
c. That he has run away from home

35. What does the professor say about Nakata’s condition?
a. He’s terminally ill
b. Nakata possesses the power of “astral projection”
c. He can talk to dogs

36. What does he do after this discovery?
a. He calls his childhood friend, Sakura, to ask for help
b. Runs away from home.
c. Immediately goes to the local petting zoo and talks to kenneled pups

37. What information does Mimi get out of Kawamura?
a. That he’s a “closet Christian”
b. That Kawamura ran away from home
c. That the cat Nakata is looking for has been located at a nearby field

38. What does Sakura say when Kafka climbs into bed with her?
a. “I wish you I was your real sister”
b. “When we grow up, promise me you will be my husband.”
c. “Goodnight.”

39. What is revealed in the elementary school teacher’s letter?
a. The teacher is participating in an illicit affair with one of her older students
b. She is being fired for “reasons I cannot and will not disclose to children”
c. It is revealed that Nakata found the teacher’s “menstrual” blood, and she beat him senseless.

40. What does Oshima offer to do for Kafka?
a. He offers for Kafka to stay at his cottage.
b. He offers to help him do his homework.
c. He offers to help Kafka run away from home.

41. Who is Johnnie Walker?
a. Johnie Walker is a supposedly “powerful” man, and kills cats to collect their souls.
b. a serial killer
c. Kafka’s biological father

42. What does he want from Nakata?
a. He wants Nakata to talk to cats for him.
b. He wants Nakata to kill him.
c. He wants Nakata lunch sack

43. What does Kafka feel when he is alone in the cabin?
a. Scared
b. Relaxed
c. both

43. Why does Johnnie Walker kill cats?  
a. He collects their souls
b. He has a feline phobia
c. He’s a dog kind of guy

44. What does Oshima tell Kafka about Miss Saeki?
 a. She’s Kafka’s mother.
b. Miss Saeki is Johnie Walker’s wife
c. How she had a soul mate as boyfriend, but he died at an early age.

45. What is “Kafka on the Shore”?
a. Kafka on the Shore was a song she wrote for her long lost love.
b. A nursery rhyme.
c. Miss Saeki’s favorite bedtime story as a child.

46. How do the police react to Nakata’s murder confession?
a. They think it’s one big joke.
b. They cuff him on sight.
c. They ignore him.

47. What is revealed about Oshima in the incident between her and women visitors?
a. Oshima is a famous pop idol undercover
b. Oshima is a man
c. Oshima turns out to be both male and female

48. What happens to Nakata at the Fujigawa rest area?
a. He makes it rain slugs when he sees bullies beat up an innocent person.
b. Nakata runs away into the forest for no apparent reason.
c. Nakata abruptly passes out due to his “condition”

49. Why does Kafka think that he might be responsible for his father’s murder?
a. A trio of “ wicked women that looked like witches” foreshadowed such in a dream.
b. He had passed out one night where he blacked out and woke up with blood all over him the next day.

50. Who is Mr Hoshino?
a. A Truck Driver
b. Kafka’s father
c. An allegory for the “Christian god”

(Original Test)

  1. The first character to speak in Kafka on the Shore is the "boy named Crow". Who is he?
  2. "Kafka," we later learn, means "crow" in Czech. What relationship is Murakami trying to suggest between Franz Kafka, Kafka Tamura, the boy named Crow, and actual crows? At what significant moments do crows appear in the novel? What symbolic value do they have?
  3. When Kafka meets Sakura on the bus, they agree that "even chance meetings . . . are the results of karma" and that "things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there's no such thing as coincidence". What role does fate, or meaningful coincidence, play in the novel? Is it karma that determines Kafka's destiny?
  4. Much of the novel alternates between Kafka's story and Nakata's. What effects does Murakami create by moving the reader back and forth between parallel narratives? What is the relationship between Nakata and Kafka?
  5. When Kafka is a young boy, his father tells him: "Someday you will murder your father and be with your mother", the same destiny as Oedipus. Kafka's father also tells him that he will sleep with his sister and that there is nothing he can do to prevent this prophecy from being fulfilled. How do Kafka's attempts to escape his fate bring him closer to fulfilling it?
  6. The phrase "for the time being" is repeated throughout Kafka on the Shore. Why has Murakami chosen to use this qualifying statement so often? How is the conventional concept of time stretched and challenged by events in the novel? Why does Miss Saeki tell Kafka: "Time's rules don't apply here. Time expands, then contracts, all in tune with the stirrings of the heart"?
  7. In what ways are the boundaries between past and present, dreaming and waking, fantasy and reality blurred and often erased in Kafka on the Shore?
  8. The teacher in charge of the children who lost consciousness in the woods during World War II writes to her professor many years later and tells him: "I find the worldview that runs through all of your publications very convincing—namely that as individuals each of us is extremely isolated, while at the same time we are all linked by a prototypical memory". How are the main characters of the novel—Kafka, Nakata, Oshima, Miss Saeki—"extremely isolated"? In what ways do they share a "prototypical memory"? What would that memory be?  
  9. Kafka Tamura seems, in some mysterious way, to be both Miss Saeki's son and the ghost of her long-dead lover. How does Murakami intend us to understand this shifting and apparently impossible dual identity?
  10. What is the relationship between Nakata's quest for the "entrance stone" and Kafka's journey into the forest?
  11. In what ways can Kafka on the Shore be read as a love story?
  12. The supernatural shape-shifter, who takes the form of Colonel Sanders, tells Hoshino that he is neither God nor Buddha but a kind of "overseer, supervising something to make sure it fulfills its original role. Checking the correlation between different worlds, making sure things are in the right order". What are these different worlds? Is Colonel Sanders talking about parallel universes?
  13. Kafka on the Shore is, for the most part, a realistic novel, yet it contains many magical elements—Nakata's ability to talk with cats and make fish fall from the sky, the shape-shifting Colonel Sanders, the middle-aged Miss Saeki visiting Kafka as her fifteen-year-old self. What is Murakami saying about the nature of reality and our beliefs about it through these seemingly impossible episodes?
  14. At the end of the novel, Oshima tells Kafka, "You've grown up". In what ways has Kafka been changed by his experience? What are the most important things he has learned? Why does he feel he has entered "a brand-new world"?
15.  What is Kafka planning to do on his fifteenth birthday?
16.  What kind of life does Kafka lead?
17.  Who is “the boy named Crow”? What does he tell Kafka about school?
18.  Summarize the content of the classified Top Secret document.
19.  What happens to Kafka on the bus?
20.  Why was the boy Satoru Nakata an exception in the case?
21.  What is “karma”?
22.  Where does Kafka decide to go after he has arrived in Takamatsu? Why?
23.  What does Nakata reveal about himself that is surprising to the reader?
24.  What does the professor say about Nakata’s condition?
25.  What does he do after this discovery?
26.  What information does Mimi get out of Kawamura?
27.  What does Sakura say when Kafka climbs into bed with her?
28.  Give a summary of the elementary school teacher’s letter to the professor. What is revealed?
29.  What does Oshima offer to do for Kafka?
30.  Who is Johnnie Walker, and what does he want from Nakata?
31.  What does Kafka feel when he is alone in the cabin?
32.  Why does Johnnie Walker kill cats?  
33.  What does Oshima tell Kafka about Miss Saeki? What is “Kafka on the Shore”?
34.  How do the police react to Nakata’s murder confession?
35.  Describe the incident between the women visitors and Oshima? What is revealed about Oshima?
36.  What happens to Nakata at the Fujigawa rest area?
37.  Why does Kafka think that he might be responsible for his father’s murder?
38.  Who is Mr Hoshino?
39.  What does Kafka see in the room at night? What “connection” does he make?
40.  For how long does Nakata sleep?
41.  What is Miss Saeki’s book about? How is this connected to Kafka’s father?
42.  How does Nakata describe the “entrance stone”? What is special about it?
43.  Who has been to the library to look for Kafka? Why does Oshima think it is not something to worry about? 
44.  Describe an instance of characterization within the novel. Identity as whether indirect/direct.
45.  What is the significance/symbol of crows within the novel?
46.  How would you describe the tone/mood of Murakami’s authorial style as illustrated in Kafka on the Shore?
47.  Would you consider Kafka as a static or dynamic character? Why/Why not? 
48.  What distinguishes Kafka on the Shore as a postmodernist piece? Example(s)?
49.  Is there an observable shift in syntax/style when Murakami transitions from exposition to characterization?
50.  In your opinion, what is the ultimate theme of Kafka on the Shore?

Practice Essay Prompts

Prose Essay Prompts
1. Many writers utilize symbols to communicate a theme(s). Write an essay in which you identify Haruki Murakami’s use of symbols within Kafka on the Shore to connote one of the novel’s ultimate, overall, theme(s).

2.   Write a rhetorical analysis analyzing Haruki Murakami’s use of rhetoric/prose (tone, syntax, structure etc.) in his novel Kafka on the Shore to further the author’s purpose and/or theme(s).  

3.    Throughout the novel the “primary character” Kafka struggles internally, these internal struggles by novel’s end characterizing the character. Write an essay wherein you identify Murakami’s use of shifting (or static) style/rhetoric/prose to characterize Kafka (or any supportable character within the novel). Try to support with examples of indirect/direct characterization.

Open Essay Prompts

1. Explain how the author develops a character through the use of relationships and encounters with others (include examples of direct and indirect characterizations if possible!)

2. Write an essay explaining how the use of telling a story from multiple perspectives furthers the readers understanding of the novel.

3. Kafka on the shore is a modern reselling of the play Oedipus the king. Write an essay in which you analyze similar themes.


 Lit. technique examples analyzed

1.      Symbolism-The boy named Crow. Crow represent a tough bird, resilient, and crafty. They can fly away from home and never come back. They can see things from above. All qualities Kafka wanted and thought he had.

2.      Bildungsroman-After running away from home for months, living nearly on his own, going through the forest and into limbo, meeting the love of his life and leaving her dead, Kafka realizes that he needs to go back home to face his demons and take care of his father's accident.

3.      Allusion-Kafka's father foretold that Kafka would kill his father and have sex with his mother, alluding to Oedipus Rex.

4.      Foreshadow: See above. The prophecy happened.

5.      Incongruity-Nakata and Hoshino are complete opposites. One cannot read and wishes he could and the other can read and chooses not to take advantage of the skill. Theycome from completely different backgrounds and paths of life but were put together for a really strange journey by fate.

6.      Interior monologue-Murakami gave Kafka an alter ego, "The boy named Crow", who acted as this conscience. He would give him inspiration when Kafka didn't know what to do and would tell him how to be the toughest fifteen-year-old in the world.

7.      Flashback- In the beginning of the story, Murakami dedcided to make a few chapters documents recorded during the war. They were from about sixty years prior to when the story took place and they described the accident that made Nakata dumb without directly telling us who the child who never recovered was.

8.      Denouement- The story had many separate "loose ends" tied up at the end; almost every character had one. Miss Saeki's body ended up dying along with her soul, Nakata died in his sleep because he had opened the entrance stone, Hoshino closed the entrance stone and his journey ended, and Kafka made it through the forest without looking back and realized he needed to comtinue living like Miss Saeki wanted.

9.      Direct characterization-Nearly every time a new character was introduced, they were directly characterized. Murakami liked to describe each character in detail to give the reader a vivid image of what the character looked like through the first person point of view. This was mostly seen in the chapters focussed on Kafka, because he was more observant of the people he met in comparison to Nakata who didn't seem to notice much detail. Kafka specifically would describe sexual feelings and body types of Miss Saeki and Sakura.

10.  Dialect- Nakata spoke in very short sentences because he "wasn't too bright" while Oshima and Kafka both spoke poetically. Hoshino spoke like a redneck because he was a trucker who was never into reading or schoolwork.

11.  Free verse- "Kafka on the Shore", the song Miss Saeki wrote as a young adult, was written out. The verses didn't rhyme or have a specific meter.

 12) Indirect Characterization: The Boy Named Crow in the first few pages is described not directly but through his verbal communication with Kafka. It shows that he has a deep refined persona and is good with words and has the ability to influence with only his words. But later on it is apparent that it is however some sort of Conscience to Kafka, or could be his alter ego because the name Kafka means Crow, or an imaginary friend. Thus making it magical realistic.

13) Magical Realism: Throughout the whole book magical Realism is identified. For example Ch. 10 Nakata has a complete dialogue with a cat. Basically Magical realism allows for the reader to interpret things with a suspension of disbelief and add more character to the story rather than including mundane detail. For example the following passage of Nakata having a conversation with the cat without magical realism, It would’ve just been Nakata talking with a cat to himself but with the use of magical realism the reader’s disbelief is suspended yielding to be more engaged with the story “I don’t mind at all, the tallest of heads.” “pardon me, But Nakata doesn’t understand what you’re saying Forgive me, but I’m not so Bright.”“It’s a tuna, to the very end.
“Are you perhaps saying you’d like to eat a tuna?”
“No. The hands tied up, before.” And the fact that Kafka talks with Crow who isn’t physically there that allows  for a different way of the protagonist to communicate his thoughts rather than just talking to himself, Kafka is talking to another entity allowing for a more engaging and more thematic  point in the story.
14) Bildungsroman:  means a coming of age or a realization. In The books center theme is around spiritual discovery of oneself and finding one’s place and reason why and connection.  
15) Point of View: Throughout the story the views change between two really different plot lines, between Nakata an old man finding cats and Kafka who is running away both running for different reasons but the two. The point of view is what allows the reader to interpret and follow what’s happening in the novel. As For Kafka Of the Shore it is confusing to keep track but after some time it is apparent that it alternates from Nakata to Kafka on the odd to even and chapters.
16) Symbolism: Symbolism allows for the reader to see the deeper meanings to the objects that the author writes. In Kafka on the Shore there may be some major symbolism to Kafka’s name and The Boy Named Crow.  In Japanese Shinto (Spiritualism) Crows have deep spiritual meaning, they signify divine intervention, which may explain why crow appears to try and help or appear when Kafka needs strength and gives him an edge, maybe and angel rather than an alter ego. Cats also have some symbolism to them in Japanese culture as Nakata had suffered from a massive accident in his youth it gave him very weird abilities to talk with cats, which symbolizes good luck it’s a bit ironic that The Luckiest guy in the book talks with a lucky animal.
17) Personification: Personification gives objects a certain human characteristic, and is a characterized under Magical Realism, therefore the talking Cats that Nakata has throughout the book is a form of Personification.
18) Imagery: Imagery gives the reader something that regular writing with mundane detail cannot accomplish. For example “Sometimes Fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again but the storm adjusts. over and over you play this out, like some       ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why?” Instead of saying Your Problems Murakami decides to compare your problems to that of a sandstorm which yields more depth than just straight up saying your problems.
19) Hyperbole: Hyperboles are very apparent within Magical Realistic Books thereforeNakata and Kafka’s ventures into the spiritual realm could be just ordinary occurrences seen through the eyes of an exhausted child, and a deranged man.
20) Foreshadowing: When and author gives subtle clues that have more influence to the story it is Foreshadowing. For example in Ch. 4 It has no dialogue between Nakata or anyone else. but is a whole Dialogue of an interview held with military person who had witnessed several kids being unconscious during an attack in WWII which caused Nakata to fall unconscious for weeks and in the end hindering his mental faculties, which literally foreshadows his ability to talk with cats
21) Diction: When Diction is used correctly it can be used to determine a character’s mental capabilities and author’s purpose. For example, each of the chapters in the novel, switch off from Kafka to Nakata, and in each of the chapters the diction and syntax is very much changed from each one. Nakata’s is more slow and childlike, while Kafka’s is more coherent and lucid.