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Pre-AP 11 ENGLISH SUMMER ASSIGNMENT

WEATHERFORD HIGH SCHOOL

MRS. SANDERS

tsanders@wpsok.org

 

The summer assignment is due by August 13th. If you do not turn in the summer assignment it will drastically affect your first semester grade. Students who are newly enrolled into the district will have three weeks from the beginning of school to get the assignment turned in to receive credit. The test over the novel will be on August 14th.

 

*PLAGIARISM IS UNACCEPTABLE. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT PLAGERIZING, YOU WILL RECEIVE A ZERO FOR THE ASSIGNMENT. You may check websites like sparknotes.com or shmoop.com for supplemental help, but do NOT replace reading the book with summaries.

 

Summer Assignment: Read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

As pre-AP students studying language and composition, our purpose in reading The Scarlet Letter is not to study it as a work of fiction, but as a masterpiece of language. While you may or may not find the story to be enjoyable, pay close attention to the details of language. Nathaniel Hawthorne is an artist; this novel is his masterpiece. What elements of language did he use? What strategies were chosen with his reader and his purpose constantly in mind?

 

We are ultimately studying his STYLE and the components that comprise it. Style involves the author’s choice and arrangement of words in sentences (diction and syntax), the use of sensory and/or figurative language, the tone, and the mood. Look for such things as the length and complexity of the sentences; the use of words that are obscure, and occasionally, archaic; his allusions (Old Manse, the War of 1812 in “The Custom House,” etc.); the balanced, often parallel syntax; the occasional metaphors; the excessive—by modern standards—punctuation; and the tone of friendly formality. As you read, think of adjectives that describe Hawthorne’s style. Think “outside the bubble.” How was this style created, and what is its effect on the reader?

 

The first “chapter” of the novel is called “The Custom House,” which is entirely a different style than the actual novel that follows. In “The Custom House,” you will become acquainted with the important events of Hawthorne’s life, as well as some of the conventions that early novel writers used, and with Hawthorne’s prose style.

 

*This novel uses archaic language, but once you get used to the language, you will see the beauty of the story and    the language. Have a dictionary handy.

 

Themes (for use in the journal entries)

The Scarlet Letter explores the effects of sin, guilt, punishment, and revenge. Below are some themes that run throughout the novel:

 

Guilt can destroy a person, body and soul.                 

The choices people make determine what they become.

The punishment imposed on us by others may not be as destructive as the guilt we experience.

True repentance must come from within.     

Revenge destroys the victim and the seeker.

Even well-intended deceptions and secrets can lead to destruction.

One must have the courage to be true to one’s self.  

Within each person is the capacity for both good and evil.

It is by recognizing and dealing with their weaknesses that people grow stronger.

 

Symbols (for use in the journal entries)

The Scarlet Letter is considered to be the world’s first truly symbolic novel. Below are some examples of symbols to watch for that carry through and change throughout the novel, though I’ll leave their interpretations up to you:

 

The scarlet letter itself/ the letter A              The names of Pearl, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth

The forest                                                     The scaffold

The prison                                                     Sunlight

The absence and presence of light                  Colors and absence of color

The rose

 

 

 

Rhetorical Devices to achieve purpose (for use in the journal entries)

Watch for the following as you read. When you find prominent examples of each, actively consider why he used it and how he used it. What is his purpose, and how does his use rhetorical devices help him convey his purpose to the reader?

 

Contrasts (Good/evil, dark/light, forest/town, color/absence of color, supernatural/ reality, etc.)

Duality (How does Pearl’s character reflect the duality of the Puritan community?)

Ambiguity     

Allegory       

Symbolism    

Description   

Word Choice (diction)          

Contradiction/ Irony

Connotations - look at names; characternym-a name that symbolizes or stands for some aspect of the character                

Motif – recurring symbol (hand over heart, The Black Man, the color red)

 

******SUMMER ASSIGNMENT******

 

Reading Response – 5 Sections (Journal, poetry, art, song, reflective response)

To ensure success, please follow the steps and directions:

 

 

A. --- Journal Entries Section of your Reading Response

Complete your journal entries section of your Reading Response in Google Docs. You will have 10 journal entries to complete. Complete each log entry like the following: label the entry (Journal Entry 1, etc.) and respond to each log question(s) using commentary, analysis, insight, interpretation, etc. Skip a line. Then begin your next entry. Each entry must be a between 50-75 words and set up using CEC (claim, evidence, commentary). You might want to start the entries at the beginning of the summer when you start reading the novel, and add to it as you read.

 

**Be very careful in this section to avoid plagiarism!

 

Journal Entry 1: “The Custom House”

What is romanticism? What is the purpose of this chapter? How does Hawthorne’s family history contribute to his attitude toward The Custom House and his place in society? In this section, Hawthorne addresses the reader directly. What effect does that have on the audience? What effect does the description of the scarlet letter have on you?

Journal Entry 2: Chapters 1-2

What is the narrator’s attitude toward the Puritans? What is his attitude toward Hester?

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

Journal Entry 3: Chapters 3-4

How does the narrator present Chillingworth to the reader?

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

Journal Entry 4: Chapters 5-6

What is the effect of the scarlet letter upon Hester? Describe Pearl’s character.

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

Journal Entry 5: Chapters 7-8

Explain Hester’s argument concerning her rights to Pearl.

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

Journal Entry 6: Chapters 9-12

What is Chillingworth’s project? What is Dimmesdale’s inner struggle, and how does it affect him?

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

Journal Entry 7: Chapters 13-15

In what different ways can the scarlet letter be interpreted? What do these different ways reveal about Hester’s view of

herself and her role in Puritan society?

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

 

 

 

 

Journal Entry 8: Chapters 16-19

Explain the kind of love Hester and Dimmesdale have for each other. What prevents them from acting upon this love?

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

Journal Entry 9: Chapters 20-22

Why does Dimmesdale finally announce his guilt? How does he do so – what type of language does he use, who does he address, and why?

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

Journal Entry 10: Chapters 23-24

What is Hester’s role in society? What is her view of the role?

Discuss themes, symbols, and rhetorical devices in these chapters (see above).

 

B. --- Poetry Section of the Reading Response

After you have read the book you must find one poem that relates and connects to the literature and include the author’s

name. (You cannot make up a poem for this section.)You must provide a copy of the poem and write a paragraph (5-7 sentences) in which you explain the connections and relationships between the literature and the poem. Again, as with all sections of your response, this is typed.

 

C. ---  Art Work Section of the Reading Response

You must find and provide a copy of one piece of artwork that relates to The Scarlet Letter, and include the artists. This

means actual artwork, not “clip art.” You must write a paragraph that explains the relationship and connection that the

artwork has with the book. Again, as with all sections of your response, this is typed.

 

D. --- Song Section of the Reading Response

You must find and provide a copy of the lyrics to a song that relates to the novel. Provide the person/persons who wrote

the song. Remember that just because a band recorded a song, does not necessarily mean that those band members/lead

singers actually WROTE the song. You must write a paragraph that explains the relationship and connection that the song

has with the book. Again, as with all sections of your response, this is typed.

 

E. --- Reflection Section of the Reading Response

You will write a 1 ½ - 2 page reflective response that answers the following question: What did I learn while exploring The Scarlet Letter? This question can embody a variety of learning experiences. There is no right or wrong answer as long as you support your opinion with descriptive language about your experience. This response should be viewed as a self-reflection in which you consider the writing, reading, and thinking you have done this summer. Here are some things to consider when composing your response:

 

*What did you learn about literary elements in writing?          *What did you learn about the human experience or the way                                                                                                  society has evolved?

*What did you learn about your own reading/writing habits?    *How did you grow as a reader/writer?

 

 

Make sure your response is in MLA format. Here is an example of how the paper should be formatted.

 

 

Traci Sanders

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