AP English Literature and Composition Overview

Brief Course Description: During the course of the year in AP literature we will analyze literature from the point of view of the writer as well as of the reader to determine how the literature affects its readers and in what ways. We will also examine literature against historical and philosophical perspectives from the other 12th Grade CORE classes. In addition, literary analysis will look at theme, style, structure, diction, imagery, use of detail, language and syntax and the effect each element has on the work as a whole. Writing well about literature is a key component of the class.

The AP Exam: It is the expectation of all students to sign up for and take the Advanced Placement Exam in English Literature given on Thursday, May 9, 2013. If a student chooses not to take the AP test for college credit, they will still be expected to demonstrate their skills  and understanding by taking an identically formatted test on the same date


Unit 1:

Theme: Views of Human Nature and Human Life

  • The Anthill Chronicles, E.O. Wilson
  • Hamlet, William Shakespeare (Folger Edition)
  • Candide, Voltaire


Unit 2:

Themes: Love and Existentialism

  • Poetry of the Romantic Period
  • “Innocent Erendira”, Marquez
  • Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Marquez
  • Metamorphosis, Kafka
  • The Death of Ivan Ilych, Tolstoy
  • The Stranger, Camus


Unit 3:

Theme: The Influence of Language on Human Thinking and Behavior

  • Catcher in the Rye, Salinger
  • Being There, Kosinski
  • The Bluest Eye, Morrison


Unit 4:
Theme: Postmodernism and the Abandonment of “Truth”


  • Oleanna, Mamet
  • Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut
  • Fortinbras, Lee Blessing