Dombey And Son Ap Literature Essay Prompts

Welcome Panthers to the Blended Review for the AP Literature Exam

 You are working hard in class and teachers are also available for tutorials before or after school.  Also-your teachers have created this online guide to provide practice and review ONLINE as you study and prep for the exam.

 What AP Readers Want To See

 General Test Practice and Review:

Some links to College Board (and other) resources--http://ap.testfrenzy.com/englishlit.html
Another AP Lit teacher's website with many helpful files--http://classroom.quixoticpedagogue.org/ap-english-iv/lit-test-prep

Glossary of Literary Terms: 
This covers the basics nicely for a quick review, without being too overwhelming. 
http://www.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/allam/general/glossary.htm

Multiple Choice:
Here is a quick 20 question multiple choice practice test, offered by Shmoop.com: http://www.shmoop.com/ap-english-literature/practice-quiz.html

This is a College Board article on Multiple Choice Strategies . (Please note that this article does not reflect the fact that  the College Board changed scoring procedures this year. As of this year you no longer lose 1/4 point for incorrect answers. This means that guessing can only help and not hurt your score.)

Essay Questions:

 Essay #1 Poetry

 The poetry question is Question 1.  It is suggested that you spend 40 minutes on this part of the exam.  It may be one poem or two poems.  Take out your AP Roadmap and look at the generic breakdown of the past poetry prompts.

 Als  here is an example of an AP teacher actually breaking down the poetry prompt under test conditions. 

 

Click here to view 3 videos that discuss the poetry question.  Begin with the LAST video FIRST because it shows the entire poem.  Then-view the other two.  This review takes 40 minutes. 

AP Lit Poetry Review

Essay #2 PROSE**coming next week-stay tuned

 

 


Essay #3   Open Ended

 This is the question that is the basic prompt.  There will be a list of books/dramas/stories that you may reference. You may also choose any book of literary merit. ****key to remember…NO REFERENCES to POP CULTURE…stick to the list.

 The test asks you to write about a novel, play or epic that you have studied. Reviewing some of the novels and plays we've read will help you be prepared to support your ideas with specific details. I think the Shmoop guides are the best and most student-friendly.  Take out you AP Roadmap and look up those selections on Schmoop.  Review the basic storyline and then look at your prompts list.  WHICH SELECTION MATCHES WHICH PROMPT? We have done this in class. We have practiced our “flower”. 

 In addition: 

 You have all your strategies sheets  *(DIDLS/TPCASTT/SPOTTTS)

 You know this drill by now.

 Here are additional practice sites:

 

 

 

 

 

Practice these sample questions…the answers will be located at the end of the selection:

 

 Sample Multiple Choice Questions:

 Departmental

 

 An ant on the tablecloth

 

Ran into a dormant moth

 

Of many times his size.

 

He showed not the least surprise.

 

His business wasn't with such.

 

He gave it scarcely a touch,

 

And was off on his duty run.

 

Yet if he encountered one

 

Of the hive's enquiry squad

 

Whose work is to find out God

 

And the nature of time and space,

 

He would put him onto the case.

 

Ants are a curious race;

 

One crossing with hurried tread

 

The body of one of their dead

 

Isn"t given a moment's arrest-

 

Seems not even impressed.

 

But he no doubts report to any

 

With whom he crosses antennae,

 

And they no doubt report

 

To the higher up at court.

 

Then word goes forth in Formic:

 

"Death's come to Jerry McCormic,

 

Our selfless forager Jerry.

 

Will the special Janizary

 

Whose ofice it is to bury

 

The dead of the commissary

 

Go bring him home to his people.

 

Lay him in state on a sepal.

 

Wrap him for shroud in a petal.

 

Embalm him with ichor of nettle.

 

This is the word of your Queen."

 

And presently on the scene

 

Appears a solemn mortician;

 

And taking formal position

 

With feelers calmlty atwiddle,

 

Seizes the dead by the middle,

 

And heaving him high in the air,

 

Carries him out of there.

 

No one stands round to stare.

 

It is nobody else"s affair.

 

 It couldn't be called ungentle.

 

But how thoroughly departmental.

 

                                                              Robert Frost (1874-1963)

 

    1. "Departmental" can best be described as

 

A. The product of attentive observation

 

B. An account of nature

 

C. An allegory for human idiosyncrasies

 

D. A light, simple narrative

 

E. A reflection upon the author's life

 

 2.  There is a shift in the poem from

 

A. Descriptive narrative to pensive editorial

 

B. Careful observation to personal involvement

 

C. Omniscient description to reproachful exposition

 

D. Individual account to universal significance

 

E. There is no apparent shift

 

 3.  The tone of the poem can best be described as

 

A. Playful observation

 

B. Scornful emphasis

 

C. Light description

 

D. Satirical exposition

 

E. Detached omniscience

 

 4.  "Arrest" in line 16 most likely means

 

A. incarceration

 

B. admonition

 

C. capture

 

D. detention

 

E. seizure

 

 5.  What rhetorical strategy is exhibited in "Death's come to Jerry McCormic,"

 

(line 23)

 

                     I.                  Personification

 

                    II.                Metaphor

 

                    III.              Euphemism

 

 A. I only

 

B. II only

 

C. III only

 

D. I and II only

 

E. None of the above

 

 6. "Atwiddle " in line most likely means

 

A. upright

 

B. alert

 

C. flaccid

 

D. quiescent

 

E. inquisitive

 

 7. The major shift in the piece occurs in

 

A. Line 8

 

B. Line 13

 

C. Line 23

 

D. Line 33

 

E. Line 42

 

 8. The author"s depiction of ants is best described as

 

A. indifferently mechanical

 

B. mundanely subsistent

 

C. hierarchically divided

 

D. selfishly compassionless

 

E. fantastically human

 

 9.  Lines 42-43 suggest that the author

 

A. meant the piece to be a statement about departmental action

 

B. holds the death practices of ants in reproach

 

C. finds the ways in which all species treat death intriguing

 

D. meant to place emphasis on his own opinion

 

E.  is warning the reader against judging other species against our own standards

 

 10.What is the author's attitude toward departmental societies?

 

A. outraged abhorrence

 

B. interested approval

 

C. indifferent observation

 

D. bitter detest

 

E. satirical disapproval

 

     Answers:  

 

1. C   

 

2. A  

 

3. D  

 

4. B  

 

5. C 

 

6. B   

 

7. B  

 

8. E  

 

9. A  

 

10. E

 

 

 

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

 

 Do not go gentle into that good night,

 

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

 Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

 

Because their words had forked no lightning they

 

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

 Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

 

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

 Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

 

And learn , too late, they grieved it on its way

 

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

 Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

 

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

 And you, my father, there on the sad height,

 

Curse, bless, em now with your fierce tears, I pray.

 

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

   1.  Which of the following IS NOT an attitude one of the men displays?

 

a.  resistingly aware

 

b.  unexpected melancholia

 

c.  determined rage

 

d.  wistful regret

 

e.  solemn objectivity

 

 2.  The most important shift in the passage occurs in

 

a.  line 16

 

b.  line 4

 

c.  line 10

 

d.  both a and b

 

e.  none of the above

 

                   

 

3.  How does the author suggest one should meet death?

 

a.  prayerful acceptance

 

b. challenging preparedness

 

c. solemn resistance

 

d.  amiable resignation

 

e.  angry opposition

 

 4.  Where does the author reveal his ambiguity toward his father and his

 

     impending death?

 

a.  the various characterizations of men

 

b.  line 17 - "Curse, bless..."

 

c.  "...dying of the light"

 

d.  "...your fierce tears..."

 

e.  reference to death as "that good night"

 

                        

 

5.  Personification is NOT exhibited in which of the following?

 

a.  "Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay," (line 8)

 

b.  "Old age should burn and rave at close of day;" (line 2)

 

c.  "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." (line 3)

 

d.  "Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay," (line 14)

 

e.  "Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight," (line10)

 

      Answers / Explanation

 

 1.  Which of the following IS NOT an attitude one of the men displays?

 

a.  resistingly aware - wise; "know dark is right...do not go gentle"

 

b.  unexpected melancholia - wild; "too late, they grieved it"

 

c.  determined rage - what author suggests/repeats, none display

 

d.  wistful regret - good; "deeds might have danced"

 

e.  solemn objectivity - grave; "see with blinding sight"

 

 2.  The most important shift in the passage occurs in

 

a.  line 16 - general (suggestion/characterization) to specific (author's father)

 

b.  line 4 - author's suggestion to characterization of men

 

c.  line 10 - distractor, middle of poem

 

d.  both a and b - both true, but a is "the most important"

 

e.  none of the above

 

                   

 

3.  How does the author suggest one should meet death?

 

a.  prayerful acceptance - "I pray" (referring to father, line 17), never suggests

 

     accepting

 

b. challenging preparedness - MOST correct

 

c. solemn resistance - "rage against the dying..." (resistance), not solemn rage

 

d. amiable resignation - "wise men know dark is right" (resignation, line 4), no

 

    amiability

 

e.  angry opposition - "rage against..." repeated often, doesn't suggest

 

     anger/bitterness

 

 4.  Where does the author reveal his ambiguity toward his father and his

 

     impending death?

 

a.  the various characterizations of men - he can't categorize his father

 

b.  line 17 - "Curse, bless...," contradictory reactions to death

 

c.  "...dying of the light" - distractor, personification

 

d.  "...your fierce tears..." - distractor, unusual juxtaposition

 

e.  reference to death as "that good night" -  ambiguous pun, not refer to father

 

     only

 

                        

 

5.  Personification is NOT exhibited in which of the following?

 

a.  "Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay," (line 8) - deeds danced

 

b.  "Old age should burn and rave at close of day;" (line 2) - old age burn and rave

 

c.  "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." (line 3) - dying light

 

d.  "Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay," (line 14) - eyes blaze

 

e.  "Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight," (line10)  - men CAN

 

      catch/sing

 

 

DOMBEY

 

                     The passage below is the opening of a novel.  Read the passage

 

carefully.  Then write anessay in which you define the narrator's attitude

 

toward the characters and show how he directs the reader's perceptions of

 

those characters through his use of such stylistic devices as imagery, diction,

 

narrative structure, and choice of specific details.

 

                      Dombey sat in the corner of the darkened room in the great arm-chair

 

by the bedside, and Son lay tucked up warm in a little basket bedstead,

 

carefully disposed on a low settee immediately in front of the fire and close to

 

it, as if his constitution were analogous to that of a muffin, and it was

 

essential to toast him brown while he was very new.

 

                    Dombey was about eight-and-forty years of age.  Son about eight-and-

 

forty minutes.  Dombey was rather bald, rather red, and though a handsome

 

well-made man, too stern and pompous in appearance to be prepossessing. 

 

Son was very bald, and very red, and though (of course) an undeniably fine

 

infant, somewhat crushed and spotty in his general effect, as yet.  On the

 

brow of Dombey, Time and his brother Care had set some marks, as on a tree

 

that was to come  down in good time -- remorseless twins they are for

 

striding through their human forests, notching as they go -- while the

 

countenance of Son was crossed and recrossed with a thousand little creases,

 

which the same deceitful Time would take delight in smoothing out and

 

wearing away with the flat part of his scythe, as a preparation of the surface

 

for his deeper operations.

 

                    Dombey, exulting in the long-looked-for event, jingled and jingled the

 

heavy gold                     watch-chain that depended from below his trim blue coat,

 

whereof the buttons sparkled phosphorescently in the feeble rays of the

 

distant fire.  Son, with his little fists curled up and clenched, seemed, in his

 

feeble way, to be squaring at existence for having come upon him so

 

unexpectedly.

 

                    "The house will once again, Mrs. Dombey," said Mr. Dombey, "be

 

not only in name but in fact Dombey and Son; Dom-bey and Son!"

 

                    The words had such a softening influence that he appended a term of

 

endearment to Mrs. Dombey's name (though not without some hesitation, as

 

being a man but little used to that form of address) and said, "Mrs. Dombey,

 

my -- my dear."

 

                    A transient flush of faint surprise overspread the sick ladyÕs face as

 

she raised her eyes towards him.

 

                    "He will be christened Paul, my -- Mrs. Dombey -- of course."

 

                    She feebly echoed, "Of course," or rather expressed it by the motion

 

of her lips, and closed her eyes again.

 

                    "His fatherÕs name, Mrs. Dombey, and his grandfatherÕs!  I wish his

 

grandfather were alive this day!"  And again he said "Dom-bey and Son," in

 

exactly the same tone as before.

 

                    Those three words conveyed the one idea of Mr. Dombey's life.  The

 

earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and moon were

 

made to give them light.  Rivers and seas were formed to float their ships;

 

rainbows gave them promise of fair weather; winds blew for or against their

 

enterprises; stars and planets circled in their orbits to preserve inviolate a

 

system of which they were the centre.  Common abbreviations took new

 

meanings in his eyes, and had sole reference to them: A.D. had no concern

 

with anno Domini, but stood for anno Dombei -- and Son.

 

  AP Multiple Choice Questions on Dombey

 

 1. In lines 13-27 of the second paragraph, which of the following are

 

compared?

 

                     I. Time is compared to a forester

 

                    II. The brow is compared to a tree

 

                    III. The lines on a face are compared to marks on a tree to be felled

 

 a. II only

 

b. I and II only

 

c. I and III only

 

d. II and III only

 

e. I, II, and III

 

 2. In line 29, the " house" is

 

a. Parliament

 

b. a business firm

 

c. a place of residence

 

d. a family

 

e. a social unit

 

 3. Dombey and Son is evidently a

 

a. trading a company

 

b. law firm

 

c. retailer of domestic goods

 

d. religious denomination

 

e. ship-building company

 

 4. In lines dealing with Mrs. Dombey, she is characterized as all of the

 

following EXCEPT

 

a. passive

 

b. accustomed to her husband's stern demeanor

 

c. frail

 

d. loving

 

e. reticent

 

 5. In lines 37-38, Mrs. Dombey is surprised because

 

a. she has not yet recovered form her labor

 

b. Mr. Dombey has spoken affectionately

 

c. she has misunderstood Mr. Dombey's words

 

d. Mr. Dombey has called her "Mrs. Dombey"

 

e. Mr. Dombey is delighted that the child is a son rather than a daughter

 

 6. The central concern of Mr. Dombey's life is

 

a. wife

 

b. child

 

c. riches

 

d. company

 

e. sense of well-being

 

 7. In lines 51-52 ("stars and planets...centre), the antecedent of the pronoun

 

"they" is

 

a. "stars"

 

b. "planets"

 

c. both "stars" and "planets"

 

d. "orbits"

 

e. "Dombey and Son"

 

 8. The point of view expressed in the last paragraph of the passage is that of

 

a. the narrator of the passage

 

b. the author of the passage

 

c. Dombey

 

d. Mrs. Dombey

 

e. Dombey and Son

 

 9. The last paragraph of the passage uses all of the following EXCEPT

 

a. repartee

 

b. repetition

 

c. blasphemous comparison

 

d. parallel construction

 

e. overstatement

 

 10. Given the remarks on Time in the 2nd paragraph and Mr. Dombey's

 

obsession, we

 

may infer that young Paul Dombey will

 

a. become a successful man of business

 

b. alienate his wife

 

c. not become rich

 

d. die young

 

e. refuse to carry on the business

 

 11. The use of irony in the passage is most apparent in the

 

a. 1st paragraph

 

b. 2nd paragraph

 

c. 3rd paragraph

 

d. dialogue between Mr. and Mrs. Dombey

 

e. final paragraph

 

  Answers

 

1.e

 

2.b

 

3.a

 

4.d

 

5.b

 

6.d

 

7.e

 

8.c

 

9.a

 

10.d

 

11.e

 

Story by Lawrence

 

                     There was a man who loved islands. He was born on one, but it didn't

 

suit him, as there were too many other people on it,  besides himself. He

 

wanted an island all of his own: not necessarily to be alone on it, but to make

 

it a world of his own.

 

                    An island, if it is big enough, is no better than a continent. It has to be

 

really quite small, before it feels like an island...before you can presume to fill

 

it with your own personality....For an island is a nest which holds one egg,

 

and one only. This egg is the islander himself.

 

                    Now circumstances so worked out that this lover of islands, by the

 

time he was thirty-five, actually acquired an island of his own. He didn't own

 

it as freehold property, but he had a ninety-nine years' lease of it, which, as

 

far as a man and an island are concerned, is as good as everlasting....

 

                    There is danger in becoming an islander. When, in the city you wear

 

your white spats and dodge the traffic with the fear of death down your

 

spine, then you are quite safe from the terrors of infinite time. The moment is

 

your little islet in time, it is the spatial universe that careers round you.

 

                    But once you isolate yourself on a little island in the sea of space, and

 

the moment begins to heave and expand in great circles, the solid earth is gone,

 

and your moment begins to heave and expand in great circles, the solid earth is

 

gone, and your slippery naked dark soul finds herself out in the timeless

 

world, where the chariots of the so-called dead dash the old street of

 

centuries, and the souls crowd on the footways that we, in the moment, call

 

bygone years. The souls of all the dead are alive again, and pulsating actively

 

around you. You are out in the other infinity.

 

                    Something of this happened to our islander. Mysterious 'feelings'

 

came upon him that he wasn't used t  strange awareness of old, far-gone

 

men, and other influences: men of Gaul, with big mustaches who had been on

 

his island, and had vanished from the face of it, but not out of the air of night.

 

They were still, hurtling their big, violent, unseen bodies through the night.

 

And there were priests, with golden knives and mistletoe: then other priests

 

with a crucifix, then pirates with murders on the sea.

 

                    Our islander was uneasy. He didn't believe, in the daytime, in any of

 

this nonsense. But at night it just was so. He had reduced himself to a single

 

point in space, and, a point being that which has neither length nor breadth,

 

he had to step off it into somewhere else. Just as you must step into the sea,

 

if the waters wash your foothold away, so he had, at night, to set off into the

 

other worlds of undying time.

 

 D.H. Lawrence, from The Woman Who Rode

 

Away (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928).      

 

      1. According to the passage, the aspect of a small island initially most

 

attractive to the man was

 

a. its mystery and atmosphere of antiquity

 

b. its isolation from society

 

c. the sense of total ownership it permitted

 

d. the challenging sense of adventure it provided

 

e. its complete freedom form the restraints of civilization                   

 

 2.  For the man in the passage, the drawbacks to living on a large island

 

include all of the following EXCEPT:

 

a. he finds life there unrewarding.

 

b. he cannot speculate about space and time on a large island.

 

c. he feels constantly surrounded by people.

 

d. he cannot imprint his personality on  a large island

 

e. he cannot live freely and creatively there.

 

 3. The elaborate figure if speech in lines 19-26 mainly indicates that

 

inhabitants if small islands

 

a. soon begin to worry about death

 

b. lose their earlier perceptions of here and now

 

c. quickly acquire curious notions about eternity

 

d. tend to regard themselves as immortal

 

e. lose all sense of themselves as members of human society

 

 4. The phrase "the chariots of the so-called dead"  implies that

 

a. chariot racing is an extinct sport

 

b. death can come with terrifying speed

 

c. "dead" is not always the proper term for charioteers

 

d. human beings do not want to think about death

 

e. the dead may still lie in our minds

 

 5. The "men of Gaul," the priests, and the pirates mentioned  in lines 29-33

 

can best be identified as

 

a. actors in a nightmare of the islander

 

b. inhabitants long ago buried on the island

 

c. imagined former occupants of the island

 

d. previous owners of the little island

 

e. ancestors of the island's present inhabitants

 

 6. The term "this nonsense" (1. 35) has its antecedent

 

a. the requisite smallness of an island (par. 2)

 

b. the danger of becoming an islander (par. 4)

 

c. the sense of isolation felt on small islands par. 5)

 

d. "Mysterious 'feelings'" (1. 27) and "strange awareness"

 

e. "golden knives and mistletoe" (1. 32)

 

 7. A basic and repeated shift in the passage is from

 

a. objective reporting to subjective analysis

 

b. third-person narrative to second-person exposition

 

c. impersonal commentary to emotional description

 

d. thumbnail biography to philosophic speculation

 

e. first-person narrative to third-person description

 

 8. Following the acquisition of an island, the islander's perception of time and

 

space is

 

a. more clearly fixed and determined

 

b. no longer a matter of concern

 

c. overwhelmingly affected by loneliness

 

d. enriched by greater historical knowledge

 

e. subject to loss of control

 

 9. At the end of the passage, the islander's reaction to time leaves him

 

a. unnerved by the concept of infinity

 

b. alternately exultant and fearful of death

 

c. calm yet fearful of eternity

 

d. wiser and more mature than before

 

e. numbed by the island's isolation

 

 10. The basic contrast in the final paragraph concerns the islander's

 

a. fear vs. his confidence

 

b. curiosity vs. his indifference

 

c. reason vs. his non-`rational fears

 

d. boredom vs. his love of life

 

e. sense of safety vs. his desire for adventure

 

  Answers

 

1. C

 

2. B

 

3. B

 

4. E

 

5. C

 

6. D

 

7. B

 

8. E

 

9. A

 

10. C

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prose is the backbone of the AP Literature Exam. This should be familiar to you because you have already seen it on the AP English Language/Composition Exam.

The passage below is the opening of a novel. Read the passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you define the narrator's attitude toward the characters and show how he directs the reader's perceptions of those characters through his use of such stylistic devices as imagery, diction, narrative structure, and choice of specific details<.

Dombey sat in the corner of the darkened room in the great arm-chair by the bedside, and Son lay tucked up warm in a little basket bedstead, carefully disposed on a low settee immediately in front of the fire and close to it, as if his constitution were analogous to that of a muffin, and it was essential to toast him brown while he was very new.

Dombey was about eight-and-forty years of age. Son about eight-and-forty minutes. Dombey was rather bald, rather red, and though a handsome well-made man, too stern and pompous in appearance to be prepossessing. Son was very bald, and very red, and though (of course) an undeniably fine infant, somewhat crushed and spotty in his general effect, as yet. On the brow of Dombey, Time and his brother Care had set some marks, as on a tree that was to come down in good time -- remorseless twins they are for striding through their human forests, notching as they go -- while the countenance of Son was crossed and recrossed with a thousand little creases, which the same deceitful Time would take delight in smoothing out and wearing away with the flat part of his scythe, as a preparation of the surface for his deeper operations.

Dombey, exulting in the long-looked-for event, jingled and jingled the heavy gold watch-chain that depended from below his trim blue coat, whereof the buttons sparkled phosphorescently in the feeble rays of the distant fire. Son, with his little fists curled up and clenched, seemed, in his feeble way, to be squaring at existence for having come upon him so unexpectedly.

"The house will once again, Mrs. Dombey," said Mr. Dombey, "be not only in name but in fact Dombey and Son; Dom-bey and Son!"

The words had such a softening influence that he appended a term of endearment to Mrs. Dombey's name (though not without some hesitation, as being a man but little used to that form of address) and said, "Mrs. Dombey, my -- my dear."

A transient flush of faint surprise overspread the sick lady's face as she raised her eyes towards him.

"He will be christened Paul, my -- Mrs. Dombey -- of course."

She feebly echoed, "Of course," or rather expressed it by the motion of her lips, and closed her eyes again.

"His father's name, Mrs. Dombey, and his grandfather's! I wish his grandfather were alive this day!" And again he said "Dom-bey and Son," in exactly the same tone as before.

Those three words conveyed the one idea of Mr. Dombey's life. The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and moon were made to give them light. Rivers and seas were formed to float their ships; rainbows gave them promise of fair weather; winds blew for or against their enterprises; stars and planets circled in their orbits to preserve inviolate a system of which they were the centre. Common abbreviations took new meanings in his eyes, and had sole reference to them: A.D. had no concern with anno Domini, but stood for anno Dombei -- and Son.

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