• AP Literature Students

    Summer 2019

    For all AP Literature students

    Including IB Incoming 11th Grade IB English HL Junior Students


    Teachers : Mr. Travis Bolden, Ms Sylvia Carro, Ms. Nina Duval

    Incoming AP Literature and 11th Grade IB HL Junior students should complete the following project detailed below and also read the novel listed on the second page. Enjoy your summer and your peripatetic literary travels. We look forward to meeting you all in August.

    Allusions Project

    Establishing a strong foundation in cultural literacy through studying common allusions that arise in imaginative literature is a good way to begin your AP/IB Literature English course. Two basic sources from which writers, especially poets, draw allusions and metaphors, are the Bible and the ancient classical writings, mainly Greek and Roman, but Indian as well. Knowledge of the characters and stories contained in the Bible and in the body of myths and legends from across the world will add to your enjoyment of good literature. From the very beginning of the literary canon, writers and storytellers have borrowed characters, plots, and themes from these sources.

    Materials: 5 X 7 index/note cards (Do not use smaller cards. Only use cards)

    Due Date:  Your handwritten note cards are due on the first day of class Monday August  24th. Late work is not accepted.

     Sources for Allusions Project

    The Bible. (A King James Version which can be purchased quite inexpensively).

    Mythology  by Edith Hamilton

    You may also use on-line sources. Good research relies on multiple sources so just be sure to cite all your sources.


    Directions:  Research biblical, classical and some common allusions as follows.

    Due: August 21st, 2019

    PART ONE: STORIES: Take notes on your cards as you research these stories. Use a separate card for each new story. Include the following:

    1. Name of Story
    2. Source (Biblical, Greek, Roman--provide the book title or website title and address)
    3. 50 word summary of the story
    4. 50-100 word concise commentary on themes and sources of conflict and their significance (man vs. man, vs. god, vs. nature, vs. himself, etc.)

    Be a critic. Identify and explain literary elements (such as metaphors and symbols etc) you notice being used. What do they contribute?

    If you can, draw apt connections to other pieces of literature or other genres .

     The Stories – Choose 15

    1. The Garden of Eden (Genesis chapters 1-3)
    2. Pandora’s Box (Greek mythology)
    3. Cain and Abel (Genesis chapter 4)
    4. The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
    5. Pygmalion and Galatea (Greek mythology)
    6. Echo and Narcissus (Greek mythology)
    7. Jason and the Golden Fleece (Greek mythology)
    8. Cupid and Psyche (Greek mythology)
    9. Joseph and the coat of many colors (Genesis 37)
    10. The Birth of Christ (Luke 1-2)
    11. David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1-51)
    12. Persephone (Greek mythology)
    13. Odysseus and Penelope (Greek mythology)
    14. Daedalus and Icarus (Greek mythology)
    15. Orpheus and Eurydice (Greek mythology)
    16. The Story of Job (The book of Job, Bible)
    17. Story of Jonah (The book of Jonah, Bible)
    18. Alexander the Great
    19. Ramayana (Hindu story)
    20. Vishnu (Hinduism)
    21. The Tower of Babel (Genesis 10-11)
    22. Abraham, Sarah, & Hagar (Genesis 12- 21)
    23. Sodom & Gomorrah Destroyed (Genesis 18, 19)
    24. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)                
    25. The Prodigal Son Parable (Luke 15:11-32) 
    26. Jesus's Death (Mark 14-16)
    27. Apocalyptic Visions (Revelations 3:14 - 12)


    PART TWO: OTHER ALLUSIONS. For these, your cards will contain:

    1. Line, word or phrase
    2. Source
    3. Approximately 50-100 words explaining the meaning.


    Part Two: Other Allusions – Choose 20

    1. Arabian Nights
    2. Asceticism
    3. Avatar
    4. Brahmins
    5. Chosen people
    6. Nirvana
    7. Original sin
    8. Purgatory
    9. “O brave new world that has such people in it.”
    10. Big Brother is watching you
    11. Et tu, Brute?
    12. Death, be not proud
    13. There’s a divinity that shapes our ends
    14. No man is an island
    15. For whom the bell tolls
    16. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
    17. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    18. Iago
    19. Lilliputian
    20. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
    21. Nineteen Eighty-four
    22. Pollyanna
    23. Pound of flesh
    24. Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
    25. Yahoos
    26. Armageddon / Apocalypse
    27. Sisyphus
    28. “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
    29. Catch-22
    30. “All things fall and are built again, and those that build them again are gay.” (Yeats)
    31. “Water, water everywhere / Nor any drop to drink.”

    Grading Rubric for Stories and Allusion Cards

    A - Excellent in every way, filled with thoughtful commentary using extensive evidence. Satisfies all the requirements and more.

    B - A good card. Satisfies all requirements. Effective and thoughtful commentary on content or meaning.

    C - An adequate card: perhaps thin on word requirements and/or depth. Over-simplified analysis and commentary on content, theme, or meaning.

    D - Little evidence of effort and thought. A “lazy card.”

    F - No card or does not meet requirements in any way.


    Thanks to IB English teachers Janet Conner and Christine Thompson for developing this project.



    Novel: Native Son by Richard Wright

    Read the above novel marking up interesting or striking aspects of the text as you read. The IB/ AP Literature programs place great importance on originality of thought and individual engagement with learning; reading Spark Notes/Cliff Notes and other cheat sites will not cut it. Expect a Socratic Seminar and a diagnostic essay on this novel during the first week of school. Be prepared.





Last Modified on May 17, 2019