Create an Argument for Using the Best AP Prompt

In 4-6 sentences (of Standard English), make an argument for the best AP Prompt that illuminates the most profound literary qualities of Cather’s novel, My Antonia. If someone else has claimed the same prompt that you had in mind, then write another perspective to that argument. Profound topics elicit complex responses. Here is a copy of the document: Open-ended Questions for Advanced Placement Literature, 1970-2008

About Bill Sullivan

I am an English teacher working with great students at Suffield Academy. I also teach seniors in various project-based learning environments. Some of the #PBL topics included global issues, such as Pandemics, Climate Change, and Water; more recently I have asked students to research and identify topics important to our school community and their generation. We curate these topics with a #StudentCenteredPBL. For the past eleven years, I also created a driving question for a class to research a local history mystery and present their findings in a community program partnering with our local historical society. These topics encompass researching the lives of enslaved individuals who were contributors to the foundation of our community.
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5 Responses to Create an Argument for Using the Best AP Prompt

  1. 13amm says:

    I believe that the 1994 AP question is best suited to analyze the novel “My Ántonia” by Willa Cather. The question states “In some works of literature, a character who appears briefly, or does not appear at all, is a significant presence. Choose a novel or play of literary merit and write an essay in which you show how such a character functions in the work. You may wish to discuss how the character affects action, theme, or the development of other characters. Avoid plot summary.” By using these guidelines, analyzing Ántonia’s father’s presence in the book would be a well thought out response. He guides both Ántonia and Jim, both main characters in the book, and forms them to be the people they are by the end of the book.

  2. Larke Nimocks says:

    The 2007 AP Prompt is best used for My Antonia because it goes into how the past can negatively or positively affect the present. Throughout My Antonia a variety of characters are influenced by his or her past, whether it is the people in it or simply the place. This prompt gives the opportunity to explore a character’s relationship to their past and convey how it impacts there present, whether this is in a positive or negative way. The human relationship with their past is one of the major themes in My Antonia and brings the book together as a whole.

  3. Jackie Foley says:

    The 2003b question derived from the archive of AP questions illuminates the most profound qualities of the novel My Antonia. The prompt asks for the contrast of two cultures, and how this collision impacts a significant character. The country and city settings, inhabitants, and cultures in My Antonia greatly impact Jim Burden, the narrator. By contrasting these settings, the narrator’s developing hopes and dreams from child to adult are seen. Additionally, Jim Burden’s purpose in writing about his childhood memories is vividly illustrated by the connection of his past and present.

  4. 13ans says:

    I believe that the 2002 prompt is the most fitting for My Ántonia because it touches on the complexity of her character. Ántonia’s moral ambiguity; her questionable actions with her enchanting charm, makes her the pivotal character in the story. Her emotions are intricate, her beauty breathtaking yet indescribable. She is all that a man could want, despite being afflicted with numerous flaws and unconventional looks. Though Jim is often disappointed in her, he cannot escape his proclivity towards loving her. He is the main character, but because Ántonia is so complicated, wonderful, convoluted and improper, she creates a great paradox for the reader.

  5. jray13 says:

    I agree that the 1994 AP Question, which asks how a character appears briefly is a significant presence, is the question that best illuminates the literary qualities and character development in My Ántonia. Although he is alive for part of the novel, Mr. Shimerda, Ántonia’s father, has an even more significant presence after he dies. He not only forms Ántonia and Jim into the people they become, but he is one of the main reasons that their relationship thrived.

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