AP Lit For The Win! Created by Samantha Johnson


             My Journey in AP Literature


             When I first entered the doors of AP Literature I thought that my previous enrollment in AP

Language would give me a major head start, but I
was soon proven wrong. I was thrown into a world were essays no longer had to do with the reality of language, but instead how we interpreted it. As I began the class I left nonfiction behind and jumped into a world were metaphor and symbolic objects are more important than argument and rhetorical analysis. AP Language had given me my writing style, but AP Literature allowed me to further develop it and learn to become a more conscious writer without leaving my voice as a writer behind in the previous year.

            The transition into fiction was a difficult one as I was forced to turn my attention to the underlying message and in turn what was not just said, but instead what I interpreted. The ability to look at a work of fiction and be able to identify the purpose of the language used was one of the skills I developed throughout the year. As I began my analysis of fiction was not very strong, I was unable to show what a technique did to support my claim, I could only find these techniques and often focused on the what instead of the why. My growth in this area was shown most notably in my analysis of Micah Ballard. I was able to relate his word choice back to my claim that life is what we make of it. The lack of summary allowed me to further explore the words he used and relate them back to themes such as religion and darkness.

            As I made improvements in my analysis skills I also became more conscious of literary techniques in the works being read in class. Class discussions and notebook entries were not easy at the start of the year. I felt bogged down by the metaphor and imagery and could not help but have trouble looking past these things and seeing the meaning underneath. As the year continued I became more confident in this area and learned to look past my initial perception of a piece and take a closer look at it. After I was able to accomplish this I was able to build my own opinions on the topics and provide the right words to explain them to others in the class. I have never been known to be a quite person and after I developed this strategy I was able to be my normal loud self in class, often butting heads with Jackie. During my insanity blogposts I feel that was able to demonstrate my growth as a reader and writer. I was able to relate my opinions back to the book and in turn able to provide evidence from which I drew my interpretation. The conversation encompasses my development in opinion, but also analysis of a selected work.

            The one thing I became fully confident in during this year was creative writing. My voice on paper and spoken is individual and I feel that creative writing became my strongest work because it has never been hard for me to be me. Throughout the year we did several creative writing pieces and my strongest were in the area of poetry. When we began with the Heart of Darkness poem I was able to develop a poem that expressed my voice, but was not able to provide reasoning for the choices I made. As the year continued I became able to express reasons behind the choice I made in my explanations. Finally in my poems after Micah Ballard I was able to add my own voice to his style and in turn explain the choice I made, such as the fluid motion of the words across the page which I used to enforce the theme of each poem. This example is able to best show my growth and strength in area of creative writing.

            Though I developed strengths throughout the year I am still left with some weaknesses, despite my improvement. The ability to analysis a document on demand still is in area I lack in. Though I have made improvements, my ability to write a Question 3 piece is still quite lacking. I show my weakness in the area of analysis when not provided with a good amount of time to fully pull my thoughts together and express them in a clear way. I often get stuck in summary and can not really give a full explanation of the message being put across by the piece. This is still one of my weaknesses that needs to be improved through more focus on that concept in the future.

            The voice in my head is very often confusing to interpret and in turn, when put on paper, it does not come across as clear as I would wish. This has been one of my weaknesses in writing for awhile. The ability to clearly convey my thoughts to the reader can sometimes become jumbled and often times affects the resulting product I pass in. My ideas are often rushed and I do not give a full explanation of my thoughts and in turn it weakens my claims that I try to show in my papers. This is a weakness that I wish to further improve on as I continue my English education. I have made great strides from the beginning of this year to now, but still need to further clarify my ideas and not get stuck in the mess of words in my head.

            This year allowed me to realize both my strengths and weaknesses in my writing, especially when it comes to fiction. I have developed my own style further and can now I am not clouded by what lies on the surface of a piece, but can instead peer underneath that and develop my own interpretation, which I can now back up with evidence instead of relying on my claims to support themselves. I hope to improve in all areas of my writing as I continue on with my English education in college and this year has provided me with the confidence in my abilities to achieve on that path.