Mr. Nerf's English Classes at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

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AP Literature Research

On this page, I will list all of the approved works and thesis statements by class, student, work, and date. No two students may analyze the same literary work.  Once a student has an approved topic and thesis, no other student may submit a similar topic and thesis. Once approved, a thesis may not be revised, nor may a topic be changed.


Allen, Ramses   Twain, Mark     The Adventures of Tom Sawyer    Historical/Biographical 
In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain uses a clear connection to his own past , as well as the historical setting of the novel to comment on and criticize the true nature of people.

Berry, Jaclyn     Alcott, Louisa May   
Little Women     Feminist/Gender
While Louisa May Alcott's
Little Women explores the dynamics of women in the nineteenth century, it also conforms to stereotypical women's tropes.

Billings, Janae    Dove, Rita     "Rosa"    Historical
In "Rosa," Rita Dove tells readers of Rosa Parks' peaceful resilience to the threat of racial encounters in the 1950's and 1960's when segregation and discrimination were common issues.

Bowman, Aiden        Sutcliff, Rosemary    The Sword and the Circle     Archetypal
In The Sword and the Circle by Rosemary Sutcliff, the sword of legend, Excalibur, as well as the great wizard Merlin and the good king Arthur, is used by the author to create a unique story with a mythical basis.

Buffington, Krista    Orwell, George    1984     Historical 
In 1984, George Orwell explores the dangers of a totalitarian government by warning readers of governmental control reminiscent of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during and right after World War II.

Collins, Christian   Steinbeck, John     Of Mice and Men    Marxist 
In John Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men, he explores how unfortunate social, economic, and intellectual circumstances during the Great Depression brought negative conditions to those who had to live through it.

Connor, Sydney  Angelou, Maya   "Still I Rise"    Formalist
Although "Still I Rise" seems to focus on the struggles of African Americans, the massage, with the help from musical rhythm, repetition, and powerful diction, can be applied universally to people facing obstacles.

Deditch, Erica   Burgess, Anthony   A Clockwork Orange  Formalist
In Anthony Burgess' novel, A Clockwork Orange, he employs multiple literary devices, such as symbolism, diction, allusion, and imagery, to convey his ideas of free will, duality, and government.

Ekern, Sara  Woodson, Jacqueline   Brown Girl Dreaming     Biographical/Historical
In Brown Girl Dreaming, Woodson portrays the experience of her childhood growing up in Ohio in her story set in the time of the emerging Civil Rights Movement.

Elmore, Luke     Paulsen, Gary    Hatchet    Formalism
Gary Paulsen uses imagery, symbolism, and point of view throughout Hatchet to bring to life the story of a lost teenager in the wilderness.

Gibson, Ben    Nabokov, Vladimir  The Defense    Psychoanalytical
In Nabakov's novel, The Defense, his writings reveal the inner thoughts of the main character, Aleksandar Ivanovich, in his descent to madness.

Guttormson, Evan   Dostoyevsky, Fyodor     Crime and Punishment    Formalist 
Through Dostoyevsky's utilization of symbolism and structure, Crime and Punishment presents the effects of guilt upon the mind and soul.

Hull, Brandy    Stevenson, Robert Louis   Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde   Psychological
In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson depicts the duality of humans and their inclination to social norms through the struggles of sin and morality, superego and id, and split personalities, all of which are visually represented between the two opposing main characters.

Ilagan, Sofia     Montgomery, Lucy Maud     Anne of Green Gables    Feminist/gender 
In Anne of Green Gables, Anne's strong will and determination towards her academics, and her apathy towards romance are what set her apart from the feminine societal norms of her time.

Hemphill, Whit      Heller, Joseph     Catch 22     Historical
Heller's novel, Catch 22, provides a thorough examination of American society and through characterization, locational imagery, and extended metaphors illustrates the many American attitudes towards the war.

Lane, Juli     Bloch, Robert      Psycho     Gender/Feminist
In Robert Bloch's 1959 novel, Psycho, Norman Bates' dissociative disorder derives from his inability to express himself in either gender binary, rendering him in a state of "queerness" both mentally and in identity.

McGowan, Jaionni   Chekov, Anton   The Three Sisters   Feminist/gender
In The Three Sisters by Anton Chekov, the sisters are given archetypal womanly characteristics that are influenced by male perceptions of women, both admirable and unappealing.

McMullen, Anne    Carroll, Lewis       Alice's Adventures in Wonderland    Archetypal 
In Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice goes on the "hero's journey" in order to face her fears of growing up.

Mercado,  Ethan       Harris, Thomas     The Silence of the Lambs     Psychological
In The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris uses an intuitive cannibal and a cross-dressing serial killer to reveal the complex thought process of a level-headed, yet secretly vulnerable FBI agent.

Messersmith, Erin     Christie, Agatha    Murder on the Orient Express      Historical
In the novel Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie uses a simple who-did-it mystery to explore real life material, specifically focusing on the British justice system of the time period as well as the Western view on the concept of justice.

Moorthy, Sneha     Bradbury, Ray    Fahrenheit 451       Marxist
In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury criticizes the ways of society and the government through the main character, Guy Montang, showing how he becomes aware of ignorance and lack of empathy in the dystopian future of America.

Nguyen, Anthony  Poe, Edgar Allan   "The Raven" Formalist
In one of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poems, "The Raven," he artistically uses literary devices and purposeful structurization to develop the symbolism of the raven and the narration on the young man's loss and loneliness.

Potter, Preston      Larsson, Stieg     The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo   Psychoanalytical
In Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the fashion in which Lisbeth is portrayed and labeled initially points to Asperger's Syndrome, to  personality disorders, and potentially to her being a psychopath, but later reveals that PTSD is at the root of her psychological problems.

Pulliam, A. J.    Collins, Suzanne     The Hunger Games    Marxist
In The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins conveys a message of political corruption and injustice through the use of various examples of socio-economic classes in the country of Panem.

Retz, Will     Tolkien, J. R. R.   The Hobbit    Archetypal
J. R. R. Tolkien uses three different situational archetypes throughout the course of The Hobbit, in addition to numerous character archetypes to create a convincingly realistic story set in a fantasy world.

Sampel,  Josh     Riordan, Rick     The Lightning Thief     Archetypal
In Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief, Percy goes on the "hero's journey" mimicking that of the journeys of several Greek heroes as he goes on his quest to the underworld.

Smith, Alyssa    Albom, Mitch     The Five People You Meet in Heaven    Formalist 
In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom uses strong imagery, point of view, and powerful diction to emblematically show the concealed interconnections between lives on Earth.

Yarn, Lindsay     Whitman, Walt     "As I Ebb'd with the ocean of life"   Formalist
In "As I Ebb'd with the ocean of life," Walt Whitman uses metaphor, sentence structure, and mood to convey feelings of doubt.

Allen, Amber     Simsion, Graeme       The Rosie Project      Psychological
In The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion uses details about Don Tilman's mannerism and his interactions with other characters to lead the reader to infer that the character has Asperger's syndrome.

Colon, Antonio    
Golding, William    Lord of the Flies  Psychological
In Lord of the Flies, Golding shows some of the deep-rooted characteristics of violence in humans and how these traits surface under the right circumstances, even in the most civilized and innocent of people.

Curtis,  Delaney      King, Stephen         The Girl Who Knew Tom Gordon     Psychological
In The Girl Who Knew Tom Gordon, Stephen King reveals the psychological coping mechanisms of humans facing near-death situations.

Dodge, Mary Jean      Wilson, August     Radio Golf    Marxist
Set in the mid to late 1900's, August Wilson's Radio Golf explores a large sense of social and economic injustice in the world of politics.

Eisman, Brianna      Salinger, J. D.       "A Perfect Day for Bananafish"  Feminine/Gender
J. D. Salinger's "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" conveys the effects of the patriarchal norm of late 1940's America on different characters of both genders.

Faherty, Colleen    Plath, Sylvia    The Bell Jar  Biographical/Historical
In The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath's own experiences are reflected in Esther Greenwood, and to gain valuable insights into this novel readers must have some knowledge of the life of Sylvia Plath.

Gibson, Cassie    Nabokov, Vladimir    Lolita    Formalist
In Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov uses Humbert's thoughts and actions towards Lolita to obscure the line between tenderness and violence.

Hervey,  Emmanuel     Moore, Alan      Voice of the Fire     Formalist
In the novel Voice of the Fire, Alan Moore uses stunning imagery and point of view to depict the madness and tragedy found in love across time.

Keith, Hampton    Inge, William      Picnic    Feminist/Gender
In his play Picnic, William Inge uses post-war traditional sex roles, division of labor, and submission of women as a foundation for internal and relationship conflict to emphasize sexism in fifties heartland America.

Le, Nhat      Yong, Jin      The Return of the Condor Heroes     Archetypal
In Jin Yong's The Return of the Condor Heroes, the protagonist Yang Guo goes against social norms and rejects the conventional standards of what a hero is and becomes an infamous hero of his own accords.

Lewis, Dara

Liddicoat, Kelly    King, Stephen    Misery      Feminist/gender
In Misery, Stephen King contorts the typical male-dominated society into one that reflects a reverse situation.

Navaille, Wesley      Rand, Ayn         Anthem   Biographical
Ayn Rand's negative portrayal of hyper-egalitarian, collectivist societies in Anthem can be traced back to her youth in the Soviet Union and life under Communist rule.

O'Toole, Anna       Austen, Jane      Pride and Prejudice     Feminist
In the novel Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen uses a strong female protagonist to refute and protest the gender inequality that was prevalent in the nineteenth century England.

Pascal, Lauren      Dantictat, Edwidge       "A Wall of Rising Fire" and "Children of the Sea" Formalist
In "A Wall of Rising Fire" and "Children of the Sea," Edwidge Danticat uses imagery, metaphors, and diction to describe the conditions of Haiti to show the danger of love and decipher the depths of relationships.

Pinfield, Maya 
Ibsen, Henrik A Doll's House Feminist/Gender
In A Doll's House, Nora's character works against the "ideal image" of a woman to create a life for herself.

Rothberg, Tye      Chiang, Ted    "Stories of Your Life" Formalist
Ted Chiang uses structure and word choice in his short story "Stories of Your Life" to portray a character who is able to see her entire life non-linearly after gaining insight into an alien language.

Shoemaker, Jamie      Tolkien, J. R. R.   The Fellowship of the Ring    Archetypal
In his epic The Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien uses numerous character archetypes, such as the Hero, the Magician, the Ruler, as well as several others.

Stevens, D D     Poe, Edgar Allan    "Annabel Lee"     Biographical/Historical
In "Annabel Lee," Edgar Allan Poe reflects on the love he still feels for the important women in his life who have died, including his mother, foster mother, and wife.

Walters, Hanna   Chbosky, Stephen  The Perks of Being a Wallflower     Psychological
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the impacts of Charlies's repressed traumas are revealed through his actions, thoughts, and coping mechanisms.

Williams, Noah      Shakespeare, William   "The Phoenix and the Turtle"   Formalism
In "The Phoenix and the Turtle," William Shakespeare uses rhyme, word choice, and imagery to convey the beauty of the relationship between the phoenix and the turtle dove.


Adkins, Ruben   Gardner, John   Grendel    Feminist/Gender  
Understanding the role of women and the homoerotic undertones in John Gardner's Grendel is vital to understanding Grendel's narrative voice.

Brogan, Kali     Gaiman, Neil and Terry Pratchett   Good Omens   Formalism
In Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett use point of view, strong imagery, and religious symbolism to contradict the expected beliefs of an angel and demon during the Rapture.

Chestang, Madison   Wilde, Oscar   The Picture of Dorian Gray   Psychological  
In Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian's mental state deteriorates due to the overpowering of his id over his superego, causing an increase in his destructive and pleasure-seeking behavior.

Dozier, Makinley    Sexton, Anne    "Sylvia's Death"     Formalism
Anne Sexton uses repetition, personification, and repression to explore the psychological effects of mental illness in her poem, "Sylvia's Death."

Edwards, Reilly   Shelley, Mary   Frankenstein    Feminist/Gender 
In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses the monster Dr. Frankenstein creates as a symbol of his repressed homosexuality and an outlet for his desires that are immoral by society's standards.

Elia, Erin   
Martel, Yann    Life of Pi    Psychoanalysis
In Yann Martel's Life of Pi, young Piscine Patel's faith, psychosis, and overall psyche affects the way he talks, acts, and makes decisions while also explaining his detachment from reality.

Francisco, Geon   Dashner, James   The Maze Runner    Formalist
In The Maze Runner, James Dashner uses literary devices and direct structurization to develop the setting of the Maze as more than just an obstacle, but a symbol of adolescence and the unknown.

Fullford, Sara  Stockett, Kathryn   The Help     Marxist
In the novel The Help, Kathryn Stockett uses the character Skeeter to go outside of the social norm and challenge the political views on racism.

Geers, Keoni   Akhmatoua, Anna   "In Praise of Peace"   Historical  
While Soviet leadership ordered Anna Akhmatoua's "In Praise of Peace" as a work of pro-Stalin propaganda, the poem is critical of Stalin's regime and reveals the social and political atmosphere of Stalinist Soviet Union.

Gibson, Megan    Wilde, Oscar    "The Star Child"   Formalist
In "The Star Child," Oscar Wilde uses the characters, plot, and overall theme to get across the point that being arrogant and self-righteous is morally wrong.

Gonzalez, Mickey     Williams, Tennessee     The Glass Menagerie    Biographical
Tennessee Williams incorporates his real life into his "memory play" The Glass Menagerie by fictionalizing his own experiences and basing characters off people important to him or off aspects of himself.

Graves, Hannah    Bradbury, Ray     "There Will Come Soft Rains"       Formalist
In his short story "There Will Come Soft Rains," Ray Bradbury uses irony, personification, and allusion to convey his idea that nature survives even after humanity dies.

Hagy, Taylor   Dickinson, Emily   "I Measure Every Grief I Meet"    Biographical  
In Emily Dickinson's "I Measure Every Grief I Meet," her childhood struggles and issues with depression are revealed through her words.

Hicks, Maya   Hughes, Langston   "Mother to Son"    Formalist
In "Mother to Son," Langston Hughes uses metaphors and imagery to convey the mother's message to her son.

Hillman, Kaylin 
Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird  Feminist/Gender
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee develops the character Scout as a young girl whose attitude and behavior do not follow the gender stereotypical norms of the time and, therefore, defies the boundaries placed upon women in the 50's.

Kleffman, Julia     Bishop, Elizabeth   "The Fish"    Formalist
Elisabeth Bishop, an American poet, utilizes diction, imagery, and symbolism to portray respect towards Nature in her poem, "The Fish."

Lantinberg, Molly    McCarthy, Cormac    The Road    Formalism
Cormac McCarthy utilizes biblical allusions and symbolism to deliver a message on morality and human nature in his novel The Road.

Lawing, Zoey     Dick, Philip K.   Valis   Biographical
In Philip K. Dick's novel Valis, Dick's personal life makes many appearances throughout the book in the form of Religion, a woman who the main character interacts with, and the main character's psychological break and attempted suicide.

Martel, Emma    Oates, Joyce Carol   "Where are you going, where have you been?" Psychoanalytical
In Joyce Carol Oates' "Where are you going, where have you been?," Connies' character is obsessed with adulthood, although stuck in adolescence, and attempts to prove her maturity through her naive social and sexual interactions with older boys and men.

McGuire, Alex   Steinbeck, John   The Pearl   Marxist
John Steinbeck in his novella The Pearl, tells the story of a poor, minority family as a means to object to common social and economic practices.

Morgan, James       Eliot, T. S.  "Rhapsody on a windy night"   Formalist
In "Rhapsody on a windy night," T. S. Eliot uses grim detail, personification, and symbolism to express the feeling of depression.

Rafada, Maggie     Angelou, Maya    "The Caged Bird"    Biographical
In "Caged Bird," the bird represents Maya Angelou and her struggles coping with her childhood trauma.

Roberts, Oona     Shakespeare, William    Macbeth  Feminist/gender
While William Shakespeare's Macbeth portrays women as influential in traditionally masculine affairs, women have to take on stereotypically "manly" traits in order to attain their power.

Schoen, Michelle   Wells, H. G.    The War of the Worlds    Historical
In The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells uses the Martian invasion of Earth to express his criticism of British Imperialism during the late 19th century.

Serrao, Iggy      Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth        "The Tide Rises,  the Tide Falls"  Formalist
In "The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow uses personification, symbolism, and structure to show how life goes on.

Shafer, Ben   Leroux, Gaston   The Phantom of the Opera    Formalist
Despite being told through dominantly male perspectives, Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera explores the growth of a young female, Christine Daae, caught between two manipulative men and trying to grow as an adult.

Shaw, Ana    O'Connor, Flannery   "Good Country People"   Biographical
"Good Country People" was fundamentally shaped by elements of Flannery O'Connor's life, including her Catholic faith, chronic illness, and the environment in which she wrote.

Shelton, Sophia      Lewis, C. S.          The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe   Archetypal
In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis displays his beliefs regarding the Christian ideology through the characters of Aslan, the White Witch, and Edmund.

Sherwood, Victoria   Wharton, Edith   The Age of Innocence    Marxist  
In Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, her protagonist, Newland Archer, sacrifices what he loves due to a fear of breaking certain social, cultural, and class-specific norms.

Thornton, Kaitlynn     Irving, John     The Cider House Rules    Archetypal
In The Cider House Rules, John Irving utilizes a series of situational archetypes to expose the controversial subject of abortion and how it impacts the novel's characters.

Weed, Maya   Hare, David   The Judas Kiss    Archetypal 
The Judas Kiss intricately expresses the parallels between the story of Christ and the struggles of Oscar Wild through David Hare's usage of archetypal religious imagery, archetypal plot structures,and archetypal characterization.

Wenk, Morgan   Rowling, J. K.     Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows     Psychoanalytical
In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, dream content, regression, the Oedipal complex, and the balance of the unconscious are observed through the characters and their mission.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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