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.

Bellok, Yuri      Boris Pasternak      Dr. Zhivago
In Dr. Zhivago, Pasternak uses a series of fictional characters to represent the immense hardships and turmoil caused by the unstable social and economic realities of the time, in which class disparity and political ambiguity ran rampant.
Berenguer, Christiana      Kate Chopin    The Story of an Hour
In The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, society's expectation of emotions to be portrayed by a woman are outweighed by her personal fascination with freedom.
Brown, Lizzie         C. S. Lewis          The Screwtape Letters
In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis uses a series of fictional characters to portray how the average person is tempted, in order to warn his readers of temptations in their own lives.
Chapman, Myrina         Arthur Conan Doyle         A Study in Scarlet
Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet examines England's class structure through the character Sherlock Holmes' interaction between characters of different classes, and he examines the technological advances of the 1800's by the deductions Holmes uses to solve crime
Cox, Danielle         Antoine de Saint-Exupery   Le Petit Prince
Although the plot of The Little Prince is simplistic, the characters of Saint-Exupery's novella are reflections from the author's own history and are products of his psychological state.
Foster, Ian                  Douglas Adams            The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams uses intense imagery, the emotions of the characters, and "the meaning of life" to create a dystopia of absurdity and reasoning.
Herah, Waynesha         Edgar Allan Poe      "The Tell Tale Heart"
By emphasizing the main character's five senses in "The Tell Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe makes a point that guilt when hidden will emerge to  torture the person who feels the guilt.
Hofaker, Sissy         William Shakespeare       Romeo and Juliet
In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet,  Shakespeare criticizes the patriarchal values of the time through his use of metaphor, diction, characterization, and imagery.
Ignacio, Zach      Arthur Miller      Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman criticizes capitalistic society in America during the 1940's through characterizing the "American Dream" as an idea rather than a reality.
Jang, Alyssa      Edgar Allan Poe   "The Fall of the House of Usher"
In "The Fall of the House of Usher," Edgar Allan Poe uses the setting and the psychological reasoning behind the main character's actions to reveal his own state of mind.
Merriweather, Jasmine         Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu      "Green Tea"
In Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's, "Green Tea", he depicts the mental deterioration and instability of the mind through the use of symbolism and imagery.
Mierez-Galo, Kevin            Margaret Atwood         The Handmaid's Tale
In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood fabricates a dystopian society in which women are viewed as tools instead of people.
Miller, Alea               Edna St. Vincent Millay      "Invocation to the Muses"
In "Invocation to the Muses," Edna St. Vincent Millay uses imagery and allusion to display the pain of those suffering at the start of World War II and the ignorance of those who were untouched.
Mouton, Taylar      Alexandre Dumas      The Count of Monte Cristo
In The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas shows how the need for revenge can alter the id, one's basic needs and wants, the ego, how one chooses to meet the needs and wants, and the superego, where one's moral compass lies, in regards to society's views on how to reach those needs and wants.
Mullennix, Reyshaune         Seamus Heaney         "Casualty"
Through the poems in Seamus Heaney's collections North and Wintering Out, particularly his poems "Casualty," "Punishment," and "The Singer's House," he sheds light on the political and social unrest in Northern Ireland and how the unrest affects himself and others there.
Parker, Ryan                  Suzanne Collins         The Hunger Games
In The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins uses segregation, the difference in wealth, and the Games to portray the societal split between the government's power and the people.
Roberts, Rosy               Ian McEwan         Atonement
Through exploration of character and the postmodern narrative, Ian McEwan evaluates the effects of power structures and economic influence on human relationships in Atonement.
Rusli, Tatiana      Kate Chopin   The Awakening
In The Awakening, the author Kate Chopin conveys Edna Pontelliers' character development towards liberation from the oppression of ideal female roles in Victorian society through symbolism.
Searcy, Nicole         August Wilson         Fences
In his play Fences, August Wilson uses the relationship between father and son to portray the coming of age of black men and to show how inadequate parenthood produces corrupt men.
Shtanko, Alina     Sophocles   Antigone
In Sophocles' tragedy Antigone, the importance of gender as a factor which determines how society reacts to and interacts with an individual is portrayed through Antigone's character.
Sims, Kaleb               Chinua Achebe            Things Fall Apart
In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe describes Okonkwo's psychological conflict between the individual and society, in which Okonkwo's ego is being influenced by his superego, represented by the expectations of his tribe, as well as being influenced by his id, represented by his instinct to make compulsive decisions.
Spann, Amira
            Claude McKay         "Harlem Shadows"
In Claude McKay's poem "Harlem Shadows," he uses the context of the Harlem Renaissance to show the disparity of African American struggles during that era.
St. Clair, Laura            John Betjeman            "On a Portrait of a Deaf Man"
In John Betjeman's "On a Portrait of a Deaf Man,"  Betjeman approaches the theme of death through the use of literary devises, such as imagery, oxymoron, and structure to show how the loss of family can make people question their faith.
Strong, Asia         Alice Walker      The Color Purple
In Alice Walker's The Color Purple, oppression of women in a patriarchal society is represented through the character of Celie.
Thompson, Stephanie      Cormac McCarthy      The Road
In The Road, Cormac McCarthy tells the story of a father and son's journey along a road during a post-apocalyptic time, and through the use of symbols, a desolate setting, religious allusions, and literary techniques, such as diction and organization, he conveys humanity's capacity for hope and survival in the midst of dire circumstances.
Toole, Chelsea Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights
In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Bronte criticizes the patriarchal Western world by characterizing Catherine as a passionate heroine to challenge the limitations of her social roles and expectations.

Wooten, Anthony               Marc Camoletti         Taking Flight Boeing-Boeing
In Marc Camoletti 's Taking Flight Boeing-Boeing, Camoletti explores women's power and equality in the 1960's from a male point of view, as well as the point of view of four different and unique women.

Banks, Joe            Albert Camus      The Stranger
The novel The Stranger by Albert Camus is a multifaceted construction rife with both typical and subversive archetypes, primarily in the main character and his unconventional belief system.
Barth, Matt            John Steinbeck      Of Mice and Men
In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck portrays the controversy between the lower class and the upper class through the characters of Lenny and Curley.
Beshears, Claudia     WM. Paul Young   The Shack 
In his novel The Shack, WM. Paul Young reveals how being burdened by a great loss can bring an onslaught of psychological attempts to accept the reality of the situation, including a religious epiphany.
Buda, Jessi       Edwidge Danticat
Brother, I'm Dying
In the novel, Brother I'm Dying, Edwidge Danticat uses her knowledge of Haiti's history of violence as well as her personal background with the country to tell the story of a Haitian girl growing up with the love of two fathers in two very different worlds.
Drury, Kristin         Vladimir Nabokov      Lolita
In the novel, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov explores the twisted minds of his characters exploiting their erotic desires to show that even the most innocent of human beings have the capability of becoming morally ambiguous.
 Dvorak, Jacob      Italo Calvino   If on a winter's night a traveler
In Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, he portrays readers as adventurers, writers as deceivers, and non-readers as antagonistic, yet necessary, in order to portray reading as a quest.
George, Madison   Gwendolyn Brooks  "The Ballad of Rudolph Reed" 
Gwendolyn Brooks was immersed in the trial and tribulations of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement which influenced much of her work, including "The Ballad of Rudolph Reed."
Helton, Marisa      Frances Hodgson Burnett   The Secret Garden
In The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett conveys that when faced with the psychological burdens of death and mourning people tend to act out in extreme ways in order to cope with the loss.
Jimenez, Alex      J. D. Salinger   The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye is J. D. Salinger's commentary on Americans' discontent with their state of living despite the prospering economy post WWII.
Jones, Sam      Athol Fugard   Master Harold...and the boys
In Master Harold...and the boys, Athol Fugard reflects on the political and social biases of the Apartheid era to show how people of different races interacted in this time.
King, Taylor         Fyodor Dostoevsky      Crime and Punishment
In Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment, some Freudian ideas, such as the id, ego, and superego, are represented in the story by Raskolnikov's violent behavior and twisted mindset.
Luebke, Zach Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five
In Slaughterhouse-Five, the events that Billy experienced were mirrors to that of Vonnegut's, especially the ones relating to negative war experiences.
Moore, Breauna Yann Martel Life of Pi
In the novel, Life of Pi, Yann Martel uses personification and symbolism to show how Pi transforms physically and mentally on his journey of survival.

Newman, Ariel J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The characters and idealism in the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone were influenced by J. K. Rowling's real world experiences and conflicts.
Prescott, Jessica      Ray Bradbury   Fahrenheit 451
In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the societal embrace of book burning as well as the hardships of a curious and doubting protagonist serve as commentary on the harsh censorship and book-banning policies of the 1950's.
Ramirez, Mallory      Sandra Cisneros      The House on Mango Street
In Sandra Cisneros coming-of-age novel The House on Mango Street, the physical and emotional effects of a negative patriarchal influence leads Esperanza to break apart from the stereotypical oppression of young girls and women.
Singletary, Karl   Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses
In The Satanic Versed, Salman Rushdie emphasizes the Eurocentric nature of the world in the 1980's through commentary on social culture, art, and religion.
Smith, Gabrielle      Bram Stoker    Dracula
In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Stoker criticizes Western Europe's Victorian influence by developing "good" and "bad" characters based on their cultural backgrounds and showing how those characters handle the strict Victorian culture.
Stanford, Nyla Tom Perrotta "Forgiveness" and "Wild Kingdom"
In the short stories "Wild Kingdom" and "Forgivenss" by Tom Perrotta, Death is used as an instigator to force dysfunctional personalities to cope with their personal morals and those of society.
Thomas, Kristian      Billy Collins      "Child Development"
In Billy Collins' "Child Development," he paints a child's view of adult figures as distant and immature throughout the child's growth by using metaphors, personification, and characterization.
Webster, Marisa         Charlotte Perkins Gilman      "The Yellow Wallpaper"
In the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman portrays a female character in order to show the plight of women in a male-dominated society.

Abshire, Mariah       Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, female characters' ability to emasculate men in order to obtain dominance causes women to be viewed in a fearful manner.
Andrews, Gavin            Robert Frost         "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
In "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," Robert Frost contemplates death and utilizes symbolism, imagery, and rhyme scheme that suggests that death is a possible temptation due to its seeming serenity.
Arnold, Dallan      Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird
By characterizing morality through the implications of racism and poverty in a capitalistic society, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird shows the harsh relationship between social classes in a struggling 1930's environment.
Ashley, Coleman      Jonathan Swift      Gulliver's Travels
In Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift satirically exposes humanity's faults in the 1700's through the contrast between Gulliver and the islanders, the metaphoric lifestyles of the inhabitants, and Gulliver's views before, during, and after this quest.
Azzaro, Brooke      Kurt Vonnegut      Harrison Bergeron
Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron criticizes communism, socialism, and American democracy by suggesting that an egalitarian society ultimately robs its pe0ple of freedom self-expression, and individuality.
Baker, Erica            William Golding   Lord of the Flies
In William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies, human nature is questioned, as id, ego, and superego are symbolized in an environment without any societal guidance.
Bassett, Jesse         Mark Twain       Innocents Abroad
In Mark Twain's book Innocents Abroad, his personal opinions against European culture are revealed through the main character's travels in the story.
Bragg, Riley         Mark Zusak         The Book Thief
Markus Zusak uses symbolism, imagery, and personification  in his novel, The Book Thief, to show how in a time full of oppression there will always be some who fight to be themselves.
Buckman, Sarah        Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God 
In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, the characteristics a woman is expected to embody under a patriarchal society are presented and discredited through the life experiences of Janie Crawford.
Carpenter, Jacob      Truman Capote   In Cold Blood
In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Capote's investigation and analysis of the two criminals, Dick and Perry, reflect on their mental states and on Capote's as well.
Christopher, Winston         Homer          The Iliad
In The Iliad, Homer uses many mythological allusions to demonstrate the historical significance of the Trojan War.
Cuff, Korah      Charles Dickens      A Tale of Two Cities
In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens characterizes the social and political struggles of people in the French Revolution through the use of symbolism, allusions, and satire.
Dickler, Shana   F. Scott Fitzgerald   The Great Gatsby
In The Great Gatsby, the bourgeoise assert their power by not allowing the lower class to have any sort of upward class mobility.
Ellis, Sydney      Oscar Wilde      A Woman of No Importance 
In A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde, Wilde comments on the sexual hypocrisy of the Victorian era through social satire.
Fortner, Lexie      Ernest Hemingway      The Old Man and the Sea
In The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway delves into Santiago's adventure, simultaneously opening the door to the author's own psyche through his use of Christian allegory and archetypes.
Gay, Landon            Shirley Jackson      "The Lottery"
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" displays the drastic social hierarchy between a fictional tyrannical government and in ignorant working class in order to exhibit striking similarities and tendencies to modern society's irrational submission to authority.
Gilbert, Kiara      Richard Wright      Pagan Spain
In Richard Wright's Pagan novel, Pagan Spain, he uses personal anecdotes, as well as the life stories of the people Wright meets, to convey the effects of the Franco Regime and Catholicism on the people of Spain.
Green, Grace George Orwell 1984
In George Orwell's 1984, Orwell portrays the government as overbearing and controlling to manipulate the reader into thinking governments cannot be trusted.
Hall, Carson               John Steinbeck         East of Eden
In John Steinbeck's East of Eden, Steinbeck uses fictional characters to depict the internal conflict of choosing between a good or evil lifestyle.
Hammons, Jared               Isaac Asimov            The Bicentennial Man
In his novella The Bicentennial Man, Isaac Asimov utilizes symbolism, characterization, and satire to create an allegory that addresses existential questions, such as what it means to be, what it means to be equal, and what it means to be free.
Higginbotham, Laike         Nathaniel Hawthorne      The Scarlet Letter
In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to represent the transition of Hester's mark from a brand of shame to one of self-acceptance.
Jaffe, Sam         Orson Scott Card         Ender's Game
My dissecting his characters' psyches in Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card induces contemplative reflection on what it takes to break down the human conscience and exactly how much closer we are to our primitive instincts than we like to believe.
Lesher, Rachel      Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings      The Yearling
In the novel The Yearling, author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings characterizes Jody Baxter's transition from boyhood to adulthood with thorough and detailed use of imagery, symbolism, and foreshadowing in this coming of age story.
Payne, Keiondra         Maya Angelou      "Phenomenal Woman"
In her poem, Maya Angelou celebrates femininity by playing upon the two possible meanings that could be attached to the poem's title--"Phenomenal Woman."
Reardon, Adea      Tennessee Williams   A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams reveals that sexual oppression and inequality can have detrimental effects on the human mind.
Reider, Jake            Robert Frost      "The Road Less Traveled"
In "The Road Less Traveled," Robert Frost uses the fork in the road in a yellow wood to represent life-changing choices that everyone has to make.
Roberts, Rebecca      Sir Edmund Spencer  The Faerie Queene
In Sir Edmund Spencer's The Faerie Queene, the events and struggles of the Protestant Reformation are represented and discussed through the use of moral, historical, and "history of man" allegory.
Sewell, Sheroya         Paul Zindel         And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little
Pau Zindel's And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little shows the depths to which death can traumatically increase the tension within a family.
Smith, Dominique      William Golding       Lord of the Flies
In the novel Lord of the Flies, through symbols, motifs, and allusions William Golding shows the darkness in the heart of man.


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Last Modified: Thursday, May 14, 2015
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