U5 AP MyAP In-Class Essay FRQ Practice

Q1: “Lucy” by Jamaica Kincaid

Kincaid highlights and exaggerates the conflicting values and upbringings of Lucy and Maria through her choice of point of view and narrative voice. By using first person, readers are given an insight into the perspective of Lucy as she navigates life in America and her complex relationship with Maria. The choice of first person allows the audience to learn more about the differences between the characters especially through Lucy’s viewpoint as Kincaid opens the window into the character’s head. We hear her thoughts about Mariah as she recounts her experiences with spring and her fascination with “flowers bending in the breeze”, questioning “how does a person get to be that way?” This allows the reader to solidify their suppositions that their may be some tension between the characters by explicitly showing them Lucy’s view on the situation. In addition, the fact that the story is in first person allows us to understand Lucy’s history and contempt of “daffodils” and that representation of springtime. This confession to the readers first and then to Mariah allows the audience to fully understand the path of reconciliation and understanding that Mariah and Lucy embark on by the end of the passage. If the story had been in any other tense, we as readers would not have the same understanding of the relationship between the characters that seems to be driving both character development and plot of the book.

Q2: characters and their differing perspectives/values

In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the tension between John Proctor’s desire to stay in good faith and Abigail William’s selfishness illustrates Miller’s negative view of the different facets of human nature. Abigail, is the antagonist of the story. After having had an affair with John Proctor, a married man, and being kicked out of their house by his wife, Elizabeth, Abigail transforms her bitter sentiment into ambition to accuse Elizabeth of being a witch so she can be rid of her. She acts in ultimate greed and selfishness, believing this action will allow her to have John Proctor all to herself. Abigail is an explicit depiction of evil, ironic because she is the one who is accusing others of the same. On the other hand, John appears to be a selfless man who loves his wife and is a good neighbour and Christian. On the surface level to everyone in the town, he is an ideal man. However, below the surface, the biggest chip on his shoulder is the affair he had with Abigail. This relationship with her contradicts the view of perfection he seems to have on the surface level. This presumed perfection before discovery of something much darker is representative of Miller’s view of human nature. Even those who appear good are inherently bad. The fact that he had an affair with Abigail, the established face of evil in the book, further taints his character, something that Proctor himself realises by the end of the play when he laments over the ruination of his “name”. These two characters illustrate another two sides of human nature as well: Abigail, so obsessed with herself, and John Proctor, so concerned by how others view him. This dynamic between the characters, where they seem like opposite sides if the same dice, drives forward Arthur Miller’s assertion that human nature is tainted by evil in many different forms.

U4 Original Poem: Villanelle



I watch the fading of the light

The sun looks down from scarlet skies

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.


Darkness falls and sorrow bites

Fallen stone, protection’s guise

I watch the fading of the light.


Mother says it’ll be alright

Shaking hands and stifled cries

“Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.”


Out of mind and out of sight

Of gunnèd men and hounding eyes

I watch the fading of the light.


Battered bodies, battle’s blight

Satan sings, and man’s demise

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.


Heart of darkness, wartime spite

A crumbling city’s Hopeful dies 

I watch the fading of the light

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

U3 Hamlet Reduced Scene Script

Link to script document

Act 3 Scene 1

King: You can’t find a single reason why he’s acting so crazy?

Rosencrantz: I mean, he said that he’s confused but he’s not saying why.

Guildenstern: And he’s avoiding, like, all our questions.

Queen: Well, were you nice to him?

Rosencrantz: Yes. He wasn’t too interested in us, but we passed some actors and he seemed to like them.

Polonius: That’s true.

King: Okay, well, go indulge him in that interest.

Rosencrantz: Um. Alright.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern exit.


King: I think he’s acting so crazy because he’s in love with you Ophelia

Queen: Yeah I hope it’s your beauty

Polonius: We will listen and spy on your conversation with Hamlet to determine if this is the reason why.


Queen exits.  Polonius and King hide. Exit Ophelia.

Enter Hamlet


Hamlet: “To be, or not to be: that is the question:” Death is like a little sleep which wouldn’t be so bad, so maybe I should just kill myself… but then again, who knows what comes after death? What if it’s worse? On the other hand, all this suffering is kind of a drag. Arrogant men, unrequited love, bad customer service… I mean, who wants to endure all that? The only reason we don’t all kill ourselves is because we’re scared of what comes after death. pause Shoot, here comes Ophelia.


Enter Ophelia. 


Ophelia: How are you? 

Hamlet: Good, good. Yeah, good.

Ophelia: I have some letters that you wrote me that I will give back to you.

Hamlet: … But I didn’t give you anything.

Ophelia: No, you did! Beautiful letters and goods! But their beauty is fading away now, so take them back. That usually happens when the giver turns out to be an asshole.

Hamlet: Uhh, are you modest? Are you beautiful?

Ophelia: What are you talking about?

Hamlet: I’m saying that if you are modest and beautiful, your modesty should have nothing to do with your beauty. 

Ophelia: What do you mean? How can beauty relate to modesty?

Hamlet: Well, you see, beauty can more easily turn a modest girl into a whore than can modesty turn a beautiful girl into a virgin. Yeah, you know, that used to confuse me about you, but now I’ve figured it out. I’m realising that I never did love you, you know.

Ophelia: You don’t? I believed you.

Hamlet: You shouldn’t have. We’re all messed up, you can’t have trusted what I said.

Ophelia: I guess you fooled me then.

Hamlet: Matter of fact, why don’t you go save yourself from ruining yourself even more and get yourself to a nunnery? I’m already ruined, and we can’t have any more of that in the world. Just go.

Original Poem A

someone to you

he’s the only one who cares for me
who’s with me through and through
please let me be
someone to you.

from the thud of my heart which beats
deafening in this silent room
please let me be
someone to you.

he cradles my face
till from my cheeks roses do bloom
please let me be
someone to you.

my lips are split and stained
crimson and purple too
please let me be
someone to you.

and even when it hurts
i know it hurts him too
please let me be
someone to you.

he beats me down to bone
till i’m bleeding black and blue
then holds me tight
and speaks words true
“you know you love me, you know you do
and i in turn
do love you too”
and i know then
like i always knew
that my cuts he carved
and my scars he drew
were just a mistake, or maybe a few
and all of this
it was my fault, too

thank you for letting me be
someone to you.

Explication of Clifton

In the poem “Homage to my hips” Clifton make the choice to refer to her hips as “they”. By doing so, she establishes her hips as a separate entity. Thus, when detailing how “they don’t like to be held back” and how “they do what they want to do”, it seems as if they have a personality beyond her own. The effect of this is to emphasise the strength and significance of her hips, so much so that she refers to them as a whole different person. She further implies this by using the word “like”, indicating that they have preferences. Clifton expands on the concept that her hips are autonomous by toying with the idea of power. She mentions how her hips don’t like to be “held back”, nor have they ever been “enslaved”. The milder phrase “held back” sets the reader up for the much more powerful word “enslaved”, which literally conveys the same message but has a very different connotation. The word “enslaved” provokes vivid imagery of brutality and violence, which is further stressed by the historical context. The use of this word indicates that her hips have never been oppressed or subjugated and are instead “free”. The next two lines are fairly similar in structure and diction. The type of language in both is fairly simple, not a single word being more than one syllable. This contributes to an air of simplicity and curtness in her words, as if the notion that her hips can do what they want is mere fact and something that shouldn’t be challenged.