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Ap english C&p style Analysis Part I samples


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AP English – C&P Style Analysis Part I Samples

What follows are samples I typed up from your passage analyses on Part I. These samples range from “okay” to “pretty good” (not necessarily in that order), but each has strengths and weaknesses that I would like you to attempt to identify. Although there are flaws in each, these were among the better essays I received on this prompt.
Please take 15-20 minutes to read and discuss these samples, keeping in mind what this passage is actually about (all of these samples are more or less on target in that regard), what style analysis rubrics look like (e.g. the one we went over for McTeague), and what this prompt actually asked for. My hope is that this will help you to identify what you are doing well and what you need to improve upon in your own writing, particularly in the area of style analysis. The reader’s comments on the Part II style analyses should also help you.
After completing this exercise, you will choose one of the four style analyses you completed over the past weeks for me to comment on and grade. The others have been entered for credit, but will not be assigned a numerical grade. Please note that you may NOT choose an essay that was submitted late, unless you were excused from class on the day it was due and did not benefit from review of samples from past AP students’ work.

Sample #1:

In the passage from Crime and Punishment, by Dostoevsky, the author uses contrast between the beautiful university setting and Raskolnikov’s emotionless thoughts to convey Raskolnikov’s isolated state of mind. In doing so, the author suggests both an isolation from society and an internal depression that begins to spin out of control.

Dostoevsky begins the passage with a description of Raskolnikov’s surroundings. He describes the sky as “without a cloud,” and the water as “bright blue,” both of which have positive, cheerful connotations. Raskolnikov [the narrator?] describes the front of the cathedral as “glitter[ing] in the sunlight,” with the “pure air” around him. These descriptions again carry connotations of optimism and joy. Dostoevsky contrasts this, however, with Raskolnikov’s reaction to the jovial scenery around him. He states that “this truly magnificent spectacle…left him strangely cold.” On the literal level, this statement implies that Raskolnikov is not emotionally affected by the beauty around him. However, Dostoevsky also creates a stark contrast between the sophisticated words of “magnificent” and “spectacle” and the simplistic word “cold.” This contrast, along with the connotations of the word “cold,” implies that Raskolnikov is emotionally numb to outside influences. This in turn suggests that Raskolnikov’s state of mind is isolated and detached from reality.

The second half of the passage focuses more on Raskolnikov’s self-deprecation and criticism. This is seen through Raskolnikov’s rejection of his current like compared to his past university life. He views it “strange and grotesque that he should have stopped at the same spot as before,” suggesting that Raskolnikov feels somehow inferior compared to as he was before. Furthermore, Raskolnikov is disgusted that he could even “think the same thoughts,” suggesting that he is even isolating his mind from himself. Raskolnikov [the narrator!] states that he feels “as though he were flying upwards, and everything were vanishing out of sight,” which suggests that Raskolnikov feels that he is losing control of his life. This is in contrast to the traditional connotations of flying, which include freedom and joy. Finally, Raskolnikov’s actions near the end of the passage reflect his depression and complete isolation. For example, Raskolnikov decides to take his coin and “[fling] it into the water,” even though he is desperately poor and in need of money. This conveys the degree to which Raskolnikov’s isolation and depression has progressed [how so?]. Lastly, Raskolnikov [the narrator!!!] states that “it seemed to him that he had cut himself off from everyone and everything at that moment,” implying quite blatantly that he has an isolated and depressed state of mind.

In the passage by Dostoevsky, the author contrasts the life-giving, positive imagery of the bridge with Raskolnikov’s emotionless isolation to suggest that Raskolnikov has an isolated state of mind. Repeated references with implications of depression and self-disgust also imply that Raskolikov is isolated and depressed about his state of being.



Sample #2:

As the passage progresses, Dostoevsky uses the resources of language to convey that Raskolnikov is moving further and further into his on mind, and further from traditional society. Aspects of language that lend themselves to Dostoevsky’s purpose are his ability to weave past and present ideas together, utilize metaphors, choose words that demonstrate Raskolnikov mentally isolating himself, and the use of sentences that wander and flounder much like Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov’s state of mind at the beginning is nostalgic, but Dostoevsky uses the resources of language to portray a change from that to a state of mind that is alienated from his old thoughts, more conventional thoughts.

Dostoevsky weaves together the past and present in Raskolnikov’s mind in order to emphasize the change that Raskolnikov is going through. It is clear that Raskolnokov used to enjoy the view on his way home and even knew that it was “at its best from the bridge about twenty paces away from the chapel.” He not only noticed the view, but made a point to find the place that looked the best. He calls it a “truly magnificent spectacle” but it still left him feeling “strangely cold.” In this way, Dostoevsky uses the comparison of past and present to highlight Raskolnikov’s removed state of mind.

Diction used when Raskolnikov is describing what he is thinking about illustrates how he is distancing himself from his past self. At first Raskolnikov contemplates how many times when he was at the university he stood at the same spot and remembers the “vague and mysterious emotions it aroused in him,” but now recognizing that it left him feeling “blank and lifeless.” This comparison makes it seem nostalgic, because he cannot go back to his previous state of mind when he was mostly content to marvel and enjoy. Later in the passage he describes the idea of trying to return to his past habits of mind as well as movement as “strange and grotesque.” This is a recognition of how far Raskolnikov has moved from where he once was. Then Dostoevsky uses the repetition of the word “old” to portray the way that Raskolnikov is trying even more to distance himself from his past, and emphasize the isolated nature of his mind.

The ability of language to go beyond the literal is a resource that Dostoevsky utilizes to illustrate the nature of Raskolnikov’s rejection of society. This happens when it says, “He felt as though he were flying upwards and everything were vanishing from sight.” This is a way of saying that, mentally, Raskolnikov is leaving behind all of his “old thoughts,” like they were “vanishing.” The fact that he is flying upwards also implies that it will be hard to return to where he was right before, if it is even possible. The coin is used to symbolize society in this passage. All the time Rasolnikov is dwelling on his past life he is “unconscious” of the coin he is holding in his hand. At the end, however, Raskolnikov “flung it into the water” to represent his rejection of society and how its ideals were a part if his life. That is why the throwing of the coin made him feel that “he had cut himself off from everyone and everything at that moment.” The feeling of flying and the coin mean more in the passage than their literal meaning, and through this use of metaphors Dostoevsky is using a resource of language to convey Raskolnikov’s progressively more isolated state of mind. (Ran out of time to talk about syntax and write a conclusion)



Sample #3:

In this passage from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky uses diction to highlight differences between Raskolnikov’s beautiful surroundings and his empty state of mind. Also, through the syntax of the passage, Dostoevsky shows how Raskolnikov is disconnected from his past life (his past actions, thoughts), which contributes to Raskolnikov’s emptiness. Through conveying Raskolnikov as empty, Dostoevsky reveals the personality change that Raskolnikov experienced after the murders of Alyona and Lizaveta and Raskolnikov’s realization of this change as well.

At the beginning of the passage, Dostoevsky describes the scenery if the palace and cathedral as “glitter[ing] in the sunset,” “truly magnificent,” and “without a cloud and the water was almost bright blue,” which is then contrasted with Raskolnikov’s empty mindset and emotions. The first part of the passage describes the beauty of the palace and cathedral, especially from one particular spot that Raskolnikov had stood on many times before. Dostoevsky’s word choice, such as “bright,” glittered,” “pure air” and “magnificent spectacle” exposes the palace and cathedral as extremely picturesque and as a sight that should invoke strong, aweful [awe-filled?] emotions in a person. However, in the second half of the passage, the emptiness that Raskolnikov feels is revealed. Raskolnikov [the narrator?] explains how the view of the palace and cathedral “left him strangely cold” and how the “gorgeous picture was for him blank and lifeless.” Dostoevsky’s diction here shows the disconnectedness of Raskolnikov from his surroundings and the emptiness he feels, which can be seen through the phrases “strangely cold” and “blank and lifeless.” Raskolnikov appears to not know why he feels so empty by saying he “put off finding the explanation of it,” but later he thinks it weird how “he actually imagined he could think the same thoughts, be interested in the same theories and pictures that had interested him…so short a time ago.” This later thought shows how Rasklnikov realizes the emptiness he feels is because of the murders he committed, because after this act he feel empty because he cannot be interested in the same things he was interested in before he killed Alonya and Lizaveta. Dostoevsky employs many dark words after his description of the scenery, which is in contrast to Raskolnikov’s feeling of emptiness. Raskolnikov’s “blank and lifeless” and isolated feelings are contrasted to the “bright” and “magnificent” scenery, a device that Dostoevsky uses to exemplify Raskolnikov’s true state of mind.

Dostoevsky’s use of ellipses furthers the reader’s impression of Raskolnikov’s emptiness because it conveys him as unsure and disconnected from his surroundings. The line “he actually imagined he could think the same thoughts, be interested in the same theories and pictures that had interested him…so short a time ago” shows how Raskolnikov can no longer identify with his past thoughts and actions. The ellipses at the end of the line convey the idea that Raskolnikov is trailing off in his thought process, which means he is unsure of himself now. Dostoevsky also uses ellipses later, in the line “Deep down, hidden far away out of sight all that seemed to him now – all his old past, his old thoughts, his old problems and theories, his old impressions and that picture and himself and all, all…He felt as though he were flying upwards, and everything were vanishing from his sight.” The ellipses here is another example of Raskolikov’s feeling of emptiness, through his disconnect from his past. “Everything were vanishing from his sight” also shows how Raskolnikov has lost the ability to connect to his past or his surroundings, which also contributes to his emptiness. The ellipses shows this disconnect as well because it show how Raskolnikov’s thoughts trail off before they are finished.

Through Raskolnikov’s state of mind and disconnect, Dostoevsky shows Raskolnikov’s personality change to emptiness, and his realization of this change. Raskolnikov’s realization of his emptiness can be seen when he remarks, “It seemed to him, he had cut himself off from everyone and from everything.” Raskolnikov is able to realize that the murders he committed did change him in a negative way, so much so that he appears to no longer be able to really feel anything.

Dostoevsky’s diction throughout the passage contrasts Raskolnikov’s surroundings with his state of mind, and helps convey Raskolnikov’s feelings of disconnect and emptiness. The syntax that Dostoevsky employs, especially his use of ellipses, shows how Raskolnikov is unsure of himself and cannot even finish thoughts. Through Raskolnikov’s stat of mind, Dostoevsky shows Raskolnikov’s realization of the changes the murders brought upon him.

Sample #4:

In this excerpt from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the author reveals much about Raskolnikov’s state of mind by juxtaposing the Raskolnikov of the past with the Raskolnikov of the present. The surroundings of Raskolnikov’s inner turmoil alienate him from the pristine scenery surrounding him, further enhancing Raskolnikov’s feelings of isolation, regret and impurity. Dostoevsky also employs unusual and telling instances of diction to emphasize particular ideas, especially that of Raskolnikov’s removal from his innocent past.

Dostoevsky juxtaposes Raskolnikov’s past with his present to demonstrate the dramatic shift in character that has recently occurred. This juxtaposition is achieved by placing Raskolnikov in a setting he frequented as a student and then revealing his reaction to his encounter with the past. As a student, Raskolnikov “marveled at a vague and mysterious emotion” the setting roused in him, his troubles then were merely the meaning and origin of these emotions. However, now Raskolnikov can only “[recall] those old doubts and perplexities,” not feel the “cold” the palace had once evoked within him. Raskolnikov even thinks it “strange” that he should even “imagine he [could] think the same thoughts…that had interested him,” a clear and obvious demonstration of Raskolnikov’s alienation from his past. This realization “wr[ings] his heart”, also demonstrating his regret, revealing that there has been an occurrence between his student days and the present that has drastically altered him for the worst that he cannot even connect with his own past “so short a time ago.”

The setting that inspires Raskolnikov’s introspection also serves to further realize his isolation. The sky around Raskolnikovis “without a cloud”, though the character himself is obviously muddled and in turmoil, his own thoughts are cloudy. Likewise the water is “almost bright blue”, the Neva “glitters in the sunlight.” Meanwhile, Raskolnikov is dark and brooding, out of place in his surroundings. Dostoevsky’s use of setting is one of the subtleties the author employs to reveal Raskolnikov’s state of mind.

Another subtlety lies within the diction of the passage. Dostoevsky manipulates the very syntax of a sentence, such as where Raskolnikov reveals his separation from the “theories and pictures that had interested him” to read even deeper. In this case, Dostoevsky includes a simple three periods [ellipses] after the word “him” and before the next statement “so short a time ago.” The resulting pause and break between the two thoughts imply that while technically it was “so short a time ago”, the drastic change in Raskolnikov has separated him from his past much more than the lapse in time would imply. Later on in the passage, Dostoevsky plays with the same idea of old Raskolnikov and new by including the word “old” repeatedly in one lengthy sentence. This sentence lists Raskolnikov’s “hidden” character aspects, his “old past…old thoughts…old problems [and] old impressions.” The resulting effect is once again Raskolnikov’s alienation from his own past.



By juxtaposing Raskolnikov’s concerns of the past with those of the present, revealing his isolation from his pristine surroundings, and by creating subtle implications within the syntax and diction of the passage, Dostoevsky reveals much of Raskolnikov’s state of mind. What is revealed is alienation from the past and a deep sense of regret for this separation; however, it is not nostalgia but a want [desire] for an entirely different quality of life than that of which he is currently living due to his unknown circumstances {*cough*murder*cough*)


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