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Soyoon Kim December 16, 2013 C Block

Reflection as a Reader During the first semester of AP English Literature, we definitely tackled many more literature genres than I expected. Coming from the non-fictional, argumentative realm of writing from AP English Language into the depths of AP Lit was not an easy taskit was difficult for me at first to keep on jumping and moving around within different time periods, eras, and movements of literature. I myself thoroughly enjoyed the process and feel that I have grown as a reader in numerous ways, not only through the types of genres that I was exposed to, but also through a better understanding of how to read and interpret literary texts from all genres. It all started with Fosters How to Read Literature Like a Professora major component of our summer reading assignment. Through this lively guide, I was first introduced to the foundations of literary reading and interpretation. Fosters words of wisdom became further solidified through my experiences in class, reading texts from various sources and genres. It was fascinating to see how well structured and useful the book was; to be honest, I did not realize that it would be of such great help until we actually delved through a variety of genres and texts. But I soon learned its value and I came to greatly appreciate what Foster was able to teach us through his evaluation of various universally-used themes, motifs, and symbols. We definitely spanned decades upon decades of literary movements from the Beatniks to the Post-Modernists and I discovered that there was so much to understanding a literary movement than just the name itself. Researching in class about the Romantic era as opposed to the Gothic, comparing and contrasting the Imagists and the RealistsI learned that to fully understand a movement one had to not only acknowledge the time period and history behind it, but also understand the fact that with each movement comes the equal and opposite counter-movement. The theme of reaction, rebellion, and response definitely played a role in my understanding of literary movements and helped me better internalize authors purposes in their works. Reading from various genres of text from poetry to short stories, dramatic texts to fiction. everything had a greater

Soyoon Kim December 16, 2013 C Block

purpose when put into the context of the literary movement that it followed or the historical context in which it was placed. It was a pleasure to have my classmates and instructor share these ideas with each other. Reading, I found, is not always a solitary habit; reading and interpretation, digging at the soul and meat of the text is something done as a group. Lucky enough, I had a great group of eleven individuals to share this experience with me. Outside of class as an independent reader, I found myself swimming in the waters of something new entirely. For my author study, I chose to dive into the novels of Nobel and Pulitzerprize accolade Toni Morrison. I initially wanted to study the works of this decorated author mainly to understand the various references to her works on cocktail conversations and I felt that she was definitely an author worth knowing in todays day and age but I most definitely underestimated what I would gain from reading her works. As a student, it was difficult to choose only three of her works to study in-depth but I eventually chose novels that marked critical periods in her life: The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby and Beloved. As a reader, it was amazing to me how easily applicable Fosters method was and how I could even make these connections on my own. Upon finishing the second book in the study, it was even more fascinating to see the connections and themes that transferred from one book to another. Understanding an author in-depth and reading for clues, the hints to the hidden messages is all great. But I learned through this process that it isnt about finding these hints and clues and searching for them here and there; its more about understanding the importance of these symbols that will enrich the reading experience. That was, at least, how it was for me. I hope to continue developing myself as a reader over the course of this course. I have yet to discover and we have yet to discover as a class the full depth of English literature but as this is an introductory course, this is the best place to start. I look forward to reading an even wider variety of texts as we move into the second semester. Hopefully with a new year dawning, I will still be able to retain most of what I learned and come back second semester fresh-faced, ready to tackle whatever challenges that come my way.