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Unformatted text preview: AP® English Language and Composition 2004 Free-Response Questions The materials included in these files are intended for noncommercial use by AP teachers for course and exam preparation; permission for any other use ® must be sought from the Advanced Placement Program . Teachers may reproduce them, in whole or in part, in limited quantities, for face-to-face teaching purposes but may not mass distribute the materials, electronically or otherwise. This permission does not apply to any third-party copyrights contained herein. These materials and any copies made of them may not be resold, and the copyright notices must be retained as they appear here. The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,500 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®). The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com Copyright © 2004 College Entrance Examination Board. All rights reserved. College Board, Advanced Placement Program, AP, AP Central, AP Vertical Teams, APCD, Pacesetter, Pre-AP, SAT, Student Search Service, and the acorn logo are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board. PSAT/NMSQT is a registered trademark jointly owned by the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Educational Testing Service and ETS are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service. Other products and services may be trademarks of their respective owners. For the College Board’s online home for AP professionals, visit AP Central at apcentral.collegeboard.com. 2004 AP® ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS
ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
SECTION II Total time—2 hours Question 1 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts one-third of the total essay section score.) The passage below is an excerpt from a letter written by the eighteenth-century author Lord Chesterfield to his young son, who was traveling far from home. Read the passage carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how the rhetorical strategies that Chesterfield uses reveal his own values. Dear Boy, Bath, October 4, 1746
30 Line 5 10 15 20 25 Though I employ so much of my time in writing to you, I confess I have often my doubts whether it is to any purpose. I know how unwelcome advice generally is; I know that those who want it most, like it and follow it least; and I know, too, that the advice of parents, more particularly, is ascribed to the moroseness, the imperiousness, or the garrulity of old age. But then, on the other hand, I flatter myself, that as your own reason, though too young as yet to suggest much to you of itself, is however, strong enough to enable you, both to judge of, and receive plain truths: I flatter myself (I say) that your own reason, young as it is, must tell you, that I can have no interest but yours in the advice I give you; and that consequently, you will at least weigh and consider it well: in which case, some of it will, I hope, have its effect. Do not think that I mean to dictate as a parent; I only mean to advise as a friend, and an indulgent one too: and do not apprehend that I mean to check your pleasures; of which, on the contrary, I only desire to be the guide, not the censor. Let my experience supply your want of it, and clear your way, in the progress of your youth, of those thorns and briars which scratched and disfigured me in the course of mine. I do not, therefore, so much as hint to you, how absolutely dependent you are upon me; that you neither have, nor can have a shilling in the world 35 40 45 50 55 but from me; and that, as I have no womanish weakness for your person, your merit must, and will, be the only measure of my kindness. I say, I do not hint these things to you, because I am convinced that you will act right, upon more noble and generous principles: I mean, for the sake of doing right, and out of affection and gratitude to me. I have so often recommended to you attention and application to whatever you learn, that I do not mention them now as duties; but I point them out to you as conducive, nay, absolutely necessary to your pleasures; for can there be a greater pleasure than to be universally allowed to excel those of one’s own age and manner of life? And, consequently, can there be anything more mortifying than to be excelled by them? In this latter case, your shame and regret must be greater than anybody’s, because everybody knows the uncommon care which has been taken of your education, and the opportunities you have had of knowing more than others of your age. I do not confine the application which I recommend, singly to the view and emulation of excelling others (though that is a very sensible pleasure and a very warrantable pride); but I mean likewise to excel in the thing itself; for, in my mind, one may as well not know a thing at all, as know it but imperfectly. To know a little of anything, gives neither satisfaction nor credit; but often brings disgrace or ridicule. Copyright © 2004 by College Entrance Examination Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for AP students and parents). GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE. 2 2004 AP® ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS
Question 2 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts one-third of the total essay section score.) Contemporary life is marked by controversy. Choose a controversial local, national, or global issue with which you are familiar. Then, using appropriate evidence, write an essay that carefully considers the opposing positions on this controversy and proposes a solution or compromise. Copyright © 2004 by College Entrance Examination Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for AP students and parents). GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE. 3 2004 AP® ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS
Question 3 (Suggested time — 40 minutes. This question counts one-third of the total essay section score.) Read carefully the following passage from the introduction to Days of Obligation by Richard Rodriguez. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how Rodriguez uses contrasts between Mexico and California to explore and convey his conflicting feelings. For the last several years, I have told friends that I was writing a book about California and Mexico. That was not saying enough. I’ve been writing a book about comedy and tragedy. In my mind, in my life, Mexico plays the tragic part; California plays the role of America’s wild child. Or was I writing a book about competing theologies? Josiah Royce, another Californian, another writer, became a famous Harvard professor. Royce wrote about California with disappointment from the distance of New England. Royce believed that some epic opportunity had been given California—the chance to reconcile the culture of the Catholic south and the Protestant north. California had the chance to heal the sixteenth-century tear of Europe. But the opportunity was lost. The Catholic—the Mexican— impulse was pushed back, vanquished by comedy; a Protestant conquest. I use the word “comedy” here as the Greeks used it, with utmost seriousness, to suggest a world where youth is not a fruitless metaphor; where it is possible to start anew; where it is possible to escape the rivalries of the Capulets and the McCoys; where young women can disprove the adages of grandmothers. The comedy of California was constructed on a Protestant faith in individualism. Whereas Mexico knew tragedy. My Mexican father, as his father before him, believed that old men know more than young men; that life will break your heart; that death finally is the vantage point from which a life must be seen. I think now that Mexico has been the happier place for being a country of tragedy. Tragic cultures serve up better food than optimistic cultures; tragic cultures have sweeter children, more opulent funerals. In tragic cultures, one does not bear the solitary burden of optimism. California is such a sad place, really—a state where children run away from parents, a state of pale beer, and young old women, and divorced husbands living alone in condos. But at a time when Californians are driven to despair by the relentless optimism of their state, I can only marvel at the comic achievement of the place, California’s defiance of history, the defiance of ancestors. Something hopeful was created in California through the century of its Protestant settlement. People believed that in California they could begin new lives. New generations of immigrants continue to arrive in California, not a few of them from Mexico, hoping to cash in on comedy. It is still possible in California to change your name, change your sex, get a divorce, become a movie star. My Mexican parents live in a California house with four telephones, three televisions, and several empty bedrooms. How could California ever reconcile comedy and tragedy? How could there not have been a divorce between Mexico and California in the nineteenth century? The youth of my life was defined by Protestant optimism. Now that I am middle-aged, I incline more toward the Mexican point of view, though some part of me continues to resist the cynical conclusions of Mexico. Which leaves me with at least a literary problem to start with: How shall I present the argument between comedy and tragedy, this tension that describes my life? Shall I start with the boy’s chapter, then move toward more “mature” tragic conclusions? But that would underplay the boy’s wisdom. The middle-aged man would simply lord over the matter. No, I will present this life in reverse. After all, the journey my parents took from Mexico to America was a journey from an ancient culture to a youthful one— backward in time. In their path I similarly move, if only to honor their passage to California, and because I believe the best resolution to the debate between comedy and tragedy is irresolution, since both sides can claim wisdom. (1992) END OF EXAMINATION
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This document was uploaded on 10/01/2009.
- Spring '09