AP English Literature and Composition
2005 Free-Response Questions
In Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899), protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to process "that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions." In a novel or play that you have studied, identify a character who conforms outwardly while questioning inwardly. Then write an essay in which you analyze how this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning contributes to the meaning of the work. Avoid mere plot summary.
You may select a work from the list below or another appropriate novel or play of comparable literary merit.... (list)
Bernard Marx or Hemholtz
- disagrees with Foster
- Believes sex should not be talked about in the way everyone else talks about it
- He does a lot of inword thinking though he is more of an outword thinker because he expresses jealousy, fear, and romanticism.
- He thinks to himself a lot.
- Ex: when Foster is talking about Lenina as a piece of meat
- Ex: When Lenina approaches him about intimacy in front of all of the males he wants to speak of it in a more private area.
- Bernard conforms because he has nothing else to do. Everyone around him is doing it so why not do it also.
- He tells himself he does not care, but the more he does the more he is involved.
- He is part of the society whether he likes it or not.
- He fights with his demons about it, but in the end he forms as part of them and practices their rituals.
- Ex: Ch.5 part 2