12th Grade AP & AP/AE Summer Reading

  • AP and AEAP English 12                                                                   Summer Reading Journals


    Directions for Summer Reading


    Full Length Journal Responses:  100 points


    In order to properly prepare you for the AP exam in May, certain questions for Crime and Punishment will require full-length journals.  The full-length journals should follow the directions provided:


      • Single paragraph analysis. 
        • Paragraph should be well-developed.
        • One full page in length.
        • Double spaced.
      • First sentence (topic sentence) should clearly introduce the subject (topic) by addressing the prompt and provide the paragraph with a purpose (argument/analysis of the question).
      • Aptly support your topic sentence with a minimum of two specific and well-developed examples from the text—provide detail.
        • Use ONE quote from the text for each response.
        • All quotes and researched ideas need to be properly formatted and cited using MLA documentation.
      • Avoid plot summary—you do not have enough room for it.  Just go straight into your analysis.
      • Concluding sentence which provides closure to your argument.


    I cannot overstate the importance of textual evidence:  when you generalize about a literary work, you must show the reader the source of your insight.  Use direct quotes, phrases, or just a word to support a generalization.  Please, for your own ease of review, include page numbers.


    Working Notes


    Your working notes for this text will differ in complexity.  The working notes have no point value attached to them; however, they will be a significant help during class discussion and for use on the timed writing test.  The questions provided in the working notes section of the journal are to be used to help guide you through the text and help you to understand the complexities of Dostoyevsky’s purpose.  To help organize your notes, lead with a heading (e.g., Sources of Suspense in C & P) and follow with a bulleted list.  This list will blend your own thoughts with words from the text.  Again, for your own benefit, provide page numbers for easy reference.  Notice that this format does not sacrifice thoroughness for compactness.  


    All journals will be submitted to “” by the SECOND class meeting and evaluated.  You will have an opportunity, when we discuss Crime and Punishment later in the month, to annotate your journals further.  After a thorough discussion of the text, an AP style essay prompt will be answered in class in order to help you understand and prepare for what this year’s AP exam.


    Full Length Journal Questions




    Part I:  Toni Morrison, American author and literary critic, once stated, “the subject of the dream is always the dreamer.”  Analyze and discuss Raskolnikov’s dream in chapter 5.  Use the following questions to help guide your response:

    • How would you interpret his dream?
    • Can you relate the dream to other actions in Part I?  Where? Explain.


    Part II:  Discuss how Raskolnikov’s illness affects his behavior and judgment in this section.   Choose at least two incidents to discuss which illustrate these behaviors or judgments.


    Part III:  Explain Raskolnikov’s extraordinary man theory.   Be sure to focus on how this theory is an attempt at justifying his crime and how this theory enters into his interview with Porfiry Petrovich.


    Part IV:  Provide a short analysis of Svidrigaylov’s character.  Focus on the following ideas to help guide your analysis:

    • Is he a monster or a victim?
    • Why does he tell Raskolnikov that they are “kindred spirits?”
    • How do you respond to his request to see Dunia?


    Part IV and V:  Discuss and evaluate the characterization of Sonia.  Consider the following when discussing her character:

    • Why does Raskolnikov seek her out at her room in Part IV?
    • Of all the Bible stories, why do you think Raskolnikov begs her to read the Lazarus story (Part IV)?
    • What does is suggest about Sonia that Raskolnikov is able to confess his crimes to her?
    • Who is a stronger character: Sonia or Raskolnikov?


    Part VI:  Explain Raskolnikov’s reaction to Porfiry’s final analysis of the murder.  Why does Porfiry accuse Raskolnikov but not arrest him and how does Porfiry’s psychological method of confronting suspected criminals work here?


    Part VI:  Final chapter vs the Epilogue.  Discuss which ending is more appropriate for the text: the final chapter of Part VI or the Epilogue.  What is the literary purpose of the epilogue and is it even needed?


    Working Notes Questions


    **These are NOT submitted for a grade. They are used to help guide you through the book, for class discussion, and the final test on the novel**



    Part I: 


    1. Describe the atmosphere of Raskolnikov’s environment and show its effect on his behavior and state of mind.


    1. How do you explain Raskolnikov’s involvement with Marmeladov?  How does Raskolnikov respond to Marmeladov’s story about his wife, Katerina?  His daughter, Sonya? 


    1. After reading his mother’s letter, Raskolnikov has several responses.  Evaluate how he judges his sister’s (Dunya) past and present situation.  How do you respond to the letter?


    1. How do you feel about Raskolnikov at the end of Part I?  Do you find him to be a character you sympathize with?  Why or why not?


    Part II:


    1. Why is Razumikhin involved with Raskolnikov?  Do you think Razumikhin is a person you would trust?   Explain your answer.


    1. This part contains several incidents which evoke feelings of suspense or uncertainty.  Choose two incidents (different from question 1) which have this effect on you as a reader and explain why.


    1. How do you respond to Marmeladov’s accident?  Is this event necessary to the action?  Explain your response.


    Part III:


    1. How does the presence of Raskolnikov’s mother and sister affect him?  Does he care for them or even love them?  Explain.  Is Dunya a character you like or dislike?  Explain.  How would you respond to Raskolnikov’s mother?


    1. How would you describe Razumikhin’s relationship with Dunya and Raskolnikov’s mother?  Does Razumikhin help or hinder Raskolnikov in this part?  Explain your answer.


    1. Respond to the following by suggesting why they are significant:

    a. Raskolnikov’s previous plans to marry his landlady’s


                    b.  Sonya’s visit to Raskolnikov’s room

                    c.  Lushin’s letter to Dunya

                    d.  Raskolnikov’s dream at the end of Part III




    Part IV:


    1. Do you think Luzhin is treated fairly by Dunya and Raskolnikov during their meeting in Chapter 2?  Explain your answer.


    1. How does Porfiry Petrovich attempt to trick Raskolnikov during their second interview?  How much does Porfiry know about Raskolnikov’s involvement with the pawnbroker?  How does Raskolnikov react during the interview?


    1. Comment on the following situations:

    a.  Raskolnikov’s decision to leave his family

    b.  Marfa Petrovna’s leaving Dunya 3,000 rubles

    c.  Svidrigaylov’s concept of eternity

    d.  The description of Sonya’s room


    Part V:


    1. The character of Andrey Lebezyatnikov is present in several key scenes in this part.  How do you explain his views of society?  His role in relation to the Marmeloadov family?


    1. How acceptable to you is Katerina Ivanovna’s behavior after she is thrown out into the streets?  Is her death necessary?  Explain.


    1. Comment on the following situations:

    a.  Katerina’s treatment of the landlady at the dinner

    b.  Sonya’s advice to Raskolnikov

    c.  Svidrigaylov’s generous concern for the Marmeladov children


    Part IV—Chapters 1-4


    1. In chapters 1 and 2, Raskolnikov thinks about several significant events and ideas.  Comment on the following:

    a.  Raskolnikov’s need to find out what Svidrigaylov means by the need

         for fresh air

    b.  Razumikhin’s comment “You have made me drunk with it.  I am

         drunk, you know, Rodka!  I am drunk without vodka.”

    c.  Porfiry’s comment about the painter:  “I suspect now that Mikolka

         desires to accept suffering, or something of that sort.”


    1. How do you feel about Svidrigaylov by the end of Chapter 4?  How do you respond to his accounts of his relationships with women?


    Part IV—Chapters 5-8 and The Epilogue


    1. How does Svidrigaylov insist that Dunya meet with him in his room?  How does this meeting affect her?  Their relationship?


    1. How do the following details affect your impression of Svidrigaylov?

    a.  the rain storm the night he walks through the city

    b.  his taking a room in a seedy hotel

    c.  his series of dreams

    d.  his “going to America”


    1. How do you respond to Raskolnikov’s final meeting with his mother?  His discussion with Dunya?



    Dostoevsky and the Existential Crisis

    Existentialism in its simplest understanding is attempting to answer the questions of why am I here and what is my purpose for being here.  Existentialism is also a philosophical belief where we are each responsible for creating purpose or meaning in our own lives. Our individual purpose and meaning is not given to us by Gods, governments, teachers or other authorities, etc.

    Clearly the term is much more complicated than this, however.

    • It was Dostoevsky's opinion that suffering was necessary to man…it was a means of atoning for sin and the road to salvation.
    • To give up suffering would be to give up consciousness.
    • Dostoevsky feels that people are individuals, and it is this individual human element that is lacking from Communism (a doctrine which can only be held seriously by young boys, as he writes in The Brothers Karamazov).


    • The belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.
    • A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.


    The Superman (Ubermensch)

    • The theory of the ubermensch is that one day some people will have the resources to overcome nihilism and create new values.
    • This new grouping of humans will be able to affirm their bodies and the world, rather than turning away from it, like members of traditional religions (e.g., Christianity and Buddhism).

    Hegelian Superman

    • Exists for noble purposes in the view that if the ends are noble then the means can be justified.
    • The Hegelian Superman is one that stands above the ordinary man but works for the benefit of ALL mankind.


    • Any “harmful” segment of society should be removed.
    • Therefore, Rask is justified in killing the pawnbroker…
    • If the “ends” are justified, then the “means” can also be justified.
    • Pawnbroker has money that would be “wasted;” therefore, killing her and taking that money benefits the greater good of society.
    • One small crime can be wiped out by thousands of good deeds.
    • Hundreds of people would benefit from the ruin of one.

    Nietzschean Superman

    • Does not exist for the benefit of society.
    • Exists for his own personal gratification.
      • Aims are not prompted by any type of nobility.
      • Most important aim is self-gratification.
    • The Superman refuses to recognize any will beyond that of his own will.
    • The test of this type of superman is that he must stand completely alone and must not allow his will to be influenced by the wishes of others.
      • Leaves him in complete solitude.


    Raskolnikov’s Extraordinary Man Theory

    For Raskolnikov, all men are divided into two categories: ordinary and extraordinary.

    • The ordinary man must live in submission and has no right to transgress the law because he is ordinary.
    • The extraordinary man has the right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way.
    • It is the extraordinary men who…
      • forge civilization onward to new heights of achievements
      • have the inner right to decide whether to overstep the law or any obstacle that stands in the way of the practical fulfillment of his idea

    All great men capable of giving something new to society must not submit to the common law because if they do they cease to be great.

    • Great men create new laws by their discoveries and therefore should have the right to eliminate a few men in order to make their new discoveries known to all of humanity.
    • Thus, Raskolnikov “sanctions bloodshed in the name of conscience.”



    Cheat Sheet of Character Names


    One of the hardest parts in reading Crime and Punishment is keeping track of the names of the characters. Not only are the names difficult to pronounce, but also a character is often referred to by more than one version of his or her name depending on relationship, social setting, etc.

    As you read, try your best to pronounce the names of the characters (even if your pronunciation is not correct). Think of the main character as Raskolnikov not that “R-guy.”


    Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov (Rodya, Rodenka, Rodka), a student

     Avdotia Romanovna Raskolnikov (Dunya, Dunechka), his sister

     Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov, their mother


    Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov (Sonya, Somechka)

    Semyon Zakharovitch Marmeladov, father of Sonya

    Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov, mother of Sonya

    Other Marmeladov Children, Half-siblings of Sonya:

    1. Polenka (Polina, Polia, Polechka)

    2. Lidochka (Lyona)

    3. Kolya (Kolka).


    Ilya Petrovitch, police lieutenant

    Nikodim Fomitch, chief of police

    Zametov, clerk at the police station

    Porfiry Petrovitch, police investigator


    Alyona Ivanovna, a moneylender

    Lizaveta Ivanovna, her simple, kind, half-sister


    Dmitri Prokovitch Razumikhin (Mitia, Mitry, Mitka), friend of Raskolnikov

    Zosimov, doctor (and friend of Razumikhin)


    Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigailov, former employer of Dunya

    Martha Petrovna Svidrigailov, his wife

    Peter Petrovitch Luzhin, relative of Martha Petrovna; a lawyer/official

    Andrey Semionovich Lebeziatnikov, roommate and former ward of Luzhin


    Praskovya Pavlovna Zarnitsyn (Pashenka), Raskolnikov’s landlady

    Nastasia (Nastenka, Nastia), Praskovya Pavlovna’s maid

    Amalia Ivanovna Lippewechsel (Ludwigovna), Marmeladov’s landlady

    Madame Gertrude Karlovna Resslich, Landlady of Svidrigailov


    Nikolay and Dimitri, painters