I need help with an AP Paper..I need to know what this question is asking me.?

Critic Roland Barthes has said, "Literature is the question minus the answer." Choose a novel or play and, considering Barthes’ observation, write an essay in which you analyze a central question the work raises and the extent it offers any answers. Explain how the author’s treatment of this question affects your understanding of the work as a whole. Avoid a plot summary!Its about a novel I read but I dont understand what the question is asking me to explain about the novel.



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2 Responses to “I need help with an AP Paper..I need to know what this question is asking me.?”

  1. substriate says:

    For this, it is first important to understand the quotation. I think it means in basic terms that Literature is about having a question and providing possible answers for it but not giving a definite answer.Considering that definition (or your own analysis of the quote), you take your novel and analyze a main question that the novel poses and focuses on. And try to see what the author wrote as possible answer(s) or even something leading to a possible answer to the central question that you analyzed in the novel. Then you think of how the author’s treatment of possible answer(s) to the question (whether he gave definite answer or viceversa) affected your own thinking of the question’s answer.I suggest you definitely think about this before doing an outline for the essay and then write the essay. Good luck!

  2. giang says:

    It’s asking the central question of the play, the Man vs Man, Man vs God, etc but more specific. Like in the novel Moby Dick, it’s essentially Man vs self, Capt Ahab’s obsession with the whale is a metaphor for obsession itself…. Hope that helps