Final Exam Study Guide – Doc Mahoney





Renaissance Intro  (233-54)–Know ideas about English Humanism (Greek and Roman models, Italian origin, print technology, Henry VIII and Anglican Church,

Elizabeth I, James I, Puritan Revolution and end of English Renaissance)


   Pastoral Tradition idea (257) but NOT “Nymph” and “Shepherd” poems    

   Shakespearean sonnet quatrains and couplet structure; sonnets 18 (277)* and 29 (279)*       

   Shakespeare intro (272-73) and Macbeth (paperback)

   Donne intro (300); Metaphysical poetry qualities (301); Donne’s “Valediction” (305)*

      *Copy provided with the exam


Restoration and 18th Cent. Intro (407-26)–Know key ideas about this era (Augustan–Neoclassical–Enlightenment–Age of Reason meanings, shift from why to how questions, meaning of satire, preference for public subjects in poetry, meaning of ode and elegy, rise of prose essay genre and journalism profession)


   Swift intro (427) and “A Modest Proposal” (intro and text, 428-37)         


The Romantic Period Intro (517-33)–Know ideas about Romanticism (Influence of American–French–Industrial Revolutions; Romantic preference for imagination over reason, childhood freedom over adult controls, personal emotions over public commitments, social change over status quo, nature over urban life; Lyrical Ballads as landmark text for new poetry)                

   Shelley intro (617) and “Ode to the West Wind” (intro and text, 622-24)


Modern World Intro (799-818)–Know key ideas about this era (WWI and WWII dates; general impact of Darwin, Marx, and Freud on modern culture; Modernist experimentation in form and content; stream of consciousness technique; alienation of artists from politics and nationalism)


   Woolf intro (886) and “Shakespeare’s Sister” (intro and text, 887-892)

   Yeats intro (944) and “The Second Coming” (intro and text, 945-46)

   Joyce intro (955), “Araby” (intro and text 956-62), and “The Influence of James Joyce”



NOTE: Review the period introductions and author introductions generally for background information.  Do not get obsessive about details.  Focus much more on the actual literary readings.  Review all graded materials and be sure you know a correct answer for anything that was marked wrong.





LITERARY TERMS–Have a working knowledge of these terms.  No need to memorize definitions.  Make notes for any of them as needed here.  Below is an alphabetical list.  See “Handbook of Literary Terms” on 1181-1204 for clarification if needed.


Alliteration                      Assonance                      Aside                       Ballad



Caesura                           Couplet                           Dialogue                  Elegy



Figurative language        Hyperbole                       Imagery                   Literal language       



Metaphor                        Metaphysical conceit      Monologue                     Octave                           



Ode                                Onomatopoeia                     Oxymoron                      Paradox                          



Personification             Point of View                     Quatrain                         Refrain                          



Satire                             Sestet                                  Simile                           Soliloquy                           



Sonnet                            Style (in writing)               Volta (or Turn)


Final Exam Study Guide – Ms. Walsh


Understand and be able to identify the following:











Figurative language

Literal language


Iambic pentameter







Logical appeal

Emotional appeal

Ethical appeal

















Petrarchan/Italian Sonnet

Elizabethan/Shakespearean Sonnet


Stream of consciousness







Lady Macbeth




Young Siward


Lady Macduff







Judith Shakespeare



Know basic biographical information and what we read from each of the following:


William Shakespeare

John Donne

Jonathan Swift

William Butler Yeats

Virginia Woolf

James Joyce

Percy Shelley



Know basic plot of everything that we have read:



Sonnet 18

Sonnet 29

“A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”

“A Modest Proposal”

“Ode to the West Wind”

“Shakespeare’s Sister”

“The Second Coming”


“The Influence of James Joyce”


Historical info:

Know historical context info for the time periods that we saw:


Early Modern Period aka Renaissance –

Know English Humanism

Henry VIII and the Anglican Church

Elizabeth I

James I

Puritain Revolution

End of the English Renaissance


Restoration –

Understand meaning of the Age of Reason

Meaning of satire

Preference for public subject in poetry

Rise of prose essay genre


The Romantic Period –

Understand characteristics of Romanticism

  • Imagination over reason
  • Childhood freedom
  • Personal emotions over public commitments
  • Social change
  • Nature over urban life

Know influence of the American, French, and Industrial Revolutions

Know Lyrical Ballads as a landmark text for poetry


Modern World –

General impact of Darwin, Marx, and Freud

Modernist experimentation in form and content

Stream of consciousness



Know the six reasons Swift presents as part of his proposal

Understand how Swift persuades his audience  

Understand Donne’s compass conceit

Understand Donne’s other comparisons in “A Valediction”

Be able to discuss Macbeth as tragedy and who you think the tragic hero is

Be able to discuss gender issues in Macbeth

Understand issues of fate vs. free will in Macbeth

Understand “Shakespeare’s Sister” as a feminist text

Understand the biblical allusion in “The Second Coming”

Understand the deeper potential meaning of “Araby”

Ode to the West Wind


O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O Thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!


Thou on whose stream, ‘mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like Earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou Dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain and fire and hail will burst: O hear!


Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his chrystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: O hear!


If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O Uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne’er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.


Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
Like wither’d leaves, to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened Earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Essay Tips

Ms. Walsh’s Essay Tips

  1. Plagiarism is the worst; don’t do it

Don’t waste my time or yours. If you are that committed to not doing your own work, just don’t bother to turn in an essay.

  1. Theses and topic sentences are promises; keep them

Maybe a little dramatic, but a thesis is a promise to your reader that your paper will prove a certain point. If your paper ends up proving a different point, then you’ve lied to your reader. Similarly, a topic sentence is a promise that an individual body paragraph will be about a certain idea or point. If it ends up being about something else, then you’ve again lied to your reader. Readers will ultimately find this confusing. So, make sure your thesis and topic sentences reflect what you are actually trying to say and make sure that everything in your paper supports your thesis/topic sentences.

  1. Funnel your intro

Start your introduction off with a more general sentence that is still related to your topic and then gradually build to your most specific point, your thesis.


I thought I had paid for everything. Not like the woman pays and pays and pays. No idea of retribution or punishment. Just exchange of values (Hemingway 152).

In this passage from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Jake’s recognition of the societal need for the containment of women becomes apparent. Here, Jake realizes that women are engaged in a system in which they must constantly pay for what they receive. From this notion of constant payment, Jake then makes a sharp contrast with the system that he himself is a part of where payments are a simple exchange of values. This contrast highlights the way in which women are part of a system where payments are founded on ideas of retribution and punishment. The woman must not only give to receive, but she must also be punished in her payments. It is then from Jake’s recognition of this universal need for women to not only pay, but be punished, that the novel begins to explore issues concerning the containment of Brett, the novel’s leading lady.

Despite the fact that the Hebrew and Greek Bibles are bound together into one text, the two function in ways that are often difficult to reconcile. For instance, the two sets of scriptures involve radically different stories and characters that make them seem, at least initially, to have more points of divergence than convergence. However, the Greek Bible can ultimately be understood as responding to the struggles that the Hebrew Bible has with the meaning of God’s covenantal promise of land for his people. This covenantal promise of land frames the entirety of the Hebrew Bible as is evidenced by the fact that, after it is first given by God to Abraham, it is notably repeated to each of the successive patriarchs. Thus, when the Israelites are exiled from the land of the covenant, questions inevitably arise as to what the existing relationship is between the Israelites and their God, and, without answers to these questions, the narrative simply ends. The introduction of the Greek Bible into the narrative can then be understood as seeking to resolve these issues surrounding land by recasting the promise in terms of a metaphysical kingdom. The Greek Bible, in turn, enacts this recasting through the repetition of type scenes from the Hebrew Bible in the Greek Bible. Thus, the writings in the Greek Bible are responding to the covenant problem in the Hebrew Bible by taking what was rooted in the physical and moving it to the metaphysical, which ultimately culminates in the Hebrew Bible’s promise of physical land becoming a promise of a metaphysical kingdom.

According to Terry Eagleton, “It is in the significant silences of a text, in its gaps and absences that the presence of ideology can be most positively felt.” Here ideology can be understood to mean the “dominant way of seeing the world” or the “historically relative structure of perception which underpins the power of a particular social class” (Terry Eagleton, Marxism and Literary Criticism). Thus, Eagleton is declaring that the dominant beliefs of a society that are used to instill the ruling class with power can best be seen through absences. The profound meaning of Eagleton’s statement can be seen in Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Count Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier, and Sir Philip Sidney’s “Sonnet 9” from Astrophil and Stella in all of which the absence of women serves to reveal the focus on the male dominated order and this order’s corresponding fear of the threat that women pose.

  1. Assume that your reader is…
    1. Familiar with your topic (no extensive plot summary necessary)
    2. Of average intelligence (they can understand what you are saying if you are writing clearly; aka you don’t need to write like you are talking to a preschooler)
    3. Inherently lazy (they do not want to guess what you are trying to say or what your point is)
  1. Quoting

When quoting, the in-text citation appears right after the closed quotation marks and the period follows the citation itself.

For example:

Indeed, the myth of the West that we have come to know is that which “we have come to know from American movies” (Kuester 281).

If the quoted portion doesn’t end the sentence, put the in-text citation right after the quote and continue on with your sentence:

Essentially, in Volkswagen Blues imaginative colonization is achieved “through physical reappropriation of the continent” (Weisman 491) in that Jack and La Grande Sauterelle first follow the routes of the French explorers along the Mississippi River before setting out along the Oregon Trail.

The information in the in-text citation only needs to be information that is not made clear in the text itself. For example, in MLA format the in-text citation normally contains that author’s last name and the page number for the quote. However, if the page number or the author’s name is mentioned within the text itself, you do not need to repeat that information in the parentheses:

The term historiographic metafiction was coined by Linda Hutcheon in A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction in which Hutcheon defines historiographic metafiction as pertaining to “those well-known and popular novels which are both intensely self-reflexive and yet paradoxically also lay claim to historical events and personages” (5).

For quotes within quotes, use the double quotation marks to indicate the beginning and end of the quoted text as a whole and apostrophes to indicate the quote within the quote:

This irony is something that Harry’s friend, Rachel Gold, draws our attention to: “‘And you’re a Canadian, Harry. So why is a Canadian so concerned about teaching Americans how to be American?’” (Vanderhaeghe 181).

Here the entire quote is spoken text from within the novel itself. So, the double quotation marks and the apostrophes are all lumped together. Also, you’ll notice that the quote itself ends with a question mark that appears inside the quotation marks and that the period that marks the end of your sentence still comes after the citation itself.

Quotes longer than four lines need to be blocked off:

While in the previous examples, the use of imaginative colonization was more about a reclaiming of the genre of the Western rather than the Western frontier itself, Volkswagen Blues uses the aforementioned intertextuality along with a physical movement across the United States as a means of doing both. Essentially, the

spatial journey diagonally across the United States is…doubled by a textual journey covering a number of Canadian and American literary intertexts. Jack Waterman’s journey parallel’s the pioneer’s quest for the American dream, and the novel echoes this search as it is represented in the American intertexts that compose it (Miraglia 49, emphasis in original).

Notice that in this example I drop the quotation marks because I’ve block quoted.

As you’ll also notice in these examples, the quotes are always introduced by the text itself. So, you should try to find ways to integrate your quotes rather than “bomb-dropping” them into your text.

You should also try to make quote sandwiches. For example:

However, this quality of Shorty being mythologized is perhaps best seen in the fact that Chance wants him specifically for his great American movie. As Dick Harrison explains, “Western American fiction, because its metanarrative inscribes a national myth of origins, is, in a fairly explicit way, about being American” (71, emphasis in original). Thus, the fact that Chance wants Shorty for his film confirms his mythical status because Chance’s film is fundamentally about the myth of America and American identity.

Here there is a sentence that introduces the quote, a sentence that contains the quote, and, finally, a sentence that explains the significance of the quote. You have to explain the meaning of your quotes especially relative to your argument. Your reader doesn’t want to have to guess. As part of this, you should use quotes that add to your argument or help your prove a point in some way. Don’t just throw random quotes in for fun or to reiterate plot points that you’ve already paraphrased.

  1. Your/you’re; two/to/too; its/it’s; than/then; there/their/they’re; who/whom; less/fewer

“Your” is possessive, e.g., your dog.

“You’re” is a contraction for “you are,” e.g., you’re nice.

Two = 2

“To” can be used in a lot of contexts, e.g., to do something or as a preposition (I went to the store)

“Too” is primarily used to mean something like also (I went too) or to indicate degree (too much of a good thing; too loose – fun tip, in both of these examples the letter “o” doubles which should help you remember this use of “too”)

“Than” is usually used for comparison (this is greater than that)

“Then” is used in a variety of constructs, but often for time relationships (I did this and then I did that)

“There” is probably the most useful of the bunch. You use it for location (put the gifts over there) and statements of fact (there is a marker on the table) amongst other things

“Their” is possession as in something belongs to them (e.g., their dog)

“They’re” = they are

“Who” is for when it is the subject (e.g., who is going to the dance?)

“Whom” is for when you are referring to an object (e.g., for whom the bell tolls)

The way to test this last one is to try to reshuffle the sentence to replace who/whom with he/they or him/them. Let’s try it!

Him is going to the dance – sounds wrong

He is going to the dance – sounds right so you must need to use “who”

The bell tolls for he – sounds wrong

The bell tolls for him – sounds right so you need to use “whom” because the m’s go together

“Fewer” is for countable nouns and “less” is for uncountable nouns (things you can’t count or quantify). For example, “I couldn’t care less” because caring isn’t something you can put a number on whereas you would say “There are fewer than four hundred students at Lowell Catholic.” Fun fact: signs at stores that say “10 Items or Less” are WRONG. You can count items. So, it should be “10 Items or Fewer.”

  1. Effect vs. affect

Effect is typically a noun meaning the result of something (think cause and effect) and affect is typically a verb meaning to impact something in some way (e.g., my knee injury affected my playing ability). There are two exceptions to this rule, but this will work for you 99% of the time. So, it isn’t anything to be too concerned about. If you want to know though, effect can be a verb meaning to directly cause to come about and affect can be a noun describing someone’s assumed personality.

  1. It’s not would of, should of, could of

When you do this, you mean would’ve, should’ve, could’ve, but what you should really do is type out the full words would have, should have, and could have because…

  1. No contractions in a formal essay

Contractions are lazy and informal. Type out the full words. Speaking of lazy…

  1. When in doubt, you should always type it out

“And” is not a long word. We don’t need to use this instead: &. Also, “you” is not a long word. We don’t need to substitute it with “u.” Finally, numbers under a hundred should just be typed out. We can type “three” instead of just hitting “3.”

  1. No I/me/my statements

These weaken your argument. There is a big difference between saying “I think that Holden is the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye” and “Holden is the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye.” “In my opinion” has a similar problem.

  1. Diction

When writing an essay, you should elevate your diction. Imagine your audience is someone that you don’t know that is interested in learning more about your topic. Using slang is going to make them not take you seriously. Think of it this way, whose argument would you find more persuasive, someone who writes like this “Despite the fact that the Hebrew and Greek Bibles are bound together into one text, the two function in ways that are often difficult to reconcile” or someone who writes like this “Hey, you know that the Bibles are different & stuff & sometimes that makes it tough to like get them. It’s gonna be real tough, is what I’m saying”?

  1. Formatting

Use the table; love the table:

Underline/Italic Quotation Marks No Marks
Novels, books, anthologies Short stories, essays, and chapter titles. Religious texts
Magazines, newspapers, and journals Individual articles
Films, TV shows, radio programs Individual episodes of shows or programs
Web sites Individual web pages
Epic poems Regular poems
Pamphlets or sermons
Albums, named symphonies, ballets Individual songs Numbered musical compositions
Painting, sculptures
Names of specific ships, spacecraft, or aircraft Type of ship, spacecraft, or aircraft
Supreme Court Cases Legal documents, treaties, acts, and declarations
  1. If you’re bored, I’m bored

Don’t write boring papers. They make you sad; they make me sad; they make the essay gods sad. No one likes sad essay gods.

Works Cited

“Effect an Effect.”

Fogarty, Mignon. “Affect vs Effect.” Grammar Girl. Quick and Dirty Tips, 29 June 2008. Web.

Fogarty, Mignon. “Who versus Whom.” Grammar Girl. Quick and Dirty Tips, 9 March 2007. Web.

Halbert, Dr. Harold William. “Dealing with Titles in MLA Format.” Montgomery County Community College. Web. 30 March 2013.

If you’d like to keep this and cherish it forever, you can download the Word file here: essay tips