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AS and A Level: Other Criticism & Comparison

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 11
  • Peer Reviewed essays 1
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Innocence and Experience in "Atonement" and "The Go-Between"

    5 star(s)

    and by the prologue where he laments that he was "let down" by his childhood self; "vanquished, and so was [his] century." The dramatic irony of the reader's superior knowledge over the innocent child is augmented by both the experienced narrator's retrospect and the reader's own historical perspective. While Leo optimistically anticipates the twentieth century "winged with hope," the characters of Atonement, with their "dread of conflict", exemplify the complacency of appeasement and the interwar years, preferring to consider "re-armament and the Abyssinia Question...

    • Word count: 2875
  2. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    (Schonmuller, B., 2008:13) The identity of the patient is the mystery around which the novel revolves. "Everyone assumes he is English because of his refined speech and mannerisms." (Ha, K., 2001: 52), but this is just a hypothesis as he is unrecognisable and lacks any identification. Later in the novel and through the patient's fragmented memories, the irony of the book is revealed: the English patient is not, in fact, English. Actually, he is called Alm�sy and is Hungarian by birth, having been in the past a desert explorer and map-maker, part of the National Geographical Society expedition to map the Libyan Desert.

    • Word count: 53965
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Within the three texts, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Look back in Anger by John Osborne and The Whitsun Weddings by Phillip Larkin, each writer explores the concept of a changing world.

    4 star(s)

    This disdain can be seen most clearly in Brideshead Revisited through the character of Lieutenant Hooper. Waugh?s unsympathetic portrayal of Hooper as an ignorant and graceless army officer, lacking the sense of tradition present in the character of Charles, is representative of Waugh?s presentation of the working class in the novel and the changing world where they are becoming more prominent. Waugh?s description of Charles seeing Hooper as a ?symbol? of ?Young England?[2] presents Charles? and also Waugh?s view of a new generation whose pragmatism was at odds with the romanticism and splendour of the upper classes.

    • Word count: 3400
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Both A Passage to India and Heart of Darkness can be interpreted as portraying Imperialism in a critical light, as a dark force which spreads from England into foreign environments

    4 star(s)

    For Forster, human defects thrive and are brought to the forefront by the force of imperialism. For men and women living in Forster's England, the defects are less noticeable, but when their environment is changed to an alien landscape and culture under the sway of imperialism, their inner darkness - being the capacity for cruelty, racism, bigotry and a lack of compassion - is brought forward. In Chapter Two, Forster explores the defects in human nature brought to the forefront by this change in landscape and situation from the point of view of some of his Indian characters.

    • Word count: 1756
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Presenation of childhood in Jane Eyre and Once in a House On Fire

    4 star(s)

    This is in contrast to "Once in a House on Fire" which at the beginning of the book presents the reader with a number of facts which are presented by Ashworth in such a way that we do not feel sympathy for her but which allow us to at least empathise with her such as "My father drowned when I was five years old", the humour here undercutting the serious situation. Charlotte Bronte then switches the scene to that of the Reed family, who, in the point of view of Jane Eyre were "clustered around their mamma" in the drawing

    • Word count: 1740
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Blanche and Stanley

    4 star(s)

    The conflict between the two ways of life is concentrated within the battle between the two protagonists Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski. The old civilisation vested in Blanche and the modern in the virile figure of Stanley. The two are like chalk and cheese, the result of their different lifestyles, status and culture. Blanche, an educated woman of wealthy, aristocratic Creole descent and symbolically the last of the Dubois lineage of 19th century plantation owners, is innately refined, "prim and proper," on the surface but in societies eyes is a fallen woman; a metaphor for the corrupt ideas; slavery, racism etc everlastingly associated with the deep south.

    • Word count: 1037
  7. Marked by a teacher

    The strength of Much Ado About Nothing lies in its balance of contrasting elements

    4 star(s)

    The potential tragedy first occurs in the play with a classic case of mistaken identity. Claudio and Don Pedro are misled by the villain of the play, Don John, into believing that Claudio's betrothed is having an affair with Borachio (admittedly Claudio's sheer gullibility does help this cause). This potential tragedy truly unfolds at the wedding scene, with Claudio exposing Hero's 'adultery' to the whole congregation and plunging the whole story into turmoil. However, one of the strengths of comic romanticism lies in the predictability of the story, and in Much Ado About Nothing this convention allows audiences to enjoy the touch of tragedy, knowing the story will end in high spirits.

    • Word count: 1786
  8. Marked by a teacher

    The Theme of Opression in Marriage in "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "The Story of an Hour".

    3 star(s)

    The way they are treated by their spouses prevents them from being sincerely happy. In Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," the narrator, who is never actually named in the story, is extremely suppressed by her husband. Her husband John is a man and a doctor, which truly makes him an even more powerful person in their marriage, especially when the narrator gets ill. He is constantly condescending and patronizing her. For example, the narrator says, "John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage" (Widger 1). He seems to be laughing at her, and she feels like it?s a normal thing in marriages.

    • Word count: 1327
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Exploration of the ways that Shakespeare and Austen present us with different aspects of love or the theme of love looking at similarities and differences in the two texts and bearing in mind the different times they were written in.

    3 star(s)

    Darcy, the proud, noble nephew, should break from his initial thought of Elizabeth as "not handsome enough to tempt me' and from his prejudice in opposition to her lack of money and the way her family live. Elizabeth's first impressions, however, shows Darcy as arrogant and vain; as an outcome, she later receives offensive accusations in disapproval to him as right. The marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth uncovers the qualities that create a successful marriage. One of these qualities is that the feeling cannot be carried on by look, and should continuously improve as individuals as they get to know each other.

    • Word count: 1570
  10. Marked by a teacher

    In what Sense can we connect the Ideas of the Idealised Self and the Gap between the Signifier and Signified to Link our Understanding of the Ways in which Fitzgerald and Duffy Discuss Love?

    3 star(s)

    The main aspect of love discussed in both texts is the way you see yourself and your lover in the relationship. This view of yourself and the idealised view of your lover, from your state of mind, romanticises the people that you have feelings. This is a major theme throughout 'The Great Gatsby.' Gatsby's ultimate recreation of himself to fit what he believes Daisy wants, that image of him that Jordan discusses with Nick, ultimately pulls Gatsby and Daisy apart due to the evident difference between them, though they do not like to admit it.

    • Word count: 2622
  11. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the view that The Great Gatsby and 1984 concern the attempt of an impossible idealism to realise itself in a grossly materialistic world.

    3 star(s)

    The greatest idealism within The Great Gatsby is the pursuit of happiness and dreams. Gatsby having been so desperate to achieve his dream that he placed every ounce of his effort into building himself into a strong economic and social figure. The pursuit of this dream and the effect that it had upon him as a driving force and to have created and achieved as much as he did, shows the power of aspiration. However, this novel grows to be especially hedonistic in its portrayal of life, as it seems as though the majority have become hopelessly preoccupied with the acquisition of their own "happiness".

    • Word count: 836
  12. Compare and contrast the way the historical diners in Top Girls and the female characters in Spies are shown to be oppressed. How far do you agree with the opinion that despite their efforts they all remain oppressed?

    was not able as a female to enter a library to study and was forced to dress as a man in order to extend her knowledge; she was only respected enough to become Pope because she was believed to be a man not because of her intelligence. My final point is that when Pope Joan fell pregnant she was forced to hide the fact she was expecting and when she did give birth she and the child were killed by the procession, with one cardinal going so far as to call the baby the 'Antichrist'.

    • Word count: 1296
  13. Compative Essay. Both Dr Faustus and the pardoner share an obsessive greed.

    The same can be said in the Pardoner's tale, in which three peasants find an old man who they mistake for death in which he leads them to a true where they find gold. There obsession can be easily connected to human nature which undermines our fascination to their situation, because it could happen to anyone. It's common to want to be superior in wealth to others, competition drives advancements, so in that respect, we are not fascinated by the Pardoner's tale.

    • Word count: 1056
  14. Identity Comparision - My Country (1904) and Australia (1939) by Dorothea Mackellar and A.D Hope. The Ship Song Project (2011) a music video composed by Guy Pearce, shows the beauties of Australia

    Mackellar portrays a brighter perspective of the splendours of the Australian environment in the second stanza of 'My Country', the extremity of the Australian landscape is described, 'a land of sweeping plains.. ragged mountain ranges'. Mackellar opens up an abundant and opulent image of Australia, 'the sapphire-misted mountains' this imagery describes the richness of the environment. Her love takes in and encompasses the bad, 'of droughts and flooding rains.. and her terror'. This paradox represents the realism of the environment, which helps the audience to believe that the place she describes is real, not imagined.

    • Word count: 1048
  15. Comparative Essay. A deeper understanding of important human values has been enhanced in the areas of friendship and dreams, through the study of, Of Mice and Men and American Beauty.

    Lester employs this belief when he starts his life over and rejects the American dream. Lester and the other characters finally see the evil in the American dream and how they mask themselves with these ideals, which in turn, creates various controversial issues within themselves. Although their actions are illegal/immoral, they use these actions to find themselves and to find happiness. Whilst these two different texts reflect the context of their times, they employ a variety of techniques to develop a greater understanding of these universal concepts.

    • Word count: 1552
  16. Comparative Study - Despite the differences in context, a comparative study of the poetry of John Donne and Margaret Edsons play, W;t, is essential for a more complete understanding of the values and ideas presented in W;t.

    In contrast, 'W;t' is set it modern times where science asserts more dominance over religion. The differences in context is symbolised by Vivian's attachment to the IV pole shown on page 19 "She lies slumped on the bed, fastened to the IV" [stage directions]. This symbolism shows the audience how, although Vivian and Donne are parallels, the extremities of the problems faced by Vivian are different to Donne's and how in Donne's context, people relied on the belief of life after death which contrasts how Vivian has no religious beliefs and therefore places dependence on medicinal procedures.

    • Word count: 1414
  17. EXPLORE THE VIEW THAT MALES VALUE WOMEN PREDOMINANTLY FOR THEIR CHILDBEARING ABILITIES, BUT THAT ACTUALLY, MOTHERHOOD HAS MORE ASPECTS TO IT WITHIN THE MERCHANTS TALE, THE CLERKS TALE AND THE HANDMAIDS TALE

    Each word in this sentence is laden with implication - "take" shows that Januarie perceives himself as the possessor of May, and "for the sake of" indicates that the procreation is the sole purpose of the union, as opposed to a bonus or a by-product of their love. Later on in the relationship, May hints that she is pregnant in order to get Januarie to permit her to climb the tree, under the pretence that she is craving a pear.

    • Word count: 3553
  18. With the emphasis on Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and with wider reference to The Picture of Dorian Gray, explore the concept of monstrosity in both novels.

    In Wilde's Dorian Gray, the protagonist is constantly and arrestingly beautiful. Even when his reputation is stained with rumours of scandal and sex, society continues to accept him because he is so beautiful. If a monster is defined as something that is rejected by Victorian society, then in this case, despite his pure evil, Dorian is not a monster, and therefore monstrosity is based on appearance alone. This would indicate that Frankenstein's creature is what Wilde's contemporaries considered monstrous. The Creature has an understanding of what causes him to be perceived as a monster - "I have good dispositions; my life has been hitherto harmless and in some degree beneficial; but

    • Word count: 1878
  19. Cultural differences of Petronius The Widow of Ephesus. Petronius The Widow of Ephesus is a folktale that has been modified by each culture to entertain and to teach. In their own ways, each version portrays the theme of lo

    (Petronius). This same example of weakness is portrayed in the other tales. In "Mrs. Fox's Wedding" Mrs. Fox ends her depression and weeping when "finally one came who had nine tails, just like old Mr. Fox. When the widow heard that, she spoke joyfully to the cat: Open up the door And throw old Mr. Fox out."(Grimm). In "Chuang-tzu and His Wife" the morning period once again is eventually over and the widow begins to take an interest in marriage again. The widow here simply replies "Since my husband is dead, what can they say?"

    • Word count: 1568
  20. Gothic Fiction Speech. Gothic fiction is the literature of nightmare also referred to as Gothic horror. It delves into and feeds on the ghoulish and monstrous creatures that haunt the very darkest places in your mind.

    Whilst the Enlightenment movement looked to the classical periods of Greece and Rome, Gothic writers looked to the Middle Ages as their inspiration and model. Slide 4 Revolution Revolution had a significant influence on the establishment of Gothic fiction. The French revolution began in1789 and brought a "Reign of Terror" to the people and "shook the foundations of European statehood". Critics suggest the Gothic movement arose during the French Revolution as the social anguish and pain gave rise to the dark imagery and character of the Gothic.

    • Word count: 1952
  21. Blade runner/Brave new world comparative essay

    This is further explored through Scott's opening long panoramic shot of a hellish megalopolis scatted with towering smoke stacks emitting intense fireballs. The film uses film noir techniques of acid rain, smog filled low lighting and dirty alleyways in this concrete jungle to reiterate the lack of nature. The controlling and dominating shot of the Tyrell Corp building coupled with low angle shots of Roy batty and high angle shots of Deckard, emphasise that in Tyrell's quest for control and "more human than human" "replicants", he has merely destroyed nature.

    • Word count: 945
  22. Why have Fairy Tales continued to be valued in the 21st Century?

    He believes that Fairy Tales are part of a collective unconscious shared by all human beings. Jung sees Fairy Tales as life in miniature and the characters within them as representative of different aspects of our own personalities. This belief that Fairy Tales are such an intrinsic part of the human psyche is Jung's explanation of the value we place on the tales. His theory is supported by the archetypes that run through all Fairy Tales. Recurrent motifs of fairy godmothers and marriage to a prince are common in Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty as well as countless others.

    • Word count: 1540
  23. Young adult literature analysis - Huck Finn, Holes, Catcher in the Rye

    Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it" (Twain 12) At this point Huck acts from the thoughts of a child. He's acting from a place of ignorance and thoughtlessness. The second time he says he's going to hell he has thought it trough and he's going there because he's not going to give up is friend. He would rather spend an eternity in hell than to give up Jim.

    • Word count: 2503
  24. To what extent do the works of Shelley, Carter and Coleridge reinforce traditional masculine and feminine roles?

    "eagle-featured indomitable mother", an independent, brave and heroic woman who eventually saves her daughter from certain death at the hands of her supposed husband. The heroin then goes on to say "In the midst of my bridal triumph, I felt a pang of loss... when he put the gold band on my finger, I had ceased to be her child in becoming his wife". This suggests that marriage is a method of male ownership over women as she feels that, on wearing the "gold band" she no longer belongs to her maternal mother, but her husband instead.

    • Word count: 3201
  25. A comparison of the ways in which the authors of Atonement and Brideshead revisited work to construct a novel that is conscious of its own artificiality

    In Atonement, we are initially lead to believe that the narrative voice is both impartial and omniscient, evidenced by its ability to take multiple perspectives and through its third person viewpoint. That in mind, there is a certain parallel between the construction of the Tallis family household and Waugh's Brideshead. The oldest part of the house in Atonement, the island temple, is likened to something feral, echoing the same technique employed by Waugh; 'like the ribs of a starving animal'.

    • Word count: 997

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Focusing On a Clockwork Orange and Frankenstein compare some of the ways authors explore the idea of what it means to be an outcast.

    "In conclusion, the authors of both A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - and Frankenstein - Mary Shelley have don e well in concealing the ideas of an outcast in their novels, using the actions of the characters and knowledge of systematic psychological and sociological emotions the ideas of an outcast in the novels were unveiled."

  • Compare and contrast the presentation of the past in The Handmaid's Tale and 1984

    "In conclusion the past in both 1984 and HMT are represented through dreams and flashbacks for both the main characters. This representation is seen constantly throughout the novel and we are reminded that the past holds memories, however minor, for both characters. Both Winston and Offred have lost the past and seem unable to get it back, even though they long for it."

  • Compare and Contrast the presentation on Edmund and Edgar in Sheakespeare's King Lear

    "In conclusion, Shakespeare primarily focuses on creating contrasts between Edgar and Edmund opposed to similarities between the two characters. However one striking similarity does arise. Shakespeare chose to names the brothers Edgar and Edmund; the names are very alike, which is unexpected when their characters differ so greatly. This may be Shakespeare's way of explaining how difficult it is to distinguish between good and evil. The most important contrast he presents is how the two characters represent good or evil. In performance, the colours each of the characters wear reveal the distinct contrast between Edmund and Edgar. This is specifically shown in the battle between the two brothers at the end of the play. Edgar wears white to suggest innocence and goodness and Edmund wears dark colours, which represent evil and sin. The colours symbolise their mental attitudes and personalities. Edmund is presented as a cold malevolent character while Edmund is shown as a trustworthy and loyal who is devastated by losing his family and livelihood. However, it is Edgar who represents morality and is one of the few characters who survives the play, in consequence, presenting the legendary moral that good will always defeat evil. Approx"

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