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AS and A Level: Other Criticism & Comparison

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  1. Compare how Nathaniel Hawthorne & Alice Walker portray the struggles of the central character to achieve fulfilment.

    The conversational language used and the short pungent sentences, rich dialect and the honest yet somehow crude expression along with deadpan humour is in stark contrast to the measured elegance of Hawthorne's mid-nineteenth century prose with long, convoluted sentences used in The Scarlet Letter using many asides and subordinate clauses. There are clearly examples of poetic and symbolic language used throughout the novel along with gothic overtones. Many of the sentences and paragraphs he uses tend to be somewhat verbose, but at the same time very helpful in giving the reader an accurate representation of the exactly how Hester feels when she first sees Roger Chillingworth.

    • Word count: 3144
  2. 19th Century Mystery Stories Coursework

    The fact that it is in a castle in the countryside suggests dark corners, undiscovered mysteries, and undisclosed secrets. Him being alone in the Red Room with no one there with him all add to the suspense. The audience know he is in a haunted room and from this we can dig out something spooky is going to happen. "I caught a glimpse of myself, abbreviated and broadened to an impossible sturdiness in the queer old mirror," This is just one of the many old things in the place.

    • Word count: 10322
  3. Compare how Golding and Stevenson portray uncivilised behaviour in The

    Golding uses 'the beast' to represent what he calls 'the darkness of mans heart', the aptitude for wrongdoing held by each individual. The deeper the boys descend into savagery, the more their fear in the beast, or themselves, grows, and yet their behaviour continues to worsen. It is possible that Golding's intention was to show the strangle hold unrefined behaviour can have on people, as he shows it to be a force stronger than anything else on the island. Similarly with The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Jekyll is shown to grow increasingly fearsome of his own behaviour as Stevenson develops Hyde's deplorable behaviour through the course of the novel.

    • Word count: 3062
  4. Compare and contrast the presentation of religious ideas in The Color Purple by Alice Walker and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

    The theological aspect exists as part of the journey of development and struggle and is not the defining theme in the novel. Yet, it appears that of the two novels, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is the more overtly religious in its presentation and tone. Many of the religious concepts present within the two novels are in fact common to both. This is certainly true of the central idea in each of the novels, that of a girl who is born into a restrictive religious and social group and who must fight in order to establish her needs.

    • Word count: 3111
  5. Dr Faustus and The Man Who Would Be King on Power

    It is not that power has corrupted Faustus by making him evil: indeed, Faustus's behaviour after he sells his soul hardly rises to the level of true wickedness. Rather, gaining absolute power corrupts Faustus by making him mediocre and by transforming his boundless ambition into a meaningless delight in petty celebrity. In the Christian framework of the play, one can argue that true greatness can be achieved only with God's blessing. By cutting himself off from the creator of the universe, Faustus is condemned to mediocrity.

    • Word count: 4124
  6. Haiku is a small poetry with oriental metric that appeared in the XVI century and is being very popular mainly in Japan.

    Morae are generally shorter than the average of English syllables which are highly variable in length. Today's English-language poets produce haiku in one of three ways: -by using three (or fewer) lines of no more than 17 syllables in total; -by using the concept of metrical feet rather than syllables. A haiku then becomes three lines of 2, 3, and 2 metrical feet, with a break or pause after the second or fifth; -by using the "one deep breath" rule: take a deep breath and the reader should be able to read the haiku aloud without taking a second breath.

    • Word count: 3372
  7. Analysis of the three short stories, The Hanged Man's Bride, written in 1860, The Trial For Murder, written in 1865 and Confession Found in a Prison, written in 1842.

    Dickens was fascinated with the supernatural and attended many s´┐Żances. A reoccurring theme within Dickens writing is that of the supernatural such as ghost stories. These are about good and evil, justice and injustice, meanness and generosity such as in Scrooge, and love and hate. Confession Found in a Prison and The Trial For Murder are told in the first person as if the storyteller has written their account. Whereas in The Hanged Man's Bride the story is told in the third person, this being a narrator who is talking about what happened to other people.

    • Word count: 3107
  8. Romanticism.

    Duncan Wu asserts that Romantic texts are often concerned with "division..and reunion between the body and the spirit." (Wu, xvii). David Oakleaf specifically applies this theme to Confessions identifying it as Robert Wringhim's "refusal to accept himself as both a spiritual and corporeal creature." (Oakleaf, 27). It is worth noting that Hogg himself felt somewhat torn between his traditional "spiritual" side and his intellectual "corporeal" side. We shall see that this is a biographical detail of Hogg's life that spills over considerably in his depiction of a crisis of identity in Confessions. It is also worth remembering that what is conveniently termed the "Romantic period" was one of great social and political division.

    • Word count: 4148
  9. Is the Wizard of Oz a Fairytale?

    So , with fairytale consistency, we shall begin at the beginning: On the very first page of Oz Baum actually states that his wish was to create a modern American fairy tale similar to "the old time" collections of the Grimm brothers. This artistic intention instantly problematises the text in the context of its generic status. It begs the question of whether a story can be a true fairytale if it is so informed by its natural predecessors which sprang almost spontaneously from ancient and anonymous sources.

    • Word count: 5050
  10. Discuss the central male characters journey to manhood in, Treasure Island, Charlie and the Chocolate factory and The lion the witch and the wardrobe.

    He is saddened by the loss of his father, however, he is now left without a major male role model to teach him the ways of life as a man...a void that he fills with many other men that he encounters. The first fatherly figure that Jim encounters is that of the pirate Billy Bones, a dreadful and sad looking pirate that warns Jim of a monstrous figure with one leg. Bones takes Jim under his wing and although he causes much trouble with his constant drunkenness, his encompassing fears, and his incoherent rants, Bones provides a necessary influence in Jim's life at the time of his father's severe illness.

    • Word count: 4784
  11. A Comparison Of 'The Bodysnatcher' and 'The Blood Bay'. How Do The Two Writers Create Different Styles Of Horror Story?

    R.L Stevenson also incorporates the weather to add to the sensation of horror, '...the incessant, strident pouring of the rain. It was pitch dark...' The phrase '...incessant, strident...' intelligently compares the weather to a harsh voice calling out, one which doesn't stop and as the reader, I instantly felt tension. The atmosphere is clearly set with this quote and I believe that the vivid description enhances the emotion felt by the reader. The author also cleverly mentions the fact that the scene is again in darkness which automatically creates fear and tension.

    • Word count: 3052
  12. How do the Ian McEwan and Jeanette Winterson present the problems of growing up, the loss of innocence and guilt in "Atonement" and "Oranges are not the only fruit"?

    Both novels concentrate on the growth of knowledge which with age comes to each of the characters. The authors use different ways of presenting characters whose lives will carry on regardless of the past events which create problems for the other characters involved. In "Oranges are not the only fruit", we are faced with an order of events occurring one after the other, with everything happening in an organised order. The chapters of the book are all named after parts of the Bible, again showing a chronological sequence.

    • Word count: 3247
  13. 'Follower' by Seamus Heaney, 'Last Lesson of the Afternoon' By D.H. Lawrence and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning

    A horse-plough is a heavy awkward piece of machinery and the operator must be strong to use it correctly. Heaney used a simile to show his father's strength: "His shoulder's globed like a full sail strung" This gives us an impression of immense strength; particularly in his upper body his shoulders and upper arms. Heaney tells of how by a click of his father's tongue, the horses "strained" into position, he uses the word "strained" to explain the control his father had over the horses. This shows control and experience with horses. The poet uses onomatopoeia to mimic the sound of his father's tongue "clicking tongue".

    • Word count: 4644
  14. The Language of Protest

    Therefore, King is underlining that the black people are a part of the history of America, and will be a part of its future. The use of biblical language, which mirrors that of an Old Testament prophet, is a hallmark in King's speech. King states that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed `Five score years ago'. This would seem very relevant, as King is seen to be leading a moral crusade against injustice. His religious approach together with his dignified manner would also likely to be well received to his audience.

    • Word count: 3137
  15. Compare the ways in which Larkin and Duffy present the reality of love.

    and low frequency lexis (?emblem?, ?horizon?, ?isolation?). As can be seen in ?Love Songs in Age?, Larkin deliberately uses a mix of formal and informal lexis, with the intention to reflect the supposed intimacy in the act of ?talking in bed?, but highlighting instead the abstract nature of time and the reality of love as time erodes the relationship depicted in the poem. ?Talking in Bed? is presented in a resigned tone, thus creating a mood of despair. This is established through the use of the modal verb ?ought to be? to express the couple?s discontent, implying from the beginning of the poem, that ?talking in bed? is not all that it should be.

    • Word count: 3319
  16. Compare and contrast American playwrights presentation of masculinity in Death of a Salesman, Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Glass Menagerie.

    Martha insults and emasculates George as she is comparing him to her ultra-successful ?daddy? George inability to fulfil his role as ?daddy?s heir? destroys others? perceptions of his masculinity particularly Martha?s perception. George?s lack of success and submissive position in his marriage mean he fails to demonstrate society?s (which in this case is personified by Martha) traditional male qualities. However, despite George failing to fit the traditional archetype of masculinity in both aggression and success, the idea of him being a flop is rather simplistic.

    • Word count: 3233
  17. Twentieth century literature often portrays the relationship between men and women as deeply problematic. By comparing and contrasting three texts by Katherine Mansfield, Harold Pinter and Carol Ann Duffy, discuss to what extent you agree with this view.

    merit to it, but modern literary critics have defended ambiguity as "a source of poetic richness rather than a fault of imprecision."[6] The Homecoming indeed shocks its audiences due to the seemingly inexplicable motivations of the characters. In ?Bliss?, the word ?pals? which Bertha uses to refer to the relationship between her and her husband, Harry, establishes that its nature is non-sexual. Cardinal themes of the story are female sexuality, female homoeroticism and infidelity. The first allusion to the lack of sexuality in Bertha?s life is given by the animal imagery of the two cats, whose sight ?so intent and

    • Word count: 3608
  18. The Day of the Triffids and Nineteen Eighty Four. A Study Into How Two Different Writers Portray Visions of the Future in a Dystopian Society

    Due to his background working with Triffids, Masen has developed a theory that they were bioengineered in the USSR and then accidentally released into the wild when a plane smuggling their seeds was shot down. Triffids begin sprouting all over the world, and their extracts prove to be superior to existing fish or vegetable oils. The result is worldwide cultivation of the plants. The narrative begins with Bill Masen in hospital, his eyes bandaged after having been splashed with droplets of triffid venom in an accident.

    • Word count: 3237
  19. "How do the authors portray love in their texts?" Macbeth By William Shakespeare, The Song of the Old Mother by William Butler Yeats, The Last Duchess by Robert Browning and Porphriya's Lover by Robert Browning

    We also see that she also knows Macbeth?s nature very well. We see this right after Lady Macbeth reads the letter from Macbeth about the prophecies made upon the heath, she said: ?Yet I do fear thy nature: it is too full o? the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way....? Shakespeare uses metaphors to show that Macbeth is pure; the metaphor ?full o? the milk of human kindness? tells us the Macbeth?s heart is white and pure like milk suggesting that he is very pure and generous. The phrase ?to catch the nearest way? tells us that Macbeth is an honourable man and likes to earn his titles instead of taking short criminal ways.

    • Word count: 3475
  20. William Shakespeare examined ideas that contributed to the development of modern society, while engaging his past and present audiences.

    Iambic pentameter includes ten syllables a line. The syllables are broken into five groups called iambic feet, or iambs. Each iambic foot includes one unstressed syllable, followed by one stressed syllable. Shakespeare?s sonnets were writ with fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. The fourteen lines are broken up into three groups of four and one group of two, called quadrants. The first three quadrants would establish the issue. Then be resolved during last quadrant. Each of Shakespeare?s one hundred and fifty four sonnets are demonstrative, except for ninety-nine (fifteen lines), one hundred and twenty six (twelve lines), and one hundred and forty five (iambic tetrameter; four iambs/iambic feet per line).

    • Word count: 3286
  21. Control, submission and rebellion in the novels The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and the film V for Vendetta.

    Offred first shows her defiance against Gilead?s system by having a discreet friendly relationship with the commander. The commander is one of the main founders of Gilead. How ironic that Offred?s rebellion was aided by the person who helps make the rules himself. The commander asks Offred to have a game of scrabble; Offred does not refuse even if she knew the consequences by doing so. She says ?My presence here is illegal. It is forbidden for us to be alone with the commanders.? This suggests that despite Offred?s knowledge of what could happen to her if she gets caught; she decides to grant the commander?s wishes anyway.

    • Word count: 4491
  22. How do the writers present sexuality and gender in Tales Of Ovid, Streetcar Named Desire and Behind The Scenes At The Museum?

    As he continues to struggle, she prays that ?we never, never/ shall be separated, you and me?[8]. Her plea is hubristically answered and, ?with a smile?, the gods look on as ?the two bodies/ melted into a single body/ seamless as the water.?[9] The conjunction of the two sexes seems incompatible as observed in the drowning of what a modern audience would recognise as a hermaphrodite. Hughes? selection of this myth, with the same destructive conclusion as Ovid?s original, conveys the commingling of the two sexes as resulting in the debilitation of the male qualities, rather than their strengthening, thus presenting effeminacy pejoratively.

    • Word count: 4150
  23. Compare & Contrast The Way Women Are Portrayed In Hamlet, Wuthering Heights and A Dolls House.

    In A Doll?s House, women are seen in a stronger light than the other texts; however, some people may suggest that Ibsen shows women as less important than men as they have to sacrifice their integrity within the play. In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses the women as tools and to emphasise key themes such as betrayal, revenge and also to enable the audience to gain a deeper understanding of how the male characters view women and how they are used as a dramatic devices in order to contribute and highlight main themes in the play.

    • Word count: 3088
  24. Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters experiences of love in Act 1, Scene 2 of Richard III and Act 2, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet.

    Also it suggests that fate plays an inevitable part in their love for each other. In contrast in ?Richard III? Shakespeare uses a soliloquy, the structure of it being a dramatic monologue shows that Richard is a lonely and isolated character since he cant express his views to another person. We understand this because he says ?But I that am not shaped for sportive tricks?, straight away the use of this euphemism suggests that he has no intentions of being involved in a relationship because he describes himself as ?Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time?, and he believes that he will never be able to get a woman.

    • Word count: 3161
  25. Compare and contrast the presentation of the villain in Othello, Wuthering Heights and The Collecter.

    When Clegg brings Miranda back to his house he reveals ?She was my guest at last and that was all I cared about?. The use of the word ?guest? sounds like he is the host and is there to look after Miranda, rather than be cruel to her, suggesting that he has no bad intensions and is therefore not cruel like other villains. The villainous character in ?Wuthering Heights? is Heathcliff. He is described as a villain as he does have some qualities that would support this, for example his vengeful tendencies ?I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back.

    • Word count: 3552

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