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AS and A Level: Other Criticism & Comparison

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  1. The struggle for power in Abigail's party and Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    Albee uses power dynamics to create tension in the play. Albee portrays Martha as a forceful character, emphasising on her power, physical and mental strength in the quotation "I don't bray!" 3Martha is shown to be a loud, vulgar and brash woman in this quotation, typically opposing the commonality of the housewife at that time. Albee helps to express the familiarity of these characters in modern day society by describing that "most of my plays are not tied to time"4, similarly obtaining an influence on modern day society.

    • Word count: 889
  2. Ambition in "The Duchess of Malfi" and "Paradise Lost"

    Milton begins his epic poem by emphasising the extreme power of the creator, God as describing the "Heavens and the Earth rose out of chaos"; not moulded from unformed matter, but from nothing. He describes his own personal ambition, to "invoke the aid to my adventurous song, while it pursues things unattempted; yet in prose or rhyme and justify the ways of God to men." Indeed, it his Lucifer's personal greed for power which causes the archangel to fall and be banished to Hell for his attempt to overthrow the monarchy of God.

    • Word count: 2544
  3. Explore the theme of the isolated figure in two extracts from The Big Sleep and a story by Poe. Extracts: The Big Sleep, Chapter 6 and The Fall of the House of Usher

    This shows characterisation of how Roderick Usher has importance within the House of Usher. Also Chandler's work is characterised by a much more consistent lightness of tone, combining sentimentality and romanticism. Though Marlowe is significantly less in control than the figure of a classic detective he constantly provides the reassurance of a stable and honest perspective. Usher according to the unknown narrator on page 81, line 30 has a strange solitary life: 'He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses; the most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odours of all flowers were oppressive...'

    • Word count: 1371

    because the past and the matters of life and death do not [matter]." "It's not my fault" claims Meursault; he clearly believes death is never the fault of those alive. Kell remarks of the beach murder "the language used in this passage is so elaborate and rich in simile [that it] almost detaches the act from Meursault and causes the reader to question whether he did it with intent or not. Camus detaches Meursault from the action with "the trigger gave", further insulating Meursault against intent or consequence - and therefore against blame."

    • Word count: 1914
  5. The Pleasures of pursuit are greater than the thrill of conquest. In light of this view discuss ways in which writers present seduction and its consequences. The sin greed remains a seductive force in both texts leading to the

    The tale is written as a morality poem, through the narrative of a sermon. Sermon's typically had a biblical theme "radix malorum est cubiditas" with a moral story to tell based on this. The story of the three men is typical of the period; the men are seduced by the sin of greed, and take pleasure in pursuing money. This said there was still a strong disgruntlement towards the church; a Marxist reading of the church sees it as a social - human structure which held enormous power over people both spirtually, and economically.

    • Word count: 1148
  6. Free essay

    Comparing Faust and the Pardoner. 'It is only serious writing and tragedy that can successfully convey a moral. Comic writing necessarily fails.' In the light of this statement, explore how two texts use comic and serious effects to convey their moral.

    shown by the church, the Pardoner's tale is a didactic satire in which Chaucer uses serious writing and comedy in order to convey that the love of money is the root of all evil. Both texts have a religious theme to their morals, in which the characters go against god and therefore sin in some form. According to the David Kirkham; Christianity sees sin as "wounding to god" furthermore, the bible says "the wages of sin is death" and in the case of the three rioters they blaspheme and sin until they die.

    • Word count: 1329
  7. There is no room for individual identity in South African literature Discuss.

    A white madam?' highlighting that there are distinct limits to her possibilities. Outa is ever only referred to by Boesman as a 'kaffir', disregarding any personality the character might have and basing his prejudice purely on his social status. In 'Landscapes of Violence', Currey endorses Fugard's view that apartheid catalyses the loss of identity when he writes that 'racial attitudes, [are] like snakes...And every brown and white child wakes/Beside a sloughed-off love one day', the simile here suggests danger; racial attitudes will creep up, and just like the bite of a snake infiltrates your blood bit by bit, they will infiltrate ideology.

    • Word count: 3435
  8. Women in Dracula, A Street Car Named Desire and Birthday Letters

    learn a different aspect of Blanche, she becomes a character that needs a man to keep a roof over her head and food in her mouth. We are easily able to compare Blanche with her sister Stella, who is a women that presents traditional roles however some times does challenge these, Stella lives with Stanley and allow him to control her life, he tells her what to do and she takes on stereotypically traditional roles within the house. However we do see some New Woman actions within Stella's character such as when Stanley hurts her she runs away however this is then counter parted with Stella returning to Stanley.

    • Word count: 2577
  9. Compare the extent to which the sexuality of Jeanette and Celie is portrayed in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and The Color Purple

    Anindita Sengupta calls Jeanette's mother "a dour, mean-spirited woman who loves God and sees the world in terms of black and white"2, which Jeanette agrees with when she comments "She had never heard of mixed feelings. There were friends and there were enemies"(P. 3). Being raised by a passionately religious mother obviously had a huge impact on Jeanette, and she may have turned to homosexuality because she grew up in an environment where sex was completely taboo, and she associated sex with heterosexuality, but not homosexuality.

    • Word count: 2368
  10. Othello + Sense & Sensibility comparision. William Shakespeares Othello and Jane Austens Sense and Sensibility show that despite women continuously fighting for their rights, they still find themselves in the same position after two hundre

    The Venetian society Desdemona was raised in has taught her to be submissive and dutiful. She acknowledges her role as an obedient wife and decides to follow what is asked of her by society. Furthermore Emilia also chooses to follow her role in Venetian Society in spite of her being an arguably stronger character than Desdemona. "Tis proper I obey him, but not now."(V. ii. 233). Towards the end when she chooses to reveal Iago's acts she still feels the need to justify herself and explain why she is going against her husband.

    • Word count: 3073
  11. Comparing the Role of Women in Sense and Sensibility and Othello

    Finally, when Elinor finds out she's getting married to Edward, she cannot hold in her emotions. When Edward tells her it was Robert who married Lucy not him and he's here for her she's overjoyed! "Elinor could sit it no longer. She almost ran out ... of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease. Edward, who had till then looked anywhere, rather than at her, saw her hurry away and perhaps saw or even heard her emotion..." (Austen.348). We see that Elinor is told by Edward that it was his brother, Robert who marries Lucy Steele and that he's here for her.

    • Word count: 3122
  12. It is eminently a consoling narration. How far do you agree with this estimation of the Hounds of the Baskervilles? Could the same claim be advanced in relation to the suspicions of Mr. Whicher?

    Later, Summercale elaborates, saying, 'the child was thrust down the servant's lavatory, as if it were excrement.' This grisly and deliberately visceral detail hardly makes for a consoling narration. Indeed, Summercale also provides two novelistic images that are far from consoling. She mentions how Constance 'cut off her hair and threw it, with her discarded dress and petticoats, into the vault and the privy' - this is exactly what she does with Saville's body, she treats object and human as one. Summerscale also mentions how Saville's 'sleeping self was still indented on the sheets and pillow of the cot'.

    • Word count: 2742
  13. Faulks and Wolfe present the perpetual desire and greed, imperatives which have driven characters within their novels A Week in December and Bonfire of the Vanities.

    This setting immediately contrasts with Sherman McCoy's insular, high-status world. McCoy does not worry about race; he is preoccupied by his obsession money. His domestic drama seems to be untouched by the discontent brewing in Harlem; only brief run-ins with the "street punks" and "breaking news" on the television bring out his racial consciousness. As a rich, pedigreed white man "a Master of the Universe" McCoy is privileged not to have to think about race. Wolfe presents us with a poisonous atmosphere, fuelled by discontent and social injustice (of which W.A.S.P.s like McCoy enjoy the advantage)

    • Word count: 2125
  14. Thomas Mores Utopia and Gorge Orwells 1984 explore the issues of equality frequently throughout the texts

    More continues to reinforce the theme of equality by touching on the Utopians educational methods. An illustration of this would be the fact that students are taught in mixed ability groups, there is no higher achy foundation or higher tiers. Utopians are all taught equally rather than individualising them through different intellectual ability. From the word go the Utopians are indoctrinated into prioritising agriculture. They are all required to study from a small selection of trades; this removes the ability to make individual choices making the utopians become psychologically equal.

    • Word count: 1079
  15. Compare the Opening Chapters of The Great Gatsby and Black Water, and Show How They Prepare the Reader for the Rest of the Novel

    When he is introduced at the very end of the first chapter, it poses questions such as 'who is this man?' and 'why is the novel named after him?' On the other hand, in 'Black Water', the first chapter is only a few lines long. It is only one sentence and describes a car crash, immediately drawing the reader in and ends with the thoughts of someone they are also yet to meet - "Am I going to die? - like this?"

    • Word count: 1763
  16. Explore the representation of societys expectations of a wifes role in marriage in Historical and Contemporary Literature

    It changed women's attitudes towards sexuality and gender roles. Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" (1982) explores women's sexuality, power, and independence in love and marriage through characters such as 'Shug Avery' in a way which wasn't as evident in earlier literature. But does the role of a woman lay in the definition of society or ones self? Society's attitude towards women in marriage today sees them as to equals men, as the principle of inequality became generally unacceptable. But historically, views of this nature have not been questioned. In the Bible Peter declared "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner".

    • Word count: 1919
  17. Throughout both Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Carroll shows that the lessons taught in Victorian schools are inapplicable and unrealistic.

    Alice absorbs the lessons but has trouble putting them in context or understanding their real-world applications. This can be seen when Alice falls down the rabbit hole. She says: I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?" she said aloud. "I must be getting somewhere near the center of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think ... yes, that's about the right distance - but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?" (Alice had not the slightest idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but she thought they were nice grand words to say)

    • Word count: 1206
  18. The Female is Nothing But the Body To what extent do you agree with this statement following your reading of The Handmaids Tale and On Chesil Beach.

    This idea of women "[owning] less that one percent of the world property" (UN) and men owning the rest, is an apparent oppression against women, present in 'The Handmaid's Tale', in which the extent of this ownership covers the female body. It is obvious that the Gileadean regime has created this scenario so that women cannot live independently, and rely on men, they therefore must accept being inferior. This is shown when Offred speaks about the time when the Gileadeans took over the country, when all women were 'relieved' of their jobs.

    • Word count: 2413
  19. Discuss and analyze the dramatic impact you feel the setting of the two selected plays has upon characters and audiences

    The production was set in 1916 during the Battle of Somme, but was in fact written in 1981. Accrington Pals setting at the home front is representative of the working class at the time despite it being written in 1981. The context has much more realistic portrayal. However in Journeys End is excluded, as the predominant of the men are officers are from middle or upper class backgrounds. Journeys End challenges the expectations of middle classes during the war. Its trying to destroy all stereotypes depending on whether the characters were from upper, middle or working classes, how officers should be placed in their rightful rank instead of being placed higher up in the hierarchy due to their wealth.

    • Word count: 799
  20. Write about the ways that writers aim to make the beginnings of their texts exciting. Robert Browning uses similar techniques, to Hosseini and Fitzgerald, in his poetry. The first six lines of Fra Lippo Lippi appear to have been created as dramatically e

    With his self portrayal seemingly demonstrating the contradictions in his character, he claims that Gatsby "represented everything for which I have unaffected scorn" but goes on to say that "there was something gorgeous about him". Thus he is established into the novel as an unreliable narrator with the mysterious elements surely crucial to this important characterisation. Arguably the most prominent proclamation delivered, in the beginning of the novel, by Nick, is that "Gatsby turned out alright in the end" this information would surely capture the interest of the reader.

    • Word count: 1080
  21. Mr. Hyde vs. Jack the Ripper. If Mr. Hyde from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Jack the Ripper, were to have lived now a days, they wouldnt know what to do with themselves. These two men are alter

    [E3]This relates both, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and 'Jack the Ripper' because they both killed prostitutes and both were based in the Victorian Era.There is a commonality in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and 'Jack the Ripper' because the two stories take place during the Victorian Era and the victims in the two stories are prostitutes, suggesting the two are commenting on the class system of England back then. [E4] The Strange Case of Dr.

    • Word count: 1436
  22. Brave new world & blade runner essay. Both Brave New World and Blade Runner: Directors Cut, successfully portray the convergence of mans continual struggle for the control of stability with the natural world

    The prominent political and social figures that crowd Brave New World, such as Bernard Marx, an appropriation of Karl Marx, reflect the philosophies of the era in which societal direction and stability were paramount having been elicited from the devastating aftermath of World War I and the Great Depression. Mond's dialogue throughout the text is used to emphasise the context of Huxley's scientific world, "the slower but infinitely surer methods of ecotegenesis, neo-pavlovian conditioning and hypnopedaedia...the discoveries of Pfitzner and Kawaguchi we at last made use of...".

    • Word count: 1288
  23. The childs inability to interpret the adult world is often central to the presentation of childhood in adult literature. Compare the presentation of childhood in Spies and Ato

    However, the class system still held a firm grip on society, with every individual aware of their own status. It dictated what they would achieve or become, if anything, in life. This is shown in 'Spies' as Stephen feels inferior to his friend Keith. He is aware he comes from a less well off milieu and goes to a different school. In 'Atonement' Robbie Turner suffers all his life from the discrimination that comes with being working class and the son of the Tallises cleaning lady.

    • Word count: 1540
  24. Free essay

    How do the texts you have studied explore the notions of freedom and responsibility? Both Frankenstein and Bladerunner explore the moral implications of usurping the role of God with unrestrained scientific experimentation.

    Scott lived in a time of rapid technological growth that was driven by profit. Businesses and multi-national co operations that focused solely on enormous profits as well as developments in genetic engineering gave rise to much consumerism and greed. The character of Dr Tyrell is an embodiment of the large companies' irresponsible obsession with profit. Tyrell displays a scientific hubris, not unlike that of Victor Frankenstein, although Tyrell's actions are fuelled by his profit driven postmodern era.

    • Word count: 493
  25. Thrill of the Kill Comparative Essay. Imagine being on a deserted island with no rules, no civilization, nothing besides the need to survival. The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Ric

    His disregard for human life shows Zaroff's twisted nature. During his hunt of the human Rainsford, Rainsford thought: "... Only the devil himself could follow that complicated trail through the jungle after dark. But, perhaps, the general was a devil" (Connell, 54). Throughout the book, this being an example, Connell alludes to the evilness of Zaroff's character. Zaroff's mind and his nature illustrate him as cunning, but corrupt person. The group of hunters in Lord of the Flies also becomes animalistic and savage. At one point, "Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh.

    • Word count: 1914

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