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AS and A Level: Other Criticism & Comparison

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  1. Comparison of Twelfth Night by and All my sons

    In 'twelfth night', the desire for love from the duke Orsino is highlighted at the very beginning. Orsino's hunger for love, music being 'the food of love', and the metaphors 'excess' and 'surfeit' all emphasize on the overwhelming feelings of love. It can also be said that the hyperbole in his language suggests a passionate obsession with being in love, we are then later aware of his object of love (Olivia), but she is not mentioned until line 20. The paradox 'dying fall 'contradicts his feelings, changes tone and emphasizes the effect of having 'excess' of love and it subsequently dying, like the appetite.

    • Word count: 598
  2. Comparison of extracts from I love to hear the crows go by by John Clare and Sons and lovers by D. H. Lawrence.

    Lawrence's novel extract's effective use of an omniscient narrative gives us a descriptive account of the characters feelings and their natural surroundings to depict a growing sexuality between the two characters. The theme of nature and Lawrence's imagery of nature are used to intimately bond these two characters. Clare's love for nature is evident from the very beginning, his use of 'I love' highlights his feelings towards the 'crows' and 'birds'. Clare's love for nature is also highlighted in his use of imagery; The use of human senses (synaesthesia)

    • Word count: 581
  3. With reference to Wuthering Heights and Memoirs of a Geisha analyse the role of women within these novels.

    In both of the novels, 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and 'Wuthering Heights' the women are not in total control of their lives. This is shown in many different ways throughout. I will be looking at how the roles of the women within the novels are shaped by the environment and over characters around them. One theme that occurs in both novels that affect the women is entrapment. In both novels entrapment of the characters is shown in many different ways.

    • Word count: 1600
  4. The Male Suppression of Female Power: Antoinettes Downfall in Wide Sargasso Sea

    Practically sold to the Cosway's similar to that of a slave, Rochester is left with the degrading realization that "[he] has not bought her, but she has bought [him] (Rhys 70). Cast into a typically female-centric role, Rochester' s inability to adapt to his new surroundings only accentuates Antoinette's power, according to his thoughts. Raised in an extremely patriarchal society where men not only reign supreme over women but also nature, Rochester is completely intimidated by the untamed and powerful essence of the island.

    • Word count: 1695
  5. Lysander and Romeos Transient Love. Shakespeare utilizes poetic language and transformative metaphors in both Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummers Night Dream, to present the treacherous pursuit of love as a blinding and transient experience

    160) This is explored in the opening scene of the play, in which Romeo personifies love's paradoxical ability to leave young men "without eyes", yet able to "see pathways to his will"(I.i.161). Blinded to the reality that his affections for Rosaline will never be reciprocated, Romeo transforms the pursuit of her love into a metaphorical attack on his heart. Demanding to know "what fray was here", Romeo uses poetic language to explain that his feelings for Rosaline are constantly at war with each other having "much to do with hate but more with love" (I.i.167).

    • Word count: 1483
  6. Time in Macbeth and A Winters tale. While on the surface Macbeth and The Winters Tale appear to have nothing in common, the theme of time exposes their surprising similarities.

    The witches, separate from the natural rules of time, not only stand for the present but also the future. Therefore this dichotomy, helps catalyze the blatant disregard for time that Macbeth holds throughout the rest of this tragic tale. The witches, however are not the the only women in the play that abuse time and help spur Macbeth's villainous actions. Immediately after learning of the witches prophesies, Lady Macbeth also ignores the present and looks solely towards the future.

    • Word count: 1477
  7. Published in 1792, twenty-one years before Pride and Prejudice, Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women is a radical argument for women's equality.

    While reading Pride and Prejudice, Austen was critiquing the same aspects of society that Wollstonecraft found so repugnant. Austen shows an awareness of the fact that many women in her time were uninformed about subjects beyond their domestic sphere, such as politics and current affairs. It would seem possible that women's ignorance led, partly at least, to empty conversation among them. Austen vividly illustrates the type of conversation generally found among women, and there is some evidence to suggest that she is critical of empty women-talk.

    • Word count: 1495
  8. Vulnerability is one of the key themes that is explored throughout Blakes poetry Songs of Innocence and of Experience and Atwoods text The Handmaids Tale.

    The use of a syndetic listing "Dick, Joe, Ned and Jack" gives the impression that there are many children that are vulnerable it also allows for a more personal perspective on the events. The use of the proper nouns also shows that the children are of a lower class as the names were common amongst that class when the poem was written. The repetition on "and" shows the childish narration of the poem. Religion plays a key part to allow for more exploitation.

    • Word count: 2180
  9. Compare the extent to which Alec and Reg can be considered the antagonists of their respective novels Tess of the DUrbervilles and Hey Nostradamus!

    pins to rectify", Coupland's relish in these facts and details proving to be darkly comic, encouraging the reader to empathise with Jason's pleasure in Reg's pain and cementing Reg as an unlikable character at this point. The authors also manipulate the reader's emotions and shape their view of the characters in their use of narrative form. Hardy employs an omniscient narrative viewpoint, but is quite selective in its use; for example, in dealing with Alecs' murder through Mrs Brooks Hardy denies the reader any chance of empathising with Alec.

    • Word count: 2498
  10. Write about the way characters are created in the three text studied you have studied. The three texts which I have studied are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Robert Browning poetry as well as Khaled Hosseinis allegorical novel The Kite Runne

    Jane Austen in her novel 'Pride and Prejudice' creates the character of Elizabeth right at the beginning of the novel through the dialogue between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's, who she is described as intelligent as Mr. Bennet's says 'Lizzy has something more of quickness'. Immediately the readers are aware of what Elizabeth throughout the novel may appear as through a use of speech coming from one of the main characters in Austen's novel. As the readers carry on reading the novel they begin to realize that the character of Elizabeth is much like Austen herself, who was also intelligent and not traditional like some of the ladies in her time were.

    • Word count: 2089
  11. In both King Arthur and His Knights and The Tempest the two central characters, King Arthur and Prospero, have had their share of treachery throughout text and the two reacted similarly to being betrayed.

    King Arthur not only wants to kill Sir Lancelot physically, but he wants Lancelot to die emotionally. He wants Lancelot to feel the pain that he felt and to suffer as he suffered. Lancelot's betrayal results in King Arthur wanting vengeance, and he is willing to get retaliation whether he lives or dies. Another example of betrayal that led to vengeance is the 'Vengeance of Sir Gawain'. Sir Lancelot in his battle to save Queen Guinevere, accidently slayed the brother of Sir Gawain, Sir Gareth.

    • Word count: 2446
  12. An ineffectual venture: Attempting to counter discontentment through infidelity. This sentiment is reflected in Milan Kunderas The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Michel Gondrys Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Oscar Wilde

    Tomas calls his relationship with his mistresses "erotic friendships", as they "do not pretend to be "love" affairs; he is able to move among many women without betraying any of them" (Galens 2003). However, not even this can ease his loneliness, as even "after making love [Tomas has] an uncontrollable craving to be by himself" (Kundera 13-14). In addition, Tomas enjoys the premise of adultery, since "once [his mistresses] are gone they assume a pleasing poetic existence that can be enjoyed at will without the endless accommodations that any real relationship involves" (Kimball 1986).

    • Word count: 1376
  13. Compare the relationship between Torvald and Nora in A Dolls House with that of Angel and Tess in Tess of the Durbervilles

    The couple focus so much on decorating the Christmas tree, on the children's presents and on the show Nora will give at the party, that it is clear that all of these occupations are simply distractions from the emptiness and falseness of their relationship. Additionally, as most effectively portrayed in the title of the play itself, Nora describes their home as "a playroom" and herself as a "doll-wife"� sending the key message of the play that Torvald and Nora have been conditioned by society to act the way they do: neither of them really believes their roles which they have undertaken.

    • Word count: 1498
  14. Discuss how the characters use psychological defense mechanisms to protect the ego from dangerous truths within the Whitsun Weddings and Talking heads.

    Graham, in Bennett's A Chip in the Sugar is resentful of his mother's relationship with Mr Turnbull. Graham and Mr Turnbull compete for Vera's attention. Graham describes Mr Turnbull sarcastically, "Only his lordship says he's got a bad back." To Graham this is a small victory, whilst he may not be superior to Mr Turnbull, but certainly at this moment he feels of more use to his mother. The use of "his lordship" whilst intended sarcastically, highlights the superiority anxieties Graham is having about Mr Turnbull's presence.

    • Word count: 2625
  15. Compare and contrast how the destructive nature of love is presented in Shakespeares Othello, Websters The Duchess of Malfi and Mcewans Enduring Love

    Iago does not believe in love or affection, 'Heaven is my judge, not I for love or duty/But seeming so, for my peculiar end.' (A1 s1 l58) he only desires his revenge on Othello for disregarding him as his lieutenant. In contrast to Iago, John Webster's Duchess of Malfi has Ferdinand deal with his jealousy directly; he wants the Duchess for himself but when he finds she has remarried he turns violent 'Go to, mistress,/'Tis not your whore's milk that shall quench my wildfire,/But your whore's blood!'(A2 s5 l47)

    • Word count: 3063
  16. Compare and contrast the presentation of monsters in Bram Stokers Dracula and Mary Shelleys Frankenstein.

    But still, there remains an underlying level of horror, which is alluded to frequently, such as when Dracula is said to have an 'extraordinary pallor' which makes the reader feel uneasy as the sight could resemble something akin to a corpse. Another is when the Count touches Harker, and the solicitor describes 'a horrible feeling of nausea' coming over him. The reader empathises with Harker as they too can almost imagine the feeling of cold sickliness emanating from Dracula, which again adds credence to the deceptive and covert nature of the fear Dracula evokes.

    • Word count: 1644
  17. Compare the opening pages of The Bell Jar and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. How do Sylvia Plath and Ken Kesey use form, structure and language to explore aspects of mental illness and how is this expanded on through

    'Tingle, tingle, tremble toes' is evidently the Big Nurse, who catches the inmates like hens and encourages them to peck one another to death in the 'pen' of the ward, where they are all locked in. That she is 'a good fisherman', a 'fisher of men,' recalls Mcmurphy's fishing expedition. On the other hand, the title of The Bell Jar is simplistic in comparison to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, nevertheless it does encompass some striking allegorical connotations. A bell jar is a bell-shaped glass cover used to protect and display delicate or fragile objects.

    • Word count: 3070
  18. Comparison between The Tell-tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and Misery by Stephen King.

    Right at the beginning of the extract, Paul compares what is happening to him, to his past childhood experience. Through this comparison, the writer introduces the possible idea of Paul getting caught and what will happen to him if he is. The flashback takes the reader back to when Paul had been twelve and decided to try some of his mother's cigarettes. As the room filled with smoke, his mum returned in search for her forgotten purse. We are not told about what his mother did to him when she caught him, but you can guess from the words "It will be more than a spanking this time" that it was going to be bad.

    • Word count: 3374
  19. Explore the ways Stoppard presents romance in Arcadia. Compare the presentation of the romance elements in Arcadia with the ways Bront presents them in Jane Eyre in the light of the opinion that Bronts presentation of romance is more belie

    representing, the four inner planets of the solar system, enduring in blissful innocence, separated from the rest of the solar system or Universe. The latter idea leads on to the concept of escaping from the present day, which was a reactionary force against the chaos that modernisation brought and nature was seen as a source of innocence and delight. Thus, beauty is seen as existing in the human mind and it is perceived by every single person in a different way.

    • Word count: 2752
  20. Margaret Atwoods The Handmaids Tale, and John Fowles The French Lieutenants Woman are both classic novels conveying the constrictions placed upon women by society and how they fight against the

    The very fact that the protagonist of the novel has a patronymic slave name (Of-Fred) conveys to the reader her function, in that she belongs to her Commander, Fred, and clarifies the oppression of Gileadean society. Although being set in different periods of time, both novels' presentation of the constrictions of women can be seen as timeless, with some of these constrictions occurring in modern day times. In Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and similar South Asian countries there are many rules and restrictions likening to that of Gileadean policies, such as the rule that all women must cover their entire bodies with veils.

    • Word count: 3309
  21. Free essay

    What similarities can you find between Cormac McCarthys The Road and John Steinbecks Grapes of Wrath?

    Moreover both authors create a foreboding atmosphere by using very desolate phrases to describe the surroundings. For example Another similarity in both novels is the use of pathetic fallacy. There is lots of visual imagery being used in the opening of both novels. Another literary device used is personification. Steinbeck writes "the last rains falls on the "scarred earth". Moreover there are lots of similes being used by both writers. For example McCarthy writes "the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp." Similarly Steinbeck writes "the sun was as red as ripe new blood".

    • Word count: 604
  22. The Savagery in this play excludes laughter. Explore this argument in relation to Hamlet in comparison with The Revengers Tragedy

    Hamlet is referring to the fact that Polonius is being eaten by worms. If this joke is told well then it should get a great amount of laughs from the audience, but he's also talking about a brutal murder he has just committed. Lee Lady writes1 that "In contemporary terms, Hamlet's lines here would be called a 'sick joke'". This 'sick joke' continues throughout the scene as Hamlet continues to use wordplay to comic effect. There is humour in the dramatic irony that Hamlet spins words in front of Claudius, referring to the "fat king" and "lean beggar".

    • Word count: 1968
  23. 'In Cold Blood' and 'Frankenstein'. Compare how Capote and Shelley use different techniques for characterisation and their use of emotive, figurative language with the use of repition to show the theme of wasted lives

    The novel is an account of the events but also contains elements of Capote's creativity therefore it is hard to tell whether it is fictional or factual. 'Frankenstein' on the other hand is a non fictional novel which is still read and appreciated today as it is of a gothic genre. 'Frankenstein' was written in 1818 when science was seen as exciting but also dangerous as it was trespassing on the territory of God. The early 19th century was a time which generated exceptional events and ideas therefore it must have been quite interesting to read 'Frankenstein'.

    • Word count: 929
  24. Comparison of Brighton Rock & A Clockwork Orange. Explore the methods the writers use to present characters who suffer and the effect this suffering has.

    This, along with his general inability to lead, in turn frustrates him. He suffers under this and is in the end brought to the brink of sanity, where he then following meets his demise. Hale, an early yet doomed potential protagonist is suffering within his brief moment in the book. "Hale knew... that they meant to murder him". Hale constantly suffers under the knowledge of the gang wanting to kill him and despite of his admirable attempt at surviving, he inevitably meets his fate. Furthermore, it's implied by his inability to pick up women that the romantic aspects of his life are not thriving, which could cause any man to suffer.

    • Word count: 1498
  25. How relationships are presented in "The Great Gatsby", "The Kite Runner" and "My Last Duchess".

    In Daisy's presence, Gatsby loses his usual debonair manner and behaves like any awkward young man in love. Gatsby and Daisy's relationship is based on the past, as Gatsby is so blinded by his love for Daisy he can't see what the relationship presently is. Nick describes the restless Gatsby as "running down like an over-wound clock." It is significant that Gatsby, in his nervousness about whether Daisy's feelings toward him have changed as he his built up his whole life around impressing her, when he knocks over Nick's clock this signifies both Gatsby's consuming desire to stop time and his inability to do so reinforcing that his and Daisy's relationship is doomed to failure.

    • Word count: 1481

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