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AS and A Level: Comparative Essays
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- Marked by Teachers essays 4
"Suicide in the trenches" focuses on the meaningless life in the trenches and that a quick death ends it all where as "Dulce Et Decorum Est" focuses on the suffering and torture of a slow death. Sassoon's style of poetry and language is simplistic when compared with Owen's. He states the bare facts and the wasted life of a soldier and Owen's style is more complicated and complex as effective and brutal imagery is conveyed into the reader's head. It conveys the horrors in details and the slow suffering of a victim of a unexpected yet dreaded gas attack.
- Word count: 1579
The selection of the words "The sentry's body" rather than simply "The sentry" gives the idea that the man's body fell down the steps first, and that his mind may have followed later, as if he were in a trance, or were particularly panicked. Owen also uses description based on animals: In Dulce et Decorum est, the soldiers are compared with horses: "But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame". Words such as "den" and "herded" in The Sentry give the idea that the situation is below the most basic standards of civilisation.
- Word count: 1310
'MCMXIV' by Philip Larkin Larkin's poem consists of four stanzas, each of eight lines. He also makes his poem dependent on only one pair of ending rhymes, on lines four and eight ("Park"/"lark", "play"/"day", "men"/"again" and the half-rhymes "lines" and "limousines"). This means that the poem is less structured than we expect and sounds more natural when spoken out loud. His title is in Latin numerals, "MCMXIV" because this is how the date "1914" would be carved on a war memorial.
- Word count: 1843
Steinbeck differentiates George and Lennie from each other on their mental and physical appearance and strength, George a small man and his opposite Lennie a huge man. In their physical appearance George was visualized with defined body parts and with strong features while Lennie with a shapelss face. In terms of mental ability, Steinbeck said that Lennie has a mild mental disorder that made him the weakest character in the novel. While George, compared to Lennie, he is the boss, he decides on everything they will do and Lennie depends on what he say.
- Word count: 638
Discuss the ways in which the authors present child family relationships in Praise song for my mother and Childhood.
children who were rough" where he almost has connotations of blaming them for separation from what they thought were 'lesser' citizens, he tends to refer to the childhood he lived as a young boy who was bullied on his way to and from school. However when one delves deeper into the poem and attempts to read between the lines the reader can pick up a tone of blame, a tone of resentment and a tinge of sorrow! It would seem as though Spender, through his writing, is revealing his resentment towards his parents for isolating him from his peers, sheltering him from the real world and being overprotective!
- Word count: 693
However, these lyrical and pastoral influences must always be intertwined with a tragic note, since reliance on things such as the mining industry have resulted in a scarring of both the land and the people. Resistance and Skirrid Hill reflect not only the aforementioned influences, but also the elegiac note of death, deterioration and disillusionment. Resistance tells the story of farm women in a remote Welsh valley, abandoned by their husbands, forced to toil the unforgiving land in order to survive.
- Word count: 2068
Larkin and Abse on relationships. The essay will discuss this contrast by examing Larkins Whitsun Weddings, Wild Oats and Arundel Tomb, and Dannie Abses Imitations and Sons
As Larkin sat down on the hot train seat he began to feel a sense of relaxation. At last he could sit quietly and make his observations. The brilliant sunlight was almost blinding and the heat had further heightened the smell emanating from the already very smelly fish dock. So we can sense that the start of the journey is not scenic and the air is not aromatic but Larkin appears reasonably content about his forthcoming journey.
- Word count: 1901
In both In the Suburbs and Richard Cory, the poets present the concept that having money is not the most significant aspect of life.
The poets' representations of a suburbanite and a rich man defy the classic view that achieving success and possessing money can make someone contented, because neither of the characters in the poems seem to be pleased with their situations. In both "In the Suburbs" and "Richard Cory," the poets present the concept that having money is not the most significant aspect of life. Living in the suburbs implies that one is neither extremely wealthy nor poor, yet the speaker of the poem is unhappy despite his stable lifestyle.
- Word count: 1218
Compare the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about memory and time. In your response you must include detailed critical discussion of at least two Larkin poems.
Another theme of Larkin is his dissatisfaction when looking upon his memories and the way in which time has defeated him and this is evident in the repetition of 'unsatisfactory'. In comparison, Abse looks back upon his life growing up in Cardiff in 'Return to Cardiff' but he almost mocks his immaturity and his anticipation of what to expect, 'less a return than a raid', when he did look back on his childhood. Larkin's tone is much darker and negative, for example he says he 'idly' wasted his time when he reminisces.
- Word count: 566
Larkin often seems to criticise society. In the light of this statement, what connections have you found between the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about the society in which they live? In your response include at least two of Larkins
Abse is also very proud of the society from which he grew for example he is proud of being Welsh. Larkin labels and stereotypes the working class with a superior view in Nothing To Be Said, for example in the first stanza he describes the working class as 'small-statured cross-faced tribes', giving the impression that he views the working class as poorly developed, and a sense of savagery and it is possible to assume that Larkin viewed them as not very intelligent also.
- Word count: 847
This would have been for his own safety, as the poem was written at a time when criticism of Cromwell was punishable with imprisonment. The poem concludes in another quatrain, once again from the perspective of the narrator. Although it appears rather optimistic in tone, 'Thus sang they...An holy and a cheerful note,' the fact that the sailors are still rowing, 'with falling oars they kept the time,' suggests that they have not landed on the grassy stage mentioned in the song.
- Word count: 1063
How do poets celebrate life? Two poems that discuss moments or situations where life can be celebrated are Thomas Hardys Beeny Cliff and After reading in a letter proposals for building a cottage (Cottage) by John Clare.
The positive impact of nature is also evident in the first stanza of Beeny Cliff as he describes the "opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea". The sea being described with the appearance of precious and beautiful gemstones shows he is impressed by it, as well the alliteration and personification of "wandering western" which rolls off the tongue paints an affectionate picture of the ocean. There are many other positive natural references with John Clare describing his small enclosed garden, "flowers that blossom sweet" and the "sweeping swallows"; while Thomas Hardy mentions the "clear- sunned March day" and how the "sun bursts out again".
- Word count: 893
Herbert's poetry, is rather straightforward and plain and doesn't contain much complexity, save structurally, and it may be because they are devotional poems to God, and he thus keeps it simple so as to humble himself. The piety of his poetry is really understandable, given that he was in fact a minister until his death in 1633, even choosing to become a rural vicar in favour of his position as Member of Parliament. Suffering from tuberculosis in his later years, it is clear that he became more aware of his mortality and consequently more devout, which is evident in Virtue.
- Word count: 1055
Compare how each poet writes about nature in "Spring" by Hopkins and "How the old Mountains drip" with Sunset by Dickinson.
Even though both poems have different rhyme schemes they both suggest that nature is a beautiful and wonderful thing. In How the old Mountains drip with Sunset and Spring Dickinson and Hopkins both use linear letters to evoke the significance and individuality of nature. Dickinson uses supernatural imagery, "By the Wizard Sun." Whereas Hopkins uses religious imagery, "Christ, lord." Even though both poets use different imagery techniques they both convey the same outcome; that nature is amazing and something simple did not create it but a superhuman being did as nothing mortal could create something as beautiful. Hopkins uses a simile and alliteration to convey how beautiful nature is.
- Word count: 923
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud I will in this essay present a short introduction of the romantic hero, the poet, and the significance of the depiction of nature.I will also discuss William Wordsworths ability to convey the beauty of the daffodils
The romantic hero animates feelings and is able to create and use his imagination far better than ordinary people. The poet is often the protagonist in his own works and only the romantic poets have the ability to convey what they see. Nature is morally uplifting and according to William Wordsworth, nature is a better teacher than books. People take the beauty of nature for granted and cannot see the beauty in the same way as the romantic poets can see it. Next I will characterise the poet and elaborate on his experience of the daffodils. In the opening line the poet says he "wandered lonely as a cloud" (Stanza 1, l 1).
- Word count: 1215
'River' ("At the turn of the river the language changes"), 'The Way My Mother Speaks' (The train this slow evening / goes down England"), and 'In Your Mind' ("The other country"). Moreover, enjambment is utilised throughout the poem; for example, "Do I only / think / I lost a river, culture, speech" in order to visually represent flow, reflecting the physical sense of movement in a journey.
- Word count: 1306
Compare the ways in which Duffy and Pugh write about violence. In your response, you must include detailed reference to at least two of Duffys poems.
The aforementioned 'God complex' is augmented later in the stanza by the verb phrase, "I am going to play God" which directly references the omnipotent supernatural deity as though the narrator has the power to wreak endless havoc, and thus use any conceivable level of violence, as she wishes. This is furthered by the use of Biblical language, such as, "I see that it is good." Consequently, the reader realises that the narrator's violence stems from her deluded state of mind; a potential interpretation of this is that Duffy's dissatisfaction with the Thatcher-run government of the 1980's inspired her to
- Word count: 1078
This represents that they have history together and the fact that they can't talk to each other shows they are not as close as they once were. The use of the word 'emblem' symbolises the relationship between two people which is shown by the act of lying in bed together. It may also refer to what is supposed to be ideal, which is being together, however this is overshadowed by the ordinary and mundane life that they lead, therefore 'emblem' is ironic as Larkin is actually describing the opposite of this idea.
- Word count: 2466
affair she had soon after her and Ted Hughes split ' - " The child's cry melts in the wall" not only suggests that when with her alleged lesbian partner she's free for the burden of motherhood and can just focus on their passion but also that when being in a homosexual relationship the possibilities of conceiving a child are none an therefore there is no-one else to detract from the bond and overwhelming desire that the 2 have for each other.
- Word count: 1024
By comparing 'School for Scandal' and 'Rape of the Lock' explore the difference between wit and malice
The use of heroic couplets satirizes the vanity of society that has turned grand creatures into frivolous items. It is a clear use of bathos where the grand is brought down to an anti climax. This is compounded in the list of items upon her toilet 'Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux'. Pope emerges the highly important item of the bible amongst the less auspicious "puffs, powders, patches" to comment on society's (and women in particular's) lack of priorities or moral standards. The use of alliteration furthers this satire by placing more emphasis on the 'B' in bibles which breaks the pattern.
- Word count: 1444
Based on his appearance he is not your typical hero, especially when he was "tall and thin" with "a gipsy coat of red and yellow". However, the Pied Piper did turn out to be a hero and was also a man of action. He said he would get rid of the rats and he went straight to them and killed them, straight to the point. He did not mess up at all and let a few rats get away, there was only one rat who survived, with that one going off to tell other rats what had happened.
- Word count: 1200
Midas tells the untold story of the well-known Greek myth King Midas, who is miraculously, granted the wish of turning everything he touches into gold. As with all the poems in The World's Wife, the title is a clear giveaway of what the poem is about to entail, and this is no different. Mrs. Midas, the wife of King Midas is the persona of this particular monologue and here she voices her thoughts on her husband's newfound ability. "The kitchen filled with the smell of itself."
- Word count: 2214
However, as the poem progresses, the reader learns that the couple wanted wealth and the use of "we" by Duffy turns into the use of "I" and "he" showing that as they got richer and their lifestyle became more and more wealthier, Mrs Faust felt her marriage begin to decay and feels the gap between them widen. This shows that in the beginning she was happy with her marriage but when they both started wanting material possessions and Faust began chasing the dream, even though they had everything that a person could wish for, they stopped being happy, prompting the
- Word count: 955
Consider the writers thoughts and feelings about identity and the ways in which she expresses them, now compare this to those in A Streetcar Named Desire
A. Because it is two cities divided by a river." It almost sounds like a joke that a child would tell to its friend but Carter used the question and answer format because she wants the reader to enigmatically question the narrator. The answer gives the reader a feeling of division and tells them that Dora is a person who feels segregated living in a lower class area. Similarly, in 'A Streetcar Named Desire', Williams presents the character of Blanche as a woman who subverted her gender stereotype and is now rejected and looked down upon by society.
- Word count: 601
Analyse the ways in which Tony Harrison presents the theme of family relationships in Long Distance one and two
This provides a contrast between the two poems and how they differ in the representation of the family relationships. As we read on, it seems that the first poem is a concise conversation of a father and his son, speaking of the grievance which the father has on account of his wife dying. For the son, this does not seem to be as big of a problem to him, which could therefore portray the emotional distance between the narrator and his family. This is also suggested through the possibility of the son, also living a distance away from his father.
- Word count: 1943