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AS and A Level: Comparative Essays

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  1. The Story of A Lifetime

    'Let me handle this,' I said to Oliver, I didn't want anything to get in the way of a good deal. 'Hey,' I replied. "Welcome to Delhi, we offer trips to Delhi, Red Fort, India Gate, Taj Mahal and more." I looked at him and he continued to speak. "What do you say, huh?" I looked over at Oliver; he had a very dazed look in his eyes, something that I've never seen on him. He seemed very uncomfortable, moving from left to right, right to left, yet had this amazing smile glued to his face, the two didn't seem to match very well.

    • Word count: 968
  2. Love Medicine

    Erdrich's characters endure great pain due to love, deceit, and liaison. This complex love story also incorporates symbols and a hidden mystery. Erdrich's heritage is mirrored throughout the characters' lifestyles. Raised in North Dakota, Erdrich used her hometown as a sanctuary for the Kashpaws. Although she was German, she was also part Ojibwa, helping her portray an authentic Native American family. Shifts in narration are key when writing a novel about monolithic families who share the same issues, and also it is a great addition to Erdrich's unique, complex style.

    • Word count: 447
  3. Othello - A tragic hero

    Othello's character disintegrates before our very eyes through the brisk development of the play and as a result of the growth of the 'green-eyed monster' we in the end are struck by a powerful catharsis; despite Othello's wrongdoings, we feel pity for him and his misfortune. However over the last century the views of two critics have been remarkably influential. A.C. Bradley believes that Othello "has played the hero and borne a charmed life..." and describes him as "a great man...

    • Word count: 1568
  4. Commentary On Hawk Roosting and The Author to Her Book

    This leads to consider an unanswered question of life: Are we the only ones running the show?[W5] An in depth analysis reveals that the author chose to write the poem in a monologue 6 quatrains structure, each resembling a monologue[W6]. Stanza 1 shows that the hawk believes that he is nature's most deadly and perfected creature. Stanza 2 shows that the hawk possesses the arrogance of a king. Stanza 3 emphasizes the complexity and uniqueness of the hawk. Stanza 4 shows the hawk doesn't have good manners.

    • Word count: 1372
  5. Commentary on Counter-Attack by Sassoon

    Sassoon shows his readers the tragic experience of the reality of war by structuring his poem in a way that it does not comprise of any particular scheme and any organisation - with the opening stanza of 13 lines, followed by the second stanza of 11 lines and then a last one with 15 lines. By not succumbing towards any form of poetic structure or the iambic pentameter in this poem, this perhaps suggests that Sassoon intends to convey a message about the chaotic and disarrayed mental state of the soldiers who questions their existence when war is only about fighting and dying.

    • Word count: 789
  6. Compare..Death

    However Harrison writes that "my mother was already two years dead". The adverb "already" conveys the passing of time and shows that even while the father was doing something nice for his dead wife; it is irrational to do it for "two years" and evokes a negative atmosphere because the father is emotionally stressed. Furthermore the father "put you off an hour to give him time to clear away her things". Harrison is conveying his disappointment in the father as the father is too wound up in grief. However Harrison says "I believe in life and death and that is all" which describes how there is no afterlife but this statement is quite emotionless which makes it sound quite false.

    • Word count: 856
  7. Warning by Jenny Joseph and On Ageing by Maya Angelou

    She has decided that she is going to be deliberately difficult and irresponsible. She is desperate to rebel against the norms of responsible adulthood and change the way she has always been " escape from the sobriety of my youth" . The acts she chooses are harmless and humorous and she will be likely to get away with them as people will think she is senile. The fact that all of these things are what she wants to do in the future shows that she has never done this before and so she could be saying that old age is the time for freedom and to escape from the rules in society.

    • Word count: 1299
  8. Comparison of A child said, What is the grass by Walt Whitman and We who were Executed by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

    This showcases the fact that the poet had no other theme other than democracy in all its human and universal applications. American democracy in its numerous manifestations through streets and cities must be vitalized by regular contact with nature, because otherwise it will dwindle and pale. This illustrates his Modernist characteristic. However, it is noteworthy that the poet's writing expression is meticulously systematic. As we move from one stanza to the other, we witness a remarkable movement in the poem.

    • Word count: 1196
  9. Compare 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake

    This language also reminds me of biblical verses, particularly the New Testament and the book of Revelation. By almost directly copying the first stanza as the last stanza in 'The Tyger' the question asked is implanted in the reader's mind and the ideas re-enforced. The contrast of the phrases 'burning bright' and 'forests of the night' could be metaphorically suggesting that the tiger is like a forest fire, the only thing burning 'bright' through a dark forest which all animals fear.

    • Word count: 1644
  10. Compare the ways in which Heaney and Sheers use their nationality and background in their poems

    Moreover, the poet refers to the soldiers as "Terraced thousands." This shows, not only the military formations that are necessary on a hill but also the artificial manipulation of the environment, again like nature's rebellion against violence. But regardless of how invasive these uprisings may be, they are also portrayed as natural and inevitable. Using the carved wooden "pike" against the melted metal of gun and sword, the Irish rebels seem to be in alliance with the forces of nature.

    • Word count: 1294
  11. Compare the ways in which Heaney and Sheers write about memories. Your response must include detailed discussion of at least two of Heaneys poems

    This gives the poem a very personal feel which highlights not only the importance of this poem to his character but also the importance of this memory of the development of his craft. As Heaney recalls the memory of his Father digging, he shows his love and admiration of their traditional occupation; "By God, the old man could handle a spade". He also seems very proud of his grandfather who "could cut more turf in a day / Than any other man on Toner's bog".

    • Word count: 1136
  12. Robert Browning essay

    The human mind is compelled by madness and obsession. Through the poems 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' Browning explores these ideas. In the poem, 'Porphyria's Lover' the speaker's pathological jealousy and insecurity drives him to murder the vital, loving, passionate woman, Porphyria. It is important to note the meaning of 'porphyria' in medical terms as a disease with the symptoms of insanity. The disease is evident within the speaker's actions as he "strangled her". At the beginning, the narrator appears to be in control as the form of the poem is regular with a tight ababb rhyme pattern.

    • Word count: 692
  13. Disabled

    We come under the impression that Tom is a poet but there is some confusion as to why he is working in a warehouse. There is not a great deal here about Tom apart from a brief relation to the idea of escaping "but to escape he has to act without pity". I will now continue by answering the question as thoroughly as possible. In order to give a full analysis I will approach this essay scene by scene making references to all the key parts.

    • Word count: 1000
  14. Some critics view Ednas suicide at the end of the novel as a failure to complete her escape from convention an inability to defy society. Others view her suicide as a final awakening a show of strength and independence that defie

    I think that Edna's suicide was a final awakening, to show her strength and independence. She was a respectable women of the late 1800's who finally awoke to the understanding that her life hadn't been spent the way she had wished it to be, then finally acknowledges her sexual desires and also has the courage to act on them. Some people may not see what she's done as strength, because in ways she's representing selfishness by almost disregarding her "role" in the household, as a mother and as a wife.

    • Word count: 805
  15. Critical interpretation

    Unlike the title, clearly the road had been taken. The speaker feels deflated and less courageous, because many other people had taken the same path. In the first of the four stanzas, "and" appears on lines 2, 3 and 4. This repetition makes the speaker feel like he is questioning and justifying which road to take. It also gives a slow pace but a constant flow when reading. This is added by the rhyme scheme, each stanza apart from the fourth follows an abaab form, drawing emphasis to the last word.

    • Word count: 1769
  16. What characterises the early poetry of World War 1?

    It represents that they no longer have lives because they are soldiers and so do nothing else but fight. It explains this by using past tense, which shows that it no longer exists. The poem 'In Flanders Fields' also shows mans inhumanity to man. This is also because McCrae is trying to show what war was really like and show the insensitive realities of war. "Take up our quarrel with the foe" (In Flanders Fields) This shows that people in war did show inhumanity to the opposition because they were not suppose to be a team together, they are fighting.

    • Word count: 1162
  17. Human Suffering in Lyrical Ballads

    The poem itself is a clear example of Coleridge's censure of the penal system and also his blatant sympathy for those affected by this system. In The Dungeon, various lines describe to the reader the amount of suffering the man is undergoing. Coleridge describes how the man's soul has become "hopelessly deformed". The use of the adjective "deformed" in reference to his "soul" is effective because the word is usually associated with physical appearance, however, as it is his "soul" being deformed, Coleridge illustrates how his suffering is essentially deforming his mind.

    • Word count: 1128
  18. Analysis of 'You're' by Sylivia Plath

    The tone of the poem is very light, and cheerful. Almost all of the words used in this poem are words usually associated with things that make people happy, like clowns, food and holidays. Words like 'stars' and 'clownlike' give the poem a happy feel as clowns are associated with happiness and stars are bright and calming. You get the feeling that although this child hasn't been born yet, the mother already feels very proud and protective over them. It creates a very happy mood throughout, as there is not one negative thing mentioned, and no unpleasant imagery created.

    • Word count: 686
  19. Perspective in Rape of the lock

    The image is presented as a paradox and so can be taken as a representative of the poem. It also contains an element of the same truth as the line "Belinda smil'd, and all the World was gay." Pope writes of the importance of Belinda's beauty and likens her affect and influence to that of the sun. He explains that her she is as "bright as the sun" and that her indiscriminate gaze shines "on all alike". She is described as the centre of a wonderful solar system of "wits" and "belles", yet Belinda's period of brilliance, like the Sun's, is a strictly limited one, doomed to end.

    • Word count: 903
  20. George Orwells A Homage To Catanolia

    He often mentions his wife and his family giving us a 'family man' persona i.e. emotional and caring. It allows us to see that they are highly important to him. The most sentimental part lies in his last moments where he says "first thought, conventionally enough was for my wife". Once again we pity him for the fear and pain he had to endure. The extract is from his autobiography. This means it is a very biased account. The things he says can not be backed up and things could be exaggerated and toned down especially for the reader but it doesn't seem too graphic to allow such exaggeration.

    • Word count: 724
  21. Explore the ways in which Isobel Dixon uses language and other poetic devices to present her ideas of freedom and restriction in Plenty

    It is important to note how she linked these two contradicting words, she is indirectly admitting her guilt to the reader, and how her mother restricted her feelings, and remained calm, when there was always a "running riot" going on inside the house. Their bathtub was in an awful state, "age-stained and pocked..." which is parallel to the state of the family. The tub became a central symbol in the poem for the memory of her family. The bathtub is not only "age-stained" but it is also "pocked/ upon its griffin claws," the claws helps us picture the old bathtub,

    • Word count: 867
  22. Langston Hughes Poetry Essay

    It also shows the attitude of tiredness among Black society, how "they cannot live on tomorrow's bread" (Line 14) and they "have as much right" (Line 4) to "live here too" (Line 17). The contrasting tone present is optimism, where Black society is anticipating a time when they will be treated with equal respect. This tone is heightened by the repetition of "freedom" (Lines 15-17) and "tomorrow" (Lines 12-14) which positions the reader to empathise with African American society. In I Too Sing America, "the darker brother" (Line 2) is "made to eat in the kitchen" (Line 3), away from white society, who shun him for being different, but when different company comes "they'll see how beautiful [he] is" (Line 15)

    • Word count: 1044
  23. What distinguishes many of the poets in this anthology are the varying poetic ways in which they explore the nature of human suffering.(TM)

    The poem holds both a passionate and dramatic content, which really helps the audience to empathise with the wife. The poem is divided into three sections: the first four stanzas, which describe the sons' death; the second four stanzas, which describe their return and the final four stanzas, which describe the sons' departure. These last four verses in particular have a desolate tone, allowing the audience to reflect on twice the amount of grief the wife has to endure compared to the beginning of the poem; not only have the sons died, but they have also left suddenly after visiting her one last time.

    • Word count: 1244
  24. Many of the writers in this anthology use poetry to examine the idea of the brevity of human life, but they treat this idea in very different ways.(TM)

    find', this, juxtaposed with Humber, in his banal hometown of Yorkshire, highlights that the narrative is in fact intended to be humorous and should not be taken wholly seriously, which is reinforced by the regular rhythm and rhyme. Marvell's hyperboles gradually escalate throughout the first verse, climaxing in extravagant claims that he will love her 'ten years before the flood', effectively revealing to the reader that he strongly believes that time should not, and will not, limit his ability to love and be loved, and, as his hyperboles increase, so does his 'vegetable love'.

    • Word count: 1206
  25. Almond Tree-John Stallworthy

    The poet is so excited that he feels he can change scenes to suit himself, shown when the poet says 'as if i were the lucky prince in an enchanted wood', this builds up the positive mood because it shows that the poet is very enthusiastic, and so the reader feels that enthusiasm too. The poet is very conscious of himself in the first section shown when he said he was 'aware of the blood running down the delta of my wrist', and so this shows how excited he is.

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