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AS and A Level: Other Authors

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  1. Free essay

    By what means does Alan Bennett present the grim reality of Wilfreds existence?

    Earlier on in the monologue he says, "she kept wanting to hold my hand but I wouldn't". Later on, Samantha, in court, tries to hold the judges hand and he reflects, "Well, that's what I'm here for." His apparent powerlessness makes his situation increasingly disconsolate, as he has been put away before, and undoubtedly will be again. Wilfred's incessant observation of detail illustrates how desolate and despairing his situation is, as he clings on to meaningless occurrences to get him through each day.

    • Word count: 994
  2. An exploration of the ways in which the men in Journeys End and Regeneration are affected by the War

    This distinct contrast in character, displays the way in which war could change the soldiers' behaviour dramatically. Stanhope exhibits paranoia through his desire to read Raleigh's letters, emphasising his need to "censor all letters" and urges Osborne to "cross out what (Stanhope) says about (him)". Through his demands, Sheriff portrays Stanhope as being ashamed of the person war has made him. Barker's portrayal of Anderson in Regeneration can be compared to Stanhope, as he too leaves the war a changed character as a direct result of his experiences.

    • Word count: 1490
  3. How does Barker present the notions of masculinity in Regeneration?

    Sassoon also exemplifies how the struggle of the patients maintaining their manliness affects them mentally. He revisits his memory of a soldier who was castrated in a war accident: "The boy... had a neat little hole too. Only his was between his legs." Barker uses the word "neat" as a euphemism to conceal the unpleasant and disturbing idea of a soldier losing his masculinity through the literal form of his genitals. This, in addition to the soldier being labelled as a "boy", as opposed to a man, further effeminates him. Furthermore, barker uses Graves to illustrate how a physical injury can diminish the patients' masculinity.

    • Word count: 1294
  4. Linda Burnell: Wife, mother, individual. In this passage, we see Mansfields recurring theme of the apparent futility of womens lives through the portrayal of Linda Burnell,

    This leads us to the internal conflict of Linda as she comes to terms with how little 'meaning' her life has; she questions 'Why, then, flower at all?' Flowering being the sexual reproduction of plants, we see the parallels between Linda's unwanted children and these wasted flowers. This introduces Mansfield's trademark objective correlative as she incites the reader to question the waste of effort for something lovely but temporary. Relishing some moments alone, Linda strolls through the garden and appears to take time out from the responsibilities life has presented to her.

    • Word count: 1152
  5. Commentary on The Nine Tailors

    The bells seem to be upsetting everything within this passage: the writer uses the objective correlative to show how upset Wimsey feels when she mentions that the very tower is staggering 'like a drunken man'. This figurative speech continues throughout the text and into the second paragraph with Sayers again using similes ('..like a sword in the brain..', 'the blood [..] seemed to rush to his head') to show the way in which Wimsey is being shaken by this experience.

    • Word count: 1241
  6. Analyse how Frayn presents relationships between adults and children in Spies

    and furthermore, ' Did Stephen understand at last who it was down there in the darkness, when he heard his name spoken ?' He is perfectly aware that the man living in the Barns under the corrugated iron is Uncle Peter. Stephen and Keith fail to realise the 'x' marked in the diary every four weeks are relating to Mrs. Hayward's menstrual cycle and not associated to some sinister meeting with Germans which is unpretentiously assumed by the boys. They similarly misinterpret the exclamation marks. Although the meaning is not made apparent, we the readers assume sexual activity with Mr.

    • Word count: 2234
  7. A Close Reading and Critical Discussion of a Passage Selected From Part I of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kasey

    This form of narrative is extremely effective as the reader is continually able to completely immerse themselves within the lives of the patients, giving the book additional depth and realism. The proposal that horrific abuse is present in the ward is instantly planted by Kasey. Chief Bromden introduces the impression that the 'black boys' sexually violate patients within the hospital while the other patients sleep. The atmosphere presented is one of great oppression, the black boys are described as 'hating everything' giving a sense of pessimism and total lack of hope.

    • Word count: 1276
  8. "Spies" By Michael Frayn - What is the function of the photographs in chapter 3?

    It is described that one of the photos "gazes solemnly back" at Stephen and that "all four of them [Auntie Dee, Uncle Peter and Mr and Mrs Hayward] watch us out of the past as we work to penetrate the secrets of the present." The invasion of privacy by the boys is mirrored in the photographs, as it is obvious that Stephen feel the figures in the photos are invading their own privacy. Not only does this emphasise Stephen's uncomfortable feelings about the "mission", but it also highlights the entire theme of spying and deceit in the story.

    • Word count: 832
  9. Comparison and commentary on themes in Treasure Island compared to Crescent Island

    attached to his left hand as well as a sabre and a gun in his belt immediately roared out the order "hard turn to 9 O'clock!" Awaking in shock and pain, I cried out loudly and was blinded by the sun as I woke, the first mate; Andrew, had struck my head, "What are you sleeping for? You clumsy oaf!" he shouted, "what is the point of a lookout when we sight an island before he does?". Captain Blewit did not take my slacking lightly and so I was reduced to scrubbing the deck, as tiring, time consuming and degrading as it was.

    • Word count: 1515
  10. To what extent can the 1950s American Capitalist society, almost be entirely to blame for Willy Loman's final predicament?

    Willy falls foul of the system, relentlessly striving for a futile goal, his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity is ultimately his undoing. One of Willy's symptoms of Harmatia is that he rejects his own family possibly self-consciously, or through the impulse to come together eventually drives the family apart. His general air of the classic eponymous salesman links to the destruction of his family as he instils his boys with delusional grandeur as he is far too upbeat and charismatic to seriously consider underlying problems within his family nucleus.

    • Word count: 1204
  11. Suicide is a desperate act and in this short story yellow by Peter Carty, the main character, Jon, ends up making the decision to commit suicide.

    In general he doesn't seem pleasant about his life; he has a girlfriend, but their relationship is substandard "the silences between them had multiplied, then lengthened into an empty continuum." And his job situation doesn't seem any better, because his trip to Egypt and scuba-diving is definitely something he hates "Jon hated anything active or sporty". He connects scuba-diving with death, which is why he is so scared about it. He is horrified that he will drown, and therefore he is unable to stay calm under water.

    • Word count: 809
  12. The boogeyman

    the old days" This demonstrates his need to be in control, but at the same time we see that he is liable to change personality and therefore in a position to act unpredictably. An example of Lester Billings strong imagination is "He looked at the plain white composition ceiling as if seeing scenes and pictures played out there" Another example of his strong imagination is when he thinks about how the Boogeyman finds him and his family. "I started to think, that it lost us for a while when we moved.

    • Word count: 1140
  13. role of Parsi community in Ice Candy Man

    Ice-Candy Man is a complex character and the way he represents humanity is something that the ordinary man carries and at the same time he is ignorant of it. He is an embodiment of binary oppositions: good and evil, love and hatred, peace and violence, friendly and reserved, pleasant and unpleasant, sensibility and insanity. However, he is not an amalgam of these attributes at the same time. Infact, he is a victim of the changing circumstances and from positvity he eventually starts to exhibit negative traits.

    • Word count: 746
  14. Write a critical appreciation of Saki's Shredni Vashtar putting it in the context of your reading in the Gothic tradition.

    De Ropp is an element of "the pleasure principle" which avoids conflict and displeasure in favour of gratification and happiness. Gothic novels are often praised for exploring (and often prematurely) ideas, which Freud explored and legitimised. An important element of Gothic is infertility, as it represents death and paths the way for the author's vivid description of the narrators' or characters' surroundings. In this story, the 'dull, cheerless garden" with "few fruit trees" and "dismal shrubbery" seems to reflect Conradin's own life, which is full of "wearisome things".

    • Word count: 1126
  15. I was delighted to realise that what the ghost story depended on more than anything was a sense of place, claims Susan Hill in her introduction to the schools edition. How successful has she been in creating a vivid sense of place in The Woman in

    In Gothic writing, the figurative often becomes the literal; we can see this with the use of Hill's nomenclature. Kipps says in the beginning of the novella that he has "come to the land of curious place names" and he is not mistaken. We have the "astonishingly situated house" (but not home), "Eel Marsh House", which becomes less or more Heimlich depending on the seasons "I thought how it would be on a warm evening at midsummer, when the breezes blew balmily from off the sea" this is contrasted to the dangerous "mists" and "darkness" experienced during the winter.

    • Word count: 2866
  16. Describe the character of Lorna in muriel sparks short story, 'You should have seen the mess'.

    At this point though I thought she must be clutching at straws and to hide her disappointment. As the story goes on however, her obsessive ideas about cleanliness dominate. Next she tells us about her first job, and the first description she gives is again regarding cleanliness. 'I must say that when I went for the interview, I was surprised that the windows and the stairs up to the offices were also far from clean' She goes on to describe the cleanliness of the rooms, in an obsessive manner, even mentioning there were elements missing from the gas fire.

    • Word count: 1101
  17. English Commentary on Canadian Short Stories

    during his arrest. Not only does this stir the detective to feel "compassion" (19) and sympathy for Joe in the story - a similar effect may be experienced by the readers, too. The writer then uses her first animal reference on the detective, describing his hands as "talons" as he laid it on Joe's wrist (19). Given this feature, the detective is portrayed as a predator (e.g. an eagle), so Joe would be a prey underneath his "talons", being hunted on. The constant suggestion of him as a vulnerable character suggests innocence in that character, as though he is merely being accused, or 'victimized' by the detectives.

    • Word count: 967
  18. A Streetcar Named Desire is a gripping drama, but it does not succeed as tragedy because Blanche never fully engages the sympathy of the audience. How do you respond to this idea?

    Streetcar is complete, in that Blanche's fate is finally sealed, but also it has many 'embellishments' of character, spectacle and song. It cannot be ignored that Williams' piece, although a more modern tragedy than some, may have been viewed differently at the time it was written. When 'A Streetcar Named Desire' was first performed in England in 1949 it was met by harsh criticism, which saw it to be full of "... excessive symbolism, violence, sexuality ..." amongst other things.

    • Word count: 1990
  19. Write a critical appreciation of pages 214-16 of The Kite Runner; how far, and in what ways in your view, does this passage reflect methods and concerns of the novel as a whole?

    Afghanistan's history during the latter decades of the 20th century directly influenced the lives if the characters and provides a basis for the reader's own understanding of the war. From 1973, when a coup d'�tat ended the monarchy, Afghanistan has been fighting against both foreign invaders and itself. In 1992, Afghanistan was converted into an Islamic state and in 1996, a group of Pashtun supremacists, the Taliban, took control of the country. They massacred Shiites and Hazaras in addition to enacting fundamentalist laws.

    • Word count: 1138
  20. Compare and Contrast poverty and wealth within In Cold Blood and the True History of The Kelly Gang

    Both these connote Ned has been rewarded for his bravery and juxtaposes between the criminals who was not rewarded for their crimes. In the Kelly Gang, Carey describes when Ned slaughters a cow for his family. It is described in the declarative phrase "I failed to find the artery" which suggests that Ned is inexperienced and is doing this in order for his family to survive. Ned killed for the survival of his family whereas the criminals from In Cold Blood murdered the Clutters in pure greed.

    • Word count: 887
  21. Compare Junot Diaz's use of narrative techniques to present the alienation of the characters in the collection of short stories Drown and the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    In "Oscar Wao" and "Drown", the protagonists live in poor, urban and largely Hispanic neighbourhoods. In "Oscar Wao" the narrator describes Bergenline Avenue in New Jersey as "a straight shot of Spanish for at least a hundred blocks", highlighting the physical separation of the Hispanic immigrant community from American society at large. The sibilance of the words "straight" and "shot" and "Spanish" create a slicing sound, reflecting the social divide linguistically. In "Drown", Diaz also uses the setting to show the isolation of the Hispanic community within society, however, Diaz does this primarily through contrasting the bleak imagery of the urban neighbourhoods, to the aspirational picture of suburbia.

    • Word count: 2355
  22. To what extent do the main characters in a Room with a View and Remains of the Day partake in a journey of self discovery? Your response should include close analysis of two or three key scenes and also refer to the novel as

    Lucy Honeychurch shows the imminent change in attitudes of the younger generation. 'The Remains of the Day' is set in the time of the decline of the English empire, this is echoed within the book as it highlights not only the decline of the British empire and the decline in Darlington hall, but also a decline in the demand for the profession of butlers itself. Being set in 1956 classifies it as post-imperialist work; its views are neutral in reference to world war two. The main character epitomises the attitudes of many British people at the time, extremely nationalistic but unaware of the decline of the British Empire.

    • Word count: 1587
  23. The Machine Gunners

    The author's skill in the description of action scenes is particularly attractive. The way he cleverly uses metaphors casts a effective image inside the readers' mind, so the reader can relate to the scene in the same way as the author imagined it. The reader finds himself enrolled in the book due to the powerful, rich and aggressive nature of the settings. Descriptions of even the air raids such as when the bombs start falling, "thunder boots" describing the relentless power and striking of the bombs conveys a truly dark scene.

    • Word count: 1736
  24. White Noise - De Lillo

    Sunsets last for hours; silent crowds watch the spectacular colours from overpasses. Gladney secretly visits a think tank diagnostic centre that confirms the presence of the toxin in his blood. Frightened by his exposure to the toxin, Gladney is forced to confront his mortality and his obsessive fear of dying. It seems a play in the Theatre of the Absurd, because nothing really changes. He is still afraid, as he already was, he will still die, as he was going to anyway. There is no catharsis, no restoration of the sense of reality, just a thickening of the absurd.

    • Word count: 1117

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