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'So where does love come in? It's not strictly necessary, is it?' What are Barnes' views of the role of love in history and in this novel? [A History Of The World In 10 1/2 Chapters]

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Introduction

'So where does love come in? It's not strictly necessary, is it?' What are Barnes' views of the role of love in history and in this novel? In this novel, Barnes makes little reference to love in any of the 'main' chapters of the novel, however he explores the concept in some depth in the 'parenthesis' chapter. He seems to display very confused and contradictory views of love, his opinion oscillating wildly as the chapter progresses. Julian Barnes, at the beginning of the chapter, starts to ponder on the necessity of love. He begins by listing various languages' words for 'I love you', and muses upon the concept of tribes without words for the saying. 'Or have they all died out?' he wonders. This seems to be idle thought, in which Barnes merely hypothesises that, perhaps, without love humanity cannot survive. However, he later expands upon and contradicts this idea. 'Our love does not help us survive... ...read more.

Middle

Barnes dwells on the necessity of love, or lack thereof, with the rumination 'Perhaps love is essential because it's unnecessary'; at first, this seems a most self-contradictory, paradoxical phrase. However, the view that Barnes is aiming to put across to the reader here is that love, although seemingly superfluous to human survival, is necessary because it makes life worth living. Barnes connects love to 'The History of the World'. He never states what he means by this broad, sweeping generalisation, this vague, irresolute term. One must therefore deduce that Barnes refers to human history, and the actions of those people in the past, potentially containing an insight into human nature itself. He claims that 'The History of the World becomes brutally self-important without love'. This perhaps suggests that people's actions in the past seem most self-important, but when the concept of love is introduced and taken into consideration, the actions of the 'History' seem more justifiable. Barnes seems to view love here as being the vital element of humanity, its role in history being the driving force of people's actions, linking back to the idea that it gives 'purpose' and is a 'fuel.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This loss of hope results in a loss of the hope of, and belief in, 'love', causing to 'fail'. Another interpretation is that history reveals human nature, hat 'things fuck up', to which the failure of love can be attributed; due to the human traits evident in history, the concept of love is liable to fail. In conclusion then, Barnes views love as a driving force, a 'fuel', giving people 'purpose'. Although 'not strictly necessary', he views it as what makes us human, and gives us hope. He seems to present love as defying history, in whatever sense of the word, as opposing 'someone else's truth'. He ponders the necessity of love for survival, seeming to conclude that it gives us our essence, and our will to survive, not to be confused with our instinct to survive. He finishes the chapter by criminalizing history, blaming the idea of history, be it human nature or the cause for despair, for any failures of 'love'. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The candidate here presents a very good essay which nicely focuses on the question. Their essay structure is effective - taking one chunk of information at a time so to ensure clear and precise cohesion, however there analytical skills require ...

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Response to the question

The candidate here presents a very good essay which nicely focuses on the question. Their essay structure is effective - taking one chunk of information at a time so to ensure clear and precise cohesion, however there analytical skills require some work. Whilst the answer is exceptionally confident in it's writing style, some of the analysis is not very deep and barely scratches the surface. Elsewhere the analysis is ample and serves the candidate's flair for writing well. For the most-part this makes the essay a good but fairly inconsistent read. To ensure this does not happen, candidates must look into only what they can confidently write at lengths about e.g. writing a lot about a little will garner more marks that spreading your analytical skills thinly over a range of poorly explored ideas.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here is good in various parts and in fact provide some very interesting and insightful thoughts about Julian Barnes' novel. The candidate makes sensitive and appreciative comments about the idea of love according Barnes in his book 'The History of the World' whilst commenting explicitly on the ambiguity of his thoughts and some of the many interpretations of these thoughts. There are some parts that see the candidate merely interpreting the novel with more easily understandable lexes, most likely unbeknownst to them, and whilst these are excellent interpretation they are not revealing a great deal of analysis and so, were these avoided, this would help the essay be lifted up to the A grade it's only a few marks short of.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication poses no problems in the presentation of grammar, spelling and punctuation. All have been used expertly to help shape the candidate's meaning and convey their ideas accurately and precisely.


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