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Compare methods used to present danger in Storm on the Island and Patrolling Barnegat.

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Compare methods used to present danger in Storm on the Island and Patrolling Barnegat. Seamus Heaney and Walt Whitman use different techniques to portray danger within their poems Storm on the Island, a poem which describes the effects of the storm on the inhabitants of the island and explains that although they are initially prepared they are actually still frightened of the danger, and Patrolling Barnegat, which depicts a violent storm blowing into an American bay. Both poems describe each storm and the effects it has on the land, skills used involve language devices and description, they portray a certain image in the readers mind about the danger that the storm poses. They both use language devices to convey the fright and distress the storm causes. ...read more.


Words such as 'spit' and 'careering' are quite menacing words advocating that the water could cause damage. The descriptive war-like language in Patrolling Barnegat likens to that used in Storm on the Island when danger is recognised. 'Strafes' and 'bombarded' used in Storm on the Island along with 'death-wind' and 'advancing' used in Patrolling Barnegat are four words that all imply that the storms are like a battle between land and sea, put together with words to describe the water attacking the land such as 'spit' and 'careering' they portray an image of the sea water being the dominant dangerous force on the land where people live. The beginning of each poem plays a big part in what the reader can interpret about the rest of the poem without reading any further. ...read more.


'You know what I mean' is assuming the reader understands the trees can offer some kind of protection but then goes on to explain that the island is open to any danger as the trees could not withstand such a 'blast.' In contrast, Walt Whitman uses enjamberment within the structure of the poem, not a certain tone. Patrolling Barnegat is structured into one long sentence to show that the storm is ongoing and the danger seems to be never ending. So in conclusion both poets successfully present danger in their poems Patrolling Barnegat and Storm on the Island in some similar and differing ways. I feel that Storm on the Island is a rather hard-hitting poem when it comes to the subject of danger as Seamus Heaney implies that however prepared you may be for such a fierce storm the danger will still show through and become frightening. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Response to the question

This question asks the candidate to identify how Seamus Heaney and Walt Whitman instil the threat of danger in the poems 'Storm On The Island' and 'Patrolling Barnegat'. There is a detailed analytical awareness of how poems are created to ...

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Response to the question

This question asks the candidate to identify how Seamus Heaney and Walt Whitman instil the threat of danger in the poems 'Storm On The Island' and 'Patrolling Barnegat'. There is a detailed analytical awareness of how poems are created to give a certain effect sustained throughout the entire response, with the candidate choosing carefully the aspects of both poems that directly answer the question proposed. This is very important to get right, as if candidates stray too far from what the question is asking, they will gain no marks regardless of the quality of their answers. Thankfully, this answer is consistently focused directly on the question and the topic of danger in the poems.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis displayed here is representative of that which a GCSE candidate can be expected to produce in an hour of exam time. There is an acceptable analysis of how the poems are construced (particularly 'Patrolling Barnegat') in order to achieve their effect and how the poets use language in order to personify the storm. It would have been useful for the candidate to explicitly use the word "personification", but their explanation of the storm and the danger it presents is clear and well-explored, so no marks are lost, but extra precaution should be taken regardless to ensure familiarity with appropriate terminology when answering an analytical question, as this not only saves times but also gives the examiner the impression that the candidate is fully aware of what they write and how to express their analysis with confidence.

The quoting methods used by the candidate are average, but where they excel is that they hone in on particularly words like "spit" and "advancing" or small phrases like "We are prepared". This is an excellent practice as it shows that the writer can construct an effective analysis conservatively, without the need to re-write lines and lines of a stanza each time they want to convey a point. The fact they select single words/phrases suggests they know exactly how to provide the bare minimum of evidence required to elaborate a point.

One minor glitch though, is that in cutting short the quotes, their first one, taken from 'Storm On The Island', is ambiguous. The candidate speaks of how the imagery of water and the tranquility it usually represents is inverted with "spits like a tame cat". However, in this stance, the full quote "spits like a tame cat turned savage" would be more appropriate, as tame cats (like still water) do not usually spit unless "turned savage" (like when a storm is brewing).

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is good. Though no effort is made to stray much further than the confines of very basic punctuation and vocabulary, there is an effective use of language and sentence structure in order to convey their analysis.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 20/02/2012

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