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Poem comparision showing importance of identity

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Essay comparison: "Love after love" and "This room" compare the way in which the importance of identity is written about in "Love after love" and "This room". In "Love after love" by Derek Walcott and "This room" by Imtiaz Dharker, the poets explore how outs own identity should be celebrated. Walcott portrays this by using positive language such as "elation" and "feast on your life" to show that once you have found your identity, you can celebrate that you have found yourself. Dharker gets her message across by also giving positive images of hands "clapping" which is what people do to celebrate happy occasions. In this case, Dharker could be outside clapping in celebration for finding her own identity. Both poems use metaphors including "the stranger who has loved you" in "Love after love" and "this room is breaking out of itself". The room is personified to become Dharker's mind breaking out and throwing out the nightmares and the dark memories to become who we really want to be. ...read more.


However, she also shows confusion about what to get rid of but wants to get rid of as much as possible to give her brain space and become the person she wants to be. Both poems are similar as they help us find our true identity but one is about how to find ourselves and the other is the celebration of finding ourselves. The imagery of both poems are similar because they both include celebrating about finding our identity but they also show us how to become ourselves. Walcott shows an image of you "greeting yourself" which is a metaphor of you before you were in a relationship "and each will smile at the other's welcome" which shows that you have successfully found who you were before the relationship. Dharker has an image of "from dark corners, chairs are rising up to crash through clouds" which can be seen in two ways. It could be seen as the bad memories and thoughts of the chairs are crashing through the clouds and getting rid of the bad memories also from the dark cloud. ...read more.


The quote "When the improbable arrives" in This room makes the reader think that nothing is impossible and that getting rid of the bad but also good memories is a good thing to do when it comes to finding your identity. However, there is confusion in Dharker's poems where "I've left my feet" and "my hands are outside clapping" which shows that she could have divided herself in the process and she is still metaphorically two people. But it could also be seen as the hands clapping, which shows happiness, being left outside the room and that she has left some of her good memories in the process of getting rid of the bad thoughts. Walcott's poem talks shows the reader how to find your identity after a relationship and the celebration from it whereas Dharker's poem talks about the celebration of finding your identity but it can also come at a price. Both poems show the importance of finding identity and the importance of finding our true identity, in different ways but it made me think about what makes me, me. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This question asks the candidates to analyse the importance of identity in Imtiaz Dharker's 'This Room' and Derek Walcott's 'Love After Love'. The answer has every indicative quality of a B grade response, but it is cluttered down with poorly-expressed ...

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Response to the question

This question asks the candidates to analyse the importance of identity in Imtiaz Dharker's 'This Room' and Derek Walcott's 'Love After Love'. The answer has every indicative quality of a B grade response, but it is cluttered down with poorly-expressed analysis and is often repetitive in itself, which give the impression the candidate has run out of things to say. However, there is a pleasantly sufficient focus on the question at hand, with the response addressing many different components of the two poems and how they express the importance of identity.

Level of analysis

There is a balance of similarities and differences that the candidate has picked up on: an imperative requirement for questions asking candidates to compare pieces of literature, though it does feel as though only few are made clearly and are then repeated or interpolated throughout the majority of the rest of the essay, meaning a lot of focus is dedicated to the same points. This can constrict an essay and should be avoided in an exam because it means candidates will spend much time writing Evidence and Explanation for the same Points. However, where this candidates excels is that they have wisely chosen a selection of appropriate quotes from the base texts to illustrate their points. Unlike some candidates who, for the purpose of thinking it will gain extra marks, quote up to two or more lines from a stanza when trying to make a point, this candidate avoids this. They are very concise in the way they select quotes, only opting for small phrases like "Give bread." that are key to providing Evidence their Points.
What compromises this candidates higher marks are that they do not consider the religious connotations of the poems and how religion imposes itself as the entity from which the protagonist breaks away from. This kind of analysis is indicative of the ideal GCSE candidate and the contextual appreciation of poems and their authorial intentions are something that all candidates must comment on.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication here is acceptable of GCSE standard. The sentence variation is good but there is a limited use of punctuation, with the candidate sticking very safely to the basics of punctuation (full stops, commas, quotation marks, apostrophes). For higher marks, candidates should look to use a variety of punctuation to show their adeptness in using the English language. Also, correct capitalisation of words must be used at all times when referring to the names of the poems - "Love after love" and "This room" are not acceptable. Small things like these aren't going to lower candidates' grades dramatically, but to achieve the highest grades even these need to be tended to.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 16/02/2012

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