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Short story - I Survived the Titanic

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

I Survived the Titanic Have you ever wished that you could just leave everything and live the luxurious life? This is the story of my would-be life; the future life which came to an abrupt halt by a cataclysmic crash. The life which I wanted so badly; thrown to ash in the blink of an eye... It was 10 April 1912, 2.30pm and I just managed to ease my way onto the harbour, through a stampede of people. I felt a rush of adrenaline flow through my heart as I boarded the exquisite ship. Hundreds were waving goodbye to their loved ones and cheering from the glossy white railings of the first, second, and third deck; it was funny how no one on board would be able to fathom what providence had in store for us... ...read more.

Middle

Then it happened; my unsophisticated mind was telling me that a leviathan was pulling the ship to the uncanny habitats of the depths of the ocean; however, through terrified eyes I knew reality was beyond that far-fetched notion. The crash swept people off their very feet. Now people were becoming extremely frantic. Crewmen were shouting orders, but all I could here was the faint sound of my heartbeat. What followed was beyond the description of words; only through the reality if the experience could one grasp the true terror of the situation. The ship had let out a tremendous bellow, like a mythical dragon and was gradually sinking into the black abyss of the deep ocean. ...read more.

Conclusion

Slowly, my eyes began to see light. 'Heaven', I was thinking to myself. But, I heard voices; that when I was conscious of the mundane reality of everyday life: I had survived. I was in a hospital and the miraculous story of my survival was told to me by a nurse: a small ship had been sailing the same waters as that of the Titanic, when suddenly a tremendous crash was heard; the sailor of that small ship immediately changed course to the source of the sound. By the time the ship had reached the Titanic, the remnants of a crash were manifest. There were a few survivors; luckily, the ship pulled an unconscious me onboard. I was awestruck at what the nurse was telling me. Now that you know my story I'm sure you'd believe truly believe that miracles do exist. Wouldn't you? ?? ?? ?? ?? TITANIC COURSEWORK ...read more.

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Response to the question

This answer tackles a Task to Describe, and the candidate is describing the experience of being on the Titanic and surviving it's tragic sinking in 1912. There is a fair level of description consistent through the essay response, though there ...

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Response to the question

This answer tackles a Task to Describe, and the candidate is describing the experience of being on the Titanic and surviving it's tragic sinking in 1912. There is a fair level of description consistent through the essay response, though there are some very obvious inconsistencies which detract from the experience of reading it. The candidate shows a good level of understanding of how to write descriptively, and their first person narrative of the event is aptly suited to the genre. However, I would like to have seen more of a character developed here, as it can be hard to empathise with detached thoughts that are stacked one after the other and no personality to tie them to.

Level of analysis

The Level of Description is fair. I say fair because there are moments during the answer where the candidates awareness of the genre conventions required here have slipped past them slightly, and they end up contradicting themselves, often quite obviously e.g. - they speak of "my unsophisticated mind", yet use terminology like "leviathan" in the same sentence, and this is where, I believe, the inclusion of a definite character whose traits and personality can inform the thought processes and responses to a sinking ship.
A lot of the time, and especially with lower ability candidates, the adjectives and adverbs used are simply stacked on top of each other, overcrowding a single noun and the fluidity of the story is lost: "I felt a rush of adrenaline flow through my heart as I boarded the exquisite ship" - this could be shortened to "I felt a rush of adrenaline as I boarded". Doing the latter would make the sentence more snappy and less 'crowded', meaning there is room for the remaining words - powerful in their own right - to breathe, and stop forcing the reader to think in such a regimented way under the influence of so many conflicting literary devices.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fine although, as stated earlier, there is a need to 'trim the fat' of this answer, dropping the unnecessary complications like "through terrified eyes I knew reality was beyond that far-fetched notion". This really should be something far shorter and sharper, as it is an expression of deepest fear; the narrator is about to die on the biggest ship in the world, so they might say something like "Reality was beyond this". Very simple, very blunt and very to-the-point, as one often is when "terrified".


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 29/03/2012

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