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International Baccalaureate: World Literature

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  1. Isabel Allendes novel City of the Beast and Anna Akhmatovas poems I Am Not One of Those Who Left the Land and Why Is This Age Worse..? feature various literary techniques that illustrate their views about political and/or social oppression

    He warns, "Worse will be the Indians. They are brutal warriors, cruel and treacherous" (p54). Preferring to be led by science and reality, Leblanc does not value the spiritual nature of the Indians and regards western civilisation as superior. Ironically, he later acknowledges the value of this complex civilization and having changed his attitude towards the Indians, wants to protect them from harm and western oppression. In this way Allende uses irony to communicate her views towards the vulnerability of the Indian civilisation at the hands of the west. Similarly, Akhmatova uses irony in her poems to express the people's reaction to the horrors of Stalin's oppressive political regime.

    • Word count: 1147
  2. Commentary on a passage taken from Laurence Fearnleys "Edwin and Mathilda"

    Despite all these suggestions that Edwin is undergoing complete internal conflict, the narrator reveals that " he had barely spoken since returning from Francesca's house". Moreover, this sets the idea that there is a contrast between his thoughts and actions, which is a main form of deception throughout the text. Additionally, Frances is " watching him like a hawk", a simile that could indicate that she is watching him with such scrutiny in order to determine how well he is coping with the realization that his mother is alive, possibly since he is not letting her on to his emotions.

    • Word count: 1487
  3. Commentary on a passage taken from "The Blindfolded Horse"

    The excerpt's title, "The Blindfold Horse", creates the first impressions towards the excerpt since it is the first thing to be seen. The title forms a dark impression on the reader's mind and might foreshadow a dark place or setting since a blindfold horse can't see anything but blackness. Furthermore, the excerpt begins with visual imagery that is gloomy and unpleasant in order to convey the setting and in order to create a dark and melancholic tone. For instance, the narrator uses words such as "muddy" and "dirty" in order to create an image of impurity and darkness.

    • Word count: 1815
  4. Interior Monologue of Captain Torres from "Just Lather, That's All"

    I finally arrived to the Barbershop. In front of me stands the barber. When I first see him, I think that there is nothing wrong with him, but when he pulls his razor knife, and starts sharpening it, my emotions suddenly changed; my legs started to shiver a little. I tried to conceal my emotions by relaxing, and hoping that he would not find out.

    • Word count: 479
  5. Free essay

    Commentary on The Lady Of the House of Love by Angela Carter

    Seemingly, it seems that woman cannot completely break out of constraints but merely be relocated completely into another. Sexuality is an important aspect encased within the boundary of the patriarchal society. A classic symbol for female genitalia is the rose, and rose bushes surround the castle. The Officer's reaction to these roses and their scent is almost one of repulsion: "A great, intoxicated surge of the heavy scent of red roses blew into his face as soon as they left the village, inducing a sensuous vertigo; a blast of rich, faintly corrupt sweetness strong enough almost, to fell him.

    • Word count: 1911
  6. Popeye Commentary. This extract is a short passage from the book Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones, this passage centres around Mr Pop Eye and the world around him in which he lives in. He is contrasted with his wife

    the narrator explains that the reasoning behind the name Pop Eye is because of "His large eyes in his large head stuck out further than anyone else's - like they wanted to leave the surface of his head." This mocking of the protagonist by the narrator shows that they do not care about the feelings of the protagonist. The use of the nickname could also be because it allows the islanders to refer to him without having to use his real name which they probably do not know.

    • Word count: 934
  7. Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes has the central theme of life being a struggle for every generation.

    The mother in the poem says that the staircase is not a crystal staircase, but instead it is a rough, bare, wooden one that she has to climb all the time despite it having sharp things that hurt her feet like tacks and splinters and no carpet. The stairs in the poem are figurative, symbolizing the journey of life. The stairs are used by the poet as an extended metaphor to show that life is a weary climb for every generation.

    • Word count: 538
  8. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, there are evident mythic elements of the Faust legend, retold by Goethe in the early 19th century.

    In "The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 2 is very important because it illustrates the key scene of Dorian's pact with the devil. Under Lord Henry's influence, Dorian becomes self conscious of his own beauty and discovers the sense of vanity. He starts to wish an exchange of his signs of age with the portrait, so that he will stay forever young and the portrait grow older. His self consciousness and the wish it leads to will spoil his soul by pushing him unconsciously into the error of an unforgivable sin : despair.

    • Word count: 896
  9. Purple Hibiscus- post-colonial legacy

    "Most people did not kneel to receive communion...but Papa did". Another thing we notice comes with the description of their compound with its "walls, topped with coiled electric wires", this gives the reader a brief glimpse to the instability of Nigeria in this post-colonial climate. Those two aspects can be tied together with a third one: Aunty Ifeoma states that Papa/Eugene is a "colonial product" which brings into the novel the awareness that this story is set in a post-colonial time.

    • Word count: 589
  10. The Kite Runner- Baba and Amirs relationship evolution

    In America, Amir is making Baba proud of him. He is about to graduate from high school and go to college. Approximately three years after Baba and Amir moved to the States, Amir fells in love with a young woman, Soraya, who is General Taheri's daughter. He asks Baba if he will go to General Taheri to ask Soraya's hand in marriage for Amir. Baba goes with pleasure the next day.

    • Word count: 529
  11. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas . Tom Wolfe called Hunter Thompson the great comedic writer of the 20th Century

    Like Ginsburg, Thompson's style was unique and his characters seemed to come from another world. The imagination and creativity that Thompson possessed is truly something to behold. From the very first line in the Norton Anthology the reader is introduced to a world being described as "The Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday if the Nazi's had won the war. This is the Sixth Reich" (E 2492). Immediately wondering what in the world is going on, the reader is transferred to an existence that is real but part imaginary as well.

    • Word count: 710
  12. In The Awakening and To Build a Fire the main characters, Edna and the Yukon Man, both meet their demise by courtesy of nature.

    The Yukon Man is a working class explorer whose life we don't really know that much about. He is singular in his focus to get to a campsite where his fellow travelers are. In death both Edna and Yukon Man lose more than they gain. The context in which Edna kills herself is essential in understanding the aftermath of her death. When Edna first appears in "The Awakening" she's an unhappily married wife and mother vacationing in the Gulf coast with her family. It is on this vacation where Edna begins to awaken and become disillusioned and unsatisfied by the life she is leading. She is trapped in a marriage with an absent husband.

    • Word count: 582
  13. English Oral Commentary- Frankenstein. In this passage in chapter 20, Shelley highlights the hatred Victor Frankenstein has for the monster and vice versa.

    His plea for victor to save the second creation can be interpreted as the monster's last warning to victor. The monster makes it very clear to Victor that if he does not keep his promise, he would terrorize Victor. However, Victor does not fall into the pressure of the monster, indicating his immense hatred he has towards his creations. He is willing to risk his life before creating another monster of equal "deformity" and "wickedness" for purposes of helping the monster. After the monster's demand was declined by Victor, the tone of the monster changed. He calls Victor a "slave," due to his enraged state of mind.

    • Word count: 1037
  14. Characters and Stage Directions in "The Importance of Being Earnest"

    This tells the audience that Cecily is quite artificial because she wants to fall in love because of a name and not because of attraction to a man. Even the more minor characters show this superficiality. For example, Lady Bracknell tells Jack Worthing that he should go find some relatives before he can be considered for marriage with her daughter, Gwendolen. Wilde takes a lot of care to clearly show the superficiality, only in the upper class, aristocratic characters of this play.

    • Word count: 1788
  15. Irony of madness and wisdom in King Lear

    Northrop Frye a critic of Shakespeare explains that this privilege is given to the fool, "because in our world nothing is funnier than a sudden outspoken declaration of the truth." Even today, in the modern world, many people will embrace criticism when the tone is comedic and appealing, rather than obnoxious and disrespectful. In fact, the fool possessed timing and wisdom of his words that characters such as Kent lacked. Through his comedy, the fool is able to discuss serious subjects without the King becoming defensive.

    • Word count: 1509
  16. Wind Up Bird Chronicle: a mark is a line, figure, or symbol made as an indication or record of something. In the novel, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, the vibrant mark on Torus face is no different.

    This feeling of acceptance is due to Toru's belief in fate. When Toru is at the salon, getting the haircut Nutmeg paid for, he is quoted saying: "And on my face shone this bright blue mark. It didn't seem ugly or unclean to me. It was simply part of me, something I would have to accept."(Marakami, 381) This theme of fate also makes an appearance in one of the stories involving the veterinarian with the same blue mark. In the Veterinarians own words, "I, as an individual, am living under the control of some outside force."

    • Word count: 580
  17. Free essay

    It has been said that literature consists of victors and victims. Discuss how the idea of victors and victims has been presented in Chronicle of a Death foretold"

    However, it would eventually come to the fact that this act would've propelled the actions that would lead to his death. Santiago Nasar was a victor in the seduction of women; he had gained his traits from his father Ibrahim. Santiago desires the daughter of his family's cook (Divina Flor) whose mother (Victoria Guzman) had been seduced by Ibrahim. Unable to accomplish this task due to the overprotective nature of Victoria, Santiago has maintained a reputation for being a ladies man who has a special talent in women.

    • Word count: 1301
  18. In James Hursts short story The Scarlet Ibis, the author conveys his theme how pride can both nurture life and destroy it.

    At first, Ralph did not care about Piggy that much until the middle of the book. At the end of the book, Ralph sticks up for Piggy and Jack kills Piggy and almost kills Ralph. Symbolism is also important because you need to recognize what items and characters symbolize and represent in the real world. For example, in Animal Farm, Boxer represents all the working class people in the United States.

    • Word count: 550
  19. Through Oedipus the King, (430 B.C) by using foreshadowing, Sophocles successfully hints at the prophecys coming true as well

    For instance, when Tiresias finally reveals to Oedipus, "You are the curse, the corruption of the land!" (Sophocles 401) after being forced by the king to tell who the person killing Laius is. Moreover, it is vital the scene when he angrily tells Oedipus, "That day you learn the truth about your marriage, the wedding-march that sang you into halls, the lusty voyage home to the fatal harbor!" (482-484), and also "This day will bring your birth and your destruction" (499).

    • Word count: 964
  20. The review of the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

    The film tells the story about a proofreader of "Pierce publishing company" whose name is Walter Mitty. He is from Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Mitty lives with bossy mother who gives orders to Walter and wants him to marry beautiful but capricious Gertrude Griswold. Walter is a meek, kind and modest man who would not say boo to a goose, but he dreams about adventures. At one moment Mitty imagine himself as a captain of a ship, which has got into storm, at another he thinks that he is a surgeon of genius who saves the life of dying man and fixes the broken anesthetizer.

    • Word count: 1511
  21. The characters and narrative method of the short story "The bottom line and the sharp end" by Fay Weldon

    For the first time we met Avril when she came to the salon of her old friend Helen. From its beginning we learnt that she was a rich and fashionable woman once "30 years before Avril had worn expensive, daring [?3]green shoes with satin bows[?4], all better to flirt in.." But now "..Avril was scraggy haggard[?5] and pitifully brave.. her shoes, with their scuffed high heels, were still green, but somehow vulgar[?6] and pitiable, and the legs above them were knotted with veins" this is the first description of her appearance from which we can say that this woman was brave and had desire for life.

    • Word count: 2018
  22. The message of the short story The Bottom Line and the Sharp End by Fay Weldone

    and it also used metaphorically to describe difficult and pioneering experience". I agree with this statement because our life is like a large unknown ocean that contains many hard obstacles and challenges. People are pushed through unexplored water without any help and supporting, and if a person overcomes the difficulties, he or she wins the battle with surrounding world and perceives the purport of life. Then a person may be considered as a happy and fully-fledged individual. The title of the story - "The Bottom Line and the Sharp End" - is a reflection of Avril's life.

    • Word count: 1263
  23. A Doll's House Reflective Statement

    During the 19th century in Norway, the life of a woman was quite simple, mostly because of their lack of freedoms. Women had no legal independence and therefore had to rely on the men in their lives a great deal.

    • Word count: 404
  24. Othello's Character Flaws Essay

    The three most dominant weaknesses in his character that causes this downfall are his misplaced trust, his jealousy and anger, and his lack of critical thinking when his emotions are involved. The first of Othello's character flaws that led to his downfall is his misplaced trust -especially in Iago. "Honest Iago;" (I.iii.294) as he is referred to by many of the characters in the play, especially Othello, is a master of manipulation. After Iago convinces Othello of Desdemona's infidelity, Othello says that he is "bound to [Iago] for ever," (III.iii.214)

    • Word count: 1171
  25. Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare constructs the characters of Don John and Claudio as characters with motives that are neither evil nor good, but only as a means to attain the aim.

    Shakespeare utilises diction to establish Claudio and Don John as characters that have underlying motives for their actions, thus proving their actions as neither of good nor bad intention, just a means to obtain what they want. Shakespeare first uses diction to position the audience to recognise that Claudio is a character whose intentions at first glance may seem to be noble, but have darker underlying intentions as well. This is most evident when Claudio and Don Pedro are first discussing the topic of Hero and Claudio's feelings towards her.

    • Word count: 1637

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