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AS and A Level: Other Criticism & Comparison

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 11
  • Peer Reviewed essays 1
  1. Threat is evidently portrayed in both The Handmaids Tale and Frankenstein, although in different forms.

    An immediate reflection of Mary Shelley’s thoughts after losing her mother (ten days after she was born) and the premature birth of her first-born. Furthermore, Elizabeth is killed by the Monster Victor had created and could have been avoided by Victor, who instead ignored the Monster. Justine, a servant of the household, is falsely convicted of William’s death and killed, Victor knew the real killer but did not do much to help her. Victor’s inability to take responsibility of his creation that he had “let loose upon the world”, ultimately leads to the deaths of his loved ones starting with his innocent little brother.

    • Word count: 1337
  2. Explore Williamss presentation of illusion and reality in A Streetcar Named Desire

    The light is therefore used to expose Blanche’s most intimate fears. Blanche fears losing her beauty and sexuality, which connotes her loss of power, as her sexuality is her only weapon against men, who she despises on the basis of her previous sexual contact and “epic fornifications” of her ancestors. Blanche admits this ageing, saying, “I’m fading now”. The interruptive punctuation of the dashes and ellipsis preceding this admission highlights how “awf’ly scared” Blanche is and her inability to confront the reality of her ageing appearance.

    • Word count: 1920
  3. Explain how the writers explore the idea of a relationship to a place in the short stories The People Before (by Maurice Shadbolt) and Billennium (by J.G. Ballard).

    An integral aspect of the father?s relationship with the land is his desire to assert dominance over it; his immense occupation with complete physical ownership of the land highlights his inability to form a deeper connection with it. The hyperbolic statement ?...history only began the day he first set foot on the land? reveals the father?s disregard for the land?s cultural and historical background; to him the land?s significance and value is only validated through his ownership of it. Furthermore, we are told that ?He?d hardly have said he loved the land....love [was] an extravagance?.

    • Word count: 1283
  4. Compare the ways in which The Colour Purple and What Maisie Knew portray inequality. In your answer, you must consider relevant contextual factors. (30 marks)

    Walker therefore portrays the dilemma of the patriarchal society in which the novel is set, whereby women had no voice and no control over their lives. However, in ?What Maisie Knew?, although males are presented as dominant over women, particularly in their access to greater opportunities, it seems that women have some power over he men. This can be seen through the relationship of Mr Beale and Miss Overmore whereupon despite Beale?s belief that ?the child should be put at school?, Miss Overmore can persuade him otherwise through her rhetorical question ?What am I supposed to be at all, don?t

    • Word count: 2108
  5. Barriers to love - Pre-1900 poetry and Atonement Comparison

    Post plague, Shakespeare may be giving hope to those who wanted to hold onto tradition and religion, as the Renaissance marked a time of new ideas and a movement away from the typical ideas around love, which could be much alike McEwan in the sense that Robbie and Cecilia?s love was not broken through the war times. In Sonnet 116, love can overcome all; initially, Shakespeare strengthens the idea of love by naming the poem after the form it takes: a sonnet.

    • Word count: 1072
  6. Compare the ways the writers of your texts create a sense of fear in their works (Dorian Gray and Beloved)

    repetition of the word ?sick? allows Morrison to emphasise the idea of Beloved being ?sick? and thus she should be weak too. Morrison allows it to become an important point to focus upon, so that the reader is able to see the juxtaposition in Beloved being ?sick? and weak, but still being capable of lifting ?a rocker with one arm.? This shows Beloved to be somewhat supernatural and these themes being created could spark a great sense of fear for the reader with regard to the wellbeing of the other characters, since they are living with Beloved, who may not necessarily be human at all.

    • Word count: 1767
  7. How is forbidden love conveyed in both Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet and Malorie Blackmans Noughts and Crosses?

    She shows here that she wishes not to live without Romeo and without their love. The idea of Juliet lacking control over her future was a key concern in the Elizabethan era in which the play was written. This is down to the fact that young women like Juliet would have had decisions on big life choices often taken out of their hands. Fathers (or the head of the family) would often have the final say over who the daughter marries.

    • Word count: 2916
  8. Compare and contrast the ways Margret Atwood and William Blake present the power of authority over the most vulnerable in society in 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Songs of Innocence and Experience'

    The freedom of women is often presented through Moira, who is a lesbian: ?she?d decided to prefer women?, and a feminist. The lexical choice of ?decided? suggests Moira had complete control over her lifestyle choices; implying she had ?chosen? her sexuality in order to oppose patriarchal control and to not be subject to the vulnerability and oppression that men impose upon her. She also criticises Offred for having her ?head in the sand? because she is not particularly interested in feminist concepts; whereas Moira shares the characteristics of a radical feminist.

    • Word count: 2627
  9. The dehumanisation of a specific and manufactured social community is the most appealing characteristic of Dystopian Literature. To what extent do The Handmaids Tale and Brave New World support or refute this view?

    Bernard?s mere incapability to completely verbalise the word, strips the term ?mother? of its nurturing semantics and the reader is left with a meaningless nasal consonant. It is interesting that initially, Bernard is the reader?s point of reference, as he is an outsider from the moral turmoil. Here, however, they can no longer relate to his normalcy, as Bernard displays an otherness that the reader finds horrifying, yet compulsive. The employment of Malthusian belts and pregnancy substitutes warrants the need for another method of birth ? ?decanting? ? Huxley?s mechanised and impersonal way to engender humans in artificial wombs, making them a monotonous, scientific advance.

    • Word count: 2299

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Focusing On a Clockwork Orange and Frankenstein compare some of the ways authors explore the idea of what it means to be an outcast.

    "In conclusion, the authors of both A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - and Frankenstein - Mary Shelley have don e well in concealing the ideas of an outcast in their novels, using the actions of the characters and knowledge of systematic psychological and sociological emotions the ideas of an outcast in the novels were unveiled."

  • Compare and contrast the presentation of the past in The Handmaid's Tale and 1984

    "In conclusion the past in both 1984 and HMT are represented through dreams and flashbacks for both the main characters. This representation is seen constantly throughout the novel and we are reminded that the past holds memories, however minor, for both characters. Both Winston and Offred have lost the past and seem unable to get it back, even though they long for it."

  • Compare and Contrast the presentation on Edmund and Edgar in Sheakespeare's King Lear

    "In conclusion, Shakespeare primarily focuses on creating contrasts between Edgar and Edmund opposed to similarities between the two characters. However one striking similarity does arise. Shakespeare chose to names the brothers Edgar and Edmund; the names are very alike, which is unexpected when their characters differ so greatly. This may be Shakespeare's way of explaining how difficult it is to distinguish between good and evil. The most important contrast he presents is how the two characters represent good or evil. In performance, the colours each of the characters wear reveal the distinct contrast between Edmund and Edgar. This is specifically shown in the battle between the two brothers at the end of the play. Edgar wears white to suggest innocence and goodness and Edmund wears dark colours, which represent evil and sin. The colours symbolise their mental attitudes and personalities. Edmund is presented as a cold malevolent character while Edmund is shown as a trustworthy and loyal who is devastated by losing his family and livelihood. However, it is Edgar who represents morality and is one of the few characters who survives the play, in consequence, presenting the legendary moral that good will always defeat evil. Approx"

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