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AS and A Level: Comparative Essays
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- Marked by Teachers essays 4
Steinbeck differentiates George and Lennie from each other on their mental and physical appearance and strength, George a small man and his opposite Lennie a huge man. In their physical appearance George was visualized with defined body parts and with strong features while Lennie with a shapelss face. In terms of mental ability, Steinbeck said that Lennie has a mild mental disorder that made him the weakest character in the novel. While George, compared to Lennie, he is the boss, he decides on everything they will do and Lennie depends on what he say.
- Word count: 638
Compare the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about memory and time. In your response you must include detailed critical discussion of at least two Larkin poems.
Another theme of Larkin is his dissatisfaction when looking upon his memories and the way in which time has defeated him and this is evident in the repetition of 'unsatisfactory'. In comparison, Abse looks back upon his life growing up in Cardiff in 'Return to Cardiff' but he almost mocks his immaturity and his anticipation of what to expect, 'less a return than a raid', when he did look back on his childhood. Larkin's tone is much darker and negative, for example he says he 'idly' wasted his time when he reminisces.
- Word count: 566
Larkin often seems to criticise society. In the light of this statement, what connections have you found between the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about the society in which they live? In your response include at least two of Larkins
Abse is also very proud of the society from which he grew for example he is proud of being Welsh. Larkin labels and stereotypes the working class with a superior view in Nothing To Be Said, for example in the first stanza he describes the working class as 'small-statured cross-faced tribes', giving the impression that he views the working class as poorly developed, and a sense of savagery and it is possible to assume that Larkin viewed them as not very intelligent also.
- Word count: 847
How do poets celebrate life? Two poems that discuss moments or situations where life can be celebrated are Thomas Hardys Beeny Cliff and After reading in a letter proposals for building a cottage (Cottage) by John Clare.
The positive impact of nature is also evident in the first stanza of Beeny Cliff as he describes the "opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea". The sea being described with the appearance of precious and beautiful gemstones shows he is impressed by it, as well the alliteration and personification of "wandering western" which rolls off the tongue paints an affectionate picture of the ocean. There are many other positive natural references with John Clare describing his small enclosed garden, "flowers that blossom sweet" and the "sweeping swallows"; while Thomas Hardy mentions the "clear- sunned March day" and how the "sun bursts out again".
- Word count: 893
Compare how each poet writes about nature in "Spring" by Hopkins and "How the old Mountains drip" with Sunset by Dickinson.
Even though both poems have different rhyme schemes they both suggest that nature is a beautiful and wonderful thing. In How the old Mountains drip with Sunset and Spring Dickinson and Hopkins both use linear letters to evoke the significance and individuality of nature. Dickinson uses supernatural imagery, "By the Wizard Sun." Whereas Hopkins uses religious imagery, "Christ, lord." Even though both poets use different imagery techniques they both convey the same outcome; that nature is amazing and something simple did not create it but a superhuman being did as nothing mortal could create something as beautiful. Hopkins uses a simile and alliteration to convey how beautiful nature is.
- Word count: 923
However, as the poem progresses, the reader learns that the couple wanted wealth and the use of "we" by Duffy turns into the use of "I" and "he" showing that as they got richer and their lifestyle became more and more wealthier, Mrs Faust felt her marriage begin to decay and feels the gap between them widen. This shows that in the beginning she was happy with her marriage but when they both started wanting material possessions and Faust began chasing the dream, even though they had everything that a person could wish for, they stopped being happy, prompting the
- Word count: 955
Consider the writers thoughts and feelings about identity and the ways in which she expresses them, now compare this to those in A Streetcar Named Desire
A. Because it is two cities divided by a river." It almost sounds like a joke that a child would tell to its friend but Carter used the question and answer format because she wants the reader to enigmatically question the narrator. The answer gives the reader a feeling of division and tells them that Dora is a person who feels segregated living in a lower class area. Similarly, in 'A Streetcar Named Desire', Williams presents the character of Blanche as a woman who subverted her gender stereotype and is now rejected and looked down upon by society.
- Word count: 601
'Let me handle this,' I said to Oliver, I didn't want anything to get in the way of a good deal. 'Hey,' I replied. "Welcome to Delhi, we offer trips to Delhi, Red Fort, India Gate, Taj Mahal and more." I looked at him and he continued to speak. "What do you say, huh?" I looked over at Oliver; he had a very dazed look in his eyes, something that I've never seen on him. He seemed very uncomfortable, moving from left to right, right to left, yet had this amazing smile glued to his face, the two didn't seem to match very well.
- Word count: 968
Erdrich's characters endure great pain due to love, deceit, and liaison. This complex love story also incorporates symbols and a hidden mystery. Erdrich's heritage is mirrored throughout the characters' lifestyles. Raised in North Dakota, Erdrich used her hometown as a sanctuary for the Kashpaws. Although she was German, she was also part Ojibwa, helping her portray an authentic Native American family. Shifts in narration are key when writing a novel about monolithic families who share the same issues, and also it is a great addition to Erdrich's unique, complex style.
- Word count: 447
Sassoon shows his readers the tragic experience of the reality of war by structuring his poem in a way that it does not comprise of any particular scheme and any organisation - with the opening stanza of 13 lines, followed by the second stanza of 11 lines and then a last one with 15 lines. By not succumbing towards any form of poetic structure or the iambic pentameter in this poem, this perhaps suggests that Sassoon intends to convey a message about the chaotic and disarrayed mental state of the soldiers who questions their existence when war is only about fighting and dying.
- Word count: 789
However Harrison writes that "my mother was already two years dead". The adverb "already" conveys the passing of time and shows that even while the father was doing something nice for his dead wife; it is irrational to do it for "two years" and evokes a negative atmosphere because the father is emotionally stressed. Furthermore the father "put you off an hour to give him time to clear away her things". Harrison is conveying his disappointment in the father as the father is too wound up in grief. However Harrison says "I believe in life and death and that is all" which describes how there is no afterlife but this statement is quite emotionless which makes it sound quite false.
- Word count: 856
The human mind is compelled by madness and obsession. Through the poems 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' Browning explores these ideas. In the poem, 'Porphyria's Lover' the speaker's pathological jealousy and insecurity drives him to murder the vital, loving, passionate woman, Porphyria. It is important to note the meaning of 'porphyria' in medical terms as a disease with the symptoms of insanity. The disease is evident within the speaker's actions as he "strangled her". At the beginning, the narrator appears to be in control as the form of the poem is regular with a tight ababb rhyme pattern.
- Word count: 692
Some critics view Ednas suicide at the end of the novel as a failure to complete her escape from convention an inability to defy society. Others view her suicide as a final awakening a show of strength and independence that defie
I think that Edna's suicide was a final awakening, to show her strength and independence. She was a respectable women of the late 1800's who finally awoke to the understanding that her life hadn't been spent the way she had wished it to be, then finally acknowledges her sexual desires and also has the courage to act on them. Some people may not see what she's done as strength, because in ways she's representing selfishness by almost disregarding her "role" in the household, as a mother and as a wife.
- Word count: 805
The tone of the poem is very light, and cheerful. Almost all of the words used in this poem are words usually associated with things that make people happy, like clowns, food and holidays. Words like 'stars' and 'clownlike' give the poem a happy feel as clowns are associated with happiness and stars are bright and calming. You get the feeling that although this child hasn't been born yet, the mother already feels very proud and protective over them. It creates a very happy mood throughout, as there is not one negative thing mentioned, and no unpleasant imagery created.
- Word count: 686
The image is presented as a paradox and so can be taken as a representative of the poem. It also contains an element of the same truth as the line "Belinda smil'd, and all the World was gay." Pope writes of the importance of Belinda's beauty and likens her affect and influence to that of the sun. He explains that her she is as "bright as the sun" and that her indiscriminate gaze shines "on all alike". She is described as the centre of a wonderful solar system of "wits" and "belles", yet Belinda's period of brilliance, like the Sun's, is a strictly limited one, doomed to end.
- Word count: 903
He often mentions his wife and his family giving us a 'family man' persona i.e. emotional and caring. It allows us to see that they are highly important to him. The most sentimental part lies in his last moments where he says "first thought, conventionally enough was for my wife". Once again we pity him for the fear and pain he had to endure. The extract is from his autobiography. This means it is a very biased account. The things he says can not be backed up and things could be exaggerated and toned down especially for the reader but it doesn't seem too graphic to allow such exaggeration.
- Word count: 724
Explore the ways in which Isobel Dixon uses language and other poetic devices to present her ideas of freedom and restriction in Plenty
It is important to note how she linked these two contradicting words, she is indirectly admitting her guilt to the reader, and how her mother restricted her feelings, and remained calm, when there was always a "running riot" going on inside the house. Their bathtub was in an awful state, "age-stained and pocked..." which is parallel to the state of the family. The tub became a central symbol in the poem for the memory of her family. The bathtub is not only "age-stained" but it is also "pocked/ upon its griffin claws," the claws helps us picture the old bathtub,
- Word count: 867
The poet is so excited that he feels he can change scenes to suit himself, shown when the poet says 'as if i were the lucky prince in an enchanted wood', this builds up the positive mood because it shows that the poet is very enthusiastic, and so the reader feels that enthusiasm too. The poet is very conscious of himself in the first section shown when he said he was 'aware of the blood running down the delta of my wrist', and so this shows how excited he is.
Making reference to at least three poems, explore the relationship between man and nature that Wordsworth and Coleridge describe.
This is echoed in Tintern Abbey, the first four lines praising the "sweet inland murmur" of mountain springs while offering precise information - the poet has been absent for "five summers, with the length//Of five long winters!". The likening of summer to a long winter implies the poet has missed the closeness with Tintern Abbey, the real experience of the world around him is what contents him. Lines perhaps offers more of an explanation as to why the relationship between man and nature should be a close one; "One moment now may give us more//Than fifty years of reason".
- Word count: 931
the problem with the worlds wife is that having found one joke duffy retells it throughout the anthology
The poem creates a persona of Shakespeare widow and the best bed becomes the focus of the fourteen-line sonnet. In the opening two lines, Duffy uses a metaphor to express the magic of the bed in which Shakespeare made love to Hathaway "it is a spinning world of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff tops seas". By using these metaphors, she embraces his talent and, when describing the notion that Shakespeare would 'dive for pearls' suggests he is somewhat a sexual athlete and far from inadequate. From line five to ten Duffy uses imagery in a fascinating way that relates directly to the fact Shakespeare was a writer.
- Word count: 708
The use of first person narrative gives the poem a monological structure similar to other poems by Duffy such as The Devils Wife. Duffy uses various linguistic and literally features to create an emotional account of Medusas' thoughts and feelings, through doing so she suggests that she has become a victim of her own feelings and insecurities. The personal accounts within the poem help the reader to empathise with Medusa, she describes events in her life as 'terrifying' this build up of sympathy is totalled with the use of rhetorical questions at the end of the poem 'Wasn't I beautiful', 'Wasn't I fragrant and young?.
- Word count: 845
Billy and Happy are blaming themselves and I do sometimes, I sometimes do. We haven't done anything wrong, but then again I feel I have and maybe Biff and Happy could have done more to stop you from becoming so stressed. (Linda starts to sob quietly and then she places her hands in her lap. Linda sits on the kitchen chair for a moment and seems to look angry and uneasy. She walks towards the front door, looks out of the small window in the door and then walks back to the chair, where she sits down and starts to reminisce about certain actions in the past.)
- Word count: 754
Remind yourself of Rhapsody on a Windy Night and discuss Eliot(TM)s presentation of the city street in the poem.
He also uses imagery to show the reader the quality of the street, this helps the reader to understand how horrible this street really is and help them to feel the darker and more upsetting side of the street and then relate it to life towards the ending chapters. The basics of this poem is not only the journey home and the quality of life that the street in which he walks holds, but also about the idea that Laforgue had of images triggering of memories.
- Word count: 938
Choose two poems in the Edexcel anthology and show how successfully the poets have expressed a response to the society in which they live in.
'Mind-forg'd manacles I hear' The strong use of imagery illustrates how society metaphorically have chained people in following what they want and doing what they want, diminishing the purpose of the 'democratic' society in which we are supposed to be living in. The fact that people are chained down emphasises how there is little freedom and society have to follow what governments say to be accepted. Blake indicates that governments are responsible for the oppression in society. "soldiers sigh runs in blood down palace walls."
- Word count: 807
The octave (first eight lines) focuses on the external environment, which is unpleasant and dangerous. It's filled with 'trash', 'old mattresses', and 'bric-a-brac' which 'spill out some ash', also, the building has 'no windows left to smash'. The 'black block' is 'condemned to stand' (a paradox) suggesting the building is unsuitable for habitation - it should perhaps be demolished, but instead must remain (a worse fate). This might further suggest that the building has been forgotten about to the extent that it's not worthy of the resources required to demolish it, and that its inhabitants have been abandoned and left to suffer along with the building.
- Word count: 904