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AS and A Level: Comparative Essays

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 4
  1. "English poets are being forced to explore not just the matter of England, but what is the matter with England" (Seamus Heaney) - Discuss.

    of national decline, as depicted in 'Sunny Prestatyn' - a poem in which an image of beauty, albeit artificial and material, is violently destroyed because it is "too good for this life". Yet paradoxically there is an awareness that this is the only country we possess, and is therefore precious. The Whitsun Weddings faithfully presents England as it exists, so that the reader, who is imaginatively engaged with Larkin's poetry, is able to see with clarity England's flaws and occasional virtues.

    • Word count: 3208

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?
  • Discuss how Marvell in "to his coy mistress" and Shakespeare in "sonnet 60" use the concept of time in these poems and to what purpose.

    "In conclusion, these two poems use time and its effects in very much the same way; they both talk about time's inevitability and its effects on beauty and life but they present very different solutions to this problem. It is not a coincidence that both poems have time as a theme because they were written during the 17th century, a time when people were very aware of the increasing proximity of death and the rapid passing of time."

  • Compare and contrast 'MCMXIV' by Philip Larkin and 'Six Young Men' by Ted Hughes.

    "In conclusion, I would say that I prefer Philip Larkin's poem "MCMXIV" to Ted Hughes's "Six Young Men". Ted Hughes' poem felt very repetitive sometimes. I thought he was saying the same thing over and over again at the end of every stanza without making his message deeper or more interesting. The violence is also too graphic and doesn't really move me. Larkin's view of the war is more subtle but he still gives us an insight to the war and his version of life is more realistic. "Leaving the gardens tidy" is a very sad little personal detail because it seems so pointless and innocent and I think it rings more true than Hughes's general descriptions of corpses and grenades."

  • Compare the poems 'Upon his Leaving his Mistress' by John Wilmot and '[I am very bothered when I think]' by Simon Armitage.

    "In conclusion both Wilmot and Armitage in the poems discussed employ several formal features. These include repetition, sound patterning, different rhyme forms, stress on certain syllables to create particular metres and alliteration. Formal features are devised to provide meaning, acoustic effects and aesthetic effects to the poems. Name: Jason Tyler Student No.: 05043156 Module: U67010 Approaching Poetry (Assignment 2)"

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