My room 101

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                                                                My Room 101                                 Denise Taylor    23.10.09


Trapped upstairs in an empty room with just a single locked door as your roommate; a fire is approaching from downstairs.  Knowing that every possible route of freedom has been exhausted; Fingernails broken and shattered and fingertips shredded and bleeding from clawing at the thick impenetrable wood of the door, toes throbbing with pain from kicking, throat burning red raw from screaming for help.  The only glimmer of hope rests in the hands of a stranger, a stranger that may see the flames and smoke billowing from a window as they pass the house in the isolated and empty road.

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The fire is now coming up the stairs like an Olympic athlete and the end feels inevitable. You will see the first fingers of the choking fumes start to creep under the door, reminiscent of the evil spirits you see in children’s films, slithering and sliding through the narrow crack, searching out the waiting victim before stretching up to full height and power. The fumes are like a scout sent by the flames, preparing and clearing the path for the mighty fire.

Crouching low in the farthest corner making the target appear as small as possible, legs using every ounce ...

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The Quality of Written Communication is fine. There are moments where the syntax becomes clunky due to an overload of adjectives in one sentence, so perhaps a little too much emphasis on description can cause a loss of cohesion, but this is no big issues; none of the words used are used erroneously, and this shows examiners that the candidate possesses a very wide knowledge of a range of challenging vocabulary.

The Level of Description is very good, and there is a constant image in the readers heads about the gradual approaching of the fire. There is an excellent use of personification to describe the fire as an advancing enemy army and this works well because the malicious intent of a swarm of soldiers makes a good comparison to the menacing flames. The use of metaphors and similes also paint a vivid picture in the readers' minds. What I like best about this answer is the lack of personalisation. The answer is not written in First or Third Person narrative. Instead, where it addresses anyone, it addresses the readers themselves and directly puts them in the position of the fire and the locked room at the top of the house. This kind of descriptive tactic is extremely effective and putting the reader at considerable emotional unease when reading the story, and works wonders for the candidate's mark.

This is a Writing to Describe task, and is based on George Orwell's creation "Room 101" from his novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. The candidate displays a good description of what their idea of Room 101 would be using a number of literary devices and there is a good image of the terror that consumes it's victim consistent throughout the piece. I particularly like the reference that the fire is like an army or soldier that is evident, and this kind of consistent personification is what examiners love to see as it shows that their has been care not to simply throw in any old adjective or adverb and construct a coherent description of someone's biggest fear approaching them.