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International Baccalaureate: World Literature

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 10
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  1. Peer reviewed

    Death of a Salesman. Many symbols are included in the play. The tennis racquet, the seeds and the house are some of these symbols.

    3 star(s)

    The tennis racquet, the seeds and the house are some of these symbols. The tennis racquet which w***y observes is an obvious representation of Bernard's success and Biff's failure. Biff and Happy, who hope to make a fortune out of selling sports equipment, are revolving their lives around sport. Ironically, Bernard, who stood on the sidelines in high school while Biff played sports, now owns the tennis racquet. After spending a lifetime pursuing the unsuccessful American dream, w***y realises he has never left behind any accomplishments for his children in his name. The seeds represent the legacy that w***y will never leave with his family.

    • Word count: 629
  2. Free essay

    Medea Reflection. When I first read the play Medea, I did not have any sort of sympathy for Medea herself.

    When read without any historical context in mind, it seems as if they will be a good couple, love at first sight; analyses like these come into mind. But after reviewing the historical context, we need to remember that men had not respect for women in ancient Greece times, they regarded them as worthless. While learning this information, I had an epiphany that I should have realized the bad circumstances that are about to fall upon Medea from the first couple of lines.

    • Word count: 467
  3. Maiden Voyage Commentary. The extract from Maiden Voyage by Denton Walsh is about his time as a young boy that was spent in China.

    The grass in the area was described as "tall rank grass grew in the shadow of a wall. It was dry and sharp as knives." This shows the unwelcoming nature of the area, the phrase "dry and sharp as knives" further pushes the issue that the area is dangerous and unsafe for people that are intending to explore the area. This serves as a warning of the hostile environment that he would face if he was to continue through the grass and continue exploring the area like he originally intended to.

    • Word count: 742
  4. Beloved and the Plague. This essay attempt to use two different books about vaguely similar topics; The Plague and Beloved to explore why chronological order is the best method of conveying a story or an idea.

    This makes the story significantly harder to comprehend than 'The Plague' and requires the reader to read the book multiple times before the book can be fully understood in depth. Overall, I prefer the presentation method of 'The Plague' as the message that the author is trying to present is a lot easier to understand because of the method of presentation. Beloved does not follow chronological order; this makes the story significantly harder to understand. The use of flashbacks and multiple timelines that are running in between each other makes the book a lot more complex and harder to understand than if the book was to be presented in the chronological order.

    • Word count: 997
  5. Robert Cormiers engrossing thriller We All Fall Down is one that effectively draws the reader into the world of the novel.

    This "brutal" opening scene is effective in immersing the reader into the world of mystery through the inclusion of a red herring. The responder is left to wonder 'who is the avenger?', 'will Karen survive?' and 'was the trashing a random act of violence?' Cormier also draws the reader into the violent world of the novel through the character of the Avenger, who murdered Vaughn Masterson and his Grandfather. The responder further is engaged into the world of the novel through Cormier's description of Burnside.

    • Word count: 978
  6. In comparison to Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare also uses foreshadowing and dramatic irony, to present conflict within Much Ado about Nothing.

    These verbal insults are used as not only does it spur the conflict between 'Beatrice' and 'Benedict' but also allow the audience to become aware that both protagonists are smarting from what has happened before the play begins. Similar to Romeo and Juliet; were Shakespeare immediately heightens the sense of conflict (in the prologue) by the use of dramatic irony, this is presented in Act 1 scene 1 of Much ado about nothing: "Kind of merry war betwixt signoir benedick and her" From this quote (by leonato)

    • Word count: 666
  7. The novel Mississippi Trial 1955, by Chris Crowe is based on a true story of r****m and terror. A fourteen years old black young men is brutally murdered by three white men.

    In the first contact between Portugal and Africa, in the fifteenth century, they did not have any racial fights. The n*****s and other people from Africa made a business deal with the Europeans that Frazillio 2 included the slave trade that in that era was a good way to grow the number of workers in one society, and not a r****t thing. However, when the Europeans in the nineteenth century began to colonize the Black continent and the Americas, they found justification for imposing the colonized peoples with their laws and ways of living. One of those reasons is the bad idea that Blacks and Indians were inferior races and began to apply a racial discrimination in the colonies to make sure certain rights to Europeans have kept.

    • Word count: 996
  8. There are three main types of irony, those being, situational, dramatic and verbal. Those all can be found in the story The Gift of the Magi.

    I will give examples of how situational, dramatic and verbal irony was placed into the story. The first type of irony is situational irony, this is when something is expected to happen but in the end it is the opposite. A situation this is found is in the last few paragraphs when it is shown that their new gifts bought for each other can no longer be used. Della cut her hair to buy Jim a chain for his watch, while he bought her combs for the hair she no longer has. While she knows they both love her hair she cuts it off to give him a great gift, but at the same time he is selling another prize possession to buy combs.

    • Word count: 615
  9. Relating literature to real life -Everyday Use by Alice Walker and American Dream by Judith Ortiz Cofer and the homecoming of a fallen soldier.

    At the blink of an eye life can take a turn for the worst and ruin everything a person has worked towards. Everyday individuals lose their lives overseas fighting for our freedom. Most people don't understand what those men and women go through everyday just to keep this country safe. Many individuals come home with hearing problems and more importantly a life time of taking medication to prevent reoccurring nightmares of being on the so called " battle field."

    • Word count: 685
  10. Physically and Mentally Crossing Boundaries in "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin.

    When Edna swims in the ocean she experiences self discovery and an unknown awareness. This moment is also ironic since all the people in the beach are applauding this achievement, when in reality it is a symbol of defiance against society. In this moment Edna crosses the limitations that society has created in her mind and she does not "drown" doing so. This shows that Edna not drowning is being able to stand up for herself as an independent women without her husband, friends or children. The fact that she wants to swim very far where no one has swam before, is significant because this is a foreshadowing that Edna will go further away from societies norms "than anyone has before".

    • Word count: 749
  11. Magical Realism. In the novel "Dreaming in Cuban" by Cristina Garcia, this method is used to incorporate the essence of Cuban culture into the novel as magical realism originated from Cuba

    The reader might also interpret certain characters as delirious and illogical. The events would also be interpreted in a different way, as the writing takes a slightly fantastical twist but stays in the realm of the realistic. It also conflicts the reader to draw his own conclusions on events, since it is never fully explained. The impact of the text also includes rich, sensory details, extensive symbolism and emotions. Another important characteristic to be considered is the distortion of time so that it is cyclical and appears absent and the "collapse" of time in which the setting resembles or represents the past.

    • Word count: 742
  12. The Waiting Years: a deconstruction of the angel in the house. In The Waiting Years, Enchi employs and deconstructs this ideal image of the perfect woman, through the consciousness and actions of Suga, Tomo and Miya. and its relevance in society

    Through the objectifying and domesticating processes of the Angel in the House model, Suga was never given the opportunity to develop. In the beginning we read Suga's family has 'been driven to a point where they would...sell [suga]' (24). The dance Suga did before Tomo can be viewed as an exhibition, putting her physical attributes to display, allowing Tomo to access her before she make the purchase. Enchi describes how Tomo is familiar with the male gaze, having 'acquired the ability ...

    • Word count: 765
  13. While Cormac McCarthys novel All the Pretty Horses did have a sad plot, there was a clear and deep spiritual development in the main character, John Grady Cole.

    When John Grady Cole returns from Mexico his heart is at unrest and he believes he needs to reconcile by returning the horse of his friend Jimmy Blevins to its rightful owner. His journey led him to a judge who listens not only to his story but his feelings concerning the events of his trip to Mexico.

    • Word count: 484
  14. In his autobiographical novel, James Joyce develops an alter ego in Stephen Dedalus who is the protagonist in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. While it is very easy to point out Stephens many weaknesses as a person, the majority of these com

    Throughout the story it is clear that Stephen is special but his self awareness of this quality leads him to the most deadly sin. In everything Stephen does, whether it be devoting himself to religion as in chapter 4 or devoting himself to art as in chapter 5, Stephen views himself as superior to both his peers and mentors. Ironically enough, it is Stephen's excessive pride which leaves him "peculiarly vulnerable to the promptings of the director who initially approaches him by praising the young man's piety and good example (Ranald)."

    • Word count: 629
  15. Throughout both Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, the role of women in the similar time period was questioned.

    She was also considered a burden on her family, which is due to the opinionated thoughts of that era. That idea still exists nowadays yet not as emphasized as it was ages ago. The whole theme of this paper is to outline the way female roles were described in the 16th century. We have 2 exceedingly different works that aim in one way or another to female roles. As opposed to A Doll's House, Little Women is a book that fully revolves around the way women should behave in order to be considered true females.

    • Word count: 643
  16. In the short story, The Stolen Party, the author demonstrates the interactions and prejudices between the rich and the middle-working class.

    For example, when the mother told Rosaura, "[She's] not your friend." Rosaura did not want to hear her mother say that because she did not want to hear the truth. The mother tries to explain to her daughter that the people will look at her as "the maid's daughter" and not as one of them. Rosaura jumped into defense and did not appreciate her mother's advice. This resulted in her being in denial. The reason why Rosaura did not listen to what her mother had said was because she believed everyone was equal no matter what their social status was and she thought her mother was judging the other family simply because they were rich.

    • Word count: 967
  17. How Power is Presented in 'Mr. Pip'. 'Mr. Pip', the story of Matilda, a young Melanesian girl, and her journey to adulthood has an ever-present theme of power.

    Matilda's engrossment of 'Great Expectations' is almost paralleled by Dolores' commitment to the Bible. Both 'Great Expectations' and the Bible were introduced as part of European influences and both had great impact on Matilda and Dolores' lives. After the islanders' possessions were lost to the Redskins visits, Matilda tried to "summon passages from Great Expectations" and Dolores "did the same with the Bible." To be comparable with Matilda's obsession of 'Great Expectations' already displays the amount of power the Bible has but the fact that the Bible dominates not only Dolores' thought but also her actions and lifestyle means that the Bible's hold on Dolores is even more powerful than 'Great Expectations' hold on Matilda.

    • Word count: 977
  18. In Cold-Hearted, David Wong Louie reveals an ironic plot in highlighting a troubled relationship between a father and his son, and how cultural differences also plays a big role.

    That he doesn't get that attention he thought he deserves since he is the only son in the family. Also you can see that the father was abusive towards Lawrence, there are parts where you can feel the fear of Lawrence that his father might just hit him any time soon. "And when Lawrence was reaching out for the cigarettes he was expecting to get slapped away by his father." (Louie, 2006, p. 220). Lawrence doesn't only go through physical abuse; he also goes through emotional abuse. When his dad hands him a five-dollar bill and Lawrence thinks he is getting a reward, but instead later the father takes the five- dollar bill away from him to tip the upholstery man.

    • Word count: 817
  19. In the poem Winter Syntax, by Billy Collins, the structure is organized into six stanzas. Each of them has a different view but sequentially describes the journey of a traveler

    Even he already started the sentence yet he does not sure where to go, because he cannot see clearly the direction that he is heading to. Next two sentences are details about how "frozen" the writer is when he is in the "blizzard". The next three stanzas describe several different views along the traveler's journey, but also could be seen as the writer's struggles. "There are easier ways of making senses..." (Line 5) It shows that the writer has many methods to start writing more easily, such as talk about "a gesture".

    • Word count: 762
  20. The Use of Force by William Carlos Williams is very vivid without being as detailed as it could be.

    I think the doctor made the right decision of not being too tolerant and patient as it could have ended up against him. If he had been nice the girl might have not opened her mouth in the end and her condition could have been left untreated. The parents were quite indecisive in this story and I feel that the family members including the patient are fighting for dominance as the parents don't show that they posess much control or power.

    • Word count: 544
  21. How and to what effect can both Antigone from Jean Anouilh's Antigone and Meursault from Albert Camus' The Stranger be viewed as outsiders?

    His take no lie and societys rules made life hard for him and worked against him in the end. Meursault and Antigone are the main characters in the stories. They have a lot of the same issues and beliefs like how they explain their deaths as their fate, even though they both can prevent their deaths they chose not to avoid it because they are willing to die for what they believe in.

    • Word count: 450
  22. Notes on "The Yellow Wall Paper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

    - Isolation, the building she's in is isolated from the landscape. Her husband believes that the best treatment for her would be some time in the country where she can rest and reinvigorate herself. - She's pushed into a position and she accepts that. - There is a legal dispute she doesn't understand that why she cannot believe the house is haunted. - Husband has a unenlightened way of dealing with her. - She is suffering from a nervous disposition. Although today this would appear to be Post Natal Depression, and it's important to remember that that this was not a recognised illness at the time.

    • Word count: 820
  23. In Sophocles play, Oedipus Rex is the archetypal tragic hero.

    Due to the character's narcissist attitude, it causes him a different fate. This fate gives him a hunger for the truth overshadows that his grandiosity. He ends up finding out more truth than he expected. Because of his excessive pride and self-righteousness, we see how he manipulates the audience to feel sorry for him yet, the audience already knows the wrong Oedipus has done. They know he is the murder of King Laius, even when he is adamant about finding the culprit who did this.

    • Word count: 865
  24. Analysis of a phrase in Cry, the beloved Country, kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering.

    Since Kumalo suffers the pain, he reflects on his son's actions and realises money has turned humans into animals, for they kill others to feed themselves. From the pain because of his sister till his son's death, Kumalo becomes more mature and thinks critically about everything. He recognizes cities like Johannesburg can lead anyone to dreadful paths as they did to his sister and his son. Kumalo experiences heaps of "pain and suffering" which develop his character. Despite all the pain that occurs in the novel, "kindness and love" develop the plot.

    • Word count: 536
  25. Notes on Greek Drama and its influence in Theatre in the Victorian Era in A Dolls House

    o Not so much pressure o No private world (ex. Oedipus) o Doll's House --> The play already begins with secrecy; Nora hiding Christmas tree and macaroons Victorian Society vs. Greek Society (Jin) o Victorian --> Private * Reputation was important * High Social Class demonstrated dignity. * The most important criteria for respectability in Victorian England was one's bloodlines, especially if they were aristocratic. * By Victorian standards, an unmarried mother is a most scandalous and dishonorable individual. It means that she lost her virginity before marriage.

    • Word count: 983

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"

-St. Augustine

If you loved Crime and Punishment, and your favourite books tend to be those that transport you to faraway places, then you'll probably enjoy the world literature component of IB English Literature. The course teaches you to analyse literary works from many different time periods and cultures, so you'll get the chance to read translated literature alongside English literature.

To do well, you'll need to be able to construct complicated literary arguments in writing. If you would like some practice first, study Marked by Teachers collection of student-submitted IB world literature essays. The teacher-annotated papers will give you all the tools you need to earn top marks: you'll soon see the difference in your writing.

Students who excel in this course should consider studying English literature or a modern foreign language at the university level. When applying to these courses, having good marks in higher level English will be very helpful indeed.


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?
  • Disgrace. Compare and contrast David and Lucys reaction to the attack in chapters 12 to 14

    "To conclude I would say that David and Lucy's reaction to the attacks could not contrast more. Where David appeared to be scared and Lucy put on the brave front, David was the one who was strong for them both, going to the market etc, whereas Lucy was finding life after the attack very difficult, 'her thumb in her mouth like a child.' However, Lucy does not want the attack to be known to the public, she wants to move on, forget the past, but David wanted revenge on the attackers. Lucy's attitude towards the attack suggests that she felt guilty for the mistreatment of blacks and felt this was her punishment, whereas David's beliefs that change shouldn't happen were stressed by the attack."

  • To what extent does Ibsens Hedda Gabler update the conventions of Greek tragedy that can be found in Euripides Medea?

    "To conclude, throughout this essay I have attempted to show and explain how Ibsen, in his play Hedda Gabler, has updated and twisted the conventions of Greek tragedy that can be found within Euripides' classic tragedy Medea. I have examined how the death of Hedda, in particular the location and reaction to it, utilises and manipulates convention to create drama and enable the audience to draw their own conclusion from the action. The nature of the Thespian Loevborg, and how Hedda lives through him, shows how Medea's character has been twisted and changed, that Hedda is no longer seeking revenge and equality, in the perhaps two dimensional Euripidean world that Medea inhabits, but also control and success. I believe that there are many ways in which Ibsen has updated the conventions of Greek tragedy, and that it is the use of farce throughout that presents this text as a truly modernised Greek tragedy. 1 Ibsen, Henrick, Hedda Gabler, Methuen Drama Student Editions, 2002 Methuen Publishing Ltd. P. 76. 2 Hedda Gabler, p. 99 3 Euripides, Medea, Cambridge University Press 1999, l.840 4 Hedda Gabler, p. 45 5 Medea l.298 6 Hedda Gabler, p. 37 7 Hedda Gabler, p. 104 8 Medea, l. 88 9 Hedda Gabler, p. 64 10 Medea, l. 398 11 Hedda Gabler p. 95 12 Hedda Gabler p. 99 C. Wild"

  • Who do you think is responsible for Gregor's fate? To what extent do you think he is responsible?

    "Mr. Samsa lacks the qualities of a caring father, which is the central reason for Gregor's death. With enormous responsibilities at a young age, his life even before the metamorphosis is the life of a beetle. Much of this has a lot of to do with Kafka's strained relationship with his own father, who he describes as "huge, selfish, (and an) overbearing businessman," in his Letter to his father. Although this is not the reason why Kafka died, it sure is the reason why Gregor dies."

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