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International Baccalaureate: World Literature

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 10
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  1. Textual analysis on "The Blindness" by Jose Saramagio

    “The blind moved as one would expect of the blind, groping their way, stumbling, dragging their feet, yet as if organised, they knew how to distribute tasks efficiently...” (pg.61) Throughout the novel, these concentrated and dull structure creates a heavy feeling, therefore, creating a distanced effect as if no one is alive.

    • Word count: 573
  2. Cloning and Human Dignity in "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro.

    In chapter six of Never Let Me Go, the diction supports and aids in the development of the theme. Particularly when the narrator, Kathy, shares the thought process of the children, aged nine and ten, during a disheartening experience at Hailsham. “So why had we stayed silent that day . . . so cruelly for bringing it all up that day after the rounders match” (Ishiguro 69). Ishiguro utilizes a collection of literary devices to enhance the understanding of the students and their inner thoughts. The author's placement of a rhetorical question at the beginning of the passage aids in the conveying of perspective and promotes thinking, prior to the insight gained regarding the inner thoughts of the children.

    • Word count: 750
  3. Stranger in the Village Analysis Notes

    like how the Empire State Building means something to Baldwin but not the villagers = Culture clash Paragraphs 10-13 * The theme of “The stranger in the village” is conveyed through Baldwin’s reaction, he also says that white men are always in a state of rage and they are excluding the black people from the community * Opposition between black and white : * He is no longer protecting the feeling of the villagers but he talks about the African Americans and doesn’t protect the woman’s feelings anymore instead he portrays rage and hatred towards the white man because of the dehumanization.

    • Word count: 1057
  4. Senses and Sensuality in "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage.

    through the cluster of word of senses and touch as well as the alliteration of [s] sounds which represents sensuality that the effect that Esther’s hand and the sense of touch have on Mrs. Van Buren. Through the sense of touch, Esther creates a sense of sensuality between her and Mrs Van Buren. In the play, Mrs Van Buren suffers from the physical distance between her and her husband, which results in her tensing at the feeling of Esther’s touch. The alleged closeness between Mrs. Van Buren and Esther is also built through the letters sent to Esther by George.

    • Word count: 3646
  5. Coyote and the Enemy Aliens is a satirical commentary that explores the employment of language as a weapon to manipulate societal stereotypes; contemplating its ability to eradicate communal bonding.

    They corrupt society and alienate Japanese by legalizing this crime via a paper? Order -in- council 469?(57). King satirizes this notion depicting how an inefficient dimwit like Coyote obtains immense power via his legalization as the? Custodian of Enemy Alien Property? (57) by white-men. King compares the destructive capabilities of ?legal? to ?White magic? (59), constructing an image of white politicians using ?magic? to hypnotize society. The white-men assert a tag of ?Enemy Aliens? to Japanese, which is ironic as most of them were Canadian citizens. This irony elaborates on the immense manipulation of language by the government as it used ?white magic words? to imprison its own citizens.

    • Word count: 1377
  6. Comparing Sealand and Waknuk in "The Chrysalids"by John Wyndham

    Often they were shut off still more by different languages, and different beliefs. Some of them could think individually, but they had to remain individuals. Emotions they could sometimes share, but they could not think collectively. When their conditions were primitive they could get along all right, as the animals can; but the more complex they made their world, the less capable they were of dealing with it. They had no means of consensus. They learnt to co-operate constructively in small units; but only destructively in large units. They aspired greedily, and then refused to face the responsibilities they had created.

    • Word count: 754
  7. In Wyndham's "The Chrysalids" Sealand or Waknuk, which is the desirable society?

    Discrimination is a huge part of what makes Waknuk society so intolerant. They believe that everything should abide by the "True Image of God" (Wyndham 17-20). An extremely biased opinion, where everything should be one way and anything different is considered a deviation and must be banished or destroyed. This results in many people being exiled to the Fringes and animals and livestock destroyed, leading to a fear of being or having deviants or offences. This is also the main problem that David and his friends have, as they are considered deviants because of their ability. Sealand however completely has this flipped. "'The kind of people that God intended, perhaps?' . .

    • Word count: 749
  8. How far and in what ways is Pat Barkers reader invited to challenge the accepted norms in Regeneration ?

    An interesting aspect of his point of view is that his reluctance to go back to the front is never explicitly stated, but manifested through his early mutism and his avoidance of a clear answer when asked: ? ?Do you think you?re fit ?? ?I?m not a doctor.? ?. This is contrasted to a will to prove his virility and self-worth, both to himself and his father: ?When all this is over, people who didn?t go to France, or didn?t do well in France - people of my generation, I mean - aren?t going to count for anything.

    • Word count: 1402
  9. (Love song, with two goldfish) is a poem written by Grace Chua, it is about the relationship of two goldfishes.

    indicating he is attracted to her and giving him a shallow demeanor. Contrastingly, his lover ?darts/behind pebbles? (9-10), indicating she is near the bottom of the bowl. She ?swallows/his charms hook, line and sinker,? (10-11) this contrast of deep and shallow reflects their love and how their relationship is viewed from different angles, but what can he do he was hooked. The male fish just ?float[s]? (2) and ?wish[es]? (3) unlike the female fish who ? makes? (8) and ?darts? (9), the juxtaposition of their effort and actions explains their failing love, one is passive and the other active.

    • Word count: 693
  10. Prose Analysis on The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by Moyez Vassanji

    nature of what is going on inside, is described as a ?some celebration.? This subtle disconnection from the town, shows the reader that the narrator has insufficient knowledge of the celebration observed. This was done to signify the power of understanding all religions and their culture. Immediately, Vassanji mentions to the audience of a religious division that plagues the people of the town. Religion is the first major theme introduced to the audience as though to allude to its significance and its tense effect it has on the town.

    • Word count: 1211
  11. In this extract from the dystopian novel "1984" by George Orwell, the two main themes are the totalitarian government and the inevitability of death

    In line two the author introduces an unknown character ?he? to begin focusing this extract on ?him?, conveying his thoughts and feelings as well. Between lines two and three the author introduces a negative state of mind in the protagonist through using ?wandering in the forests of the sea bottom?. This is pursued by the reader as though ?he? is drowning in society?s negative impact on his world. In the line 3 the author again brings in the theme of a totalitarian government, by bringing in darkness through the description of a ?monstrous world?.

    • Word count: 1063
  12. In David Maloufs Fly Away Peter (1982) Jims life as an ordinary working class Australian youth is quickly suspended for the emerging disturbance that is WWI

    In the sanctuary of Jim?s work he gives tours in a ?flat-bottomed boat?, drifting over ?brackish water? with its depths the ?colour of brewed tea? and its surface a ?burnished gold? (p.29). The very water and air that is the sustenance of life is juxtaposed by the horrific environment on the Western Front, where water and air are the invisible enemies which bring death to the soldiers in the trenches. In the terrible reality of trench warfare the soldiers march on surrounded by the smell of ?damp earthwalls and rotting planks? accompanied by ?decaying corpses? with an odd hand or foot ?all ragged and black? (p.78).

    • Word count: 1052
  13. Commentary on "My Father's Garden" by David Wagoner.

    However, the commonplace perception of beauty is challenged in this poem through the portrayal of the speaker?s father?s interpretation. He is evidently enamoured by his ?scrapyard,? despite the fact that the speaker harshly characterises it as being a somewhat ?satanic? place. The speaker?s distaste and fear towards his father?s workplace is palpable through his hellish descriptions of the ?scrapyard.? Wagoner utilizes very cacophonic terms, such as ?satanic cauldrons,? ?demons?, and ?dragons.? These harsh sounds denote a dense of wickedness and tortuous affliction.

    • Word count: 860
  14. Treatment of escapism in A Street car named desire by Tennessee Williams and Death Of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

    INTRODUCTION The American dramatists ?Tennessee Williams? and ?Arthur Miller? deal with the theme of escapism in their respective plays. Escapism is not an uncommon theme in the American plays of the 19th century. American drama during this era often showed the hopelessness of characters that could not live up to their hopes and expectations. But more than dealing with the theme of escapism I have chosen these American plays to analyze how playwrights? treatment of this theme is different in each play.

    • Word count: 4681
  15. The significance of virginity in Chronicle of a Death Foretold as a reflection of the hypocrisy in the society

    The setting of this town is very instrumental in understanding the cultural and societal norms prevailing here. Through the setting, Marquez speaks of the people whose lives are filled with alehouses, whorehouses and gambling places. Marquez uses the natural setting of Columbia to establish surrealism, and also gives the reader a sense of what Latin culture is, which makes the death of Santiago much more personal. Marquez?s focus is on the cultural setting of the town rather than the historical setting.

    • Word count: 1572
  16. The Importance of Stage Directions in "Oedipus" by Sophocles.

    Sophocles has made a number of innovations in his stage directions to make this play appear a great tragedy. He makes experiments with the general traditions of the stage directions as used by his predecessors. For example he incorporates the technique of masks in this play, a technique never witnessed in a greek tragedy earlier, in such a powerful and varying light. Masks are changed by the characters repeatedly, and this technique certainly produces a desirable effect on the audience. For example Oedipus is shown in a mask covered in blood. This mask signifies to the audience of his gory deed. At the climax of the play Oedipus changes his mask and is shown wearing a black mask this time.

    • Word count: 587
  17. The role of honour and religion in the novella, The Chronicles of Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Even the church is corrupted when we see that ? nun had 80% hangover? (Marquez 71). The bishop?s behavior is objectionable when he expresses his intention of eating c**k-comb soup, which is very costly and has a s****l implication. People carry on with their sinful lives without caring for redemption and salvation. Even the priest does not remember the ten Commandments of Catholicism! Marquez criticizes the honor codes as well as the legal system of the town where the lawyer stands in ?legitimate defense of honor? (Marquez 48). The honor is so deep rooted in the heart of people that Prudencia will marry Pablo only if he murderers Santiago as one is supposed to avenge the wrong done to one?s honor.

    • Word count: 1510
  18. Character of Louba Ranevsky in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

    [Wipes her tears] Lord, Lord be merciful to me, forgive me my sins! Punish me no more! [Takes a telegram out of her pocket] I had this to-day from Paris. ... He begs my forgiveness, he implores me to return. ... [Tears it up] Don't I hear music?1 The extract taken from lines?.. Act II of The Cherry Orchard written by Anton Chekhov introduces us to the plot development of the play, and gives us an insight into the protagonist Louba Ranevsky?s character.

    • Word count: 1655
  19. What is the role of fate in the tragic plays "Oedipus" by Sophocles and "Miss Julie" by Strindberg?

    Despite his being a servant and her not being allowed in the kitchen (because the kitchen was ?too dirty? for the masters) she still went inside and stayed there to spend time with him. The reason as to why the author gave Miss Julie hysteria was to develop the plot and to show that she was blind to her actions and creating her own fate of doing something without knowing it. For example when Jean was going to tell Julie about his love story but stopped because he found it childish, she insisted that he continue.

    • Word count: 1499
  20. The Theme of Responsibility in "Mother Courage" and "Metamorphosis"

    Mother Courage who appears to be a very bold and strong person in the beginning of the play emerges as a weak, disoriented and shattered person. She is forced to earn a living in battle torn regions, by selling provisions to soldiers, in pursuit of money. Similarly in The Metamorphosis, the sense of responsibility felt by Gregor is so strong that he feels guilty at the thought of being unable to fulfill his responsibilities towards his family. In fact he continues with a dull and unexciting job-----.

    • Word count: 1776
  21. The Impact of Education and Literature in "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress".

    Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution movement to regain his former political control in communist China through the crackdown of intellectuals and the permanent banning of education and foreign literature. Since the failure of the Great Leap Forward, a five year campaign aimed at accelerating industrialization in China, and his resignation as State Chairman, Mao?s prestige within the CCP party slowly faded into obscurity as moderates reformers successfully revived the damaged Chinese economy. Mao was fully aware that his failed and disastrous policies had lost the respect and support of the intellectuals who were slowly asserting their control over China through specialized knowledge, undermining his control in China and the Chinese government.

    • Word count: 803
  22. Attitudes to religion in the play, Oedipus, the King.

    Probably with the play Oedipus the king, he forewarns the public hat it is impossible to run away from one?s destiny. Man proposes; god disposes. Even a man full of valor and volition, such as Oedipus, is nothing but a puppet before the will of the gods. Sophocles? play is interwoven around the Delphic Oracle, which proclaimed the murder of Laios, by his son, the protagonist, Oedipus. It is interesting to note that unlike other playwrights who prefer to leave such polemical issues, related to predictions and oracles, untouched, Sophocles takes a firm stance and clearly shows that every prophecy made by the gods is fulfilled.

    • Word count: 1651
  23. Tension and suspense in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Marquez uses the tool of magic realism to make his story ?Part morality tale, part fairy tale?[2], in addition to Greek tragedy. The element of prophetic dreams perplexes the reader as he instinctively tries to explore if the dreams have any mortal innuendoes. The reader knows everything essential to the plot from the opening page, yet he is intrigued by the novel until the final paragraph, wherein the murder is described. In addition, it is not strange that by the time Marquez elucidates it, the reader is already grappling with a number of key themes such as revenge, honour, r****m and religion, confused as to what it was that accentuated the murder.

    • Word count: 1639
  24. Question: while the poems Kubla khan by Coleridge and La belle Dame Sans Merci are spontaneous romantic poems, they deal with the theme of the supernatural at large.

    This rare palace is to be made amid the forests, the hills, the lakes and the river. in short what Kubla dreams is not natural; it s supernatural. The river originates from a near by hill and after five miles merges with the Dead Sea. ?Where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea? The forests are full of aromatic trees, and the place is green to the very core. Another very beautiful aspect is a romantic chasm which is the point of origin of the river Alph.

    • Word count: 1106
  25. The social environment as presented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    Angela Vicario?s claim of losing her virginity to Santiago Nasar resulted in an endless pursuit by her brothers, as was expected by their society to regain their family honor. This act of pre-marital s*x was seen as a disgrace to the Vicario family and her brothers-Pedro and Pablo Vicario felt that the only way to regain their family?s honor and pride was Nasar?s death. Therefore, in a way Marquez paints a picture of Colombian society where societal values were considered more integral than the inherent goodness of man??Before God and before men, it was a matter of honor?[1].

    • Word count: 1551

"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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