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International Baccalaureate: World Literature

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  1. In The Wind in the Willows, author Keneth Grahame portrays each character as having a particular role within an anthropomorphized nuclear family.

    As Mole is underground cleaning his home, Grahame writes that something up above was calling him imperiously" (p.2). This imperious voice is the voice of spring-- a voice that, for Mole, is strong enough to persuade him away from work towards a more inviting outside world. Mole is at once given to his childlike impulses when he obeys the voice of spring and disregards his chores altogether. When Mole reaches the hedge on the far side of the meadow, there is an elderly rabbit standing at the gap waiting to collect a toll payment. Grahame writes that the rabbit "was bowled over in an instant by the impatient and contemtuous Mole, who trotted along the side of the hedge chaffing the other rabbits as they peeped hurriedly from their holes to see what the row was about.

    • Word count: 2207
  2. In Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Berthe Bovary acts as an important character despite her lack of dialogue and actions

    She reasons that a girl is "continually held back" and constantly faces "restrictions against her" (Flaubert 101). Emma becomes engrossed in bearing a son and convinces herself that a boy will be the only way for her to obtain happiness. Upon birthing a girl, Emma disappointedly realizes that she has not considered a name for a daughter because of her overconfidence in bearing a son.

    • Word count: 486

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