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  1. Can we critically analyse Ian McEwan's Atonement using psychoanalytic criticism?

    The audience, then through the omniscient narrator recall on an event that happens between Briony's sister Cecelia and the cleaning lady's son Robbie, at first from Cecelia's point of view and then Briony's. From Cecelia's point of view we are told how Cecelia does not think much of Robbie as it 'bothered her that they were awkward when they talked'3. We then encounter how Cecelia wonders outside to fill a vase of flowers with water from the fountain, where she finds Robbie doing the gardening, the pair of them passes awkward conversation then Robbie begins to help Cecelia fill her vase, to which she resists and this results in her dropping the vase into the fountain.

    • Word count: 2241
  2. How, why, and to what effect do contemporary British fictions depict times other than the present?

    When compared to Cloud Atlas however, What Was Lost is a relatively simple way of structuring a narrative. The best analogy for describing the narrative of Cloud Atlas is a Russian doll. Each story (there are six), interlocks with another tale from a later age with the main character of the new story coming across the previous narrative and offering their thoughts on it. Mitchell takes the 'story-within-a-story' idea and expands upon it six-fold. By having six different time periods available to him due to this structuring, Mitchell is able to weave thematic content throughout the novel as he binds the narratives together.

    • Word count: 2653
  3. What is the 'all that' that Robert Graves is referring too?

    (Jonathan Cape, 1929) This quotation from Robert Graves himself shows why he chose to write his autobiography at a comparatively young age to other auto-biographers. A major part, probably the most major event of his life; the war, had come to an end and he felt that his memories and experiences ought not to be subject to the effects of old age and forgotten, lost in the passages of time. The first section of Robert Graves's novel is about his childhood and mainly his time at various preparatory schools and Charterhouse.

    • Word count: 2256
  4. Straying from the Path

    Then the girl strips off her clothes, throws them into the fire, and joins the wolf in bed. After a ritual exchange about body parts where the wolf reveals that he will eat the girl with his big mouth, the girl outsmarts the wolf and escapes. As a tale about the initiation into adulthood, the folk tale "did more than symbolize the child's ability to defeat danger and evil by resorting to cunning: it also demonstrated the importance of women's knowledge to survival" (Bacchilega 56). The story was rewritten by Perrault in the 17th century. According to Cristina Bacchilega, Perrault's tale was "written for the aristocracy, with a style to satisfy the highly cultivated adult reader, and morals meant to educate the young in civilized behaviour" (57).

    • Word count: 2603
  5. Natasha Walters in The Independent asks about Jonathan Franzen's 'The Corrections': Do we care much, in that rushed last chapter that Enid "weathered the downturn" in the markets, that Denise "moved to Brooklyn and went to work in a new res

    The stock market term can also be seen to relate to the correction in Enid's values that is given centre stage in the last chapter. She re-evaluates her previous over-valuation of her children, of taste, of class and of high morals. The correction Enid undergoes is also slow in coming. It is not an overnight realisation, but a gradual shift in the importance she places on St. Judean values. Throughout the novel Enid has overvalued her children, she has invested too much in them.

    • Word count: 2090
  6. With reference to Judith Butler's Precarious Lives, explain how Chris Abani's novel The Virgin of Flames re-imagines global community in the contexts of violence, war and mourning.

    Butler asserts that violence is a product of our refusal to accept our inherent vulnerability and she regards this vulnerability as the key to understanding why certain lives are more exposed to the dynamics of violence than others, thus making them less grievable. It is therefore this hierarchy of grief, which leads to discrimination and inequality, which must be overcome in order to establish a new worldwide body politic. Butler argues that the grief which follows violence furnishes us with a sense of political community as the changes we undergo after mourning help to reveal the ties that bind us and subsequently challenges the autonomous control we think we have over ourselves.

    • Word count: 2691
  7. Analysing Four American Short Stories - Joyce Carol Oates: Capital Punishment (1992)

    As the story unravels, it seems as though Mr. Brunty has a history of violence. Both in the second paragraph on page 268, where it seemed as though he?d hit Harriet, and in the third last paragraph on page 273, where he is close, but refrains from, as he remembers hitting his daughter in the past. This explains why she still has respect for him, even in her defiant teens. Both of them are proud beings with superior behavior. They worry about each other, him as he gets a phone call after her demonstrating against the death sentence of the inmate on page 269, ?Is she all right?

    • Word count: 2675

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?
  • Examining the passages below, compare and contrast the representations of the heroines choice at the end Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre.

    "In conclusion, Rhys and Bronte represent their heroines in very different lights. Jane would have been viewed as defiant by the Victorian audience, but her ‘happy ending’ will have satisfied their projections of domestic bliss between husband and wife. However, Rhys created the kind of woman who might have been reviled by the same audience; one who was a social outcast, celebrated her sexuality and femininity and embodied insane destruction. The endings of each novel rely on the social, moral and gender conventions of the time; each making a comment on the society in which these women lived."

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