Aspects of Narrative & A2

Aspects of Narrative & A2

all the best

Rime of the ancient marinerPosted by Simon Wells Thu, August 14, 2014 10:11:00
All the best for your results today. I heard about 2 of you. (full marks!); I'm in Greece at the mo, so can't pop in. Mr.Wells
p.s It's been a pleasure.

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Essay ideas (poetry)

MarxismPosted by Simon Wells Wed, July 09, 2014 09:10:35

Essay Idea:
Use several individual poems by Burns, Blake, Betjeman and possibly, Kipling and Tennyson with a view to addressing the question “How can a Marxist reading shed new light on the poem ….?

Critical Anthology key points:

Pg 6: 1: Focus on difference between overt and covert in texts with a view to unearthing clear Marxist themes. “To a mouse” and “Red, red rose” might prove interesting here.
2: relevance of status of author to be considered, particularly with Kipling and Tennyson. “Light Brigade should be considered in the light of the status of Tennyson. “Slough” might also be read with the same slant.
3: Relevance of Ian Watt’s idea that the Ballad “speaks” for the rural and semi-urban working class. Quoted in section 3 from The Rise of the Novel. This is interesting in that the poems by Burns, Blake and Kipling will tend to adopt this simple form. Given this, one might wish to compare the approach seen in “A’ that” and “If-” with close regard not only to the message, but also to the background of the poets (point 2).
4: Choice of poetic medium in terms of idea that the sonnet and Iambic Pentameter might be said to represent social stability, decorum and order… this can be linked with ideas relating to Stalinist formalism in which work was not valued if the form made it difficult for the masses to understand. This can link to point 3 and also in the case of Burns to the fact that as a composer poet, writing in the vernacular he is making his work accessible for the masses, many of whom would be illiterate.
5: Marxism is closely related to the Romantic ideals and the rise of the individual as a valid voice, challenging the status quo. Burns and Blake need to be seen in this light and the links between the French Revolution and the revolution in Russia sought by followers of Marx are obvious.

Poems one could use are

Robert Burns:

For A’ that :
To a mouse:
Red, red rose:

William Blake:

London :

John Betjeman:


Rudyard Kipling:

If- :

Alfred Lord Tennyson:

Charge of the Light Brigade:

These poems can be used individually or as pairs, the better to provide clear debate within the essay.


The essay for this section is suggested to be around 1200-1500 words and need not be based on more than a single poem. The question agreed between the student and teacher should focus on the application and interpretation of the critical anthology and the text chosen for study. In this case, the anthology must be used a s a”text” for the purposes of the essay and must feature throughout in the debate.

Suggested titles are:

1. Having read the critical material on whether it is possible to define the aesthetic nature of literature, explore and evaluate the aesthetic qualities of a poem of your choice.
2. Based on your reading of the critical material, write an argument for the inclusion (or exclusion) of an author of your choice into the A Level Literature canon of texts.
3 To what extent is feminist/marxist criticism helpful in opening up potential meanings in text x?
4. What potential significances can be found when studying the use of metaphors in text y?

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The Garden Party

MarxismPosted by Simon Wells Wed, July 02, 2014 07:11:47

Class consciousness. Laura feels a certain sense of kinship with the workers and again with the Scotts. An omniscient narrator also explains that, as children, Laura, Jose, Meg, and Laurie were not allowed to go near the poor neighbours' dwellings, which spoil their vista.

Illusion versus reality. Laura is stuck in a world of high-class housing, food, family, and garden parties. She then discovers her neighbour from a lower class has died and she clicks back to reality upon discovering death.

Sensitivity and insensitivity. The Sheridans hold their garden party, as planned, complete with a band playing music. Laura questions whether this is appropriate, given the death of their neighbour only a few hours earlier.

Death and life. The writer masterfully handles the theme of death and life in the short story. The realisation of Laura that life is simply marvellous shows death of human beings in a positive light. Death and life co-exist and death seems to Laura merely a sound sleep far away from troubles in human life.

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Ragged Trousered BBC adaptation

MarxismPosted by Simon Wells Thu, June 26, 2014 11:19:26

BBC Radio adaptation of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: (3 Mp3 files) - right click and save target as......

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Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

MarxismPosted by Simon Wells Wed, June 25, 2014 07:44:39

Full text (Out of copyright)

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Marxism and Literature

MarxismPosted by Simon Wells Thu, June 12, 2014 11:31:40

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Part the first!

Rime of the ancient marinerPosted by Simon Wells Sat, May 17, 2014 11:11:09

Part the first! Woo!

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Good Luck!

Rime of the ancient marinerPosted by Simon Wells Thu, May 15, 2014 19:12:23

All the best for tomorrow, team narrative!

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Blank texts

Enduring LovePosted by Simon Wells Tue, May 13, 2014 10:29:00
As I explained last Wednesday and Mr.Fisher explained ther Friday before,

you all need to bring blank copies of Gatsby and Enduring Love to the exam. Yiou will be provided with blank copies of the anthology and the Mariner (Miss Parry will have enough blank copies of the Mariner for all the classes).

Please see me asap if you do not have blank copies of the two novels.


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Part the first

Rime of the ancient marinerPosted by Simon Wells Wed, March 26, 2014 09:24:24

Part the first has not been used before.

How does Coleridge tell the story in Part the first?

Your notes:

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Additional 2nd question

Rime of the ancient marinerPosted by Simon Wells Wed, March 26, 2014 09:22:59

How do you respond to the view that 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is 'so mystifying , it simply befuddles and confuses the reader' ?

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Endings and Love

Enduring LovePosted by Simon Wells Wed, March 19, 2014 12:33:45

Mr.Haddad will add your notes about the appendices to this post. I am posting older notes on the appendices from your chapter summaries. Ian McEwan talks about 'Endings' on the interview video - Part 11 ( 00:26:18 )

He also talks about the role of Love in the novel (after today's session), at Part 8 (00:17:57). The video link is still :!album-0-0

(I've set it up so you can download this video to your device).

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