11 Plus Exams Forum

English Literature: tips.
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Author:  piggys [ Thu May 17, 2018 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  English Literature: tips.

I'm going to mention a few pointers regarding the extract based questions and also for the pre 20th c lit. Edexcel and AQA also have extract based questions for their pre 20th C lit but OCR and WJEC have a more traditional essay title - which is what AQA and Edexcel have for their modern text. It's further complicated by the fact that the OCR board asks for a comparison with an extract of their modern text with an extract of an unseen modern text...... - confused? you will be.... :?

WRT the poetry it's more difficult because each board has its own anthology with either 2 or 3 sections and candidates study one of these sections which comprises 15 poems. I can't possibly give advice on over 100 poems but if you have any pressing questions about a specific poem please do ask.

EXTRACT BASED SHAKESPEARE (nearly everyone is doing R &J or Macbeth - only DAO doing Merchant, that I know of).

- look for rhymes and comment on prose v blank verse.
- the witches speak in a different rhythm (septameter) to mark them out as not human.
- significance of the number three re: the witches (unholy Trinity).
- completing eachother's lines of iambic pent - Rom and J do this, as do Rom / Benv, Rom/Mercutio, Juliet /The nurse. Suggests unity of thought and intimacy.
- Analyse metaphors etc
- use of stichomythia in exciting scenes to convey tension.
- imagery of disease and illness in R&J: Shakespeare depicts the feud as an all pervading disease ('a plague on both your houses', 'canker'd hate').
- use of chiasmus ('fair is foul and foul is fair')
- link to contextual features: R&J - patriarchy, male aggression and honour, blood feuds, class and status etc. Macbeth - witchcraft and James 1st, Divine Right of Kings and Natural order etc. Fate and Destiny (and Jacobean belief in these) central to both texts.

spend around half your time on section A then you only need 2 more paragraphs, either referring to two other 'moments' in the text, or more generally roaming around the text. Try to incorporate three sentences (ish) in to each parag for context.

Jekyll and Hyde: section A extract.
- refer to imagery which extends the Gothic tradition - dark gloomy settings, the fog as a metaphor for evil etc.
- horror and violence- designed to shock a Victorian audience, lots of hyperbole etc.
- London settings and streets - "some place at the end of the world"
- for context refer to the battle between science and religion (Darwinism) as well as inner city poverty and vice.

Christmas Carol: section A extract.
- look at imagery of cold/ warmth and monetary references.
- importance of family and fellowship (Cratchits, Mr Fezziwig), celebration as a key theme.
- poverty and suffering in Victorian England - poor laws/workhouses/treadmills .
- lots of imagery and multiple adjectives for emphasis.
- for context, refer to the ghosts (ghost stories very popular late 19th C genre), the division of the book into 'staves' which is a music term ( hence the title of the book - a 'carol' is a type of song). Look at the personification of Ignorance and Want; look at loneliness v social cohesion and friendship in the face of adversity etc.

Sorry - I know this is very brief but if people have specific qs do ask. :)

Author:  Tinkers [ Thu May 17, 2018 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: English Literature: tips.

DD is doing WJEC, and covering Pride and Prejudice, the play of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and The Merchant of Venice. (If anyone else is doing WJEC other than kendrick.)

I think she she reasonably happy with it all, so I don’t think she has any immediate questions, but any useful tips would be passed on with much gratitude from me (and her).

As an engineer who is dyslexic, very literal and can hardly string together two sentences together (Unless it’s a technical document), I couldn’t begin to help her even if she needed it. Thankfully she doesn’t, I just listen to her as she goes through stuff and that seems to be enough.

Author:  piggys [ Thu May 17, 2018 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: English Literature: tips.

Aaah sorry Tinkers, I don't know Curious Incident and have not taught either of the other two books either....sorry not to be more help.

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