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A Letter to Seamus Heaney Commenting on His Poetry Essay

Coimisiún na Scrúduithe Stáit State Examinations Commission LEAVING CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION, 2005

English – Higher Level – Paper 2
Total Marks: 200
Wednesday, 8 June – Afternoon, 1.30 – 4.50

Candidates must attempt the following:• ONE question from SECTION I – The Single Text • ONE question from SECTION II – The Comparative Study • ONE question on the Unseen Poem from SECTION III – Poetry • ONE question on Prescribed Poetry from SECTION III – Poetry N.B. Candidates must answer on Shakespearean Drama. They may do so in SECTION I, The Single Text (Hamlet, As You Like It) or in SECTION II, The Comparative Study (Hamlet, As You Like It)

INDEX OF SINGLE TEXTS
Wuthering Heights Silas Marner Amongst Women Hamlet As You Like It − Page 2 − Page 2 − Page 2 − Page 3 − Page 3 Page 1 of 8

SECTION I THE SINGLE TEXT (60 marks)
Candidates must answer one question from this section (A – E). A WUTHERING HEIGHTS – Emily Brontë (i) “Heathcliff deserves the sympathy of the reader of Wuthering Heights.” Write a response to this statement, supporting your views by reference to the text. OR (ii) “The novel Wuthering Heights portrays a clash between two worlds represented by Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.” Discuss this view of the novel, supporting your answer by reference to the text.

B

SILAS MARNER – George Eliot (i) “The story of Silas Marner has the magic of a fairy-tale, which leaves the reader feeling good about people.” Write a response to this view of the novel, supporting your answer by reference to the text. OR (ii) “Godfrey Cass is not perfect, but, in the eyes of the reader, he is always a better man than his brother, Dunsey.” Write your response to this statement, supporting it by reference to the text.

C

AMONGST WOMEN – John McGahern (i) “Michael Moran undoubtedly loves his sons, but his love contributes little to their happiness.” Discuss this view of the relationship between Michael Moran and his sons. Support your answer by reference to the text. OR (ii) “Unlike the men, the women in Amongst Women support each other very well.” Discuss this statement confining your attention to the female characters in the novel. Support your answer by reference to the text.

Page 2 of 8

D

HAMLET – William Shakespeare (i) In your opinion, what is the appeal of the play, Hamlet, for a twenty-first century audience? Support the points you make by reference to the text. OR (ii) “We admire Hamlet as much for his weaknesses as for his strengths.” Write a response to this view of the character of Hamlet, supporting your points by reference to the text.

E

AS YOU LIKE IT – William Shakespeare (i) “Rosalind’s attitudes and qualities make her a very attractive character.” Do you agree with the above view? Support your answer by reference to the play. OR (ii) “The play, As You Like It, presents many opportunities for dramatic performance.” Write your response to the above statement, supporting it by reference to the play.

Page 3 of 8

SECTION II THE COMPARATIVE STUDY (70 marks)
Candidates must answer one question from either A – The General Vision and Viewpoint or B – Literary Genre. In your answer you may not use the text you have answered on in SECTION I – The Single Text. N.B. The questions use the word text to refer to all the different kinds of texts available for study on this course, i.e. novel, play, short story, autobiography, biography, travel writing, and film. The questions use the word author to refer to novelists, playwrights, writers in all genres, and film-directors.

A 1.

THE GENERAL VISION AND VIEWPOINT “Each text we read presents us with an outlook on life that may be bright or dark, or a combination of brightness and darkness.” In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course. (70) OR

2.

(a)

With reference to one of the texts you have studied in your comparative course, write a note on the general vision and viewpoint in the text and on how it is communicated to the reader. (30) Compare the general vision and viewpoint in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40)

(b)

Page 4 of 8

B 1.

LITERARY GENRE Write a talk to be given to Leaving Certificate students in which you explain the term Literary Genre and show them how to compare the telling of stories in at least two texts from the comparative course. (70) OR

2.

“Powerful images and incidents are features of all good story-telling.” (a) (b) Show how this statement applies to one of the texts on your comparative course. (30) Compare the way in which powerful images and incidents are features of the story-telling in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40)

Page 5 of 8

SECTION III POETRY (70 marks)
Candidates must answer A – Unseen Poem and B – Prescribed Poetry. A UNSEEN POEM (20 marks)

Answer either Question 1 or Question 2.
BACK YARD Shine on, O moon of summer, Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak, All silver under your rain tonight. An Italian boy is sending songs to you tonight from an accordion. A Polish boy is out with his best girl; they marry next month; tonight they are throwing you kisses. An old man next door is dreaming over a sheen that sits in a cherry tree in his back yard. The clocks say I must go – I stay here sitting on the back porch drinking white thoughts you rain down. Shine on, O moon, Shake out more and more silver changes. Carl Sandburg

1.

(a)

Do you like the world that the poet describes in this poem? Give reasons for your answer supporting them by reference to the text. (10) Choose a line or two that you find particularly appealing and explain why. (10)

(b)

OR

2.

Write a personal response to the poem ‘Back Yard’.

(20)

Page 6 of 8

B

PRESCRIBED POETRY (50 marks)

Candidates must answer one of the following questions (1 – 4). 1. “The appeal of Eavan Boland’s poetry.” Using the above title, write an essay outlining what you consider to be the appeal of Boland’s poetry. Support your points by reference to the poetry of Eavan Boland on your course. 2. What impact did the poetry of Emily Dickinson make on you as a reader? Your answer should deal with the following: – Your overall sense of the personality of the poet – The poet’s use of language/imagery Refer to the poems by Emily Dickinson that you have studied. 3. Write about the feelings that T.S. Eliot’s poetry creates in you and the aspects of his poetry (content and/or style) that help to create those feelings. Support your points by reference to the poetry by T.S. Eliot that you have read. Write an article for a school magazine introducing the poetry of W.B. Yeats to Leaving Certificate students. Tell them what he wrote about and explain what you liked in his writing, suggesting some poems that you think they would enjoy reading. Support your points by reference to the poetry by W.B. Yeats that you have studied.

4.


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