English A Language And Literature Essay
English A Language And Literature
These notes to examiners are intended only as guidelines to assist marking. They are not offered as an exhaustive and fixed set of responses or approaches to which all answers must rigidly adhere. Good ideas or angles not offered here should be acknowledged and rewarded as appropriate. Similarly, answers which do not include all the ideas or approaches suggested here should be rewarded appropriately.
Candidates are required to compare a letter from John Steinbeck to his eldest son Thom with an “advice” comic strip by Ken Cursoe, both of which explore the virtues (or not) of being in love. An adequate to good analysis will:
• note the commonalities of the two texts, such as Thom and Luke both seeking advice about love, the “expert’s” opinion about love, male/female distinctions, etc • note some of the differences between the two texts, such as father / Tiny Sepuku, sincerity / humor, letter / advice column/cartoon, etc
• comment on the different text types, noting some characteristics of each. (For example, the letter observes the conventions of the form and responds to a letter on a personal level and addresses the issues it raises in a clear and logical fashion. The cartoon, posing as an advice column, opens with a brief letter of two questions answered by Tiny in a “tongue-in-cheek” fashion through seven vignettes of the “super powers” that love gives to either the male or female in the relationship)
• comment on the differences of context as deduced from the times and situations in which the texts were generated and from issues and references made within the texts themselves, such as the vignettes of the cartoon, the implications of the gestures and language of the cartoon characters, as well as the relationships revealed in the letter and the attitudes expressed by Steinbeck
• comment on the differences of audience and purpose as deduced from the two text types. A good to excellent analysis may also:
• consider further the differences in the attitudes to “love”
• consider more closely the purposes of the writers as viewed through their choice of text types, considering closely the differences between seriousness and humour • offer a more in-depth analysis of both the letter and the cartoon, looking closely at the stylistic features and showing some familiarity with terms appropriate to each
• offer a more careful consideration of audience and purpose, for example, the original recipient of the letter and, now, the wider audience interested in the life and writings of John Steinbeck, and, for the cartoon, those who follow the comic strip (and write in) or the general public who are amused by the cartoonist’s treatment of the subject.
Candidates are required to compare the poem Eyepiece by Judith Beveridge with a message from the Yahoo forum Microscope – Microscopy as a hobby or profession, which present, respectively, figurative and literal views of the world seen through a microscope. An adequate to good analysis will:
• note the commonalities of the two texts: the viewing of the world through a microscope, the identification of what is being looked at in each case
• comment on the two text types exploring some characteristics of each (the blend of personal and scientific comments in the message, as well as the nature of observation, both general and specific, the use of scientific language, the global nature of the “group,” etc as opposed to the more refined qualities of the poem: stanzas, lines, enjambment, simile, extended metaphor, alliteration, etc)
• comment on the “view of the world” that is offered by these writers and how distinctions between their purposes, contexts and audience shape their use of language, style and technique • offer a recognition of the distinction between literal and figurative. A good to excellent analysis may also:
• offer a more in-depth analysis of both text types, showing how choice of text type influences both the structure and style of the content
• offer a careful consideration of the world view that is presented in each text: looking at the distinctions between describing an evening as though it were a vision seen through a microscope compared with the reality of looking at water through a microscope and the impact (such as “fascinating”, “shocked and horrified”) on the observer
• consider more closely the two speaking voices (the scientist and the persona of the poem), how they are characterized and to what effect
• offer a cogent comparison of the two text types that offers a clear understanding of purpose, context, content and audience.