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#21 Discogirl17

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 02:38 PM

Dramatics are so prone to love plays, I loved Othello.
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#22 Acaila

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 06:51 PM

I think if I were to resit Higher English I might do my SSL on a play. At the time, I did it on Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (I did really well and loved it, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're absolutely obsessed with it as I am, and manage to really focus it down to a small aspect of the book). I've done Higher Drama this year, so I've got plenty of experience of writing about plays. I'd probably choose to do Antigone by Sophocles - loads in it for theme and characterisation, short text, and there's oodles of translations so if I got a quote wrong I could argue it was the translation biggrin.gif

Saying that, doing a less common book means you might get away with getting a quote slightly wrong. Don't just make them up though! Also, it's much more refreshing for the person marking if they aren't marking the 20th Pride and Prejudice essay. Originality is usually pretty good smile.gif

1984 and Animal Farm are always popular but they've kinda been done to death. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a similar kind of book to 1984, and not as commonly done.

L'Etranger (The Outsider) by Albert Camus is another great book to do it on apparently. It's not that commonly done according to my teacher, but when it is it's usually done well.

I would recommend doing a book that you've already read if possible. I know of people going in to the SSL not even having finished their book, and some people starting reading it and not having enjoyed it.

#23 werlop

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 11:20 AM

QUOTE(herbeey @ May 11 2005, 10:40 PM)
Also, I understand techniques in plays so much better, and why they are being used, since I am writing a play myself, and therefore have to consider these things too... to a less skilled exent.

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Ohh are you doing what the 3 girls from my year did last year? ie write the school play?
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If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

#24 Discogirl17

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 11:40 AM

Yeh he is. He said that earlier. What a genius he must be. I have a friend whos writing plays for theatre. He is going to go do Theatre Art and Musical Theatre (Performance) or something like that... some kinda drama course anyway.
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#25 ermd

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 07:19 PM

QUOTE(Acaila @ May 18 2005, 06:51 PM)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a similar kind of book to 1984, and not as commonly done.

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It is a damned brilliant book!

#26 dehny

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:40 PM

do something modern, a few teachers who are friends of my mum(also a teacher) mark english papers and are sick of seeing same old classics over and over again
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#27 ShadowsWake

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:21 PM

I did my Personal Study on 'The Hours' by Michael Cunningham. I am completely obsessed with the book and the movie, and understand every little thing about it. However, I failed it. I don't know what happened. I have one more chance at it and if I fail that then I'm moved down to Intermediate 2 English, which I would refuse to do. My teacher seems to think I don't make sense, or that I look too deep into some things and make them confusing.

My topic was: "Discuss how themes and symbolism contribute to the success of 'The Hours'". By means of symbolism I think I managed to crack it, it won't make sense to those of you who don't know the story, but I came up with;

The cake symbolising Laura's desire to play her societal role as a housewife perfectly. Richard's chair symbolising Clarissa's portrayal of his illness and the dead blackbird conveying / symbolising Virginia's desire to die. I explained with such detail but somehow I didn't pass. I'm totally worried now about what to do, so I'd really appreciate if any of you on here had some advice / tips for Essay Questions or even just notes. Thanks a lot, Kevin. smile.gif

#28 dehny

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 10:10 PM

QUOTE(ShadowsWake @ Nov 18 2005, 07:21 PM)
I did my Personal Study on 'The Hours' by Michael Cunningham. I am completely obsessed with the book and the movie, and understand every little thing about it. However, I failed it. I don't know what happened. I have one more chance at it and if I fail that then I'm moved down to Intermediate 2 English, which I would refuse to do. My teacher seems to think I don't make sense, or that I look too deep into some things and make them confusing.

My topic was: "Discuss how themes and symbolism contribute to the success of 'The Hours'". By means of symbolism I think I managed to crack it, it won't make sense to those of you who don't know the story, but I came up with;

The cake symbolising Laura's desire to play her societal role as a housewife perfectly. Richard's chair symbolising Clarissa's portrayal of his illness and the dead blackbird conveying / symbolising Virginia's desire to die. I explained with such detail but somehow I didn't pass. I'm totally worried now about what to do, so I'd really appreciate if any of you on here had some advice / tips for Essay Questions or even just notes. Thanks a lot, Kevin. smile.gif

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can you post your essay and well see why you failed it
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Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt.

#29 ShadowsWake

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 10:53 PM

Sure! Thanks for taking the time to read my essay and tell me what's wrong with it smile.gif Perhaps you could give me a few tips on how to improve, I'd be very grateful!

Q: Discuss how the main themes and symbolism contribute to the success of 'The Hours'.

A: 'The Hours' by Michael Cunningham follows one single day in the lives of three intellectual women; Clarissa Vaughan, Laura Brown and Virginia Woolf. The story tells of how a woman's whole life can be singled down into one day, and how the events which occur in that day (no matter how ordinary) can change her life forever. The novel centres around a variety of themes which all contribute greatly to the enormous beauty of the world being conveyed. My intention is to prove how these themes, along with symbolism, contribute to the success of 'The Hours'.
The first of these themes seems to be the fascination with mortality, or life, in which all three women possess. They are all searching for some kind of hidden meaning in their lives, which encourages them to sum up their lives through ordinary and typical events which occur- they relate them to their personal feelings. Therefore, all three women are subjected at one point in the novel to carry out the act of suicide, however it is Virginia Woolf who takes these thoughts further.
Virginia seems to somehow suffer a vaccilation on whether or not to kill herself. By Michael Cunningham adding this fascinating act into the novel, Virginia Woolf conveys the theme. Virginia is writing a novel entitled 'Mrs Dalloway', and is in constant conflict with herself on whether to decease of her 'idol' completely, or to have her stay and experience the beauty of the world:

"Clarissa could not bear to leave this world behind".

This shows the reader that Virginia is in conflict with herself and her internal feelings over whether it is Mrs Dalloway she should kill or rather herself. Virginia commits suicide a matter of years prior *(This was the wrong word, I meant to say after)* to writing 'Mrs Dalloway', which suggests she was using the character of Clarissa Dalloway to mask her own feelings of death. Thereby she seems fascinated by the fact of life or death.
Clarissa Vaughan is living in her past. She is constantly dwelling on the summer she spent with her youthful lover, Richard:

"She feels every bit as good as she did that day in Wellfleet".

This quote appears on page two, which I think is warning the reader early on of Clarissa's desire to be with Richard. Clarissa doesn't once admit to thoughts or feelings of suicide, however when she witnesses the death of what I think is her 'other life' (Richard), she feels deceased:

"She feels briefly as if she's gone to hell".

I think that in relation to Clarissa's fascination with mortality, she sees the feeling of insignificance as if it were death. When not invited to a dinner party with Oliver St. Ives, Clarissa compares these feelings of insignificance to death:

"Being passed over by Oliver St. Ives resembles death the way a child's shoebox diorama of a historic event resembles the event itself".

This shows us that Clarissa has some childish qualities and feelings of jealousy she needs to overcome.
Laura Brown sees suicide as an escape from her role as a traditional housewife. She doesn't think she can actually kill herself, which suggests to the reader that Laura sees suicide as an interest. When Laura's life begins to close in on her, she escapes by visiting a hotel alone with a bag full of pills. However, Laura then decides she can't go through with it.
The second theme I will now go on to talk about is the theory that ordinary life is the definition of art. All three women see everything that goes on around them and happens, is to be recognised. They try to find meaning in everything around them, and become frustrated when it's not there to be found.
This is demonstrated perfectly in the situation of Clarissa. The site of a woman singing in the park causes her to ponder on the history of this park:

"Under the cement and grass of the park lay the bones of those buried in Potter's Field".

This quote has no relevance to the fact that a woman is singing in the park, and therefore allows us to believe Clarissa's thoughts have drifted to history. This is also demonstrated when Clarissa catches site of a movie star, which causes her to think of how fame can make people change.
Laura Brown, who has baked a cake for her husband's birthday, treats the cake as if it were a work of art:

"The cake is cute, Kitty tells her, like the way a child's painting may be cute".

This shows Laura's possessiveness over the cake, and her childish instincts to protect what is her's.
Virginia demonstrates the theme in the most perfect way possible. Upon hearing that her sister Vanessa had considered buying her daughter Angelica a coat, Virginia's eyes fill with tears. The simplicity of buying Angelica a coat proves to be all too much for Virginia:

"There is so much in the world. There are coats at Harrods. Clarissa could not bear to leave all this behind".

This shows us that the most ordinary event, buying a coat, has made Virginia alter the fate of her character, Mrs Dalloway. Thereby she defines the theme that ordinary is considered just as beautiful and emotional as art can be.
I will now go on to talk about Cunningham's use of symbolism which, in my opinion, makes the novel as spectacular as it is.
In the case of Laura Brown, the cake symbolises all that is important to her. It symbolises her desire to play her societal role as a loving wife, a mother and a cook perfectly. Upon her first attempt of making the cake, she tries to convince herself it is perfect. However, this is contradicted when Laura throws the cake out, and makes a second. She becomes furious when her husband 'spits' as he blows out the candles, and therefore convinces herself that the role of housewife is simply not enough.
Richard's chair I think symbolises the nature of his illness and how Clarissa feels toward it. She becomes obsessed. She explains the chair as being "ostentatiously broken and worthless", and also describes it as being "sick". This is perhaps a more obvious symbol of how Clarissa perceives Richard and his illness.
Virginia Woolf's desire to die is symbolised perfectly by one single dead blackbird. She is fascinated by the fact that the body becomes smaller when the soul has left, and personally decides she is not yet ready to become that small. However, this may just be my opinion.
In conclusion, I think that themes and symbolism make a great contribution to the success of 'The Hours'. I think that although symbolism plays a slightly larger part, themes help to contribute to the ideas set about symbolism. Cunningham has created a successful novel by all means. For example, the large size of rhetorical questions use in Clarissa's chapters help to convey her inner insecurity:

"What is wrong with her?" ... "Doesn't it matter that she's the woman in the book?".

In addition, his clever use of ruling out circumlocution and making Virginia seem more arrogant and upfront has also been a success, which makes us understand her condition:

"It is possible to die".

Overall, I think the novel is incredibly written and beautiful in its own right. I think that Cunningham has made the beauty of the world be conveyed perfectly through his use of words, themes, symbolism and techniques.

#30 dondon

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:23 PM

I've not read it completely but i do notice that you don't actually analyse, and comment on word choice, sentence structure etc which is needed.

And your conclusion is slightly lacking. You need to say more about your opinion on whether the main themes and symbolism contribute to it and what kind of effect that has.

Although im not an expert but i did pass higher english biggrin.gif

#31 ShadowsWake

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:25 PM

Thanks for your input. I kind of realised that I didn't analyse techniques half way through writing the essay. I'm thinking of changing my topic altogether, do you think thats a good idea at this stage? I only have one more chance- Final Draft within next two weeks. I can't believe this!

#32 dondon

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:36 PM

Well if you feel that you won't be able to do that topic then maybe you could, it is possible but it would be very difficult
And maybe is you asked your teacher theyd let you have a bit of an extension so that you could redo it if you really want to , but that depends on your teacher.

ANd you could just change what youve already got?

#33 dehny

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 10:20 AM

i hope the way its structured here isnt how its structure when you hand it in, because thatll blow 5 marks straight off

dont use "I" ever
dont say "my intention"

and like don don said you need to analyse and evaluate more
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#34 Jadem89

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 11:40 AM

I passed by using 'Dead dog in the night-time' by Mark Haddon. A simply story portrayed through the eyes of a young boy suffering from autism and all its triats. I did a talk which helped me since i have terrible puncutation...the book is interesting for some however it is debatable.

#35 bred

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 12:22 PM

*"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

A nice story.
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#36 ShadowsWake

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 03:18 PM

I passed! Lol, I know it's been such a long time since I last Posted but school has been keeping me soooo busy! But, I changed my essay Question and revised much more, analysed more and also evaluated. The only comment he wrote on my new one was: "What a difference!". Lol, I was so happy, it was quite a while ago now though. I'm wondering if it's a good idea to write about Personal Study in the Final Exam? Any tips?

Thanks again everyone!

#37 Ally

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 05:45 PM

This is advice from SQA about doing critical essays on your personal study.

QUOTE
Using your Personal Study text(s)
You are free to write in the exam about the text(s) (or Language topic) you studied for the Personal Study Unit.  Remember, however, that for the Personal Study Unit you will have concentrated on one particular aspect of the text(s) or topic, and that in the exam it is highly unlikely that there will be a question that matches this exactly.  Also, you will not have the text(s) or notes with you in the exam as you will have had for your Unit assessment.


Some people do do it and succeed, but my teacher told us it was a big NO-NO.

#38 Hybrid

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:52 AM

I did Consider the lillies by Iain Crichton Smith - passed easy enough.

#39 xKayleighx

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 12:23 PM

High Society' by ben Elton. Brilliant book and I passed aswell.

#40 Yurimaru

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:45 PM

I did The Great Gatsby for my personal study and in the prelim and final and I passed. There would be no harm in revising your personal study texts as well as the ones you study in class - you might be lucky and get a good question.
Oh weep for Adonais—he is dead!
Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep!
Yet wherefore? Quench within their burning bed
Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart keep,
Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep;





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