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Author Topic: English Extension 1 Essay Marking  (Read 31233 times)

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aoife98

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2016, 08:55:57 pm »
Hi, would you mind read over one of my paragraphs for After the Bomb? The question is 'To what extent does this statement reflect your understanding of politics in After the Bomb?: Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this. From a speech to the South Carolina Legislature on April 16 1947.' This is by far my longest paragraph and I want to get rid of any areas which aren't contributing to the overall value.
Thank you so much :)

Paragraph 3: Sylvia Plath - Social Politics
Reacting to growing uncertainty following the dropping of the bomb, Western society returned to traditional conservative societal values creating a culture of containment. This social repression, combined with political instability and Cold War paranoia, led to the disintegration of trust in relationships. Increasingly isolated, individuals turned to material possession and social conformity to gain identities. Sylvia Plath explicitly represents this search for authenticity within her poetry from a critical perspective of social expectations. To ensure her existence, Plath begins a personal and anxious interrogation of herself, most clear in Daddy through her portrayal of “man in black with a Meinkampf look.” Through juxtaposing an insistent nursery rhyme tone with allusions to Nazism and the connotations of the black motif,, Plath develops a persona with an electra complex, satirising the clinging of society to oppressive values in order to feel purposeful. The threats posed by this global identity crisis are evident in the criticism of the crowd which shoves to see Lady Lazarus’ “big strip tease.” The dual symbolism of this image metaphorically represents Plath’s personal struggle with depression and the unfeeling and material-driven nature of society. A titillating and perverse tone furthers Plath’s representation of societies “comfortable concentration camp” (Freiden) as a form of sleazy entertainment and civilian distraction, highlighting the threat posed by social regulations. In following the philosophies of her contemporary Simone de Beauvoir that oppression creates war, Plath utilises the confessional genre to confront Cold War privacy ideologies. The analogy of writing for personal expression is evident in the simile “Sap wells like tears, like water striving to re-establish its mirror” (Words). Through the metaphor of nature imagery, Plath expresses her role to counteract social conformity to dictated truths by revealing natural truths, particularly against the disempowerment of women. In The Applicant, Plath highlights her society's return to conservatism as an attempt to retain stability, explicitly satirising the resulting oppression and commodification of women. Plath achieves this through the extended metaphor of an all knowing persona who subverts the traditional nuclear family values. The parody of housewives in “Come here, sweetie, out of that closet,” creates an emotional dissociation, reflecting the fragmentary and isolated nature of humanity in the period, and resulting distraction through materialism. Plath’s critique of these oppressive values is amplified through the application of a condescending tone. Plath further rejects the culture of containment and privacy through her self-commodification in Lady Lazarus “for a word...or a bit of blood.” Hence, Plath partakes in the interrogation of self, following isolation as a result of politically driven paranoia. However, she rejects the widespread materialism adopted by her context as a form of self medication, finding these methods to be repressive.

elysepopplewell

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2016, 10:06:41 am »
I am currently doing a speech based assignment for extension 1 as one of the requirements for the HSC is assessing speaking or something along those lines. Would you be able to glance over my script and tell me if there are any areas that are unclear?

I understand that most classes do after the bomb but my class chose to do a comedy genre study so no in-depth information is really necessary, but any tips that could help improve my structure and coherence as a whole would be greatly appreciated

Hello! I'll take a look now :)

Comments in bold throughout:
Spoiler
“The comic is to show a person or a thing as it dissolves itself internally in its very gloating” – G.W.F. HEGEL

As alluded to by the German Philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, the primary role of any comic is to enact the satirisation of a ‘person or a thing’ based on its own merits, ‘in its very gloating’. A comic’s choice of target stems from their context, being their social and cultural conditions.

3


These social and cultural conditions reserve the right to either undo a comedy piece completely and plunge it into irrelevancy or elevate it into prominence and preserve its commentary throughout history. These significant comedic texts that emerge throughout history are ones that possess an enduring relevance, often attributed to their critical analysis of the human condition while maintaining core comedic values.
So far, so good!
4

Two texts that fall into this niche are Ben Elton’s imitation of the historical costume drama in Blackadder, and Voltaire’s scathing critique of Optimism in his novel Candide. Both texts arise from their own idiosyncratic social and cultural contexts, both texts provide social commentary on the human condition by exposing human mistakes and weaknesses and both texts are still deemed relevant today due to this ever-pertinent commentary on the human condition. Great - you've brought in the human condition really well.

5

Candide, as a significant text in the comedy genre, arose from Voltaire’s specific social and cultural values in the 1700s surrounding the rise of Optimism, a philosophy proposed by Leibniz, which dictated that ‘this world is the best of all possible worlds’. Voltaire’s social and cultural conditions in 1700’s France along with influence from his secular grand-father, moulded him into a Meliorist and turned him away from philosophy, with him then becoming one of the most prominent enlightenment writers in France. This is great - but there is a lot of information here. I think the key to making this super effective is to make sure that your voice makes this information really digestable. Use the tone of your voice to really pronounce the ends and starts of sentences so that it is easy for the audience to follow.

6

7

These contextual conditions manifest themselves throughout Candide, Voltaire’s satirical attack on Optimism. Voltaire’s abhorrence of Optimism is encapsulated after an Anabaptist, Jacques, (comma) falls off the boat and drowns because Pangloss, an Optimist prevents Candide from rescuing him, saying, “That Lisbon harbour was built expressly so that this Anabaptist may one day die in it”. Voltaire critiques the inherently defeatist philosophy through reductio ad absurdum by characterising Lisbon Harbour as a means to an end, being that is was specifically made for drowning the Anabaptist. Positioning the audience to disagree with this assertion through comic hyperbole, Voltaire positions the responder to sympathise with him while ensuring the responder questions the pragmatism of Optimism. By doing so, Voltaire provides a medium to his contextual audience to question and scrutinise over-arching philosophical regimes such as Optimism through the use of the comedic genre to undermine this philosophy while providing a critique on human mistakes and weakness by revealing our malleability and our inclination to adhere to such regimes, as portrayed through Pangloss’ undivided faith towards Optimism.


8




Voltaire’s scepticism towards Optimism pervades the novel, but one particularly contemptuous example is illustrated when Candide learns of the exploitation of African workers and is then asked what optimism is, saying, “It is the mania for insisting that all is well when all is by no means well”. After Candide has been subjected to innumerable trials, tribulations and abuse throughout the novel, Voltaire’s use of Socratic irony in Candide’s discovery regarding Optimism confirms both Voltaire’s and the responder’s hypothesis’, that Optimism is indeed ‘a mania’. Framing the responder to harmonise with his stance on Optimism, Voltaire’s postulation, stemming from Voltaire’s logical and pragmatic values as an enlightenment writer, denounces Optimism as a philosophy by construing it as inherently at variance with logic and reason. By doing so, Candide remains an influential novel with an enduring relevance due to its satirisation of Optimism and its unquestioning adherents.


9

Akin to Candide, Blackadder is subject to the social and contextual conditions it was constructed in. Ben Elton and Richard Curtis’ post-modernist historical costume drama Blackadder scrutinises the fixed British social class hierarchy that is still prevalent in 1980’s England through an emulation of the regency period, satirising the lack of social evolution throughout British history.

10

This satire targets the hierarchal power structures embodied in the farcical caricature of the Prince Regent, as seen in Sense and Senility when the Prince Regent visits a high-brow theatre, with Blackadder recalling a previous experience, saying ‘Last year when Brutus was about to kill Julius Caesar, the Prince yelled out, “Look behind you Mr Caesar”. It is in the hyperbolic characterisation of the Prince Regent that allows this scene to flourish as a comedic paradigm. Elton diminishes the Prince’s intelligence to that of a child, which is expertly conveyed through the travesty of highbrow theatre as the Prince treats it as though it was a pantomime. This subversion of the prince reflects Elton’s social and cultural conditions through creating a dichotomy between the pomposity of the ruling class with the Prince’s daftness and the anachronistic figure of Blackadder who acts as a proto-modernist vehicle for the modern responder to draw understanding from, framing the responder to realise that social values from the regency period still exist today while creating an enduring relevance through its social commentary on the higher classes and how social class doesn’t equate to intelligence.

11

This caustic, yet comical attack continues throughout the episode, re-occurring when the Prince Regent says to Blackadder, ““It’s not me that’s thick, it’s you! … I’m the bloody Prince and you’re only a butler”. Due to the metafictive characterisation of Blackadder as a Machiavellian foil to the idiotic Prince Regent, the audience relates to Blackadder despite the Prince’s social stature and power. This is exactly the reason why the audience can see through the Prince’s diminutive rhetoric and realise the obvious irony in the situation, as the Prince, regardless of being a prince, is incorrect and the situation is the inverse of what the prince believes. This inversion aims to subvert the current social and cultural conditions pertaining to the class system, which has not evolved since the regency period while providing the audience a glimpse into Elton’s social and cultural conditions through his ever-pertinent commentary on royalty, and how often the lower classes are the more intelligent and down to earth, as seen through the dynamics between Blackadder and the Prince Regent.


It is an undeniable fact that both Candide and Blackadder are comedic texts that possess an enduring relevance, thus this in-depth analysis into their multi-faceted homogeneity hopefully shed some light as to why both texts are highly regarded throughout history as both texts reveal and critique aspects of the human condition, specifically through exposing human mistakes and weaknesses due to their social and cultural influences.
I sincerely think that this is a very, very good analysis! I have no concerns over the information you present, or how it is written. I think what needs to happen is something that I can't critique from here: the delivery. In your delivery you need to make this very interesting to the audience. Through consistent manipulation of tone and volume you can definitely keep an audience interested. But, if you feel that this isn't your strong point, I suggest you add some rhetorical questions, the second person narrator, little ancedotes, these kind of things. If your voice alone can convey this interest, you have no problem! But if you need something to boost your engagement with the audience, I suggest you add some of these things in. It is about comedy after all, are you a bit of a comedian and can get some laughs out of it? :) You should be really stoked with your work, it is extremely hard to critique!
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elysepopplewell

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2016, 11:10:39 am »
Hi, would you mind read over one of my paragraphs for After the Bomb? The question is 'To what extent does this statement reflect your understanding of politics in After the Bomb?: Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this. From a speech to the South Carolina Legislature on April 16 1947.' This is by far my longest paragraph and I want to get rid of any areas which aren't contributing to the overall value.
Thank you so much :)


Hello! I'll gladly take a look at this paragraph. Sylvia Plath is my fave.
My comments are in bold throughout:
Spoiler
Reacting to growing uncertainty following the dropping of the bomb, Western society returned to traditional conservative societal values creating a culture of containment. This social repression, combined with political instability and Cold War paranoia, led to the disintegration of trust in relationships. Increasingly isolated, individuals turned to material possession and social conformity to gain identities. Sylvia Plath explicitly represents this search for authenticity within her poetry from a critical perspective of social expectations. By this stage I was hoping to see a more explicit reference to the stimulus about the enemies. Is it possible to weave that in here? To ensure her existence, Plath begins a personal and anxious interrogation of herself, most clear in Daddy through her portrayal of “man in black with a Meinkampf look.” Through juxtaposing an insistent nursery rhyme tone with allusions to Nazism and the connotations of the black motif, Plath develops a persona with an electra complex, satirising the clinging of society to oppressive values in order to feel purposeful. The threats posed by this global identity crisis are evident in the criticism of the crowd which shoves to see Lady Lazarus’ “big strip tease.” The dual symbolism of this image metaphorically represents Plath’s personal struggle with depression and the unfeeling and material-driven nature of society. A titillating and perverse tone furthers Plath’s representation of societies “comfortable concentration camp” (Freiden) as a form of sleazy entertainment and civilian distraction, highlighting the threat posed by social regulations. In following the philosophies of her contemporary Simone de Beauvoir that oppression creates war, Plath utilises the confessional genre to confront Cold War privacy ideologies. The analogy of writing for personal expression is evident in the simile “Sap wells like tears, like water striving to re-establish its mirror” (Words). Through the metaphor of nature imagery, Plath expresses her role to counteract social conformity to dictated truths by revealing natural truths, particularly against the disempowerment of women. In The Applicant, Plath highlights her society's return to conservatism as an attempt to retain stability, explicitly satirising the resulting oppression and commodification of women. This is sooooooo good! Plath achieves this through the extended metaphor of an all knowing persona who subverts the traditional nuclear family values. The parody of housewives in “Come here, sweetie, out of that closet (name the poem it is from),” creates an emotional dissociation, reflecting the fragmentary and isolated nature of humanity in the period, and resulting distraction through materialism. Plath’s critique of these oppressive values is amplified through the application of a condescending tone. Plath further rejects the culture of containment and privacy through her self-commodification in Lady Lazarus “for a word...or a bit of blood.” Hence, Plath partakes in the interrogation of self, following isolation as a result of politically driven paranoia. However, she rejects the widespread materialism adopted by her context as a form of self medication, finding these methods to be repressive.

This is great! I usually comment a lot more than what I did here. The reason is, your analysis is so deep and very authentic. It's great to see!

What needs to be improved:
-You reference politics implicitly a fair bit, but you need to make a specific link to the essay question regarding "politics" and your own original take on the idea of "social politics." It's a very small thing, but I think this will show enormous improvement. This is the reason that I couldn't decide what to cut, I don't know which are most important to the essay question. Anything that you struggle to link to the essay question is what you should cut.

-More reference to the essay stimulus - the quote. A small thing to do, but this will also make it very clear about what you should cut and it is essential to getting the best grades.

Let me know what you think, if you adjust it then post again and I'll take another look! All the best :)
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jamonwindeyer

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 12:13:45 am »
Attention! The essay marking rules have now changed  ;D Due to increasing popularity, and to make sure essay marking services remain accessible for active members of the ATAR Notes community, a new post exchange policy is in effect for all essays below this line. Every 5 ATAR Notes posts qualifies you for one essay to be marked. 50 posts qualifies you for 10 essays, etc. Details can be found at this link! Thanks!  ;D

aoife98

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2016, 04:08:21 pm »
What needs to be improved:
-You reference politics implicitly a fair bit, but you need to make a specific link to the essay question regarding "politics" and your own original take on the idea of "social politics." It's a very small thing, but I think this will show enormous improvement. This is the reason that I couldn't decide what to cut, I don't know which are most important to the essay question. Anything that you struggle to link to the essay question is what you should cut.

-More reference to the essay stimulus - the quote. A small thing to do, but this will also make it very clear about what you should cut and it is essential to getting the best grades.

Let me know what you think, if you adjust it then post again and I'll take another look! All the best :)

Thank you so much for this! The essay is due in two days but I plan to use it for trials/hsc. Even if someone would be able to mark half of it, that would be great. I've also (briefly) attempted to include greater reference to the stimulus regarding Plath. Do you think a direct reference to the quote is necessary in each explanation?

Thank you again!
To what extent does this statement reflect your understanding of politics in After the Bomb?
Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this.


A bright flash, and the world was changed forever. As the 1945 mushroom cloud ballooned over Hiroshima city, traditional global values regarding the common pursuit of man were dashed away forever and replaced by a pervading distrust, paranoia and existentialism. Responding to this shift in global consciousness, composers of the era developed the popular perception of the atomic bomb as marking the failure of the grand human narrative, and further reflected the resulting disempowerment. The characteristic political compliance before the bomb is challenged through subversion of literary conventions in Samuel Beckett’s 1953 absurdist play Waiting for Godot, and Stanley Kubrick's film Dr Strangelove (1964) reflecting the growing abandonment of tradition. The resulting isolation and disintegration of trust led to a culture of self distraction through material possession, a concept critiqued as an internal threat by Sylvia Plath’s poetic anthology Ariel and Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel White Noise. Through satirical representations of common post war rationales, these composers seek to reveal the ramifications of complacency as spreading internal threats, highlighting the greater enemy within the human psyche.

The dropping of the bomb saw increasing isolation due to the replacement of enlightenment thinking with existentialist doubt in the human endeavour, leading to distrust in authority. Beckett represents these paradigms throughout Waiting for Godot with the intention of exposing “the instability of every apparently solid structure.” (Worton) Emblematic of the eras increasing nihilism and rejection of authoritative trust, Beckett absurdly depicts the “bad faith” philosophies of Sartre through the darkly humourous protagonists, in their pursual of false or unfulfilling external answers to their purpose. “Terrified by (their) own emptiness” (J. Moore) they futilely put complete faith in the omniscient, controlling and metaphorical ‘Godot’. Through religious allusion, Beckett allegorically highlights the emerging disillusionment following the failure of authority, religion and science to protect humanity. Further, the disturbance to social structure and resultant dysfunction is further evident through the rejection of language conventions in the absurdist genre, including the fragmented syntax and useless repertoire in the dialogue “Nothing to be done.” Beckett uses the motif to capture the contextual paralysis and loss of hope. Beckett further criticises absolute trust in authority through the desensitised reactions of characters to inhumanity in the satirically childlike connotations of “We could play at Pozzo and Lucky.” The composer uses this metaphor for propaganda to question ‘truths’ regarding Communism as evil and Capitalism as righteous. The failure of the Christian metanarrative is most poignant through Beckett’s subversion of Christian grace and suffering ideologies. Through parenthesis and truncated sentences, the composer creates a poignant tone, revealing the extent of disempowerment “To every man his little cross. Till he dies. (Afterthought) And is forgotten.” Therefore, through absurd representation, Beckett reveals the contextual loss of hope and purpose following the failure of the human metanarrative, and questions the prevalent trust in authority.

Following conventional post bomb coping attempts, Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove employs satire and black humour to express contextual disillusionment in authority and breakdown of logic, following the failure of supposed safeguards. The film plays on the audience’s contextual hyper-anxieties to reveal the flaws of total trust in authoritative bodies, alluding to McCarthy's invalid ‘Red Scare.’ Communist fears are central to the plot as the catalyst for General Ripper’s subversion of duty. Realising “the whole situation (of the Cold War) was absurd,” Kubrick sought to highlight the dangers of propaganda-driven terror by creating a sense of neurosis through Ripper’s vacant and erratic movements. This approach contrasts DeLillo’s portrayal of naive ignorance. Moreover, the composer portrays his disillusionment by reducing the atomic bomb (the symbol of civilian fear) to a metaphor for sex, and male desires to prove masculinity, through allusions to Jack the Ripper’s violent sexual tendencies, and “essence.” Kubrick further challenges the contextual political compliance by highlighting the fallibility of leaders through the characterisation of historical figures as incompetent. This is most obvious in the absurd dialogue between the opposing presidents regarding the global doom they invoked, “Don’t say that you’re more sorry than I am.” Through reductionism, the film juxtaposes doom with the comical chewing of gum, through cross-cutting, to criticise politicians. Furthermore, Kubrick satirises the paradoxical M.A.D policy through the ironic military motto “Peace is our profession.” The recurring motif is used in the background of combat scenes to emphasise the theorys irrationality. The failure of authoritative bodies to protect society is made obvious in the dramatic irony of a scuffle between two politicians depicted with a dolly cam, to which the President objects “you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!” The absurdity of political motivations in the period is epitomised in the concluding contrast between the montage of explosions and the non diegetic score music. Thus, Kubrick embodies post war feelings of the failure of the capitalist metanarrative to produce stable governing bodies, and furthermore criticising the prevailing trust in authority.

Reacting to growing uncertainty following the dropping of the bomb, Western society returned to traditional conservative societal values creating a culture of containment and fear of the unknown. This social repression, combined with political instability and Cold War paranoia, led to the disintegration of trust in relationships. Increasingly isolated, individuals turned to material possession and social conformity to gain identities, becoming repressed under their own regulations. Sylvia Plath explicitly represents this search for authenticity within her poetry through a critical perspective of social expectations as a threat to humanity, posed by the individual and society. To ensure her existence, Plath begins a personal and anxious interrogation of herself, most clear in Daddy through her portrayal of “man in black with a Meinkampf look.” Through juxtaposing an insistent nursery rhyme tone with allusions to Nazism and the connotations of the black motif,, Plath develops a persona with an electra complex, satirising the clinging of society to oppressive values in order to feel purposeful. The threats posed by this global identity crisis are evident in the criticism of the crowd which shoves to see Lady Lazarus’ “big strip tease.” The dual symbolism of this image metaphorically represents Plath’s personal struggle with depression and the unfeeling and material-driven nature of society. A titillating and perverse tone furthers Plath’s representation of societies “comfortable concentration camp” (Freiden) as a form of sleazy entertainment and civilian distraction, highlighting the threat posed by social regulations. In following the philosophies of her contemporary Simone de Beauvoir that oppression creates war, Plath utilises the confessional genre to confront Cold War privacy ideologies. The analogy of writing for personal expression is evident in the simile “Sap wells like tears, like water striving to re-establish its mirror” (Words). Through the metaphor of nature imagery, Plath expresses her role to counteract social conformity to dictated truths by revealing natural truths, particularly against the disempowerment of women. In The Applicant, Plath highlights her society's return to conservatism as an attempt to retain stability, explicitly satirising the resulting oppression and commodification of women. Plath achieves this through the extended metaphor of an all knowing persona who subverts the traditional nuclear family values. The parody of housewives in The Applicant “Come here, sweetie, out of that closet,” creates an emotional dissociation, reflecting the fragmentary and isolated nature of humanity in the period, and resulting distraction through materialism. Plath’s critique of these oppressive values is amplified through the application of a condescending tone. Plath further rejects the culture of containment and privacy through her self-commodification in Lady Lazarus “for a word...or a bit of blood.” Hence, Plath partakes in the interrogation of self, following isolation as a result of politically driven paranoia. However, she rejects the widespread materialism adopted by her context as a form of self medication, finding these methods to be repressive.

The destructive effects of consumerism on family and religion is further criticised in DeLillo’s postmodernist novel White Noise through the representations of capitalism as a means of mass distraction from failure and person. Drawing on his perception of the “consume or die” American culture, DeLillo demonstrates consumerism as a method of distraction from mortality. This is explicit in the motif stream of consciousness “Who will die first?” interrupted by the mantra “Mastercard, Visa, American Express.” Through religious allusion to the Trinity, the composer draws connections between consumerism and faith, highlighting the contemporary nihilism, as material goods replace religion. The structural placement of this internal dialogue further reveals the incohesive and chaotic nature of the human psyche following 1945, as individuals sought to reconcile their fears through material distraction. Furthermore, DeLillo presents consumerism as an analogy for propaganda; an omnipresent being demanding complete submission. Through the skillful employment of lexical chain and sensory appeals, the composer creates a tone of excessive and overwhelming choice, revealing advertising as a method of cognitive repression. The endless soundtrack of “toneless systems, the jangle and skid of carts, the loudspeaker and the coffee-making machines,” diverts the protagonist from his toxic environment, maintaining his naivety. The creation of false identity further harms the individual, who realises he’s a “character that follows the name around.” DeLillo uses this epiphany to reinforce the isolating effects of the rampant consumerism of his era, echoing Plath’s sentiments. Through a series of subplots and tangents, the composer dually represents through structural and creative means, the contextual social disorder and subversion of values, present through remarriage and twisted parent-child relationships. This culminates in the ultimate family disintegration of adultery, serving as a catalyst for sinful revenge, and reiterating the repercussions of consumerism. The crimes nature as a “capitalist transaction” criticises the systems sinful nature, satirically revealing its destructive consequences. Consequently, the Cold War reliance on superficial and external distractions from fears is portrayed by DeLillo as being responsible for the breakdown of traditional relations with family, religion and self. Thus, this supports Plath’s perception of consumerism as a threat, examining its undermining effects on social values.

Responding to the post 1945 shift in global ways of thinking, composers sought to reveal prevalent feelings of isolation, and distrust, and question social compliance to oppressive values and authorities. Through the portrayal of disturbing accounts of modern reality, these texts attempted to emulate the consequences of the failure of the human metanarrative, specifically regarding the disintegration of trust, identity, family and logic, and the threats posed to society by these internal doubts. Furthermore, composers challenged compliance to truths claimed by bodies of authority, provoking audience questioning of the roots of their fears, and leading to an understanding of the internal threat posed by oppressive bodies. In summation, these texts effectively challenged the prevalent fear of external enemies by revealing the threats of the human psyche, and domestic politics. 

elysepopplewell

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2016, 12:31:28 am »
Thank you so much for this! The essay is due in two days but I plan to use it for trials/hsc. Even if someone would be able to mark half of it, that would be great. I've also (briefly) attempted to include greater reference to the stimulus regarding Plath. Do you think a direct reference to the quote is necessary in each explanation?

Thank you again!
To what extent does this statement reflect your understanding of politics in After the Bomb?
Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this.


Hi there! I'm so sorry to let you down that I didn't get here in time for your assessment! :( But you're totally right, you can use this for trials and HSC! I'll have a look right now :)

Here is your original essay without comments:
Spoiler
To what extent does this statement reflect your understanding of politics in After the Bomb?
Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this.

A bright flash, and the world was changed forever. As the 1945 mushroom cloud ballooned over Hiroshima city, traditional global values regarding the common pursuit of man were dashed away forever and replaced by a pervading distrust, paranoia and existentialism. Responding to this shift in global consciousness, composers of the era developed the popular perception of the atomic bomb as marking the failure of the grand human narrative, and further reflected the resulting disempowerment. The characteristic political compliance before the bomb is challenged through subversion of literary conventions in Samuel Beckett’s 1953 absurdist play Waiting for Godot, and Stanley Kubrick's film Dr Strangelove (1964) reflecting the growing abandonment of tradition. The resulting isolation and disintegration of trust led to a culture of self distraction through material possession, a concept critiqued as an internal threat by Sylvia Plath’s poetic anthology Ariel and Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel White Noise. Through satirical representations of common post war rationales, these composers seek to reveal the ramifications of complacency as spreading internal threats, highlighting the greater enemy within the human psyche.

The dropping of the bomb saw increasing isolation due to the replacement of enlightenment thinking with existentialist doubt in the human endeavour, leading to distrust in authority. Beckett represents these paradigms throughout Waiting for Godot with the intention of exposing “the instability of every apparently solid structure.” (Worton) Emblematic of the eras increasing nihilism and rejection of authoritative trust, Beckett absurdly depicts the “bad faith” philosophies of Sartre through the darkly humourous protagonists, in their pursual of false or unfulfilling external answers to their purpose. “Terrified by (their) own emptiness” (J. Moore) they futilely put complete faith in the omniscient, controlling and metaphorical ‘Godot’. Through religious allusion, Beckett allegorically highlights the emerging disillusionment following the failure of authority, religion and science to protect humanity. Further, the disturbance to social structure and resultant dysfunction is further evident through the rejection of language conventions in the absurdist genre, including the fragmented syntax and useless repertoire in the dialogue “Nothing to be done.” Beckett uses the motif to capture the contextual paralysis and loss of hope. Beckett further criticises absolute trust in authority through the desensitised reactions of characters to inhumanity in the satirically childlike connotations of “We could play at Pozzo and Lucky.” The composer uses this metaphor for propaganda to question ‘truths’ regarding Communism as evil and Capitalism as righteous. The failure of the Christian metanarrative is most poignant through Beckett’s subversion of Christian grace and suffering ideologies. Through parenthesis and truncated sentences, the composer creates a poignant tone, revealing the extent of disempowerment “To every man his little cross. Till he dies. (Afterthought) And is forgotten.” Therefore, through absurd representation, Beckett reveals the contextual loss of hope and purpose following the failure of the human metanarrative, and questions the prevalent trust in authority.

Following conventional post bomb coping attempts, Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove employs satire and black humour to express contextual disillusionment in authority and breakdown of logic, following the failure of supposed safeguards. The film plays on the audience’s contextual hyper-anxieties to reveal the flaws of total trust in authoritative bodies, alluding to McCarthy's invalid ‘Red Scare.’ Communist fears are central to the plot as the catalyst for General Ripper’s subversion of duty. Realising “the whole situation (of the Cold War) was absurd,” Kubrick sought to highlight the dangers of propaganda-driven terror by creating a sense of neurosis through Ripper’s vacant and erratic movements. This approach contrasts DeLillo’s portrayal of naive ignorance. Moreover, the composer portrays his disillusionment by reducing the atomic bomb (the symbol of civilian fear) to a metaphor for sex, and male desires to prove masculinity, through allusions to Jack the Ripper’s violent sexual tendencies, and “essence.” Kubrick further challenges the contextual political compliance by highlighting the fallibility of leaders through the characterisation of historical figures as incompetent. This is most obvious in the absurd dialogue between the opposing presidents regarding the global doom they invoked, “Don’t say that you’re more sorry than I am.” Through reductionism, the film juxtaposes doom with the comical chewing of gum, through cross-cutting, to criticise politicians. Furthermore, Kubrick satirises the paradoxical M.A.D policy through the ironic military motto “Peace is our profession.” The recurring motif is used in the background of combat scenes to emphasise the theorys irrationality. The failure of authoritative bodies to protect society is made obvious in the dramatic irony of a scuffle between two politicians depicted with a dolly cam, to which the President objects “you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!” The absurdity of political motivations in the period is epitomised in the concluding contrast between the montage of explosions and the non diegetic score music. Thus, Kubrick embodies post war feelings of the failure of the capitalist metanarrative to produce stable governing bodies, and furthermore criticising the prevailing trust in authority.

Reacting to growing uncertainty following the dropping of the bomb, Western society returned to traditional conservative societal values creating a culture of containment and fear of the unknown. This social repression, combined with political instability and Cold War paranoia, led to the disintegration of trust in relationships. Increasingly isolated, individuals turned to material possession and social conformity to gain identities, becoming repressed under their own regulations. Sylvia Plath explicitly represents this search for authenticity within her poetry through a critical perspective of social expectations as a threat to humanity, posed by the individual and society. To ensure her existence, Plath begins a personal and anxious interrogation of herself, most clear in Daddy through her portrayal of “man in black with a Meinkampf look.” Through juxtaposing an insistent nursery rhyme tone with allusions to Nazism and the connotations of the black motif,, Plath develops a persona with an electra complex, satirising the clinging of society to oppressive values in order to feel purposeful. The threats posed by this global identity crisis are evident in the criticism of the crowd which shoves to see Lady Lazarus’ “big strip tease.” The dual symbolism of this image metaphorically represents Plath’s personal struggle with depression and the unfeeling and material-driven nature of society. A titillating and perverse tone furthers Plath’s representation of societies “comfortable concentration camp” (Freiden) as a form of sleazy entertainment and civilian distraction, highlighting the threat posed by social regulations. In following the philosophies of her contemporary Simone de Beauvoir that oppression creates war, Plath utilises the confessional genre to confront Cold War privacy ideologies. The analogy of writing for personal expression is evident in the simile “Sap wells like tears, like water striving to re-establish its mirror” (Words). Through the metaphor of nature imagery, Plath expresses her role to counteract social conformity to dictated truths by revealing natural truths, particularly against the disempowerment of women. In The Applicant, Plath highlights her society's return to conservatism as an attempt to retain stability, explicitly satirising the resulting oppression and commodification of women. Plath achieves this through the extended metaphor of an all knowing persona who subverts the traditional nuclear family values. The parody of housewives in The Applicant “Come here, sweetie, out of that closet,” creates an emotional dissociation, reflecting the fragmentary and isolated nature of humanity in the period, and resulting distraction through materialism. Plath’s critique of these oppressive values is amplified through the application of a condescending tone. Plath further rejects the culture of containment and privacy through her self-commodification in Lady Lazarus “for a word...or a bit of blood.” Hence, Plath partakes in the interrogation of self, following isolation as a result of politically driven paranoia. However, she rejects the widespread materialism adopted by her context as a form of self medication, finding these methods to be repressive.

The destructive effects of consumerism on family and religion is further criticised in DeLillo’s postmodernist novel White Noise through the representations of capitalism as a means of mass distraction from failure and person. Drawing on his perception of the “consume or die” American culture, DeLillo demonstrates consumerism as a method of distraction from mortality. This is explicit in the motif stream of consciousness “Who will die first?” interrupted by the mantra “Mastercard, Visa, American Express.” Through religious allusion to the Trinity, the composer draws connections between consumerism and faith, highlighting the contemporary nihilism, as material goods replace religion. The structural placement of this internal dialogue further reveals the incohesive and chaotic nature of the human psyche following 1945, as individuals sought to reconcile their fears through material distraction. Furthermore, DeLillo presents consumerism as an analogy for propaganda; an omnipresent being demanding complete submission. Through the skillful employment of lexical chain and sensory appeals, the composer creates a tone of excessive and overwhelming choice, revealing advertising as a method of cognitive repression. The endless soundtrack of “toneless systems, the jangle and skid of carts, the loudspeaker and the coffee-making machines,” diverts the protagonist from his toxic environment, maintaining his naivety. The creation of false identity further harms the individual, who realises he’s a “character that follows the name around.” DeLillo uses this epiphany to reinforce the isolating effects of the rampant consumerism of his era, echoing Plath’s sentiments. Through a series of subplots and tangents, the composer dually represents through structural and creative means, the contextual social disorder and subversion of values, present through remarriage and twisted parent-child relationships. This culminates in the ultimate family disintegration of adultery, serving as a catalyst for sinful revenge, and reiterating the repercussions of consumerism. The crimes nature as a “capitalist transaction” criticises the systems sinful nature, satirically revealing its destructive consequences. Consequently, the Cold War reliance on superficial and external distractions from fears is portrayed by DeLillo as being responsible for the breakdown of traditional relations with family, religion and self. Thus, this supports Plath’s perception of consumerism as a threat, examining its undermining effects on social values.

Responding to the post 1945 shift in global ways of thinking, composers sought to reveal prevalent feelings of isolation, and distrust, and question social compliance to oppressive values and authorities. Through the portrayal of disturbing accounts of modern reality, these texts attempted to emulate the consequences of the failure of the human metanarrative, specifically regarding the disintegration of trust, identity, family and logic, and the threats posed to society by these internal doubts. Furthermore, composers challenged compliance to truths claimed by bodies of authority, provoking audience questioning of the roots of their fears, and leading to an understanding of the internal threat posed by oppressive bodies. In summation, these texts effectively challenged the prevalent fear of external enemies by revealing the threats of the human psyche, and domestic politics.

Here is your essay with my own comments throughout, in bold font:
Spoiler
To what extent does this statement reflect your understanding of politics in After the Bomb?
Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this.

A bright flash, and the world was changed forever. As the 1945 mushroom cloud ballooned over Hiroshima city, traditional global values regarding the common pursuit of man were dashed away forever and replaced by a pervading distrust, paranoia and existentialism. Great work mentioning the new ways of thinking here! Responding to this shift in global consciousness, composers of the era developed the popular perception of the atomic bomb as marking the failure of the grand human narrative, and further reflected the resulting disempowerment. The characteristic political compliance before the bomb is challenged through subversion of literary conventions in Samuel Beckett’s 1953 absurdist play Waiting for Godot, and Stanley Kubrick's film Dr Strangelove (1964) reflecting the growing abandonment of tradition. The resulting isolation and disintegration of trust led to a culture of self distraction through material possession, a concept critiqued as an internal threat by Sylvia Plath’s poetic anthology Ariel and Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel White Noise. Through satirical representations of common post war rationales, these composers seek to reveal the ramifications of complacency as spreading internal threats, highlighting the greater enemy within the human psyche. You've really ticked all of the boxes here! Ways of thinking post bomb, ways of thinking pre-bomb, context, key players, texts, and answering the question!

The dropping of the bomb saw increasing isolation due to the replacement of enlightenment thinking with existentialist doubt in the human endeavour, leading to distrust in authority. This is great, but if you could angle it more to imply that there is an enemy, as the essay question wants, you'll be attacking it with more direction and the marker will be more alert to your effort.Beckett represents these paradigms throughout Waiting for Godot with the intention of exposing “the instability of every apparently solid structure.” (Worton) Emblematic of the eras increasing nihilism and rejection of authoritative trust, Beckett absurdly depicts the “bad faith” philosophies of Sartre through the darkly humourous protagonists, in their pursual of false or unfulfilling external answers to their purpose. “Terrified by (their) own emptiness” (J. Moore) they futilely put complete faith in the omniscient, controlling and metaphorical ‘Godot’. Through religious allusion, Beckett allegorically highlights the emerging disillusionment following the failure of authority, religion and science to protect humanity. Further, the disturbance to social structure and resultant dysfunction is further evident through the rejection of language conventions in the absurdist genre, including the fragmented syntax and useless repertoire in the dialogue “Nothing to be done.” Beckett uses the motif to capture the contextual paralysis and loss of hope. Beckett further criticises absolute trust in authority through the desensitised reactions of characters to inhumanity in the satirically childlike connotations of “We could play at Pozzo and Lucky.” The composer uses this metaphor for propaganda to question ‘truths’ regarding Communism as evil and Capitalism as righteous. The failure of the Christian metanarrative is most poignant through Beckett’s subversion of Christian grace and suffering ideologies. Through parenthesis and truncated sentences, the composer creates a poignant tone, revealing the extent of disempowerment “To every man his little cross. Till he dies. (Afterthought) And is forgotten.” Therefore, through absurd representation, Beckett reveals the contextual loss of hope and purpose following the failure of the human metanarrative, and questions the prevalent trust in authority. This is flawless in terms of tackling the ways of thinking, relating it to the text, the composer's purpose and the techniques at play. What is lacking is a direct CLEAR link to the question. If i use my imagination I can open my eyes to ways that you are relating to this really well, but I have to really think about it. A clear identification of your thought process at the start of the paragraph would guide the paragraph further, but I think it needs to be weaved throughout a bit more. The idea of "enemies" is difficult - but you could make religion or politics the enemy!

Following conventional post bomb coping attempts, Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove employs satire and black humour to express contextual disillusionment in authority and breakdown of logic, following the failure of supposed safeguards. The film plays on the audience’s contextual hyper-anxieties to reveal the flaws of total trust in authoritative bodies, alluding to McCarthy's invalid ‘Red Scare.’ Communist fears are central to the plot as the catalyst for General Ripper’s subversion of duty. Realising “the whole situation (of the Cold War) was absurd,” Kubrick sought to highlight the dangers of propaganda-driven terror by creating a sense of neurosis through Ripper’s vacant and erratic movements. This approach contrasts DeLillo’s portrayal of naive ignorance. Moreover, the composer portrays his disillusionment by reducing the atomic bomb (the symbol of civilian fear) to a metaphor for sex, and male desires to prove masculinity, through allusions to Jack the Ripper’s violent sexual tendencies, and “essence.” Kubrick further challenges the contextual political compliance by highlighting the fallibility of leaders through the characterisation of historical figures as incompetent. This is most obvious in the absurd dialogue between the opposing presidents regarding the global doom they invoked, “Don’t say that you’re more sorry than I am.” Really good analysis. Each sentence in this is super valuable and adds a lot to your work. I never think "this is a pointless sentence" because everything is related to the ways of thinking. Through reductionism, the film juxtaposes doom with the comical chewing of gum, through cross-cutting, to criticise politicians. Furthermore, Kubrick satirises the paradoxical M.A.D policy through the ironic military motto “Peace is our profession.” The recurring motif is used in the background of combat scenes to emphasise the theorys irrationality. The failure of authoritative bodies to protect society is made obvious in the dramatic irony of a scuffle between two politicians depicted with a dolly cam, to which the President objects “you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!” The absurdity of political motivations in the period is epitomised in the concluding contrast between the montage of explosions and the non diegetic score music. Thus, Kubrick embodies post war feelings of the failure of the capitalist metanarrative to produce stable governing bodies, and furthermore criticising the prevailing trust in authority. Another sentence and I'm just not getting the sense of the enemy being within. If the enemy is the government here, you've done an excellent job! But it needs to be more explicitly stated. Identify the notion that Americans feared the communists, when really an enemy they faced was their own incompetent democratic leaders, according to Kurbrick. This satisfies the enemies at home - but Kubrick also satirises the enemies abroad here. So it works both ways.

Reacting to growing uncertainty following the dropping of the bomb, Western society returned to traditional conservative societal values creating a culture of containment and fear of the unknown. This social repression, combined with political instability and Cold War paranoia, led to the disintegration of trust in relationships. Increasingly isolated, individuals turned to material possession and social conformity to gain identities, becoming repressed under their own regulations. Sylvia Plath explicitly represents this search for authenticity within her poetry through a critical perspective of social expectations as a threat to humanity, posed by the individual and society. To ensure her existence, Plath begins a personal and anxious interrogation of herself, most clear in Daddy through her portrayal of “man in black with a Meinkampf look.” Through juxtaposing an insistent nursery rhyme tone with allusions to Nazism and the connotations of the black motif,, Plath develops a persona with an electra complex, satirising the clinging of society to oppressive values in order to feel purposeful. The threats posed by this global identity crisis are evident in the criticism of the crowd which shoves to see Lady Lazarus’ “big strip tease.” The dual symbolism of this image metaphorically represents Plath’s personal struggle with depression and the unfeeling and material-driven nature of society. A titillating and perverse tone furthers Plath’s representation of societies “comfortable concentration camp” (Freiden) I love Betty Friedan! It is FriedAn, not FriedEn, just for next time :)as a form of sleazy entertainment and civilian distraction, highlighting the threat posed by social regulations. In following the philosophies of her contemporary Simone de Beauvoir that oppression creates war, Plath utilises the confessional genre to confront Cold War privacy ideologies. The analogy of writing for personal expression is evident in the simile “Sap wells like tears, like water striving to re-establish its mirror” (Words). Through the metaphor of nature imagery, Plath expresses her role to counteract social conformity to dictated truths by revealing natural truths, particularly against the disempowerment of women. In The Applicant, Plath highlights her society's return to conservatism as an attempt to retain stability, explicitly satirising the resulting oppression and commodification of women. Plath achieves this through the extended metaphor of an all knowing persona who subverts the traditional nuclear family values. The parody of housewives in The Applicant “Come here, sweetie, out of that closet,” creates an emotional dissociation, reflecting the fragmentary and isolated nature of humanity in the period, and resulting distraction through materialism. Plath’s critique of these oppressive values is amplified through the application of a condescending tone. Plath further rejects the culture of containment and privacy through her self-commodification in Lady Lazarus “for a word...or a bit of blood.” Hence, Plath partakes in the interrogation of self, following isolation as a result of politically driven paranoia. However, she rejects the widespread materialism adopted by her context as a form of self medication, finding these methods to be repressive. I think that this paragraph strays from the ways of thinking. Your analysis is wonderful, but it focuses on Plath's critique and reflection of society more than it does the ways of thinking. Again, you can adapt this to talk about the enemy being within more, it's implcitly there, but I'm needing to use my imagination to locate where. Society, or rather, patriarchal society, is the enemy here. When she develops the electra complex, her own mind and love is the enemy, for example. So these enemies are "at home."

The destructive effects of consumerism on family and religion is further criticised in DeLillo’s postmodernist novel White Noise through the representations of capitalism as a means of mass distraction from failure and person. Drawing on his perception of the “consume or die” American culture, DeLillo demonstrates consumerism as a method of distraction from mortality. This is explicit in the motif stream of consciousness “Who will die first?” interrupted by the mantra “Mastercard, Visa, American Express.” Through religious allusion to the Trinity, the composer draws connections between consumerism and faith, highlighting the contemporary nihilism, as material goods replace religion. The structural placement of this internal dialogue further reveals the incohesive and chaotic nature of the human psyche following 1945, as individuals sought to reconcile their fears through material distraction. Furthermore, DeLillo presents consumerism as an analogy for propaganda; an omnipresent being demanding complete submission. Through the skillful employment of lexical chain and sensory appeals, the composer creates a tone of excessive and overwhelming choice, revealing advertising as a method of cognitive repression. The endless soundtrack of “toneless systems, the jangle and skid of carts, the loudspeaker and the coffee-making machines,” diverts the protagonist from his toxic environment, maintaining his naivety. The creation of false identity further harms the individual, who realises he’s a “character that follows the name around.” DeLillo uses this epiphany to reinforce the isolating effects of the rampant consumerism of his era, echoing Plath’s sentiments. Through a series of subplots and tangents, the composer dually represents through structural and creative means, the contextual social disorder and subversion of values, present through remarriage and twisted parent-child relationships. I think you've convinced me to read this text! It sounds wild. Ridiculously interesting. I love a good capitalism critique. This culminates in the ultimate family disintegration of adultery, serving as a catalyst for sinful revenge, and reiterating the repercussions of consumerism. The crimes nature as a “capitalist transaction” criticises the systems sinful nature, satirically revealing its destructive consequences. Consequently, the Cold War reliance on superficial and external distractions from fears is portrayed by DeLillo as being responsible for the breakdown of traditional relations with family, religion and self. Thus, this supports Plath’s perception of consumerism as a threatI'd probably identify a poem here, like "Plath's perception of consumerism as a threat, as detailed in The Applicant..." Just for the reason that it was one of the many ideas you dealt with, and you might leave the marker like "wait, I just have to go back up and work out exactly where consumerism was dealt with.., examining its undermining effects on social values.  Again, not a lot of linking to the question. But, your understanding of the text simply cannot be doubted.

Responding to the post 1945 shift in global ways of thinking, composers sought to reveal prevalent feelings of isolation, and distrust, and question social compliance to oppressive values and authorities. Through the portrayal of disturbing accounts of modern reality, these texts attempted to emulate the consequences of the failure of the human metanarrative, specifically regarding the disintegration of trust, identity, family and logic, and the threats posed to society by these internal doubts. Furthermore, composers challenged compliance to truths claimed by bodies of authority, provoking audience questioning of the roots of their fears, and leading to an understanding of the internal threat posed by oppressive bodies. In summation, Without using this start phrase, your sentence still makes perfect sense, and even sounds better! these texts effectively challenged the prevalent fear of external enemies by revealing the threats of the human psyche, and domestic politics.

Okay, wow!

So, your analysis of each text is just so rich. You consistently link back to the ways of thinking (this is weakest in Plath's paragraph). People say that in extension you need highly integrated (textual) essays to get the top bands and this essay truly is an example that it isn't the truth, in my opinion. I say this because no one can doubt your understanding of the ways of thinking, the context, or the texts. And they are all the key components, except...the question. The enemies at home or abroad needs some imagination work to fit with your essay in the first place, (extension 1 essays are sooo unpredictable, so it's not just you!!!) but you lack in dealing with the question explicitly. You don't "take it on" which is what I'd love to see because this essay is simply outstanding in every other aspect!

I certainly was not confident enough to take on big ideas like McCarthyism and de Beaviour like you have, at this stage in the course. So this is just wonderful. This puts you in a wonderful position!!!!!!!! I'm genuinely really excited for you because of it. Now, if I were you, I'd take three past papers, take their essay questions, and take your essay, and mash it all together! Sit with an essay question and carefully weave it through your essay as it currently stands and work out exactly where you want it to go. Top and tail each paragraph, but also weave it through the body. Please feel free to post your essay again. I genuinely think the main thing you need to focus on to secure the best possible mark is adjusting to the essay question. They are very unpredictable, but the more you are exposed to, the better really!

The only last tiny thing is that since finishing your essay, I'm left wondering about your first sentence. I expected a more dramatic style essay after that first sentence, but the rest of your essay was very neat and sophisticated. So what I'm saying is, there's nothing wrong with it, but it sets a misleading tone for your essay. Would you consider writing a less descriptive, more analytical, opening? Totally up to you.

To answer your initial question about the stimulus: I do see it more explicitly referenced to in Plath, and this seems to be the same paragraph that lacks ways of thinking for me. So that's a bizarre mix! Quoting the stimulus isn't harmful if you are making sure it is well embedded and relevant. Don't say "as the stimulus suggests..." but rather use a quotation mark for "enemy" if you wanted to - although I think it might flow better without the quotation mark, but instead just using the words of the question!

Please clarify with me if anything doesn't make sense. I hate to let you down in a time of need by not getting back to you quicker! All the best :)
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aoife98

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2016, 12:43:36 pm »
Thank you so much! I'll definitely try with the past papers. If I were to make it more integrated, how would I go about it?

elysepopplewell

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2016, 01:48:51 pm »
Thank you so much! I'll definitely try with the past papers. If I were to make it more integrated, how would I go about it?

I think that an integration of ideas/themes/ways of thinking will work far better for you than integrated texts. You can certainly do integrated textual paragraphs (by this I mean, dealing with two texts concurrently in the paragraph) but it will mean you have to basically re-write your entire essay. You can keep a lot of the ideas and analysis, but you'll need to shake up the structure entirely.

As for ideas and ways of thinking, I think it stood out to me so well that in your last paragraph (before the conclusion), you linked back to the consumerism dealt with in Plath's text.
So, I'd starting making a conscious effort to connect ideas through ways of thinking/paradigms. Consumerism flows through the texts nicely, economic systems, religion, politics, gender. These all flow through the texts in some way or another.
A suggestion: Make a table with the ways of thinking/paradigms in one column (a row for each), and make another column after for each text. Find a quote or textual reference for each text to fit the ways of thinking. Does this make sense visually?
This way, you have all you need to build up a textually integrated essay if you wanted to do that, but you also have a great resource!

So, I'd make a conscious effort of connecting texts to ideas ("this consumerist critique is also observed in Plath's...") without actually  changing the focus of your paragraphs from one text at a time to two. Then, if you want to take it further, then integrate your paragraphs by concurrently dealing with two texts at a time. Connecting the ideas will lay the foundations for this :)
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Lauradf36

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2016, 11:34:59 am »
I'm not sure if this thread is for creatives as well, but would anyone have time to read this creative piece for Romanticism? It needs to be 1800-2000 words and be based around key phrases from the syllabus. It also has to be based off our related/prescribed texts, which for me is Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Wollstonecraft, Frankenstein by Shelley, and Wordsworth poetry.
I'm concerned I A) have too many ideas/they aren't clear enough B) It's way too cliche/too much telling not showing. Thanks!

“Fanny Godwin? Do you present any knowledge to transform us this afternoon?”
The teacher’s biting tone stings my skin in the cold, stagnant air of the classroom as his pipe dangles from protruding lips. Each pair of passive eyes stares as I heave myself out of my seat, knees quivering, lips hanging open with the suggestion of speaking. Trembling, I twirl a strand of coffee-brown hair around pallid fingertips.
Outside, newly sprouted buildings teeter into the sky, exhaling dusty fumes. I ignore them and glance down at the careful zig-zag of carpet boring into my mind.
No more of this.
“As I sit, amidst the golden melodies of falling leaves, it is here I drink in the cry of the roaring river calling to the essence of my being. The wind begins to flow, with it’s fresh breath as free as a…”
“No, no, NO!” I jump as the teacher slams his hand down on my desk like the very hand of Napoleon, red and commanding in its fury. Savagely, he rips the white paper from my lingering grasp. “What is this poetic nonsense?”
Titters of laughter fill the air in a derisive chorus. My eyes prickle with burning, fiery tears.
“Girls, please learn from our dear student,” the man drawls, puffing out a stream of smoke with a sneering smile. Controlling black eyes set my heart ablaze with dangerous fury. It yearns for something more — it yearns to be freed from this icy cage.
“Young ladies should not be writing fanciful or imaginative tales. Next time, Fanny, exercise your logic and restraint for us. Yes sir?”
“Yes, sir.”
* * *
Pain courses through my body as I struggle to lift a coffee-brown wing chained to the cold, metal floor.
My world is one only of restraint. Logic. The vertical bars I have been forced to call my home. The occasional smattering of seeds thrown in by the monstrous human. Every now and then his eyes bulging in at my feathered form, perhaps giving a poke. My desperate pleas for help, for escape, with a faltering cuckoo cry.
My words falling on dull, ignorant ears.
Time is irrelevant in this emotionless existence. The eternal monotony of dark, light, food, dark, sleep is all I can recall. Hope seems a dwindling promise at the end of a non-existent tunnel.

It wasn’t always like this.

I recall joyfully the blue azure of the sky, and the dusky pink hues it would emit as the glowing light began to dim. The translucent waters waving beneath me, the flowing zig-zag of the grass, the flowers bending their heads in polite, gentle nods.
Until: the caging. That dreadful moment when a smoke-blowing, sneering man turned every colour to grey with one thrust of his red hands.
I still remember benevolent humans whose eyes would become wet to see my companions injured, or underfed. Some would scatter seeds and bread on nearby pathways, and the small ones would clap in delight.
It is for these memories that I continue hoping. Hoping that there is goodness in the essence of this complex human — who can be so kind and sympathetic one moment, so cold and cruel the next.
My spirits elevate as a lithe, pale girl emerges innocently from the blackened sky behind her. Her infrequent visits bring gentle, benevolent smiles and shining green eyes. It is her emotions alone that preserve my yearning for that same humanity.
“I am awfully sorry to have left you so alone, beauty,” she sighs with a dispirited air, extending a hand overflowing with nuts and seeds through the bars. “At last Mr Godwin let me finish all those dreadful chores…”
I am concerned to see her face slump at the words. These days, the names of William and Mary Godwin seem only to bring oppressive sadness.
Bending down, her brow furrows to see my rusting chains.
“As free as a bird,” she whispers. Tears filling her emerald green eyes, she reaches in to stroke my brown, striped feathers. “If only it could change.”
“It can, it can!” I cry, helplessly rattling the metal chains grasping my feet. But her back is turned, and my visionary hope is swallowed once more into billows of smoke.
* * *
The evening breeze gestures me down to the River Itchen as I enter the temple of it’s presence. Willow fronds brush my forehead gently as the curtains open freely. It is here, with time interrupted only by the comings and goings of the tide, that I am completely united with the essence of my being.
“Logic and restraint,” I mutter, turning from the brilliant yellow orb that is beginning to shine on the dancing waters. “Exercise your logic and restraint…”
I seat myself comfortably on the edge of the delicately arching bridge with pen poised for destruction. Silence slowly washes over me with calming breath, soft and sonorous, far removed from the overpowering roar of male voices. It’s the kind of solitude that lets one reflect on every crevice of their mind and body without restriction.
Grimly, I search my memory for any vestige of the logical ideas my teacher commands me to spit back in his face.
All the moment offers is bright blue water, wandering white clouds, a gently glowing red  sunset illuminating a rippling horizon. Three shades of change.
As the sky begins to dance with a melodious cacophony of colour, my lips can no longer be silenced. The words fall freely from my tongue:
“My heart leaps up when I behold, a rainbow in the sky…
So was it when my life began; 
So is it now I am a man; 
So be it when I shall grow old, 
   Or let me die!” (W. Wordsworth, 1803)
My spirits are elevated by the poet’s glorious new words. As each willow sways freely around me, I can only imagine the world released from the chains of authority into their warm embrace.
I hardly comprehend the sky slowly disappearing into a purple bruise of smoke, the streets beginning to rumble noisily without the sunshine urging them into their proper duty.

My eyes are firmly fixed on the horizon.
* * *
The girl’s face is clear as she bursts into the room with a stream of morning light. It transforms my cage with refracted colours, overwhelming the darkness that hides behind them.
“Hello, girl,” she beams unexpectedly. Green eyes glow with excitement. “Today is the day it will change, you hear me?”
Feverishly, she begins to fiddle with the locks that bind me. Her hands tremble, face flushed with inexplicable joy, as she utters — “Today you will have freedom.”

I am surrounded at once by air. Unhindered space. My heart beats faster, faster until I think it will burst out of my chest. Is this — freedom?

I cry a feeble “thank you” as her eyes open wide, watching for my jubilant egress.
Clenching my wings, I hobble determinedly to the edge of the grey expanse. For an instant I stumble and squawk in pain, but before long, my feathers are spread wide and soaring freely through the open skies.
My heart leaps up with pure joy at the sight of the brilliant clear sky which had awaited me  so long, the sun gloriously shining its golden light. A kaleidoscope of colour covers the ground beneath, red, blue, and white flashing before my eyes.

Then — SLAM.

Every ounce of joy vanishes as my body is flung into a magnanimous grey building protruding from the hazy air. It’s cold, hard zenith towers higher than the clouds, as if it were about to topple over from the weight of the burden it carried. Bursts of soiled air freely infiltrate the sky as they spit out of grotesquely twisting pipes.
Everything is enveloped by a thick, black, smog covering each colour with it’s own opaque hue. It smells oddly of sulphur and coal, mingled with the faintly metallic flavour of blood.
Heart pounding, I swoop lower. Perhaps this is an oddity of nature I had never experienced.

It is then that I see the humans, pouring from every crack and crevice of creation. Humans that are swallowed into yawning black mouths beneath them. Marching with lumps of dark black matter strapped to their tiny frames. Thrashing iron helplessly with terrifying weapons. Bending to be beaten by towering men, red hands just like my captor’s.

Rarely reappearing into disappearing green meadows.

More red men stand to the left of the river, which by now appears darkly viscous and smells pungently of sewage. They point and laugh at large expanses of grass before them, fold their arms across protruding stomachs.
Beside them sit shrivelled figures wearing withered farmer’s hats. Disfigured bodies wracked by hacking coughs. Children left in their own waste. Small damp huts which reek of rotting flesh and crying mothers.

All pleading for a simple human benevolence that doesn't appear to exist.

No one scatters them seeds. No one tears them bread. No one has a tear in their eye, only a plank of wood as they freely bark orders while holding others in chains.
No, this blackened sky was no feat of the natural realm I had so naively yearned for.

Humans.

Without a cage like mine, humans had twisted nature’s perfect world into their own disfigured creature.

Their blackness had covered every inch of flowing, emerald grass around them until only red, spotted blood remained in vision.
And the colours. The beautiful colours of the flowers, red, blue, and white, are painted on a flag that is trampled in the dust on the side of the road.
Is this — freedom?
For at last, I have seen the freedom for what it is — a monster. A black, smoky monster allowed to permeate every emotion until all that remains is red blood of victory.

Somehow, a cold, logical cage seems only too inviting.
* * *
High above me, the bird soars freely with coffee-brown wings outstretched. Amidst the din of steam engines and clanging metal, my spirit is elevated to see her released from her own icy cage.
Time eludes us as I watch it scale the clouds, dive through streams of smoke to find each clear patch of sky, completely unbound by male restraints.

My heart stops as my friend is stagnated by a thick black haze. Flecks of dirt block my vision as the puffing billy rolls past. It hurtles dangerously into the future, never looking back to see the dark trails it leaves behind.
Disoriented, I peer frantically around for her small, feathered frame to reappear.

When the mist clears, all that remains is emptied, smoky skies.

Surely it is still basking in nature’s warm embrace? Surely it has not returned to the cold reason of a cage? (clearer link)
Running, panting, I return to the village with bated breath. My mind races as red, blue, and white flashes past me in a blur of distorted and undefined shapes.
Yet when I reach the teacher’s house, the bird is sitting placidly on the cold, metal floor of her cage. The only confusion is my own as I peer with horror into it’s tiny, yellow eyes.
No longer are they filled with restless pain, a creative yearning to be released from her chains. Now, all I see is a calm, dutiful acceptance — that seems almost to long for the logic and restraint of metal bars.

Grief is heavy on my tongue as I whisper: “As free as a bird?”

I cannot understand.
ATAR: 98.85

English Adv: 94
English Ext: 47/50
Ancient history: 94
Legal studies: 94
Music I: 93
Religion II: 95

elysepopplewell

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2016, 04:44:52 pm »
I'm not sure if this thread is for creatives as well, but would anyone have time to read this creative piece for Romanticism? It needs to be 1800-2000 words and be based around key phrases from the syllabus. It also has to be based off our related/prescribed texts, which for me is Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Wollstonecraft, Frankenstein by Shelley, and Wordsworth poetry.
I'm concerned I A) have too many ideas/they aren't clear enough B) It's way too cliche/too much telling not showing. Thanks!


Hey there! Just a heads up that I'm busy scanning groceries tonight (my part time job) but you will get some feedback on this tomorrow! :)
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Lauradf36

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2016, 06:27:57 pm »
Hey there! Just a heads up that I'm busy scanning groceries tonight (my part time job) but you will get some feedback on this tomorrow! :)

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!
ATAR: 98.85

English Adv: 94
English Ext: 47/50
Ancient history: 94
Legal studies: 94
Music I: 93
Religion II: 95

Lauradf36

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2016, 12:28:49 pm »
Sorry to bother, but are you able to have a look at this creative sometime today? I need to hand it in tomorrow! :)
ATAR: 98.85

English Adv: 94
English Ext: 47/50
Ancient history: 94
Legal studies: 94
Music I: 93
Religion II: 95

jamonwindeyer

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2016, 09:12:25 pm »
Sorry to bother, but are you able to have a look at this creative sometime today? I need to hand it in tomorrow! :)

Hey Lauradf36! Elyse is ill, and I have no idea about Romanticism, but do you think my feedback will help at all? If so I will give it a look immediately to look at it as a general creative ;D

Lauradf36

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2016, 09:37:21 pm »
Hey Lauradf36! Elyse is ill, and I have no idea about Romanticism, but do you think my feedback will help at all? If so I will give it a look immediately to look at it as a general creative ;D

Oh no, hope she gets better soon :( And yes, any fresh set of eyes on a creative would be great!
ATAR: 98.85

English Adv: 94
English Ext: 47/50
Ancient history: 94
Legal studies: 94
Music I: 93
Religion II: 95

jamonwindeyer

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Re: English Extension 1 Essay Marking
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2016, 10:47:42 pm »
I'm not sure if this thread is for creatives as well, but would anyone have time to read this creative piece for Romanticism? It needs to be 1800-2000 words and be based around key phrases from the syllabus. It also has to be based off our related/prescribed texts, which for me is Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Wollstonecraft, Frankenstein by Shelley, and Wordsworth poetry.
I'm concerned I A) have too many ideas/they aren't clear enough B) It's way too cliche/too much telling not showing. Thanks!

Okay!! So, I've had a read, and since you have to hand this in tomorrow I'll keep my feedback brief! This doesn't count as an "essay marked" in terms of the post count rule, so feel free to get some further feedback if you need it later, Elyse will definitely be happy to give it a proper read if it is still useful to you later  ;D

First of all, in terms of my very limited understanding of Romanticism, this fits in that style quite well. I've also read Frankenstein, and I can see the conceptual connections you are making with the nature of humanity as portrayed by Shelley as well, that is fantastic!!  ;D I imagine you've represented the other texts equally effectively  ;D

To address your specific concerns, though the concept might be a tad cliche, your method of exploring it is definitely not. Very clever to use the alternating perspectives to tie in with the "As free as a bird" motif, truly beautiful. No cliche here, good work  ;D

That said, as some quick feedback you can implement before submitting this tomorrow (so sorry we didn't get to it properly in time), I do think there are some sentences where you do tell just the tiniest bit too much. This isn't a stylistic issue so much as it is an issue of being, the tiniest bit, either overly descriptive or too explicit with your concepts. Sentences like "Without a cage like mine, humans had twisted nature’s perfect world into their own disfigured creature." are almost a bit like: "Here is my concept, deal with it." A touch more subtlety is something I'd try to achieve, but then you want the concept to shine, so take my opinion with a grain of salt  ;D

I think your conceptual drive is perfect. There is one clear concept permeating through the creative, and the story arc works quite well (though I did have to read it twice to catch the details)  ;D

On the whole, I love this piece. At the very least, take solace in the fact that you aren't being cliche (in my opinion), and that I think you have an excellent concept (group of concepts) on display. Playing with expression would be my only recommendation, and that is picking, because this is definitely far beyond what is required in the AoS! Thus, you're doing more with language than I've ever been assessed on, so you are beyond my expertise  ;) I hope this helps, even just a little!  :)