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January 29, 2022, 06:13:55 am

Author Topic: [English] [Text Response] [Year of Wonders], Please? =]  (Read 3782 times)  Share 

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brenden

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[English] [Text Response] [Year of Wonders], Please? =]
« on: September 10, 2012, 06:02:23 pm »
+1
For absolutely anyone that has the time or would like to help, I would very much appreciate ANY criticism. If you want to tear my essay to shreds, please do, and when I get to November I'll thank you again!
Today we had an unexpected practice SAC for Year of Wonders and I wrote the following piece in around 80 minutes. I wasn't prepared at all (hence the at times incorrect evidence for anyone who has studies this text) and I think this is the worst I could possibly write in any given circumstance which is why I've submitted this one. So, anyone who has the time and something to say, please feel free, and for anyone that reads the whole thing and puts up with my absurd sentences (I'm not editing, as much as I want to) - then you are a saint. Here goes.

"The women of this novel demonstrate greater strength than the men. Discuss"

Geraldine Brooks' historical fiction novel 'Year of Wonders' focuses on the self-quarantined, plague inflicted London village of Eyam. Set within the context of 1666 the characters in the novel live in a  patriarchal society, largely oppressive of the rights and voices of women. Brooks utilises the novel as a powerful expository tool for notions such as sexuality, female empowerment and stereotypical gender roles. The author endorses a more progressive, realistic view of women's capabilities whilst challenging and condemning the stereotypical view of manliness. As the protagonist's idol, Elinor Mompellion acts as a personification of female empowerment, whilst her experience of men conveys their weakness. Anys Gowdie also represents the strength and sexuality of women whilst it was ultimately a male influence that lead to her murder. The subjective, first person narrative style from the protagonist's perspective serves to better endorse the strength of women, with an ultimate reward for Anna.

Brooks utilises the subjective, first person narrative style to convey the strength possessed by female characters whilst accentuating the negative role men have played in the protagonist's life. Readers are introduce to Anna as having outgrown a subservient role as established by desire to show no deference to Elizabeth Bradford in Apple-Picking Time. However, as the plot begins to circle backwards, Anna is depicted as an unrefined, oppressed individual. The transition to the altruistic and knowledgeable female serves to iterate the strength of women. The fact that Anna's father "loved a pot better than he loved his children" challenges the importance a patriarchal society places on one's father and contrast Anna's desirable character to that of Josiah's. Brooks reinforces the strength of women in Anna's role model also being female and one of the main catalysts for Anna's progression. As stated by Elinor, Anna was a "[flame that just needed to be covered up]".* Anna's benevolence and bravery also reiterates her strength of character, as she is forced to go into "the body of the mine" to collect a dish of lead for Mary Hadfield, who's mine was threatened by a man. Brooks utilises Anna is this way to endorse the empowerment of women, rewarding Anna with two female children and her life in Oran. Thus, the author exploits ways in which women exude greater, more desirable virtues than men.

Anys Gowdie acts as a symbolic representation of female sexuality and strength, directly contrasting the values instilled in society by weak-minded men and ultimately being punished by the very same. Anys' strength is seen to be both psychological and physiological, as she strengthens herself with Nettle beer and other such brews that "all women should drink daily". When questioned on her relationship with George, she states that her intercourse was "nought but a meal to a travelling stranger." Her controversial language serves to demonstrate that sexual desire can be synonymous with a hunger the be fedm directly challenging Anna's and the stereotypical view of female sexuality with her modernism. Unfortunately, the progressive attitude was deemed unholy by the men who would dictate what is and isn't acceptable for women and she was said to have "lain with the devil". Utilising male weakness as her last defence, she provokes abusive behaviour from Eyam's husbands by manipulating their own rudimentary minds. Anys Gowdie's life and death serve to highlight the ways in which women demonstrate greater strength than men.

The juxtaposition of Elinor and Michael Mompellion contrasts the strength of men and women, Elinor remaining steadfast while Michael is corrupted by the crisis. Brooks utilises Elinor as the idealistic human; intelligent, benevolent, courageous, patient and genuine. Within the eyes of the protagonist, Elinor is something to aspire to. After her revelation of pre-marital sex and attempted suicide, the reader is positioned to feel empathetic that such a hero was damaged by a man. Thus, when Michael tells Anna that "repentance and atonement are not the same thing" therefore Elinor's soul is damaged, Michael Mompellion becomes antagonistic. Along with his revelation that he "never really cared for Jane Martin" and has completely lost his faith, Michael emphasises the weakness of men. In contrast with this, Elinor's character demonstrates the greater strength of women.

Geraldine Brook's novel Year of Wonders acts as a thorough expository tool for such concepts as the empowerment of women, sexuality and the closed-minded view of masculinity. The perpetual binary oppositions between the male and female characters illuminates the differing strengths. Michael Mompellion's weakness of character is largely shadowed by Elinor's pureity and strength. Synonymously, Anna and Josiah's contrast reinforce the progressive view of the aforementioned concepts. These contrasts and Anys Gowdie make Year of Wonders a thought provoking text, demonstrating the inadequate strength of men in the face of women.

Word count: 781 (wow it seemed so much more on paper :s)
*Sorry about the dodge evidence
-Sorry about spelling mistakes and overall nonsensical essay lol. If you've made it all the way to here, thank you very much =].
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VivaTequila

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Year of Wonders], Please? =]
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 07:47:58 pm »
+2
For absolutely anyone that has the time or would like to help, I would very much appreciate ANY criticism. If you want to tear my essay to shreds, please do, and when I get to November I'll thank you again!
Today we had an unexpected practice SAC for Year of Wonders and I wrote the following piece in around 80 minutes. I wasn't prepared at all (hence the at times incorrect evidence for anyone who has studies this text) and I think this is the worst I could possibly write in any given circumstance which is why I've submitted this one. So, anyone who has the time and something to say, please feel free, and for anyone that reads the whole thing and puts up with my absurd sentences (I'm not editing, as much as I want to) - then you are a saint. Here goes.

"The women of this novel demonstrate greater strength than the men. Discuss"

Geraldine Brooks' historical fiction novel 'Year of Wonders' focuses on the self-quarantined, plague inflicted London village of Eyam. Set within the context of 1666 the characters in the novel live in a  patriarchal society, largely oppressive of the rights and voices of women. Brooks utilises the novel as a powerful expository tool for notions such as sexuality, female empowerment and stereotypical gender roles. The author endorses a more progressive, realistic view of women's capabilities whilst challenging and condemning the stereotypical view of manliness. As the protagonist's idol, Elinor Mompellion acts as a personification of female empowerment, whilst her experience of men conveys their weakness. Anys Gowdie also represents the strength and sexuality of women whilst it was ultimately a male influence that lead to her murder. The subjective, first person narrative style from the protagonist's perspective serves to better endorse the strength of women, with an ultimate reward for Anna.

A context is not a year. "stereotypical gender roles" is not a notion. "more progressive view"... more progressive than what?

There were many mistakes here... the expression is loose and the terminology needs brushing up. When you say things like "Elinor Mompellion acts as a personification of female empowerment, whilst her experience of men conveys their weakness", it just sounds awkward and doesn't really say anything very substantial. The last sentence of the intro is the first part that makes the essay look like it's going to hold some compelling, promising arguments...

A summary of your intro, sentence by sentence, is:
- The author's novel is set in Eyam
- The characters live in a misogynistic society (clunky expression)
- The author is pro-feminism (again very clunky expression)
- Elinor is strong, the guys are bad (awkward expression)
- Anys is good, men killed her (i don't think you know how to use the word "whilst" - it signifies something is happening simultaneously. You can't say "Elinor is generally speaking [this], WHILST", nor can you say "Anys is generally [so and so], WHILST".
- your only [so far] uniquehigh-tier idea: authorial voice pervades through via metastructure to engender and enhance the feminine aspects of the females in the text.

6/10



Brooks utilises the subjective, first person narrative style to convey the strength possessed by female characters whilst accentuating the negative role men have played in the protagonist's life. Readers are introduce to Anna as having outgrown a subservient role as established by desire to show no deference to Elizabeth Bradford in Apple-Picking Time. However, as the plot begins to circle backwards, Anna is depicted as an unrefined, oppressed individual. The transition to the altruistic and knowledgeable female serves to iterate the strength of women. The fact that Anna's father "loved a pot better than he loved his children" challenges the importance a patriarchal society places on one's father and contrast Anna's desirable character to that of Josiah's. Brooks reinforces the strength of women in Anna's role model also being female and one of the main catalysts for Anna's progression. As stated by Elinor, Anna was a "[flame that just needed to be covered up]".* Anna's benevolence and bravery also reiterates her strength of character, as she is forced to go into "the body of the mine" to collect a dish of lead for Mary Hadfield, who's mine was threatened by a man. Brooks utilises Anna is this way to endorse the empowerment of women, rewarding Anna with two female children and her life in Oran. Thus, the author exploits ways in which women exude greater, more desirable virtues than men.

Your topic sentence doesn't agree with the rest of the paragraph AT ALL.
The topic sentence says:
- The metastructure of the text (first person narrative) engenders the strength possessed by female characters and exacerbates the negative role of men.

From here, I was expecting a paragraph on how the actual structure of the text accomplishes this. Instead, I read:

- Anna is shown to be confident in Apple-Picking Time (an incorrectly named chapter title - it's Apple-Picking Time 1665 or something along those lines - you really have to specify the year because there's two chapters with the same name but different years in the book, and you should probably reference the significance of the chapter title being first.
- Anna was previously oppressed in the plot (does not use any literary techniques or terminology, nor does it explicitly agree with the topic sentence. You're looking to include words like "medias res", "plot", and "chronology"
- Random nonsensical stuff unrelated to structure about Anna's father and his characteristics
- A random sentence that doesn't make sense about Elinor [everything in this sentence is wayyy too tacit]
- Other arguments unrelated to textual structure.

There were also lots of grammar issues in this paragraph...
4/10


Anys Gowdie acts as a symbolic representation of female sexuality and strength, directly contrasting the values instilled in society by weak-minded men and ultimately being punished by the very same. Anys' strength is seen to be both psychological and physiological, as she strengthens herself with Nettle beer and other such brews that "all women should drink daily". When questioned on her relationship with George, she states that her intercourse was "nought but a meal to a travelling stranger." Her controversial language serves to demonstrate that sexual desire can be synonymous with a hunger the be fedm directly challenging Anna's and the stereotypical view of female sexuality with her modernism. Unfortunately, the progressive attitude was deemed unholy by the men who would dictate what is and isn't acceptable for women and she was said to have "lain with the devil". Utilising male weakness as her last defence, she provokes abusive behaviour from Eyam's husbands by manipulating their own rudimentary minds. Anys Gowdie's life and death serve to highlight the ways in which women demonstrate greater strength than men.

- Not bad introductory sentence, just clunky expression
- Unexplained quote about nettle beer - what is the significance to physiology/psychology? You didn't explain it.
- What does her sex with Viccars have to do with anything, and why did you include this quote? (note that it is relevant, but you're being very, very tacit - you might as well throw in a quote to do with Michael's sermon in this paragraph which has nothing to do with Anys as a feminist activist and it will have the same effect as all of these random quotes and events to do with Anys - most of which are simply story-telling - which aren't explained)
- A few more clunky sentences which aren't explained

4/10

You are showing knowledge of the text but you are't explaining the significance of it - you're just including quotes for no reason imho, or at least that's how the examiners will see it


The juxtaposition of Elinor and Michael Mompellion contrasts the strength of men and women, Elinor remaining steadfast while Michael is corrupted by the crisis. Brooks utilises Elinor as the idealistic human; intelligent, benevolent, courageous, patient and genuine. Within the eyes of the protagonist, Elinor is something to aspire to. After her revelation of pre-marital sex and attempted suicide, the reader is positioned to feel empathetic that such a hero was damaged by a man. Thus, when Michael tells Anna that "repentance and atonement are not the same thing" therefore Elinor's soul is damaged, Michael Mompellion becomes antagonistic. Along with his revelation that he "never really cared for Jane Martin" and has completely lost his faith, Michael emphasises the weakness of men. In contrast with this, Elinor's character demonstrates the greater strength of women.

- Which juxtaposition of the two? You need to be specific....
- Re: second sentence - cool story bro, so what?
- Use "Anna", and why is this significant
- Wow, okay, that sentence slapped me across the face because it was fantastic, except for the end which had some poor grammar
- More awkward expression
- The examples don't make sense within the context of your explanation...

3/10


Geraldine Brook's novel Year of Wonders acts as a thorough expository tool for such concepts as the empowerment of women, sexuality and the closed-minded view of masculinity. The perpetual binary oppositions between the male and female characters illuminates the differing strengths. Michael Mompellion's weakness of character is largely shadowed by Elinor's pureity and strength. Synonymously, Anna and Josiah's contrast reinforce the progressive view of the aforementioned concepts. These contrasts and Anys Gowdie make Year of Wonders a thought provoking text, demonstrating the inadequate strength of men in the face of women.

You need to practise your expression. Something is wrong in every sentence which makes it painful to read.

Your essay was basically a sequence of events in the text, ill-cited, with little or no explanation and poor expression. I can fully understand what your saying, and for the most part, you're on the right track, but without any explanation, examples are just story-telling.

Points to improve on must include:
- expression and GRAMMAR
- explaining yourself

these were both really big drawbacks of your essay. focus less on using big words and more on making sense, because when you are using big words that don't make sense, it doesn't increase your mark but rather has the opposite effect...

I'd give this a 4/10 - 5/10 if it was written on the end of year exam DESPITE it all using relatively good evidence. You've understood the text and you've understood the prompt, but the evidence you've used was poorly chosen, and any explanation of it was non-existant.

Word count: 781 (wow it seemed so much more on paper :s)
*Sorry about the dodge evidence
-Sorry about spelling mistakes and overall nonsensical essay lol. If you've made it all the way to here, thank you very much =].