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Author Topic: Compilation of Text Response Feedback  (Read 72791 times)  Share 

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507

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2013, 09:50:20 pm »
+1
“The Plague will make heroes of us all”…and…“these times, they do make monsters of us all.” The Plague brings out the very best and the very worst in people. Is this how you see “Year of Wonders”?

“Year of Wonders”, a novel by Geraldine Brooks, delineates the hardships endured by the citizens of Eyam during the plague epidemic of the 17th century. The Black Death brought about times of extreme pain and turmoil for villagers, resulting in the expression of their true characters and values. Some individuals embraced the tribulations of the plague, dedicating their lives to ensuring the wellbeing of others; while others deteriorated, resorting to cowardice and exploiting vulnerable citizens. Figures such as Anna and the Mompellions emerge as heroes of the story, providing support and salve to those around them, yet figures such as the Bradfords and Josiah Bont do quite the opposite in order to serve their own selfish intentions.  The actions of the villagers of Eyam throughout the plague year, both good and bad, reflect that an individual’s true character is displayed when faced with extreme adversity.

The conditions brought about by the plague were ruthless, proving difficult for even the most resilient of individuals to endure. Despite this, numerous heroes emerged from the situation, rising to the occasion to provide the support and assistance that was desperately needed by the citizens of Eyam. Rector Mompellion proved to be an influential role model throughout the epidemic, choosing to fulfil his duties as a leader of Eyam, rather than ‘follow the physicians’ as many other priests had done. This reflects that not only was Mompellion willing to stand by the ‘lower class’ villagers during this hardship, but also would prefer to suffer the turmoil himself rather than befall it upon others. Mompellion works tirelessly beside victims of the plague, providing them with support and prayers in their final moments, while holding no concern for his own health or wellbeing. This is also supported by Elinor’s concerns that ‘his body is strong, but I fear that the strength of his will far exceed it.’ Mompellion acts as a crucial figure to Eyam, selflessly guiding them through the tribulations of the plague.

Alongside Mompellion, Anna and Elinor dedicated their lives to helping the afflicted and those affected by their deaths. Anna, who had lost everything, could easily have resorted to self-indulgence through the consumption of ‘The Poppies of Lethe’. Instead, she opted to journey with Elinor to assist those in need. Alike Mompellion, the two had no regard for their wellbeing if it meant relieving others of pain. This was signified when Anna jeopardised her life in order to help Merry Wickford, accepting that ‘the rocks would be my cairn and my tombstone’, illustrating the extent the two were willing to go to in order to help others. Other glimpses of heroism were evident among villagers when agreeing to ‘let the boundaries of this village become our whole world.’ This symbolises that despite the fear and suffering they may be experiencing, they would rather do so than place the burden of the plague upon others. The actions of such heroic figures signify that adversity can in fact bring out the very best in people.

Despite the many heroes that emerged during the plague, there were numerous individuals who were quick to abandon Eyam or exploit the situations that arose. The aristocratic rich Bradfords possessed a great deal of power within Eyam, and with such power came responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of society. However, they did not oblige to staying in Eyam with the rest of the villagers, and instead abandoned the individuals for whom they cared for, their faith in the church, and Eyam. The lack of respect they held for ‘commoners’ was made obvious upon Colonel Bradford asking; ‘you think I care for a few sweaty miners and their snotty-nosed brats?’ Such actions on behalf of the Bradfords reflected that they cared only for their own wellbeing, regardless of its expense to others. The rich and powerful were not the only cowards during the epidemic. Figures such as Josiah Bont saw the suffering of others as an opportunity to exploit, which he sought to benefit from.  While most would consider circumstances whereby an orphan had to bury their parents horrendous, Josiah saw it as good business, remarking that he would ‘demand a high fee’ in return for a grave to bury their parents in. Individuals such as Josiah Bont and the Bradfords depict that the struggles of the plague can cause deterioration among people, resulting in them living only to serve their selfish desires.

When faced with adversity, individuals will act in many different ways. Some will embrace the challenge and rise to the occasion. Others will resort to their basic instincts, and will focus solely on fulfilling their own intentions. This is reflected by the actions of the villagers of Eyam; through the heroic figures of the Mompellions and Anna, and through the cowardice and manipulation of the Bradfords and Josiah Bont. When an individual is faced with an adversity such as the plague, their true character is revealed; for better or for worse.

dilks

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2013, 10:43:47 pm »
+2
Some quick points:

Text responses should be written in the present tense, not the past tense.
There is a lot of retelling going on in the essay.
Use of the word 'symbolises' when the thing in question isn't a symbol.

Use of the obvious examples. No real attempt to demonstrate originality. Futhermore, it is not enough to simply agree with the prompt and provide examples. In order to get high marks you need to explore the complexities and nuances of the topic.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 07:13:43 pm by dilks »
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brenden

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 11:39:51 pm »
+4
“Anna is not an objective observer, but this is not a problem. Her subjectivity enhances the impact of Stasiland.” Discuss the narrative point of view in Stasiland.
Alrighty this is the first essay I've read on this text so forgive me if I leave some stupid feedback
An intriguing introduction to a city where life will always be an emotional cabaret, Stasiland is fundamentally a personal exploration of the Stasi’s legacy.Nice first sentence. I liked to offer some historical context as my first line but if that's not your style, cool. This is nice. At the broadest level, Funder renders the foreign comprehensible from a fictitious perspective, where it is the subjectivity of the text that distinguishes the genre from historiography. Nevertheless, in order to effectively communicate the text’s central ideas, and explore and elucidate the consequences of events, a combination of fact and fiction is needed. Too many 'ands' for perfect flow, I think.  Funder’s manipulation of metalanguage observed in formatting and structure, tantamount to her unconventional narration enhances the effect of the text.  We need a thesis statement here! Eseentially something that sums your contention in one line, best to google and research yourself, I think =]. I'm also assuming you've got your three points of topic above but it's hard for me to distinguish because nfi about this text.
It is through the genre of the text that subjectivity is perceived. By appealing to literary journalism, Funder deviates from traditional modes of writing posthumous biographies, as this genre gives her more narrative space, leeway or freedom to stray from objectivity and facts. Great As a result, Funder is able to incorporate a complex narrative time-frame – depicted in present and past – avoid the dash in formal writingin her writing. Primarily, this is observed when Funder implies that the ‘present’ is set in 1996 when she visits Berlin to research Miriam’s story, comprising of the concluding chapters set in the spring of 2000; whereas, the string of tales recounted by the interviewees occurred in the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s. Accompanying this delicate oscillation in time, Funder’s distinct division of narration into a first-person active voice and third-person omniscient narration suggests a fiction-writing technique.this sounds pretty great. (could be standard, though, darned my knowledge) In particular, Funder’s first-person active voice renders her a foreigner, or someone who is vulnerable in the German Democratic Republic because she is incapable of comprehending it. Such is evident when Funder says, “I want to ask, but I sit tight” or “Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to be German”. Consequently, this technique enables Funder’s Australian nature, and thus subjectivity, to assert itself sporadically throughout the text. Instances of this include Funder’s sojourn to the local Berlin swimming pool where she internally expresses her disgust for the “bathing” practices of Europe, or when she uses the simile “like a fugitive” to illuminate the obsession with identification papers in East Germany. Additionally, because of first-person active voice, she is given freedom to make overt judgements or assumptions about things, as is evident when Funder asserts that Sigrid Paul “overestimated her own strength”.  This intricate change in narration distinguishes itself from objectivity for the better, since the reader must not endure a constant form of narration throughout the text and experiences differing stylistic features. Simultaneously, the leitmotif that the past is not yet over is also conveyed. Great paragraph
Funder’s implementation of objectivism into her writing is crucial to the balance between fact and fiction in the text. Specifically, the third person omniscient narration enables Funder to solely provide the facts in an impersonal manner, as is observed with her reference to the allies and arrival of Glasnost. By the same token, the precision of Funder’s language is such that her meticulous attention to detail also highlights the objectivity of the text and establishes a conceivable setting, as is noted when she describes the “beautiful cross-eyed mother” with the “pierced nose” aboard the train to Potsdam or focuses on the scarcity of Julia’s apartment in sharing her story. The use of this precise language helps to rebuild the lives of those who were victimised by the Stasi, predominantly because “the Firm” would falsify the lives of these people. The “internal army” did this by recording personal information in their unofficial biographies, putting residents in a very vulnerable position, as this information could be used as blackmail to inflict punitive measures or manipulate people to become informers, leading to the destruction of relationships. A particularly notable example of this was with Hagen Koch, who divorced with his wife on account of her believing the Stasi’s duplicitousness with regard to the “pornography” in which her husband was embroiled. Funder succeeds in replacing these deceitful notions into objectivity due to this precision of detail, such that the reader is able to grasp the true personality of the interviewee. This seems like it could be retelling but otherwise, the writing is still strong in this paragraph. I have no idea what's going on in terms of whether this is a story, a historical fiction novel or what! I don't think I'll find much wrong with your writing style, at the moment it's probably best for you to think about the text and know the text inside out. Your writing is very nice to read :)
Arguably the metalanguage primarily underscores the creativity of the text, and thus, enhances the subjectivity of the text. This is firstly observed through the structure, where the anachronous composition of events deviates from the conventions of historiography to show that Funder is concerned with personal histories and the significance of facts instead of the bare facts themselves, catering as an effective and compelling structuring technique. In fact, this structure is underscored through the chapter-by-chapter analysis of characters, where the varying lengths of chapters are devoted to individual anecdotes and each story is self-contained. Such a structure conveys the sheer extent of damage inflicted by the Stasi, portrayed by the fact that the people have so many important and distinct stories to tell. This liberty of narrative space also confers enormous respect upon the story tellers, adopting a humanising strategy to contrast sharply with the degrading and demeaning tactics employed by the Stasi. Ultimately, it is the very vividness of this language that enables the reader to easily imagine the horror of Hohenschönhausen on reading Funder’s description of the smell of “damp and old urine and vomit and earth: the smell of misery”, or to conceive the fanatical celebration of communist heroes with Funder’s description of the “god-like busts” with “flowing hair” and the “long row of clenched plaster fists sticking up for international socialism” on display at Stasi Headquarters. The use of such graphic language is reinforced through Funder’s appeal to figurative language "appeal to figurative language" - appeal seems out of place, as is evident in descriptions of Hohenschönhausen’s torture cells that liken contraptions to “an apparatus at a county fair” or “some Pythonesque sideshow of history”. The alien landscape these figurative devices help Funder to communicate is an emotional rather than a physical one. Similarly, by portraying Frau Paul as a “lonely, teary guilt-wracked wreck”, the writer aims to draw vibrant, identifiable and believable characters to communicate the enormity of the pain and loss these people have experienced.
Conversely, Stasiland is a text based on dates and historical evidence; its existence would deem farcical if the construction of the arbitrary Berlin Wall had not occurred.  In essence, such implies that the fiction or narrative viewpoint in Funder’s writing is reliant on the facts or solid evidence, where appeal to a more literary and fantastical means of exploring these facts merely makes for an interesting read. Whilst Funder’s main focus is on extrapolating and investigating the repercussions of actions by the Stasi and interviewees, it should be noted that the existence of bare facts is vital, such that readers are not constantly influenced by the narrator, and instead, can draw their own conclusions. For example,avoid the use of for example, i think it breaks the flow Funder may proclaim that the Wall was designed to “keep people separate from each other”. However, this assumption is contrary to the ideology of the USSR, who found the Wall a necessity to protect its people from the tyranny and corruption of the West. These conflicting ideologies greatly deviate from the real or “Insiderkommitees” reason for the construction of the Wall – to save Stalin’s communist regime from embarrassment, as the exodus into West Berlin from the East demonstrated the political and economic instability of Communism. In like fashion, Funder describes the wall as a “horror-romance”, whereas the perspectives of von-Schnitzler and Herr Winz on the Wall’s existence negate a different contention, which gives readers insight into the fact that individuals harbour differing opinions on undertakings in history. Subsequently, (beats 'because' after a full syopBecause of this, the provision of factual evidence becomes obligatory for the reader to consider the historical event impartially.
Even though Funder places greater significance on elaborating the consequences of historical events, thus employing a tacit subjectivity by appealing to opinion, her objectivity is underscored through the rationale she demonstrates in her precise lexicon. This literal technique is further augmented through the detail provided in articulating the wholesomeness of an environment, where the journalistic genre gives her credibility to do so. The compilation of these linguistic elements enhances the narrative viewpoint of the text.
Well, I can't really flaw your expression so much (to my frustration), but I can't tell if your ideas are original etc and all of those good things we like about ideas. If the ideas matched your writing this would be an excellent piece.
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brenden

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2013, 01:11:25 am »
+5
“The Plague will make heroes of us all”…and…“these times, they do make monsters of us all.” The Plague brings out the very best and the very worst in people. Is this how you see “Year of Wonders”?

Offer some historical context as your opening line. Something to do with social norms of the Restoration Era or how Puritan values were shifting in the 'Age of Enlightenment' or something like that. If you haven't researched the history yet, do it. “Year of Wonders”, a historical fiction novel by Geraldine Brooks, delineates the hardships endured by the citizens of Eyam during the plague epidemic of the 17th century Kewl . The Black Death brought about times of extreme pain and turmoil for villagers, resulting in the expression of their true characters and valueswew. Some individuals embraced the tribulations of the plague, dedicating their lives to ensuring the wellhyphonbeing of others; while others deteriorated, resorting to cowardice and exploiting vulnerable citizens. Figures such as Anna and the Mompellions emerge as heroes of the story, providing support and salve to those around them, yet figures such as the Bradfords and Josiah Bont do quite the opposite in order to serve their own selfish intentions.  The actions of the villagers of Eyam throughout the plague year, both good and bad, reflect that an individual’s true character is displayed when faced with extreme adversity. Well done, nice introduction. Would add a contextual opening sentence.

The conditions brought about by the plague were ruthless, proving avoid 'ing' words. And 'are' ruthless. This is what dilks was saying about your tense. You'd change this sentence to "The conditions brought about the plague are ruthless and difficult even for the most resilient of individuals to endure." Just got rid of proving. If you really wanted it there you'd use 'proves'. Avoid dat 'ing'. difficult for even the most resilient of individuals to endure. Despite this, numerous heroes emergedemerge. This is the last time I'll point out the tense flaws as it will run through the essay, but you now know what to fix. from the situation, risingavoid ing. to the occasion to provide the support and assistance that was desperately needed by the citizens of Eyam. Rector Mompellion proved to be an influential role model throughout the epidemic, choosing to fulfil his duties as a leader of Eyam, rather than ‘follow the physicians’ as many other priests had done. This reflects that not only was Mompellion willing to stand by the ‘lower class’ villagers during this hardship, but also would prefer to suffer the turmoil himself rather than befall it upon others. This is mostly a summary of the story Mompellion works tirelessly beside victims of the plague, providing them with support and prayers in their final moments, while holding no concern for his own health or wellbeing. This is also supported by Elinor’s concerns that ‘his body is strong, but I fear that the strength of his will far exceed it.’ Mompellion acts as a crucial figure to Eyam, selflessly guiding them through the tribulations of the plague. Quite a simple paragraph (please don't take that derisively). Very standard, the expression is nice. Structure could be hidden more but that will come with sophisticated analysis. I mean, you've got a huge opportunity with this prompt. Brings out the best and worst in human nature. You could devote a whole paragraph to Mompellion and address the prompt extremely well here. Obviously we mention what a top bloke he appears to be (and be sure to analyse your evidence!) you could even draw parallels between him and Jesus, analyse the white robes (symbolism/purity ) he wears when Elinor snuffs it, etc etc and then flip and say it also brings out the worst in him - > re: banging Anna and then being a cunt. Could analyse misogyny, what the author is trying to convey about sexual freedoms and women's rights/desires (and still be relevant to the prompt if you're skillful). You could have this big juxtaposition in your paragraph, analyse some good evidence, be less standard/more original (although what I just said isn't hugely groundbreaking at all) and you'd look really good for it. But yeah, watch your tenses, watch your 'ing' to make sure your writing is super punchy.

Alongside Mompellion, Anna and Elinor dedicated their lives to helping the afflicted and those affected by their deaths. Anna, who had lost everything, could easily have resorted to self-indulgence through the consumption of ‘The Poppies of Lethe’. Instead, she opted to journey with Elinor to assist those in need. Alike Mompellion, the two had no regard for their wellbeing if it meant relieving others of pain. This was signified when Anna jeopardised her life in order to help Merry Wickford, accepting that ‘the rocks would be my cairn and my tombstone’, illustrating the extent the two were willing to go to in order to help others. Maaaaaaaaan you could draw on all sort of crazy shit about the mines-> Anna's transition from bravery, her phobia because of Sam etc, defying stereotypical gender roles etc etc. Gotta get some dense analysis in there. Other glimpses of heroism were evident among villagers when agreeing to ‘let the boundaries of this village become our whole world.’ This symbolises that despite the fear and suffering they may be experiencing, they would rather do so than place the burden of the plague upon others. The actions of such heroic figures signify that adversity can in fact bring out the very best in people. You're being too 'pretty'. Yeah, y'know, your writing is nice, you're saying what you 'should' be saying, you're tlaking about the prompt, y'know, tick tick tick. But you're barely scratching the surface! You want to get right down nice and deep like all up in there. More gritty, less pretty.

Despite the many heroes that emerged during the plague, there were numerous individuals who were quick to abandon Eyam or exploit the situations that arose. The aristocratic rich Bradfords possessed a great deal of power within Eyam, and with such power came responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of society. However, they did not oblige to staying in Eyam with the rest of the villagers, and instead abandoned the individuals for whom they cared for, their faith in the church, and Eyam. The lack of respect they held for ‘commoners’ was made obvious upon Colonel Bradford asking; ‘you think I care for a few sweaty miners and their snotty-nosed brats?’ Such actions on behalf of the Bradfords reflected that they cared only for their own wellbeing, regardless of its expense to others. The rich and powerful were not the only cowards during the epidemic. Figures such as Josiah Bont saw the suffering of others as an opportunity to exploit, which he sought to benefit from.  While most would consider circumstances whereby an orphan had to bury their parents horrendous, Josiah saw it as good business, remarking that he would ‘demand a high fee’ in return for a grave to bury their parents in. Individuals such as Josiah Bont and the Bradfords depict that the struggles of the plague can cause deterioration among people, resulting in them living only to serve their selfish desires.Same feedback, really. More grit. "we need to go deeper". Inception your essay.

When faced with adversity, individuals will act in many different ways. Some will embrace the challenge and rise to the occasion. Others will resort to their basic instincts, and will focus solely on fulfilling their own intentions. This is reflected by the actions of the villagers of Eyam; through the heroic figures of the Mompellions and Anna, and through the cowardice and manipulation of the Bradfords and Josiah Bont. When an individual is faced with an adversity such as the plague, their true character is revealed; for better or for worse.Nice conclusion.

Yeah look you may as well just copy/paste what dilks said. Fix your tense. Fix your retelling. Get some analysis in there and some relevant metalanguage along with it. A pretty essay, but it's not doing much for me. GET UP IN THERE NICE AND DEEP LIKE
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507

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2013, 04:12:17 pm »
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Cheers Brenden and Dilks  :)

I've tried to address those points, I think the retelling/lack of analysis might still be an issue though. Anyway.

“Anna Frith is a different person after 1665.” In what ways is she changed and what caused the change?

The influences and experiences encountered in life are said to be the foundation of one’s identity. Anna Frith, a young maid in Geraldine Brooks’ “Year of Wonders”, is a testament to this; as she is transformed from a feeble maid, to an independent, altruistic woman “who has faced more terrors than many warriors.”  Various individuals such as Anys Gowdie and Elinor Mompellion play a significant role in influencing such changes, as they provide Anna with an alternate view of the world in times of hardship. The positive changes embodied by Anna Frith reflect the truth in the title of the novel; that the adversity of the plague can in fact give rise to many “wonders.”

Despite the explicit misogyny present in the 17th century, several influential females hold their own values, contrary to the social norm.  Figures such as Elinor Mompellion “could not, or would not, see the distinctions that the world wished to make between weak and strong, between women and men.”  Such perceptions cause Anna to question these values held by society, and consequently, her conformity to such distinctions. Anna’s shift in values is evident through her endeavours with Elinor, where she too, does “not scruple to toil with her hands.” Anna and Elinor proceed to undertake many tasks that are considered to be only conducted by men, including the excavation of Merry Wickford’s mine, again reflecting their lack of concern in performing dangerous, ‘male-only tasks.’ Elinor Mompellion is also a strong, selfless woman, from whom “the whole parish benefits.” Elinor lives to assist others, be it miners or aristocratic rich, not seeing “the distinctions... between labourer and lord.” Anna adopts this lack care for a social hierarchy, helping all those in need, ranging from orphaned children to the damaged Rector Mompellion. Anna’s altruistic character is signified when she delivers and adopts Elizabeth Bradford’s baby, despite the Bradfords’ blatant betrayal of the village. The changes in characteristics displayed by Anna reflect Elinor’s strong influence on her as a young woman.

Alike Elinor, Anys Gowdie also holds social expectations in a low regard, albeit she does so in a more selfish manner. Anys explicitly expresses to Anna that she does not desire to be married, through stating “I’m not made to be any man’s chattel.” Such a concept of freedom of women is almost unheard of in the 17th century, and causes Anna to consider the lives of her and other woman from a different perspective. This perspective leads Anna to perceive other women through the eyes of Anys; “shackled to their menfolk.”  Anys’s influence of freedom and independence upon Anna is signified when Anna elects to start her new life in Oran, rather than follow the guidance of Mompellion in staying with Elinor’s family. Moreover, Anys provides Anna with her perspective of religion, or lack thereof. Anys Gowdie is a blatant heathen, again, something that is unheard of in the 17th century. Anys’s blasphemy causes Anna to constantly question the legitimacy of her religion, prompting questions such as “did I really believe that God put the rock in my path to trip me?”  This doubt in religion is heightened by the seemingly illogical suffering of “good” people such as Maggie Cantwell, considering the plague is supposedly meant to be merely a test for “sinners”.  Anna’s eventual loss of faith is a testament to the heathenish influence bestowed upon her by Anys, as well as the absence of God during the suffering of “good people”.

Conversely to the many positive changes embodied by Anna, there were also negative effects as a result of the plague epidemic. The ruthless conditions of the plague brought about a metamorphosis of even the most resilient of individuals, including Anna. Although Anna is transformed into an independent, altruistic woman through the influence of Elinor and Anys, she is also emotionally damaged by its conditions. This damage is evident upon Anna reflecting that “I, who always prided myself on grace, now allow myself a deliberate clumsiness” and “my body acts despite the firm resolve of my mind. Such statements signify that Anna is a damaged woman, who has indeed “faced more terrors than many warriors.” Regardless of the many changes displayed by Anna, there remains parts of her character that are unchanged. Despite the betrayal and evil expressed by figures such as the Bradfords, Josiah and Aphra, Anna retains her compassion for others that she has before the year of the plague. This is evident through her unparalleled love for her two new children; Aisha and Elinor. Such compassion displayed by Anna reflects that some characteristics of an individual cannot be changed, regardless of the adversities they are faced with.

The year of the plague brought about the metamorphosis of many individuals within Eyam, including Anna Frith. This resulted in the transformation of Anna from an obedient, feeble young maid, to a damaged, yet independent and altruistic woman. Such changes embodied by Anna are direct results of the influences bestowed upon her by figures such as Elinor and Anys, and the plague epidemic itself.


« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 04:17:28 pm by 507 »

bopbopbop

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2013, 06:29:37 pm »
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Under timed conditions and without notes...only my second practice essay for the year, but please destroy it :D (I'd also appreciate if you could possibly give it a mark out of 10? Thanks)

"The Year of Wonders presents Anna, Michael and others in the village with a time of crisis. Are the changes in these characters always positive? Discuss"

Geraldine Brooks' "Year of Wonders" depicts the horrific struggle of the English town of Eyam in the 17th century. The novel is set during the Great Plague of London in 1665 and 1666 and shows the difficult times that the villagers face from the pestilence of the Plague. For most, this is a time of tragedy but for one, namely Josiah Bont, it is an opportunity to feed their own greed. The horrors experienced during this time also have a great effect on the characters in the story, transforming them as people. While characters such as Anna and Elinor grow and prosper in resilience and in knowledge, others deteriorate and become monsters as a result.

The time period between Spring 1665 and "Leaf-fall" 1666 is undoubtedly chaotic, however certain individuals use this as an opportunity to take advantage of others' deaths. Anna's father Joss Bont is a disturbed man, who was physically and sexually abused as a teenager. Due to his past experiences, rather than this time being a time of pain and suffering, Josiah actually hopes more people will pass, allowing him to garner their possessions as a reward for his duties of burying them. Many villagers are particularly disgusted with his actions, however there is little they can do to prevent them. He continues to use the crisis as a shopping spree, stealing prized possessions such as silver from people's homes. But where Joss really "excels in his wretchedness" is when he tries to murder Christoper Unwin in order to gain his belongings. Eventually, he is brought to justice for his actions and perishes after being nailed to the walls of a mine, putting an end to his reign of terror, which only worsened the already dire crisis the village was in.

Anna manages to persevere and prosper as a result of the challenges she deals with during 1665 and 1666. Anna begins the story as a "timid girl", being almost obsequious in her role as a "servant" to Michael Mompellion and also the Bradford family. However, she makes dramatic changes to her character throughout the novel. Her two sons Tom and Jamie are among the first to be taken by the Plague and although she almost gives up, at one point reverting to the "poppies of Lethe" for relief, she perseveres through her pain. Anna becomes integral in the village's well being, gaining vast knowledge in "physick" along with Elinor, so they can help people be "better off on acount of it". During the course of the story Anna develops mentally, into a tenacious and resilient woman who has "faced more terrors than many warriors." She continues to act heroicly, at one point even helping to deliver Mary Daniels' baby, although having little experience. She becomes more knowledgeable about "how things [stand] in the world", leaving behind her previous "light and dark" mentality. She constantly questions God, wondering about why His words were "always so harsh" and ultimately ends up concluding the Plague is a "thing in Nature merely". Anna's metamorphosis as a person shows what positive change can come out of such a terrible time.
The town Vicar Michael Mompellion, also considered a leader by many due to his connection with God and also his status as a strong male, is generally a good force for most of the story until the death of Elinor, after which he deteriorates greatly. Mompellion is an optimistic and confident man and convinces the village that the Plague is simply "sent by God to test and chastise those souls He [will] save.", allowing them to them they will be able to persevere through this test from God. He exclaims that this Plague "will make heroes of us all", constantly uplifiting the spirits of the villagers. At one point he even digs "six graves" in a day in an effort to ensure the mental well being of the villagers after the death of the sexton. Through all his good deeds though, the death of his wife Elinor has a major impact on him, rendering him incapable of assistance, forcing him to sit "all day in the dark, with the shutters closed." Once a firm believer in God, Mompellion now "never opens" his Bible and exclaims that "he was wrong" for believing. He ends up sleeping with Anna to her extreme displeasure, after he reveals he never gave Elinor the same. Michael Mompellion's loss of faith and of moral character is an extremely negative change that results in the loss of ultimately, himself.

Other characters in the noval also undergo significant negative transformations due to the Plague. The Bradford family is the wealthy influence of the town and in in a position to satisfy the needs of people in the village during the "Plague season". However they show great cowardice when the Plague hits Eyam and leave the villagers on their own, stranded in their "wide green prison". The family is so abhorently unfair to the village that they leave even their most senior mades such as Maggie Cantwell, with nothing. Maggie ends up dying of a stroke. John Gordon is another character who becomes a monster out of desperation to avoid the Plague. He first takes part in the attempted murder of Mem Gowdie and the subsequent murder of Anys Gowdie, assuming them to be witches. So futile does he feel his situation is, that he actually resorted to killing one of the town's most knowledgeable physicians in order to scave off the "Plague seeds". Later, John becomes a flagellant, mutilating himself to appeal to God, having become totally insane as a result of the pain and suffering the Plague has caused. Ann's stepmother Aphra Bont follows a similar path after the death of her husband Josiah. The stress and mental strain proves too much for this "shrewd" woman, leading to an exaggerated mental deterioration into a "lunatic". She eventually goes so far as to commit a treacherous filicide of her own daughter Faith, burning her and hanging her from the roof of her home. Soon after she also stabs Elinor in the neck, killing her. Over the course of the novel, many characters like these are similarly transformed for the worst.

During this incessantly tough time, many people must face incalculable hardships and suffering. Joss Bont actually uses this to his advantage and decides to feed his greed. The characters of Anna and Elinor are able to improve themselves as people, becoming resilient and tenacious women in the face of inimitable adversity. Others struggle through this crisis, becoming intoxicated in the pain and tragedy that envelopes the village. The Great Plague of London from 1665 to 1666 certainly has a dramatic effect on the villagers of Eyam, whether they change for the best or the worst.

Splash8

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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2013, 11:38:14 am »
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My second essay for the year. Could someone possibly read over/correct it for me/ give feedback. Thanks.

'Father Barry is the real hero in 'On the Waterfront'. Discuss.'

In the film, 'On the Waterfront', the director Elia Kazan explores the corruption surrounding the docks of Hoboken and relates it to the influences of power in the 1950's. Through the film, Kazan exposes what life was like and focuses on what it takes to stand up and be a 'hero'. Father Barry is used as one of the main influential characters in the film, and exhibits a heroic figure. Through his stature, the concept of religion and manipulation is explored relative to various characters; and in comparison to the effect it had on Kazan in the 1950s.  However, Father Barry isn't considered to be the 'real' hero, as other characters contribute to the overall development and conclusion of the film, and also affect his decisions. Kazan demonstrates this through character interactions and speech, as well as presenting other characters with heroic qualities, such as Terry's strength and determination to be a 'contender', and stand up to Johnny Friendly and the mob. These events are designed to mimic Kazan's story, to rationalise and justify the unpopular choice he made to testify at the HUAC trials.

Throughout the film, Elia Kazan uses religion as a basis to show the effect it has on the characters, in order to demonstrate the power behind it.  Kazan shows us the influence religion has on Father Barry and his desire to do 'God's will', following Joey Doyle's death. This is primarily shown after Edie asks him, 'Have you ever heard of a saint hiding in a church?'. This prompts him to venture out to the docks the next morning and observe the harsh working lifestyle himself. His observations result in him realising that not all is perfect in the world, and in order to do 'God's will' he needs to try to fix the problem. This motivates Father Barry to take action, and try to encourage Dugan and Terry Malloy to stand up against the mob and do what's right. Kazan demonstrates this through Father Barry's interactions with these characters. Father Barry encourages Dugan to take action by promising him that if  'you stand up...I'll stand up with you', to make him feel that he isn't alone in this 'war'.
To encourage Terry to take action, Kazan initially shows Terry's reluctance and uncertainty towards Father Barry's plan through the use of his jacket. By showing Terry's jacket zipped up, Kazan is able to hint at his feelings of uncertainty. However, as Terry gains more knowledge about the mob, his jacket slowly unzips, which signifys Terry's growing ease, and his alignment with 'good'. Kazan also demonstrates the effect of religion on Father Barry by always showing his face in a light, to show that he is aligned with good, and he isn't corrupted by the mob.  Kazan uses this to show that Father Barry is a hero, as he offers support to those that need extra guidance to take action. These examples are used to also show that with guidance and support, an individual is more likely to come forward and do what is 'right' or expected, as Kazan did at the HUAC trials, despite the repercussions. However, the desire to do what is religiously 'right' can also drive an individual towards using manipulation in order to achieve their goal.

Through the film, Kazan is able to explore the effects of manipulation, through Father Barry's ability to convince Terry that the right thing to do is stand up to the mob. Kazan uses Father Barry to demonstrate manipulation, in order to show that it isn't always a negative thing. Father Barry's manipulation is shown to be more subtle than the mobs, and is based on planting ideas in Terry's head, and overseeing his actions in order to encourage him to speak out. Kazan shows this by constantly having Terry meet Father Barry in times of conflict and struggle. These meetings are essential in Terry's discovery of what is right, as well as his growing motivation to stand up to the mob and 'get [his] rights'. Kazan relates these events to McCarthy and HUAC in the way that they both use manipulation in order to encourage speaking out, or naming names. In his autobiography, Kazan describes the growing influence of McCarthy and HUAC in Hollywood as 'A terrible threat was in the air and moving closer...the clouds not grey but black, lightning bolts thrust through the heavy overcast and no on can be sure where they would strike next'.
Kazan also portrays Father Barry as a puppet master, or a 'Mr Upstairs' of the good. This is shown by having Father Barry overlook Terry's confession to Edie from the fence. It is also demonstrated at the end of the film when Father Barry says to Terry, 'Johnny Friendly's laying odds that you won't get up', which prompts Terry to get up and go to work despite having been beaten and in pain.  Kazan uses Father Barry's manipulative acts as a puppet master, to relate to the communists using manipulation in the 1950s.  The communists were using manipulation similar to 'Mr Upstairs', with a single leader calling the shots and overseeing progress. Kazan deliberately uses  both of these types of manipulation to show the audience that everyone was using manipulation.
Although Father Barry is using manipulation, he is still trying to do what is right, and is still a heroic figure in the film, because he is encouraging Terry to change and do the right thing. It is because of this heroic action that Father Barry isn't the real hero, as he encourages Terry to make sacrifices and become a hero himself.

Within the film, Kazan investigates what it takes to be a hero. Father Barry is considered a hero throughout the film, as he exhibits heroic qualities. However, he isn't the real hero as other characters affect his decisions and contribute to the outcome of the film.  Kazan demonstrates  other characters exhibiting heroic qualities through Terry Malloy and his decision to stand up to the mob. Kazan shows Terry's strength and determination mainly at the end of the film, after he has been beaten up by Johnny Friendly, and still makes the decision to take the 'chance to win the war' and go to work, despite being in pain. This strength and courage is a true heroic quality and it is what makes a real hero. This development in the film relates to Kazan's story and the difficult decision he made to testify at the HUAC trials. It is also used as a reflection of Kazan's journey and a way for him to justify his informing.
Kazan also presents a heroic quality in Edie's character, after her brother Joey's death at the beginning of the film. Edie displays a heroic quality by initially motivating Father Barry to do the right thing and take action against the mob, by questioning the way he conducts himself and his religious beliefs, by asking him 'Did you ever heard of a saint hiding in a church?'. This prompts Father Barry to go down to the docks and 'take a good look for [himself]'. Kazan uses this event in the film to set the story in motion.
Although Father Barry provided Terry with guidance and encouragement, he isn't the real hero, as he didn't stand up himself and make a change, instead he recruited others to do the work for him, such as Terry and Dugan. However, the closing shot of the film, with only Edie and Father Barry, indicates that Father Barry is a hero in the film, because he was the one with the power to guide the other characters towards taking down the mob. Kazan ends the film like this to show that although Father Barry isn't the real hero in the film, he is a very influential character with a heroic nature.

­Kazan represents Father Barry as a main influential character and a heroic figure in the film 'On the Waterfront'. However he isn't considered to be the real hero, as other characters contribute to the overall development of the film and the outcome. Kazan explores the influence of religion on various characters, including Father Barry, and manipulation, to demonstrate how it can be used to bring out heroic qualities in an individual, and encourage them to do the right thing. Kazan also  reviews what it takes to be a real hero. By examining these points, Kazan is able to relate these events to his story and justify the decision he made to testify at the HUAC trials. He is also able to prove that although Father Barry is a heroic figure and exhibits a heroic nature, he isn't the real hero.
 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 11:42:06 am by Splash8 »

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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 12:16:34 am »
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“Anna Frith is a different person after 1665.” In what ways is she changed and what caused the change?

The influences and experiences encountered in life are said to be the foundation of one’s identity Sounds more like the start of an expository essay haha. But cool cool. My suggestion is the same as last time; try out contextualising. . Anna Frith, a young maid in Geraldine Brooks’ “Year of Wonders”, is a testament to this; as she is transformed from a feeble maid,needs no comma because next word is 'to' so it's joining x and y to an independent, altruistic woman “who has faced more terrors than many warriors.”  Various individuals such as Anys Gowdie and Elinor Mompellion play a significant role in influencing such changes, as they provide Anna with an alternate view of the world in times of hardship. The positive changes embodied by Anna Frith reflect the truth in the title of the novel; that the adversity of the plague can in fact give rise to many “wonders.” Thesis statement. I also can't identify your three main points which should be the bulk of your intro. Writing is solid

Despite the explicit misogyny present in the 17th century, several influential females hold their own values, contrary to the social norm.  Figures such as Elinor Mompellion “could not, or would not, see the distinctions that the world wished to make between weak and strong, between women and men.”  Such perceptions cause Anna to question these values held by society, and consequently, her conformity to such distinctions. Sounding promisingAnna’s shift in values is evident through her endeavours with Elinor, where she too, does “not scruple to toil with her hands.”Yeah but where's the shift? What values is this challenging? Why is this significant? Anna and Elinor proceed to undertake many tasks that are considered to be only conducted by men, including the excavation of Merry Wickford’s mine, again reflecting their lack of concern in performing dangerous, ‘male-only tasks.’ That answers some of my questions. Symbolism of the mine? What's the chapter title and the significance? You can discuss a lot here and you're selling yourself short by moving on. Elinor Mompellion is also a strong, selfless woman, from whom “the whole parish benefits.” Elinor lives to assist others, be it miners or aristocratic rich, not seeing “the distinctions... between labourer and lord.” Anna adopts this lack care for a social hierarchy, helping all those in need, ranging from orphaned children to the damaged Rector Mompellion. Anna’s altruistic character is signified when she delivers and adorapts Elizabeth Bdford’s baby, despite the Bradfords’ blatant betrayal of the village. The changes in characteristics displayed by Anna reflect Elinor’s strong influence on her as a young woman. Too shallow. The start seemed looking good. You need more depth (and subsequently more length). Answer those questions ^. If you mention the mine, talk symbolism. Talk how she had to change from phobia, Sam etc. Body of the mine. Towards the end was a bit more shallow/retelly again.

Alike Elinor,This is just a yucky sentence starter imo. Alike seems so out of place. I'd use 'Similarly to' Anys Gowdie also holds social expectations in a low regard could have just said "defies social expectations" , albeit although I think sounds more natural than albeitshe does so in a more selfish manner. Anys explicitly expresses to Anna that she does not desire to be married, through stating “I’m not made to be any man’s chattel.” Such a concept of freedom of women is almost unheard of in the 17th century, and causes Anna to consider the lives of her and other woman from a different perspective. This perspective leads Anna to perceive other women through the eyes of Anys; “shackled to their menfolk.”  Anys’s influence of freedom and independence upon Anna is signified when Anna elects to start her new life in Oran, rather than follow the guidance of Mompellion in staying with Elinor’s family.retelly but at least it's strong on the prompt Moreover, Anys provides Anna with her perspective of religion, or lack thereof. Anys Gowdie is a blatant heathen, again, something that is unheard of in the 17th century. Anys’s blasphemy causes Anna to constantly question the legitimacy of her religion, prompting questions such as “did I really believe that God put the rock in my path to trip me?”  This doubt in religion is heightened by the seemingly illogical suffering of “good” people such as Maggie Cantwell, considering the plague is supposedly meant to be merely a test for “sinners”.  Anna’s eventual loss of faith is a testament to the heathenish influence bestowed upon her by Anys, as well as the absence of God during the suffering of “good people”.I think you've a habit of like.. Thinking you need to talk about something else and slipping it in as the last line. In the first para it was something about the baby, and here you've just slipped in Maggie Cantwell. If you're going to mention something. Explore it. You also didn't do it this paragraph. Nice writing, but I feel like I would read this essay before sitting my school's verification test (they test you on knowledge of the text) rather than read it if I wanted your opinion/analysis on the text.

Conversely to the many positive changes embodied by Anna, there were also negative effects as a result of the plague epidemic.This is great!! The ruthless conditions of the plague brought about a metamorphosis of even the most resilient of individuals, including Anna. Although Anna is transformed into an independent, altruistic woman through the influence of Elinor and Anys, she is also emotionally damaged by its conditions. This damage is evident upon Anna reflecting that “I, who always prided myself on grace, now allow myself a deliberate clumsiness” and “my body acts despite the firm resolve of my mind. Such statements signify that Anna is a damaged woman, who has indeed “faced more terrors than many warriors.” Regardless of the many changes displayed by Anna, there remains parts of her character that are unchanged. Despite the betrayal and evil expressed by figures such as the Bradfords, Josiah and Aphra, Anna retains her compassion for others that she has before the year of the plague. This is evident through her unparalleled love for her two new children; Aisha and Elinor. Such compassion displayed by Anna reflects that some characteristics of an individual cannot be changed, regardless of the adversities they are faced with.Not much to say other than more depth. Seems so short/lacking. I want analysis. Good idea though. Nice writing. Lack of metalanguage that will come naturally when you're analysing. This is an awesome prompt to talk about what values (feminism? skeptical?) the author is conveying through her embodiments in Anna etc etc etc. 

The year of the plague brought about the metamorphosis of many individuals within Eyam, including Anna Frith. This resulted in the transformation of Anna from an obedient, feeble young maid,feel like I've read this before? to a damaged, yet independent and altruistic woman. Such changes embodied by Anna are direct results of the influences bestowed upon her by figures such as Elinor and Anys, and the plague epidemic itself. Not a bad conc.

Really, just, most depth/analysis.
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 01:34:15 am »
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"The Year of Wonders presents Anna, Michael and others in the village with a time of crisis. Are the changes in these characters always positive? Discuss"
Hm. An interesting prompt. Obviously positive is a key word here but it's interesting that the other half essentially specifies what you need to talk about and leaves you one idea open. Interested to see how you tackle this :)
Geraldine Brooks' "Year of Wonders" depicts the horrific struggle of the English town of Eyam in the 17th century.Quite a short sentence for an opening line. It's very matter-of-fact. I say contextualise (scroll up page 2 to see 507's first submission, I explain there) The novel is set during the Great Plague of London in 1665 and 1666 and shows the difficult times that the villagers face from the pestilence of the PlagueMy first suggestion would also serve you very well here, this sentence isn't doing much. For most, this is a time of tragedy but for one, bit weird here. "one, namely".. sort of makes each other redundant. Could even cut them both out, if you only mention JB, it's "one" or "namely" by default, isn't it?namely Josiah Bont, it is an opportunity to feed their own greed. Their is a plural but we're talking 'one'. The horrors experienced during this time also have a great effect on the characters in the story, transforming them as people. While characters such as Anna and Elinor grow and prosper in resilience and in knowledge, others deteriorate and become monsters as a result. Thesis statement. A line that sums your contention in its entirety. I often starts it with "Hence," but there are better ways. I googled it a lot and clarified with werdna after my own learning. Do the same imo.

The time period between Spring 1665 and "Leaf-fall" 1666 is undoubtedly chaotic, however certain individuals use this as an opportunity to take advantage of others' deaths.I'm not sure I like this sort of reference as a topic sentence. I think it's the matter-of-fact statement and then a follow up Anna's father Joss Bont is a disturbed man, who was physically and sexually abused as a teenager. Due to his past experiences, rather than this time being a time of pain and suffering, Josiah actually hopes more people will pass, allowing him to garner their possessions as a reward for his duties of burying them. Many villagers are particularly disgusted with his actions, however there is little they can do to prevent them. He continues to use the crisis as a shopping spreemuch too informal. You're retelling the story a bit at the moment., stealing prized possessions such as silver from people's homes. But where JossDon't call him Joss. really "excels in his wretchedness" is when he tries to murder Christoper Unwin in order to gain his belongings. Eventually, he is brought to justice for his actions and perishes after being nailed to the walls of a mine, putting an end to his reign of terror, which only worsened the already dire crisis the village was in. More analysis, and this will also bring in more quotes (shows a good textual knowledge without retelling)..bit short[depth]

Anna manages to persevere and prosper as a result of the challenges she deals with during 1665 and 1666. Anna beginsuh oh. seems like a retell is coming the story as a "timid girl", being almost be definitiveobsequious in her role as a "servant" to Michael Mompellion and also the Bradford family. However, she makes dramatic changes to her character throughout the novel. Her two sons Tom and Jamie are among the first to be taken by the Plague and although she almost gives up, at one point reverting to the "poppies of Lethe" for relief, she perseveres through her pain. Anna becomes integral in the village's well being, gaining vast knowledge in "physick" along with Elinor, so they can help people be "better off on acount of it". During the course of the story Anna develops mentally, into a tenacious and resilient woman who has "faced more terrors than many warriors." She continues to act heroicly, at one point even helping to deliver Mary Daniels' baby, although having little experience. She becomes more knowledgeable about "how things [stand] in the world", leaving behind her previous "light and dark" mentality. She constantly questions God, wondering about why His words were "always so harsh" and ultimately ends up concluding the Plague is a "thing in Nature merely". Anna's metamorphosis as a person shows what positive change can come out of such a terrible time.Not bad character descriptions, writing is nice, no huge flaws but lacking analaysis. (I know I'm suggesting this left right adn centre, it's one of the things I remember better about YoW)... you could talk about the body of the mine and the symbolism therein. what's the author trying to onvey through Anna's subversion of traditional gender roles? What's significant about the mine in terms of society and Anna's inner-self? I want more discussion and less summation.
The town Vicar Vicar? dafuq? Michael Mompellion, also considered a leader by many due to his connection with God and also his status as a strong male, Double also? No. "also considered a leader" is just, ankaeu, because his position IS the leader. Except for the quakers, he is literally the town leader. Status as a strong male? What do you mean? Becaues he is physically strong he has status or what? that's too ambiguousis generally a good force for most of the story until the death of Elinor, after which he deteriorates greatly. Mompellion is an optimistic and confident man and convinces the village that the Plague is simply "sent by God to test and chastise those souls He [will] save.", allowing them to them they will be able to persevere through this test from God. RetellingHe exclaims that this Plague "will make heroes of us all", constantly uplifiting the spirits of the villagers. At one point he even digs "six graves" in a day in an effort to ensure the mental well being of the villagers after the death of the sexton. Through all his good deeds thoughinformal,, you'd hear this in conversation, the death of his wife Elinor has a major impact on him, rendering him incapable of assistance, forcing him to sit "all day in the dark, with the shutters closed."smashing out the commas here. Could use less for more flow Once a firm believer in God, Mompellion now "never opens" his Bible and exclaims that "he was wrong" for believing. He ends up sleeping with Anna to her extreme displeasure?? makes it sounds like rape, really. She defs wanted the D, just was disgusted afterwards when he started talking. , after he reveals he never gave Elinor the sameokay my feedback is evidence that this sentence is a bit confusing. You're  writing things backwards, you should write that his revelation causes the displeasure, becaues that's how it happens in the story, make that happen in your sentence.. Michael Mompellion's loss of faith and of moral character is an extremely negative change that results in the loss of ultimately, himself.I think it's easier to retell with a prompt like this. You're essentially outlining what someone was prior to a change and then after the change to address the prompt but you're losing potential for analysis in doing so.

Other characters in the noval also undergo significant negative transformations due to the Plague. The Bradford family is the wealthy influence of the town and in in a position to satisfy the needs of people in the village during the "Plague season". However they show great cowardice when the Plague hits Eyam and leave the villagers on their own, stranded in their "wide green prison"You can get soooooooooooooo much analysis out of this quote. Wide. Green. Prison. Look at that. The juxtaposition of these words... . The family is so abhorently unfair to the village that they leave even their most senior mades such as Maggie Cantwell, with nothing. Maggie ends up dying of a stroke. hugely informal. You've really got to fix this problem. John Gordon is another character who becomes a monster out of desperation to avoid the Plague. He first takes part in the attempted murder of Mem Gowdie and the subsequent murder of Anys Gowdie, assuming them to be witches. So futile does he feel his situation is, that he actually resorted to killing one of the town's most knowledgeable physicians in order to scave off the "Plague seeds". Later, John becomes a flagellant, mutilating himself to appeal to God, having become totally insane as a result of the pain and suffering the Plague has caused. Ann's stepmother Aphra Bont follows a similar path after the death of her husband Josiah. The stress and mental strain proves too much for this "shrewd" woman, leading to an exaggerated mental deterioration into a "lunatic". She eventually goes so far as to commit a treacherous filicide of her own daughter Faith, burning her and hanging her from the roof of her home. Soon after she also stabs Elinor in the neck, killing her. Over the course of the novel, many characters like these are similarly transformed for the worst.
This paragraph is essentially summarising the stories of many characters and their changes.
During this incessantly tough timetough time, informal., many people must face incalculable hardships and suffering. Joss His name isn't Joss. Unless you're a sailing buddy, don't call him that, it's informalBont actually uses this to his advantage and decides to feed his greed. The characters of Anna and Elinor are able to improve themselves as people, becoming resilient and tenacious women in the face of inimitable adversity. Others struggle through this crisis, becoming intoxicated in the pain and tragedy that envelopes the village. The Great Plague of London from 1665 to 1666 certainly has a dramatic effect on the villagers of Eyam, whether they change for the best or the worst.Nice conclusion.


Alrighty you definitely have to work on your informality that crops up from time to time. (I really had to do this as well, as one of my biggest battles). You definitely need some more analysis in there, btu this is to be expected for your second practice essay, especially without notes. Try to actively involve yourself in class discussion and pay keen attention. When you offer the quotes you do, analyse them. Don't just slip them in as if an essay were a checklist and you needed to tick the 'evidence' square. Your writing is not bad... you have a tendency to overuse commas and this can damage your flow. This is actually a rather fair effort under time at this point in the year. Keep generating practice pieces/redrafting according to your teacher's feedback. You could also add some flair but this is a couple of stepping stones over, I wouldn't worry about it right now, I'm just pointing out everything that's wrong so if I mark an essay of yours in three months and I say "add flair" you don't think "why didn't he tell me last time". Well done :)
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« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 07:38:25 pm »
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Okay, I'll try and rewrite this now. Tried to up the analysis, improve fluency and general language control as a whole, embed more quotes and use symbolism as well. Hope it's better :D

"The Year of Wonders presents Anna, Michael and others in the village with a time of crisis. Are the changes in these characters always positive? Discuss."

Following the restoration of the English monarchy and the end of the Puritan era, England is ravaged by the pestilence of the Great Plague of London. Geraldine Brooks explores the differences in how people deal with the hardships they are faced with during the "Plague season" in her historical fiction novel "Year of Wonders". The characters of a country town are exposed to the pain and suffering brought by the Plague in 1665, with many being driven insane from the fear with which they constantly live. For these people, their lack of mental strength causes them great anguish and prevents them from persevering through the challenges before them. Conversely, a minority of characters exhibit remarkable tenacity in the face of crisis and this allows them to evolve, gaining knowledge about the world and moving away from death and "towards life".

Fear is the main catalyst for the loss of many people's sanity and humanity. The village's decision to seclude themselves from the rest of the world to prevent the spread of "Plague seeds" confines them within a "wide green prison". The villagers are essentially trapped, forced to attempt to live through a vicious season of death. This decision is met with at least some worry by everyone in the village, especially the wealthy Bradford family, who actually decide to flee the village, leaving the rest of the village to "satisfy [their] needs" by themselves. The fact people are confined causes great unrest within the village and also outside it, as when Maggie Cantwell and the pantry boy Brand encounter people from other villages, they are met with utter contempt. This all goes to cause fear within the minds of the villagers, as no matter how "wide" they venture, they will be unable to escape the effects of the Plague, whether they be literal or consequential. Brooks also makes use of pathetic fallacy when Anna describes an impending storm as "marching" towards her in "advancing columns", as if an army is marching towards her, preparing for war. This can be linked to the same ominous and sickening feeling the villagers experience when they are faced with impending and inevitable death. This feeling drives several people insane, as it did with John Gordon, whose desperation to stave off the plague results in him becoming a murderer and later a flagellant. The image of him mutilating himself for God's mercy is an extreme one and depicts just how profound the changes in certain characters are as a result of being faced with the depressing banality of crisis.

The transformation of Michael Mompellion is a testament to what effect loss and grief can have on even the most strong-willed of individuals. Michael Mompellion is the town leader, having a strong connection with God and can be likened to Jesus with his white robe. Mompellion's will far exceeds "his body" motivating him to dig "six graves" in a single day to ensure the well being of the villagers. He is a determined and resilient man and excels in his moral and ethical attitude. However, with the death of his wife Elinor, Mompellion deteriorates to the point where he is reduced to sitting "all day in the dark, with the shutters closed." His dehumanisation is similar to the decline of Elinor's garden, as no matter whose "hands" tend to it, "yet it will not be her garden", just as he will no longer be "Elinor Mompellion's Michael". Without Elinor, Michael becomes unhinged. He admits "he was wrong" for believing in God, having lost all faith as a result of Elinor's death, "never open[ing]" his Bible following it. Michael is a changed individual, stripped of his once God-like character he now acts immorally and unjustly, not informing Anna that he "never lay" with Elinor until he had already bedded her. This was to her extreme displeasure and subsequently resulted in Anna leaving town. For grief to change a man so drastically shows just how powerful it can be in transforming an individual. Michael Mompellion's loss of faith, character and morals is an extremely negative change that can only be caused by crisis and its effects.

But unlike Michael Mompellion and others that have similarly fallen victim to the strain of the Plague, Anna Frith's transformation shows what positives can arise from even the most dire of situations. Anna is unlike other weaker characters in the village and evolves from a "timid girl" to an anachronistic woman who has "faced more terrors than many warriors." Through Anna's defiance of traditional gender roles and Michael Mompellion's deterioration, Brooks conveys that women are capable of vastly more than they are generally thought to be in the 17th century. This idea is furthered through Anna's willingness to explore the world of "physick", leaving behind her previous "dark and light" mentality to see how "things stood in the world". Her garnering of knowledge and her forward-thinking attitude shows Anna to have changed dramatically for the best. Anna constantly confronts her most poignant fears, venturing into a mine to perform the same maneuver that killed her husband Sam. When she is covered by the "ore" on the walls of the mine, it is as if the physical and mental struggles of the months before have finally taken their toll on her, burying her under what she has been dealing with. However when she is rescued by Elinor, she effectively rises from the ashes, having succeeded in her goal to secure the financial situation of young Merry Wickford and also in conquering one of her greatest phobias. Anna's metamorphosis into a resilient, tenacious and optimistic individual is finalised with the naming of her adopted daughter Aisha, meaning life. She has persevered through the deaths of her two sons and learnt to love, care and live again, even through a "season of death".

Year of Wonders displays how dystopian the world can be in a time of crisis and how fear can affect the lives of so many. Pain and suffering are abundant in the novel, as evidenced by the reactions of villagers such as John Gordon in response to being isolated in a "prison" filled with rampant death. The novel shows how strong individuals can succumb to the power of grief and anguish, losing themselves in the pain and suffering they have endured. However, Anna's perseverance and growth as a person highlights that not everything in this pessimistic time period is negative, as she changes for the better, defying gender generalisations and prospering. It is clear, that whether the pestilence of the Plague results in positive or negative transformations, crisis can cause alterations in everyone.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 08:43:17 am by bopbopbop »

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2013, 05:48:50 pm »
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'Father Barry is the real hero in 'On the Waterfront'. Discuss.'
I'll give it a shot but I've never seen OTW or analysed a film before... Just keep that in mind.
In the film, 'On the Waterfront', the director Elia Kazan explores the corruption surrounding the docks of Hoboken and relates it to the influences of power in the 1950's.I'd contextualise the first sentence (refer to 507's at the top of this page)... Influences of power in the 1950 would make for an excellent contextualising line in reference to the govt=>society (American?) =>xenophobia/racism/discrimination/conservatism.. Yours is also good. Through the film, Kazan exposes what life was like and focuses on what it takes to stand up and be a 'hero'.Good Father Barry is used as one of the main influential characters in the film, and exhibits a heroic figure. Through his stature, the concept of religion and manipulation is explored relative to various characters; and in comparison to the effect it had on Kazan in the 1950s.  However, Father Barry isn't considered to be the 'real' hero, as other characters contribute to the overall development and conclusion of the film, and also affect his decisions. Kazan demonstrates this through character interactions and speech, as well as presenting other characters with heroic qualities, such as Terry's strength and determination to be a 'contender', and stand up to Johnny Friendly and the mob. These events are designed to mimic Kazan's story, to rationalise and justify the unpopular choice he made to testify at the HUAC trials.Sounds quite great. Nice.

Throughout the film, Elia Kazan uses utilises religion as a basis to show the effect it has on the characters, in order to demonstrate the power behind it.  Kazan shows us the influence religion has on Father Barry and his desire to do 'God's will', following Joey Doyle's death. This is primarily shown after Edie asks him, 'Have you ever heard of a saint hiding in a church?'. This prompts him to venture out to the docks the next morning and observe the harsh working lifestyle himself. So far your sentences are quite the same length so the flow is 'bang bang bang'. Try to vary your sentence length. His observations result in him realising that not all is perfect in the world, and in order to do 'God's will' he needs to try to fix the problem. This motivates Father Barry to take action, and try to encourage Dugan and Terry Malloy to stand up against the mob and do what's right. Kazan demonstrates this through Father Barry's interactions with these characters. Father Barry encourages Dugan to take action by promising him that if  'you stand up...I'll stand up with you', to make him feel that he isn't alone in this 'war'. Yep the whole paragraph uses sentences of the same lengt to each other, with one thought per sentence. Doesn't seem to be directly addressing the prompt as strongly as it could be. Also seems like there's a bit of retelling. -wishes he had seen the movie-
To encourage Terry to take action, Kazan initially shows Terry's reluctance and uncertainty towards Father Barry's plan through the use of his jacket. By showing Terry's jacket zipped up, Kazan is able to hint at his feelings of uncertainty. However, as Terry gains more knowledge about the mob, his jacket slowly unzips, which signifys Terry's growing ease, and his alignment with 'good'. Kazan also demonstrates the effect of religion on Father Barry by always showing his face in a light, to show that he is aligned with good, and he isn't corrupted by the mob.  Kazan uses this to show that Father Barry is a hero, as he offers support to those that need extra guidance to take action. These examples are used to also show that with guidance and support, an individual is more likely to come forward and do what is 'right' or expected, as Kazan did at the HUAC trials, despite the repercussions. However, the desire to do what is religiously 'right' can also drive an individual towards using manipulation in order to achieve their goal. There's a bit more sentence variance here but it still is very 'thought. thought. thought."... i feel like there could be more depth/complexity of discussion. Also, prompt?

Through the film, Kazan is able to explore the effects of manipulation, throughdouble use of through makes this sentence funny Father Barry's ability to convince Terry that the right thing to do is stand up to the mob. Kazan uses Father Barry to demonstrate manipulation, in order to show that it isn't always a negative thing. Father Barry's manipulation is shown to be more subtle than the mobs, and is based on planting ideas in Terry's head, and overseeing his actions in order to encourage him to speak out. Sort of reversed problem. Instead of having bangbangbang sentences you've got one sentence that needs the words within to work together better. Double use of 'and' really messes it up Kazan shows this by constantly having Terry meet Father Barry in times of conflict and struggle. These meetings are essential in Terry's discovery of what is right, as well as his growing motivation to stand up to the mob and 'get [his] rights'. Kazan relates these events to McCarthy and HUAC in the way that they both use manipulation in order to encourage speaking out, or naming names. In his autobiography, Kazan describes the growing influence of McCarthy and HUAC in Hollywood as 'A terrible threat was in the air and moving closer...the clouds not grey but black, lightning bolts thrust through the heavy overcast and no on can be sure where they would strike next'. Does your teacher encourage the use of discussing things such as his autobiography? I'm not sure if I would do that or not. I really would have more of a strict discussion of heroism etc.       
Kazan also portrays Father Barry as a puppet master, or a 'Mr Upstairs' of the good. This is shown by having Father Barry overlook Terry's confession to Edie from the fence. It is also demonstrated Sentence starters like this are also encouraging the formulaic nature of your writing. "This is shown." "It is also". "Thought. thought. thought." - y'know? at the end of the film when Father Barry says to Terry, 'Johnny Friendly's laying odds that you won't get up', which prompts Terry to get up and go to work despite having been beaten and in pain.  Kazan uses Father Barry's manipulative acts as a puppet master, to relate to the communists using manipulation in the 1950s.  The communists were using manipulation similar to 'Mr Upstairs', with a single leader calling the shots and overseeing progress. Kazan deliberately uses  both of these types of manipulation to show the audience that everyone was using manipulation.
Although Father Barry is using manipulation, he is still trying to do what is right, and is still a heroic figure in the film, because he is encouraging Terry to change and do the right thing. It is because of this heroic action that Father Barry isn't the real hero, as he encourages Terry to make sacrifices and become a hero himself. Is this intended as a separate para?
Actually I only just looked at your post without reading it.. structurally strange? I'm unsure about how many body paragraphs you were intending to have or why you've split them
Within the film, Kazan investigates what it takes to be a hero. Father Barry is considered a hero throughout the film, as he exhibits heroic qualities. However, he isn't the real hero as other characters affect his decisions and contribute to the outcome of the film.  Kazan demonstrates  other characters exhibiting heroic qualities through Terry Malloy and his decision to stand up to the mob. Kazan shows Terry's strength and determination mainly at the end of the film, after he has been beaten up by Johnny Friendly, and still makes the decision to take the 'chance to win the war' and go to work, despite being in pain. This strength and courage is a true heroic quality and it is what makes a real hero. This development in the film relates to Kazan's story and the difficult decision he made to testify at the HUAC trials. It is also used as a reflection of Kazan's journey and a way for him to justify his informing.This seems like better analysis!
Kazan also presents a heroic quality in Edie's character, after her brother Joey's death at the beginning of the film. Edie displays a heroic quality by initially motivating Father Barry to do the right thing and take action against the mob, by questioning the way he conducts himself and his religious beliefs, by asking him 'Did you ever heard of a saint hiding in a church?'. This prompts Father Barry to go down to the docks and 'take a good look for [himself]'. Kazan uses this event in the film to set the story in motion. Does a heroic quality make a hero?
Although Father Barry provided Terry with guidance and encouragement, he isn't the real hero, as he didn't stand up himself and make a change, instead he recruited others to do the work for him, such as Terry and Dugan. However, the closing shot of the film, with only Edie and Father Barry, indicates that Father Barry is a hero in the film, because he was the one with the power to guide the other characters towards taking down the mob. Kazan ends the film like this to show that although Father Barry isn't the real hero in the film, he is a very influential character with a heroic nature.Good. Nothing has really related to the prompt as much as this.

Kazan represents Father Barry as a main influential character and a heroic figure in the film 'On the Waterfront'. However he isn't considered dont' talk about consideration because you aren't talking about what he is considered as, only what he is. Who knows what other people consider him as?to be the real hero, as other characters contribute to the overall development of the film and the outcome. Kazan explores the influence of religion on various characters, including Father Barry, and manipulation, to demonstrate how it can be used to bring out heroic qualities in an individual, and encourage them to do the right thing. Kazan also  reviews what it takes to be a real hero. By examining these points, Kazan is able to relate these events to his story and justify the decision he made to testify at the HUAC trials. He is also able to prove that although Father Barry is a heroic figure and exhibits a heroic nature, he isn't the real hero.
I think you need to be stronger on the prompt, sort out some strange structural things, sort out the formulaic sentences, analyse more deeply, and perhaps consider revising discussion of things outside of the text (director's life?).. do keep in mind I haven't seen the film, though.
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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2013, 09:05:42 pm »
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Hey guys  :) I would really appreciate it if someone could check through this essay and could please give me feedback on my writing.This is my first essay for the year, but go ahead and destroy it :) Thanks in advance!

At the heart of On the Waterfront is an exploration of how individuals are products of their environment.
Set to the background of the corrupt and bleak docks of New Jersey, the 1954 film On the Waterfront elucidates the effects of the environment on the individual. Kazan explores the notion, of how one’s environment influences and thus contributes significantly towards the development of individual traits and characteristics. Despite a shared upbringing, Terry is able to branch out as he is exposed to external influences which steer him in a different direction to that of his brother. Edie is another, whose purity and angelic soul are reflective of her upbringing in the convent, where corruption and injustice are inexistent. Finally, Johnny Friendly’s harsh upbringing has also harboured his ruthless and power-drive disposition, thus proving how he too is a product of his own environment.

The disparities between the Malloy brothers that is seen later on in their lives despite their initial upbringing together, is a result of the different influences that they are each exposed to. Bernstein’s ominous sound track in the opening scene itself illustrates the corruption which is inherent on the waterfront. It is evident that both Charley and Terry have grown up in this world of Johnny Friendly’s amidst the injustice. Terry’s disposition however is different to that of Charley’s as is seen through his care for the pigeons and his fear of them “catching cold.” It is this gentle side of his, which is further developed upon Terry’s encounter with Edie who is “the first nice thing that has happened to (him).”As Terry continues to nurture his relationship with Edie, his moral conscience begins to evolve as well. Nevertheless there are still contradictions present in Terry, which is depicted through the smoke permeating the background of the glove scene, representing Terry’s ambiguous state of mind. Although Terry wishes to remain “DnD”, abiding by his motto of “I don’t know nothing, I haven’t seen nothing, I’m not saying nothing,” a small part of him is drawn towards Edie’s moral goodness, provoking him to stand up for “(his) rights.”Terry’s realisation as a result of his association with Edie, makes it clear that unlike himself Charley has not had the opportunity to evolve but rather has remained to be nothing more than a puppet in Johnny Friendly’s hand. His realisation is complete following Charley’s “crucifixion,” in which he is found to be dead on a hook. It is this tragedy which drives Terry into full action, and although his outer physical self suffers his spiritual and moral identity wins, thus completing his transformation.

Edie’s purity and goodwill is reflective of her upbringing in the convent where she is shielded from corruption and injustice. Right from her introduction into the film, the background lighting upon Edie portrays her in an angelic light, representing how she is shown in all her purity, without even a scruple of evil. It is indisputable that her upbringing in the convent has influenced her to such an extent where she feels that “everybody (should) care about everybody else.”The symbolism which lies behind her white gloves and her brightly-lit scenes alludes to this recurring theme of Edie’s innocence and purity, which even inspires Father Barry himself. Edie is courageous to venture into the harsh male domain of the docks where her presence is looked down upon, as is proven through the overshot of Edie kneeling down over her brother’s dead body. Despite her fragile, weak and vulnerable position in society, it is her moral upbringing which provokes her to confront Terry as to, “how (he can) just sit there and say nothing.” The depth of Edie’s involvement with Terry is illustrated in her desperate words, “Let’s get away...some place we can live in peace.”Edie fears the impact of the corruption upon Terry; despite this however she remains stoic and steadfast by Terry’s side. Thus Edie’s resolve and her moral code of conduct elicit justice for her brother Joey but also transform the lives of Father Barry and Terry Malloy. Her faith in “patience and kindness,” can definitely be attributed to her upbringing in St Anne’s.

Johnny Friendly’s harsh upbringing has also played an instrumental role in moulding him into a power and authority drive man. Right from the onset of the film the viewers are exposed to the smoke and haze which permeates Friendly’s bar, illustrating how his authority is indeed commanding. Bernstein’s ominous score which plays just prior to Joey Doyle’s death alludes to the fact that danger lies ahead. This is further enhanced through the low-angle shot illustrating Johnny’s henchmen upon the rooftop and enunciating the impact of Friendly’s authority on the waterfront. This callous nature of Friendly’s however, can be accounted for by his harsh upbringing as he “begs for work” as a sheer sixteen year old. He carries the large scar on his neck as a constant reminder to how he had to fight some “tough fellas,” to gain control. Friendly’s only opportunity for advancement was through the union and he constantly asserts how he “didn’t work (his) way up from that for nothing.”The symbolism of the hawks resembling Friendly’s henchmen, further pronounces the ultimate power which lies in his hands and how Friendly is prepared to rule with fear and intimidation to keep a stranglehold on the lucrative docks. Although Johnny Friendly is a bully, “a cheap, busy, dirty, stinkin mug, “this is a result of his upbringing which has been anything but smooth sailing. The final scene in which Terry successfully defeats Friendly, gives the impression that Johnny is just another pawn in this cycle of corruption which will forever be a part of the Hoboken docks.

In conclusion, the individuals from the film On the Waterfront all substantiate the notion of being a product of one’s environment. Terry is able to escape the world of corruption through his connection with Edie, unlike Charley who remains under the command of Friendly. Edie’s upbringing in a world away from the docks has also contributed to her strong moral conduct in contrast to the longshoremen. Finally Johnny Friendly’s difficult circumstances in his childhood have also chiselled him into a heartless man, with no affinity for the longshoremen.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 09:08:03 pm by Machi »
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brenden

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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2013, 07:41:31 pm »
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"The Year of Wonders presents Anna, Michael and others in the village with a time of crisis. Are the changes in these characters always positive? Discuss."
Okay I have no memory of your last essay so I'm marking this as I normally would.
Following the restoration of the English monarchy and the end of the Puritan era, England is ravaged by the pestilence of the Great Plague of London.Woo! Geraldine Brooks explores the differences in how people deal with the hardships they are faced with during the "Plague season" is this a quote from the novel? ifin her historical fiction novel "Year of Wonders". The characters of a country town are exposed to the pain and suffering brought by the Plague in 1665, with many being driven insane from the fear with which they constantly live. For these people, their lack of mental strength causes them great anguish and prevents them from persevering through the challenges before them. Conversely, a minority of characters exhibit remarkable tenacity in the face of crisis and this allows them to evolve, gaining knowledge about the world and moving away from death and "towards life". Great, but this intro is lacking a thesis statement!

Fear is the main catalyst for the loss of many people's sanity and humanity.Good The village's decision to seclude themselves from the rest of the world to prevent the spread of "Plague seeds" confines them within a "wide green prison". The villagers are essentially trapped, forced to attempt to live through a vicious season of death. This decision is met with at least some be definitive worry by everyone in the village, especially the wealthy Bradford family, who actually decide to flee the village, leaving the rest of the village to and leave the rest of the villagers to "satisfy [their] needs" by themselves. Try to stray away from '-ing' words except for when they can't be avoided without sounding oafish... Still lacking analysis so farThe fact people are confined causes great unrest within the village and also outside it, as when Maggie Cantwell and the pantry boy Brand encounter people from other villages, they are met with utter contempt.Still retelly This all goes to cause fear within the minds of the villagers, as no matter how "wide" they venture, they will be unable to escape the effects of the Plague, whether they be literal or consequential. Brooks also makes use of pathetic fallacy when Anna describes an impending storm as "marching" towards her in "advancing columns", as if an army is marching towards her, preparing for war. This can be linked to the same ominous and sickening feeling the villagers experience when they are faced with impending and inevitable death. This feeling drives several people insane, as it did with John Gordon, whose desperation to stave off the plague results in him becoming a murderer and later a flagellant. The image of him mutilating himself for God's mercy is an extreme one and depicts just how profound the changes in certain characters are as a result of being faced with the depressing banality of crisis.What is underlined is much closer to what you want to be. However the constant use of 'this' is killing your flow.

The transformation of Michael Mompellion is a testament to what effect loss and grief can have on even the most strong-willed of individuals.Good topic sentence. Michael Mompellion is the town leader, having a strong connection with God and can be likened to Jesus with his white robe.This is good! but too quick if you get what I mean. You could even discuss similarities between Jesus dying for our sins and Mompellion quarantining the town/ driving himself into the ground for the villagers Mompellion's will far exceeds "his body" motivating him to dig you need some punctuation somewhere in there to convey your meaning better. "six graves" in a single day to ensure the well being of the villagers. He is a determined and resilient man and excels in his moral and ethical attitude. However, with the death of his wife Elinor, Mompellion deteriorates to the point where he is reduced to sitting "all day in the dark, with the shutters closed." His dehumanisation is similar to the decline of Elinor's garden, as no matter whose "hands" tend to it, "yet it will not be her garden", just as he will no longer be "Elinor Mompellion's Michael". Very cool. I wish I were better at YoW myself so I could be more objective.Without Elinor, Michael becomes unhinged. He admits "he was wrong" for believing in God, having lost all faith as a result of Elinor's death, "never open[ing]" his Bible following itit. yucky word. It can leave the reader asking questions and your goal as a writer is to leave the reader with no questions. be more specific so they know entirely you're referring to the death. Michael is a changed individual, stripped of his once God-like character punctuation. Gotta watch that punctuation!he now acts immorally and unjustly, not informing Anna that he "never lay" with Elinor until he had already bedded her. This was to her extreme displeasure and subsequently resulted in Anna leaving town. Needs more analysis for you to be retelling like this. Gotta keep the ratio up to justify any retelling as evidenceFor grief to change a man so drastically shows just how powerful it can be in transforming an individual. Michael Mompellion's loss of faith, character and morals is an extremely negative change that can only be caused by crisis and its effects. The last two sentences are more analytic.

But unlike Nope. Not only are you starting a separate sentence with a conjunction, you're starting a whole paragraph with one! NEVER! Even when you just take out the 'but' this whole sentence sounds better.Michael Mompellion and others that have similarly fallen victim to the strain of the Plague, Much of a redundant sentence, that previous one. You could have just said "Contrary to many, -->" and that's it.Anna Frith's transformation shows what positives can arise from even the most dire of situations. Anna is unlike other weaker characters in the village and evolves from a "timid girl" to an anachronistic woman who has "faced more terrors than many warriors." Through Anna's defiance of traditional gender roles and Michael Mompellion's deterioration, Brooks conveys that women are capable of vastly more than they are generally thought to be in the 17th century. and in the 21st! good. This idea is furthered through Anna's willingness to explore the world of "physick", leaving behind her previous "dark and light" mentality to see how "things stood in the world". Her garnering of knowledge and her forward-thinking attitude shows Anna to have changed dramatically for the bestGood. Anna constantly confronts her most poignant fears, venturing into a mine to perform the same maneuver that killed her husband Sam. When she is covered by the "ore" on the walls of the mine, it is as if the physical and mental struggles of the months before have finally taken their toll on her, burying her under what she has been dealing with. However when she is rescued by Elinor, she effectively rises from the ashes, having succeeded in her goal to secure the financial situation of young Merry Wickford and also in conquering one of her greatest phobias.Also stereotypical gender roles Anna's metamorphosis into a resilient, tenacious and optimistic individual is finalised with the naming of her adopted daughter Aisha, meaning life. She has persevered through the deaths of her two sons and learnt to love, care and live again, even through a "season of death". Omg so much better yayayayayaya weeee :): :)

Year of Wonders displays how dystopian the world can be in a time of crisis and how fear can affect the lives of so many. Pain and suffering are abundant in the novel, as evidenced by the reactions of villagers such as John Gordon in response to being isolated in a "prison" filled with rampant death. The novel shows how strong individuals can succumb to the power of grief and anguish, losing themselves in the pain and suffering they have endured. However, Anna's perseverance and growth as a person highlights that not everything in this pessimistic time period is negative, as she changes for the better, defying gender generalisations and prospering. It is clear, that whether the pestilence of the Plague results in positive or negative transformations, crisis can cause alterations in everyone. Excellent :)

Still a bit of retelling, you need to be meticulous in your punctuation because this could really fuck you over in assessments. Your anlaysis could also be more congruent with your paragraphs. At the moment (in the first two especially) There's a bit of "oh, what's this writing? oheeeyoooo there's some analysis! oh some more writing on something". You want it to be seamless. Your expression and flow can always be improved, as well as the sophistication of your language. Try to manipulate your sentence starters into making your look good (stop saying 'this')
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:56:01 pm by Brendinkles »
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Re: [English] [Text Response] [Feedback]
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2013, 11:46:19 pm »
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English SAC on Friday, haha. This is my piece that I'll hopefully memorise. It still needs a bit of tweaking. Would really appreciate it if someone could give me some tips and let me know what I should change, thanks :)

“If asked, I will tell her that it was never a conscious wish of mine to become a criminal. It was an apocalyptic choice.”
‘Amsterdam utilises grim scenarios in an attempt to illustrate the lack of control for the individual within his dystopian world.’ Do you agree?



Steven Amsterdam’s novel, ‘Things We Didn’t See Coming’ tells a pessimistic tale of humanity’s capacity for immorality and self-delusion in a speculative dystopian world. As Amsterdam exemplifies throughout the various vignettes, the characters are placed in grim scenarios where they have to step out of their moral compass just to survive. Amsterdam uses the protagonist’s actions to display a lack of control in the dystopian world. Similarly, Amsterdam employs the use of the grandparents to illustrate the severity of the situation as the grandparents are the only people that the protagonist encounters with ‘good’ morals. Furthermore, the relationship between Margo and the protagonist also depicts the lack of control the protagonist has as he is dependent on Margo. Likewise, Amsterdam uses Otis’ sanctuary to show how characters try and escape the dystopian world by creating a superficial coping mechanism. Hence, Amsterdam explores humanity’s lack of control within a possible dystopian world.

In tandem with this interpretation, Amsterdam demonstrates ones inability to define and abide by their own moral standards through the protagonist’s actions throughout the various vignettes. In the very first vignette, Otis instils a thought within the protagonist to avoid the norms of everyday life, to cope with the future of tomorrow, therefor setting the protagonist up for a life of a wanderer and criminal who ‘’feeds off the edges’’. It is this belief that life will be impermanent, unsafe and void of trust that then influences the protagonist to refrain from forming his own morals, which is shown when the protagonist is unable to give in to his own emotions about wanting to ‘marry Margo the traditional way’, due to the beliefs that Otis instilled. However, the protagonist in not completely amoral; as he still has a conscience which is show when the protagonist says he is ‘done with stealing’ It shows that the protagonist wants to have his own boundaries of right and wrong but is unable to due to his situation. Likewise, Otis also implies that the protagonist will have no control over his future when he says ‘’there’ll be breakdowns that can’t be fixed…more diseases that can’t be fixed… water will be as valuable as oil… that’s the future’’.  The protagonist is unable to abide by his own moral standards, which Amsterdam shows through the first person narration of the text ‘’It was an apocalyptic choice of mine’’. Hence, this demonstrates the lack of control the protagonist has due to the grim scenarios that he has experienced.

Amsterdam employs the dependent relationship between Margo and the protagonist to demonstrate the lack of control that those that exist in this flawed world have over their relationships, life and happiness. This is because relationships are based on need and security rather than trust and love. Margo is the protagonist’s chief source of temptation, dragging him back to the dishonest life he tried to leave behind. For example, the protagonist’s desire to become honest is short-lived. She soon causes him to ‘feel fallen’ from having lived a life of theft. Amsterdam employs an allusion to Macbeth as it not the protagonist’s choice to become a criminal, but a consequence; ‘things got worse when I met Margo’. Margo brings out the worst in the protagonist and stirs turmoil within his conscience which is shown when the protagonist says ‘’as long as I’ve known her, I’ve never known peace’’. Furthermore, the unions in the novel dehumanise the notion of marriage and love. Margo manipulates the protagonist’s idea to extend their union to include Juliet for mutual gains, ‘’ Margo exploited it to expand our world.’ Amsterdam uses the dependent relationship to show the lack of control the protagonist has in this dystopian world.

Amsterdam describes the grandparents as anachronistic in order to demonstrate the inability of those in this dystopian world to abide by their morals and virtues. Throughout the various vignettes, the grandparents are described as being anachronistic, hence when they become corrupt, Amsterdam is eluding to humanity have no control due to the grim scenarios that they are placed in. The grandparents are the only characters that the protagonist interacts with that have ‘good’ morals, hence, when they have no choice but to eat stolen food in the rural zone, ‘’they know it’s stolen’’, but they still eat it due to the pressures to survive in the dystopian. Likewise, the grandparents also steal a car, despite ‘’never having felt the thrill of larceny before’’ eventually becoming ‘’hooked’’. By Amsterdam representing the grandparents as, the last symbols of morality and by them needing to steal to survive, suggests that humanity has no control and that the ‘older order’ has collapsed. The grandparents are essentially forced to sacrifice the demands of their moral compass in order to become part of system they previously despised, which in turn show that the last symbols of morality are eternally lost. By the anachronistic grandparents becoming morally corrupt, Amsterdam suggests that humanity has no control in this dystopian world.

Amsterdam implies that Otis’ garden is a type of superficial coping mechanism and hence, demonstrates humanity’s lack of control over (……?). Otis is unable to cope with reality as he is aware of the imminent disasters and he knows that solving them is beyond humanity’s control. Hence, he resorts to building his ‘fort’ as a superficial coping mechanism. At the beginning, he says to ‘think defensively’ and in the last vignette, that sanctuary is described as a ‘fort. Otis’ attempt to live in a ‘fort’ is futile as there is no control or barrier against the environment. Amsterdam uses the presence of Liz and Jenna to foreshadow Otis’ fate. This is because even they were ‘’once rich’’ and now reduced to poverty by the disasters. People try to delude themselves about the undeniable truth and lying to themselves to cope.

Amsterdam explores humanity’s lack of control within a possible dystopian world. The protagonist had no control over his relationship with Margo and his own morals. The grandparents were unable to control the situation that they were placed in so they had resorted to becoming a part of the system they previously despised. Otis’ uses his sanctuary to try and escape the dystopian world. Amsterdam illustrates the lack of control that the characters have and how in turn, it leads continuous suffering.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:48:02 pm by Romaboy »
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« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2013, 11:56:31 pm »
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Is that your SAC prompt, Romaboy?
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