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May 26, 2020, 10:52:39 pm

Author Topic: English Advanced: Common Module Essay  (Read 366 times)

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English Advanced: Common Module Essay
« on: September 20, 2019, 07:49:23 pm »

I've written many practise essays but haven't been able to get any feedback on them. I have attached my personal best essay for English advanced common module: could I get some feedback on it?

ESSAY QUESTION: 'The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon'. Evaluate this statement in relation to your prescribed text.
The role of storytelling explores common aspects, such as emotions and values, of the human experience. These mutual essences are closely represented in All The Light We Cannot See, giving insight into collective and individual experiences. Tropes, such as vision, the radio and light/dark offer insight into the strength of Doerr's storytelling.
In the novel, Doerr’s protagonist: Marie-Laure, explores the significance of truth through the trope of vision. Marie-Laure blindness amplifies her reliance on her senses, as “to shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness”. Doerr’s storytelling approach invites the reader into Marie-Laure’s world in which sound defines her reality, represented through the narrator's words, “in her imagination, in her dreams, everything has colour”. Thus, Marie-Laure’s imagination plays a significant role in revealing the view of the world around her. In addition, Marie-Laure can also ‘see’ things invisible to others, like the significance of morality and the goodness of people. Werner Pfenning’s character is an obvious contrast to Marie-Laure as he constantly finds himself in a struggle to see the ugly reality behind the white-washed veneer of the Nazi party – despite his “adequate eyesight”. Doerr narrates the Nazi party’s brainwashing of Werner with their “white uniforms” and “sleek and interchangeable” figures, which amplifies the nationalistic ideology of the purity and conformity. This ideology is thrust upon Werner who “suffers” under the morality of his commandments from the Third Reich. Doctor Hauptmann exploits Werner’s expertise in telecommunications through his aspiration (of becoming a scientist) to “determine” Werner’s “scientific work” into reflecting “his interest” on radios. Thus, the insights to the characters' experiences are revealed through Doerr’s storytelling which resonates questions regarding morality for the reader.
Doerr’s structures his novel through the third-person omniscient point of view through multiple perspectives to represent his fictional account of a war-torn France and Germany. This stylistic technique allows the radio trope to become evident in terms of its significance and development. The radio first appears in the orphanage with Werner and Jutta. The radio-show, playing from Werner’s homemade wireless radio, further develops the vision trope through the children’ scientist broadcast. “The man concludes, ‘open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever’,” presented from the radio becomes Werner’s motto. This drives Werner to do everything he can and learn what he can as he doesn’t know how long he may live for. Thus, the radio becomes symbolic of the light that cannot be seen – it’s the transmission of information to the “millions of ears tied to a single mouth” through narration. Werner’s development in the special team, that locates the source of these radio broadcasts, acts as a significant moment that highlights Jutta’s “ability to recognise what is right”: “is it right… to do only because everyone else is doing it?” In contrast to Jutta, Werner “pretended there were no choices” highlighting his conformity to Nazi ideology. The radios’ significant is evident in the Reichs’ “growth like some imperturbable tree”. This simile highlights the power of the radio in spreading the nationalistic propaganda of the Third Reich “all around Zovellerein”. The vivid imagery of an “imperturbable tree” that is strong and well-rooted is evident in the voice “growing like...a...tree”. The ideology of the Third Reich is linked to that of God through the simile of the Germans “leaning” as if “toward the lips of God”. Thus, the omniscient point of view portrays the significance and development of the radio trope through its transmissions – a form of storytelling.
The reader is further challenged by the symbolism of the contrast between light and dark which heighten the effect of a variety of events and ideas in the novel. As Marie-Laure goes blind, her world darkens but she ‘sees’ much that remains invisible to other characters. She perceives the glow of kindness and good in people: her father “radiates a thousand colours” and von Rumpel’s “dark world” that she sensed from his sickness. Thus, in her mind the world of war is grey. Doerr narrates her perspective through the onomatopoeic phrase “hum of gas and the tick-tick of heating metal” to highlight her perspective. The impact of Etienne’s radio transmissions on Marie-Laure’s world further enriches her understanding of the world around her. This is evident when the conditions in Saint-Malo worsen but Marie-Laure’s fears are washed away out on the beach “by wind and colour and light”. Juxtaposing the protagonist is Werner’s character, where darkness predominates as an element of his life. Physically, he echoes light with his “snow-white hair”, “blue eyes” and pale skin as Marie-Laure confirms with “a light of goodness emanating from his soul”. However, Doerr depicts Werner’s life with darkness: “his father swallowed by the mines” where “fifteen year old” Werner will be “working… in the dark, soot land” of Zovellerein, “every night… listened to the radio” with Jutta, Werner descends morally into darkness when he attends the Nazi institute, he nearly loses his life during the night bombing of Saint-Malo; being left trapped in a dark cellar, and it is night time when he is killed by the landmine on the beach. The contrasting individual experiences through the tropes in Doerr’ storytelling through light and dark deepen Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s characters leading to the readers questioning of not only their humanity but the values of society.
Doerr’s stylistic techniques in the narrative structure of All The Light We Cannot See celebrates the power of storytelling. Doerr’s approach portrays common aspects of individual and collective experiences, offering insight into these mutual essences. his use of tropes deepens the characters' portrayals through their ability (or inability) to access the challenging nature of the world around them. Thus, storytelling in Doerr's novel offers insights into the human experience.
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