Writer’s Effect 1

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An introduction to the exam task 'Writer's Effect'

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Writer’s Effect 1

  1. 1. Writer’s Effect<br />Paper 2 – Question 2<br />
  2. 2. What is ‘writer’s effect’?<br />A writer selects words and shapes them in the same way that an artist mixes particular hues of paint and applies them to a canvas using brush strokes.<br />
  3. 3.
  4. 4. What effect can words have?<br />Reinforce<br />Modify<br />Contrast<br />Contradict<br />Characters / relationships<br />Settings<br />Themes<br />Atmosphere / tone<br />
  5. 5. The exam task<br />To select words / phrases from two named paragraphs in a ‘literary’ extract and explain the meaning and effect of those language choices and why therefore the writer might have chosen to use them.<br />The exam question is worth 10 marks<br />You will have approximately 25 minutes to answer<br />
  6. 6. The skills needed<br />To recognise, understand and explain the meaning of a range of vocabulary.<br />To demonstrate an awareness that words have layers of meaning rather than just a literal meaning.<br />To be able to articulate an understanding of the how language choices can purposefully impact the interpretation of a text.<br />
  7. 7. The onion model<br />
  8. 8. Literal meaning<br />1<br />
  9. 9. How rich is your vocabulary?<br />
  10. 10. Shades of meaning<br />2<br />
  11. 11. All synonyms are created equal?<br />boiling<br />searing<br />hot<br />scorching<br />sizzling<br />scalding<br />peppery<br />sweltering<br />
  12. 12. Rank these words in order<br />tiny<br />little<br />small<br />miniscule<br />Pint-sized<br />diminutive<br />petite<br />miniature<br />
  13. 13. Now insert this word into your ranked order:<br />tiny<br />
  14. 14. Rank these words and explain the subtle differences between them<br />Shack<br />Hut<br />Barn<br />House<br />Mansion<br />Hovel<br />
  15. 15. Write as many variations of this sentence as you can by changing the highlighted words while retaining the same literal meaning – notice how the nuances of meaning can change:<br />The horse looked at me.<br />
  16. 16. So words carry subtle differences of meaning and a writer’s choice of words is likely to reflect an awareness of these nuances <br />
  17. 17. Contextual associations<br />3<br />
  18. 18. Words don’t operate in isolation – they interact with other words around them.<br />‘watch the borders’<br />
  19. 19. weed<br />
  20. 20. Here is a word which has been taken out of its context:<br />scarlet<br />
  21. 21. On the next slide is a mini saga with the word ‘scarlet’ placed in context – notice how the rest of the story adds a significant layer of meaning to the word ‘scarlet’<br />
  22. 22. Erik’s clothes clashed like a pile of Smarties. Ties became legends. Criticisms bypassed his balding head.Eric’s office held a ‘Bad Taste Fancy Dress Night’. Colleagues conspicuously reproduced his outfits. He smiled.Next morning, Erik wore a grey suit. He tidied his desk, then hanged himself with a scarlet tie.<br />
  23. 23. The title of the mini-saga is:<br />The Greying of the Peacock’<br />Is this an appropriate title given that no bird features in the story? Why?<br />
  24. 24. What is the effect of the simile which appears in the first line of the story?<br />Erik’s clothes clashed like a pile of Smarties.<br />What associations do you have with Smarties and how are they modified in this context?<br />
  25. 25. Figurative language is based upon the associations we are invited to make between the items being compared.<br />Analogical thinking is always associative.<br />Finish the following phrase in as many ways as you can and notice how the choice of simile shifts the underlying meaning which is implied:<br />
  26. 26. Life is like a .....<br />
  27. 27. Sensory associations<br />4<br />
  28. 28. Some words make a direct appeal to the senses such as:<br />Bright, iridescent, drab, <br />Melodious, clang, titter<br />Acrid, pungent, fragrant<br />Bitter, bland, savoury<br />Dry, smooth, jagged <br />
  29. 29. Others do not have a primary meaning which is rooted in the senses but, nonetheless they can carry associations which may imply sensory details:<br />The bird’s plumage shimmered in the dawn light.<br />The soldier sank, ankle deep into the thick mud and struggled to free himself.<br />
  30. 30. Emotional associations<br />5<br />
  31. 31. Some words are also selected by writers because they carry emotional weight:<br />The small child dragged his satchel behind him, his head hung down and his shoulders were slumped.<br />
  32. 32. Notice how each of the word choices highlighted here combine – the emotional tone of the sentence emerges out of the collective effect of the language choices made.<br />The small child dragged his satchel behind him, his head hung down and his shoulders were slumped.<br />
  33. 33. Here are three possibilities for the next sentence – how does this additional information modify or develop your understanding of the school boy’s emotional state?<br />
  34. 34. He stabbed his toe at a discarded coke can which tumbled into the road.<br />The School gates loomed ahead of him and he noticed that his hands were trembling.<br />The crumpled pink letter was still clutched tightly in his left hand.<br />
  35. 35. Putting it all together<br />Words carry a literal meaning<br />Words often also carry shades of meaning and are relational<br />Words may be modified by their context<br />Words may carry sensory associations<br />Words may carry emotional associations<br />
  36. 36. Meetings<br />Testing your understanding of the onion model<br />
  37. 37. They locked eyes upon one another and stood like statues, rooted to the spot. Several moments passed. The air about them crackled with tension and then, suddenly the two men surged forwards. The dust billowed around them, their leather sandals tearing great scars across the parched arena.<br />
  38. 38. She came to stand behind the crumpled form and tentatively reached out a trembling hand. The blanched band of skin circling her finger stood out like a guilty secret as she touched his shoulder. He didn’t look up. For what seemed an age, they stood there framed against the dying light until all the guests had made their excuses and left.<br />
  39. 39. David lurched forward, knocking people to left and right until he had a clear line of sight. There could be no mistake, it was her. He wanted to shout out, turn circles, dance a jig, but instead a bashful grin spread across his face. She turned her head towards him and beamed. The crowd, the grating tannoy, the glare of the strip lighting all faded away until just the two of them were held in the crystal snow-globe perfection of the moment.<br />

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