Relationships between these texts may be implicit or explicit – what does this mean?Explicit means exactly such as themes or technically.Implicit means between the lines of the text such as purpose, or author’s values.
What are values? Values are what people hold as core beliefs; it influences their actions or thoughts or words.
The word ‘how’ is bolded because it points towards techniques.
This means, not understanding the story as merely a story but as a overall concept through which the composer is propagating or putting forward an idea. The two texts will be based on similar issues – however, they may put forward different viewpoints/arguments. These viewpoints are in turn shaped by context.
This means not treating context as merely a time or a place, but actually explaining how it influences the composer. In addition, they used language showing judgment. For example, with Woolf and Albee, you would compare the two contexts and their differing social standards. Woolf’s text, from the late 1920s, was written during a time when social change was welcomed. This means she can write about radical ideas such as gender equality (well, radical in that time period) very openly. Contrast this with Albee’s text, written in an ultra-conservative period. He obviously must approach this issue far more subtly.
This means that you have to based your essay around the question – using a good essay structure is essential to achieving this. However, you can walk into the exam room with a pre-prepared argument. For example, you know how context has influenced the way Woolf and Albee have chosen to portray certain elements in their texts. It’s just a matter of fitting these ideas into the essay question. If the essay question is asking you to discuss a theme, such as “independence”, and how the texts have chosen to portray this theme… then all you do is link “independence” to a common issue between the texts, such as gender equality, and follow on your discussion from there.
When discussing techniques, the techniques should be linked to the intent of the composer. Ask yourself, what was the composer trying to achieve by using an analogy here, or symbolism?
Hubris (play /ˈhjuːbrɪs/), also hybris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.
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Perceptive thesis – this is still the distinguishing element in achieving the top bands in Advanced course.Also – not using quotes that everyone else uses – spark notes etc
If you are able to grasp these two points then this is not, in my opinion, a difficult module. A colleague at my last school said that if students were going to “faff” in an essay, then this module was the one in which to do it. What she meant was that, again like the AOS, Module C is concept based. This means that your responses should focus on the idea (either history and memory or conflicting perspectives) and that there is room for personal reflection alongside textual evidence.
In the painting, Judith comes in with her maid - surprisingly and menacingly - from the right, against the direction of reading the picture. The general is lying naked on a white sheet. Paradoxically, his bed is distinguished by a magnificent red curtain, whose colour crowns the act of murder as well as the heroine's triumph.
Although similar to chiaroscuro, tenebrism is more dramatic and usually contains areas of chiaroscuro within it. Tenebrist paintings generally have a large area of darkness, and many of the figures in the painting are almost buried by this area of intense darkness. The central figures, however, are set off by a harsh, raking light which is often used to indicate a moment of revelation.
Purposeful construction – that is explicitly linked to purpose.
HSC Adavance Modules
HSC Advanced Englishmodules<br />A Presentation prepared by Rose Garofano<br />UWS <br />4th July 2011<br />
MODULE A: Comparative Study of Texts and Context<br />This module requires students to compare texts in order to explore them in relation to their contexts. It develops students’ understanding of the effects of context and questions of value.<br />There are TWO electives to choose from:<br />
Elective 1: Exploring Connections <br />In this elective students will explore how meanings of a pair of texts can be shaped and reshaped by considering the nature of the connections between them. Exploration of the connections between the texts will enhance understanding of the values and contexts of each text. Relationships between these texts may be implicit or explicit. Connections may be established through direct or indirect references, contexts, values, ideas, and the use of language forms and features.<br />
Elective 2: Texts in Time <br />In this elective students compare how the treatment of similar content in a pair of texts composed in different times and contexts may reflect changing values and perspectives. By considering the texts in their contexts and comparing values, ideas and language forms and features, students come to a heightened understanding of the meaning and significance of each text.<br />
How to approach Module A: Texts in Time<br />Many people may make the mistake of simply comparing the texts on a purely textual basis – however, this isn’t enough.<br />It is necessary to compare how context – and, more importantly, the different social/political/moral values of different contexts – have influenced how the composer has chosen to portray something. <br />
Context <br />Personal context – attitudes and values specific to the individual. External events out of the individual’s control can have an effect on their daily actions.<br />Social context – attitudes and values of the wider society. For example, in Australia, it is socially acceptable for women to wear trousers; in Australia, sport is valued as a social institution (always be sensitive to generalising and stereotyping).<br />Historical context – the historical period and prevailing political beliefs and institutions of that historical period. For example, the current historical context in Australia is 2009, the 21st century and it is a constitutional monarchy (democracy with a royal head of state).<br />Cultural context – the values, beliefs and attitudes that are embedded into a society which are realised in observed traditions that are celebrated and passed on. For example, Australia recognises 25th December as Christmas Day and it is legislated that it as a public holiday.<br />
What the markers said (in 2010 taken off the board of studies website)<br />In better responses, candidates developed a thesis which addressed the question and demonstrated a strong conceptual understanding of the module and the elective.<br />
They embedded an evaluation of the relationship between text and context in the analysis of the texts. <br />These responses demonstrated an understanding of the term ‘values’ and also showed a discerning use of textual references.<br />
Weaker responses tended to make connections between texts through lengthy description and recount.<br />They were explanatory and narrative rather than analytical. <br />
These responses did not demonstrate evaluative judgements and treatment of context was often superficial or absent.<br />Textual references were often not well selected or integrated into the discussion of the two texts studied.<br />
Writing about this unit could involve the following:<br /><ul><li>Comparative study of common features of both texts
Discussion and understanding of the contexts in which both these texts were composed.
Analysis of how language and other communication techniques contribute to the creation and reading of both texts.
Discussion and research.</li></li></ul><li>Blade Runner/ Frankenstein<br />Points of Comparison<br />1. The Fall: Critiquing Idealism and Hubris <br />2. Nature, Nurture and Knowledge <br />3. Society, Class and Injustice <br />
Frankie - Context<br />Romanticism <br />God in Nature <br />Spiritual renewal <br />Scientific advancements <br />Sir Humphrey Davy <br />Galvanism <br />Scientific hubris <br />Industrial Revolution<br />Working class Oppression<br />French Revolution <br />Frankenstein as a ‘feminist’ text<br />Shelley’scritique of masculinehubris<br />Personal context- Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin and Percy Shelley<br />
Blade - Context<br />Globalisation <br />Corporate expansion <br />Rise of Asian ‘Tiger’ economies <br /> Multi-national corporation and offshore manufacturing<br />Hyper-consumerism <br />Regan and economic rationalism<br />The ‘trickle down’ effect<br />Rapid scientific and technological advancement <br />Devaluing of humanity <br />Increased environmental awareness <br /> Decline in belief in God <br />Increased urbanisation, over‐population and multiculturalism <br />Disconnection<br />
The Fall: <br />Critiquing Idealism and Hubris <br />
Key questions: Blade Runner and Frankenstein <br /><ul><li>Explain which character or characters in Blade Runner have similarities to the Creature in Frankenstein.
What key actions and events in the film are similar to those in the novel Frankenstein?
A characteristic of the Creature, ignored in most film adaptations, is the Creature’s skill with language. Do any of the replicants (artificial humans) in the film Blade Runner share the creature’s eloquence?
Shelley’s text confronts and challenges some ideas about science in the context of her society. How does Blade Runner do the same thing in a late twentieth century context?
Compare the years in which the texts were produced, 1818 and 1982. What are the major changes in terms of industry, and society and technology over this period?</li></li></ul><li>MODULE B: Critical Study of Texts<br />This module requires students to engage with and develop an informed personal understanding of their prescribed text. Through critical analysis and evaluation of its language, content and construction, students will develop an appreciation of the textual integrity of their prescribed text. They refine their own understanding and interpretations of the prescribed text and critically consider these in the light of the perspectives of others. Students explore how context influences their own and others’ responses to the text and how the text has been received and valued.<br />
Let’s break it down…<br />Reception in a range of contexts: students need to acknowledge that different people read texts differently and that these differences arise from variations in world view. World view is a useful idea. It means exactly what it sounds like: it’s how someone sees the world. This is influenced by historical, social and cultural context. Think about how your text was received in its original context and how that is similar to or different from how it is read now.<br />
Example:<br />The idea of the Divine Right of Kings was very popular in Europe during Shakespeare’s time. This notion, that kings rule because God wants them to, could be one of the reasons that Hamlet hesitates to kill his uncle. To a modern audience this makes less sense (living as we do after the French and Russian revolutions) so we look for answers in Hamlet’s character or in his personal ethical code.<br />
Example 2<br />If your text is a more recent one, such as Cloud Street, it might be useful to think about different communities within our modern society. Examine the significance of the house in the novel for an Aboriginal Australian who was a member of the Stolen Generation or what the novel might mean to someone who is unfamiliar with that aspect of Australian history.<br />
Textual integrity: In Module B, textual integrity means the way in which the different elements of the text work together to form an integrated whole.<br />
example<br />The plot, characters and language in Hamlet all work to reinforce the theme of decay and corruption. <br />The gothic atmosphere of Moor House is integral to understanding the plot and character motivations in Jane Eyre.<br />
Significance: another one of those tricky words with too many meanings. An interesting way to think of it is that meaning is the message of the text as the author intended, while significance is the meaning of the text to a reader. This ties together the previous two ideas. If the elements (plot, setting, character, theme and style) all work together to create a message, then the text has textual integrity. The way message is interpreted or received in a given context is its significance.<br />
CS Lewis’s essay on Hamlet entitled The Prince or the Poem<br />This ghost is different from any other ghost in Elizabethan drama -- for, to tell the truth, the Elizabethans in general do their ghosts very vilely. It is permanently ambiguous. Indeed the very word 'ghost', by putting it into the same class with the 'ghosts' of Kyd and Chapman, nay by classifying it at all, puts us on the wrong track. It is 'this thing ' (Hamlet 1, 1, 21), 'this dreaded sight ' (1, 1, 25), an 'illusion' (1, 1 127), a 'spirit of health or goblin damn'd ' (1, 4, 40), liable at any moment to assume 'some other horrible form' (1, 4, 72) which reason could not survive the vision of. Critics have disputed whether Hamlet is sincere when he doubts whether the apparition is his father's ghost or not. I take him to be perfectly sincere. <br />
He believes while the thing is present: he doubts when it is away. Doubt, uncertainty, bewilderment to almost any degree, is what the ghost creates not only in Hamlet's mind but in the minds of the other characters. Shakespeare does not take the concept of 'ghost' for granted, as other dramatists had done. In his play the appearance of the spectre means a breaking down of the walls of the world and the germination of thoughts that cannot really be thought: chaos is come again.<br />
It very cleverly explains the way in which subsequent generations have read Shakespeare’s play, and how each critic has seen their own ideals and values reflected in the play’s titular hero.<br />
Reactions to reading…<br />Do I agree with Lewis’ perspective or interpretation of the ghost?<br />How is this similar or different to my own understanding of the ghost? <br />How do I use this in my response to Hamlet? <br />You will not find decent critique’s of Hamlet on the net! You will need to go to your State library to browse the books!!<br />
What the markers said (in 2010 taken off the board of studies website)<br />In stronger responses, candidates carefully considered arguments and thoughtfully selected, detailed textual references to support a perceptive thesis.<br />Insightful responses demonstrated a strong sense of personal engagement which was developed through an evaluation of a variety of interpretations. Very few responses simply relied on interpretations of others and ‘readings’. <br />
Weaker responses tended to be descriptive and made limited reference to the language and ideas of the text. <br />They lacked development and did not sustain a coherent and detailed argument. These responses also reflected a limited understanding of the demands of the question.<br />
Last words<br />Attacking this module might mean doing a little a self reflection and engaging with the world. What are your values, how are they shaped by your context and how do they affect your own reading of the text? That last question is important because it is your own reading of the text that the markers want to read. Don’t read a bunch of criticism and regurgitate in the exam. Engage with the text and its world, engage with yourself and your own world, think about the connections between the two and then write about it.<br />
MODULE C: Representation and Text<br />This module requires students to explore various representations of events, personalities or situations. They evaluate how medium of production, textual form, perspective and choice of language influence meaning. The study develops students’ understanding of the relationships between representation and meaning.<br />There are TWO electives to choose from:<br />
Elective 1: Conflicting Perspectives <br />In their responding and composing, students consider the ways in which conflicting perspectives on events, personalities or situations are represented in their prescribed text and other related texts of their own choosing. Students analyse and evaluate how acts of representation, such as the choice of textual forms, features and language, shape meaning and influence responses. <br />
Elective 2: History and Memory <br />In their responding and composing, students consider their prescribed text and other texts which explore the relationships between individual memory and documented events. Students analyse and evaluate the interplay of personal experience, memory and documented evidence to broaden their understanding of how history and personal history are shaped and represented.<br />
The key words for this module are right there in the title: REPRESENTATION and TEXT. In many ways, Module C is very similar to the Area of Study. We have a concept (either History and Memory or Conflicting Perspectives) and we’re looking at how it is represented in and through our core text and texts of our own choosing.<br />
This is more challenging that it first appears for two reasons:<br />1. We are looking at how the concept is represented in the texts, not how an example of the concept is represented. So if we’re tackling the Smithsonian’s September 11 website, we need to focus on what the site can tell us about the idea of history, the idea of memory and the relationship between these two ideas rather than simply looking at how the site presents this memorable and historical event.<br />
2. Remember that HOW means techniques. This is always true in HSC English. So not only do you need to work out WHAT the message about the concept is from your texts but also exactly HOW this message is conveyed through poetic, literary and visual techniques.<br />
Key questions<br />History and Memory<br /> <br />What is history? What is memory? What is the relationship between them? Is one more valid than the other? How are history and memory represented in the media?<br />
One example – two uses!<br />Text: Judith Beheading Holofernes [medium = paintings]<br />Overview: The account of the beheading of Holofernes by Judith is given in the deuterocanonical book of Judith, and is the subject of numerous depictions in painting and sculpture. In the story, Judith, a beautiful widow, is able to enter the tent of Holofernes, an Assyrian general who is about to destroy Judith's home, the city of Bethulia, because of his desire for her, though the story is emphatic that no "defilement" takes place. Overcome with drink, he passes out and is decapitated by Judith; his head is taken away in a basket (often depicted as carried by an elderly female servant). Artists have mainly chosen one of two possible scenes (with or without the servant): the decapitation, with Holofernes prone on the bed, or the heroine holding or carrying the head.<br />
Red symbolises both passion and death <br />Judith is depeicted as strong but not masculine <br />Chiaroscuro - An effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction on something. <br />Vector – from right to left [non traditional reading path. <br />
Context: Caravaggio was a highly Christian devout man. The first instance in which Caravaggio would chose such a highly dramatic subject, the Judith is an expression of an allegorical-moral contest in which Virtue overcomes Evil. In contrast to the elegant and distant beauty of the vexed Judith, the ferocity of the scene is concentrated in the inhuman scream and the body spasm of the giant Holofernes. Caravaggio has managed to render, with exceptional efficacy, the most dreaded moment in a man's life: the passage from life to death. The upturned eyes of Holofernes indicate that he is not alive any more, yet signs of life still persist in the screaming mouth, the contracting body and the hand that still grips at the bed. The original bare breasts of Judith, which suggest that she has just left the bed, were later covered by the semi-transparent blouse<br />
Her has a look of determination.<br />Red is again used as a symbol of passion or death<br />Judith is far more masculine in this representation e.g. arms. However, her breasts are exposed which highlights her sensuality as a woman.<br />Chiaroscuro – effects of light and dark<br />tenebrism: intense and dramatic use of chiaroscuro, generally with large areas of darkness and an unseen light source<br />
Context: Artemisia may have painted the scene during or just after the trial of Tassi for raping her. He denied the charges but couldn't shrug off his record of sex crimes. He had previously served time for raping his sister-in-law and conspiring to murder his wife, whom he "acquired" by rape.<br />It appears that after a long period of sexual harassment by Tassi and the other male artists in his studio, he violated Artemisia's virginity, a requisite for marriage between decent people. A consensual sexual relationship continued because he promised to marry her. It is likely that Artemisia hoped that he would marry her to restore her reputation. Her father discovered the assault and charged Tassi with rape.<br />
The trial was a painful public humiliation for Artemisia. During the proceedings, she underwent vaginal examination and torture with thumbscrews. She was accused of being unchaste when she met Tassi and also of promiscuity. He also attacked her professional reputation. A transcript of the seven-month court case survives.<br />It was not until recent years that research by Lapierre revealed that Tassi was found guilty. He was given the choice of five years hard labour or exile from Rome. He choose the latter, but he was back in Rome within 4 months, probably due to influence in high places.<br />
Is one Memory representation more valid than the other? <br />Caravaggio<br />Gentileschi<br />
Conflicting Perspectives<br /> <br />What is a perspective? Why do people have different perspectives and what can cause them to conflict? How are conflicting perspectives represented in the media?<br />
Why do people have different perspectives and what can cause them to conflict? <br />Caravaggio<br />Gentileschi<br />
What the markers said (in 2010 taken off the board of studies website)<br />Many stronger responses demonstrated an awareness of the constructedness of texts and how the choice of form and its associated language features connected with the composer’s purpose and context.<br />A carefully constructed thesis was developed through skilful analysis and seamless integration of the prescribed text and well-chosen text or texts of own choosing. <br />Judiciously selected textual evidence was used to support the evaluation of the form and its distinctive features.<br />
Weaker responses were largely descriptive and limited in scope. Some understanding of the act of representation through form was evident; however, the treatment of the prescribed text and the text or texts of own choosing was superficial and inconsistent. Some of these responses did present a simple line of argument, but it was not developed further through the textual references. <br />Generally, the text or texts of own choosing were not used to make connections with the prescribed text and to demonstrate understanding of conflicting perspectives or history and memory.<br />
Related texts<br />When thinking about related material for this module it’s important to remember one last point: the concept needs to be represented within, between and among texts. This means you can’t have a “history” related text and a “memory” related text. Each text needs to highlight something about both ideas. Similarly, a text that only provides a single perspective isn’t really going to work. Related texts for that elective need to represent conflicting perspectives within a single text.<br />See resource provided. <br />
Last words…<br />There’s one final, important, distinction that is relevant to both this module and to the AOS. There is a difference between what a text is about and its message. The Smithsonian’s September 11 website is about history but its message (intentionally or not) is that history is selective and constructed. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes portrays some conflicting perspectives but one of its messages is that perspective is shaped through and by language. Similarly, The Justice Game portrays conflict within the formal setting of the court; however, one message is that the dominant perspective tends to be the one that is most effectively represented in the “game”.<br />