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Analysing for the exam
 

Analysing for the exam

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    Analysing for the exam Analysing for the exam Document Transcript

    • Unit 1 LITB1 - Aspects of Narrative
    • Unit 1 LITB1 - Aspects of Narrative In the 2 hour exam you must be able to: SECTION A • comment in detail on the narrative method of an extract from one of the texts studied • relate this extract to wider concerns within the text as a whole SECTION B • compare aspects of narrative across the other three texts that they have studied This is an open book exam.
    • Aspects of Narrative Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
    • Exam Questions How the exam questions are worded will depend on the actual texts you are studying; there will be four in total: two novel and two poetry texts. Section A of the exam will focus on single texts, while Section B will ask you to compare texts. June 2009: SECTION A Enduring Love, Ian McEwan (a) How does McEwan tell the story in Chapter 10? (21 marks) (b) Some readers feel that the relationship between Joe and Jed is the most compelling aspect of the whole novel. What do you think about this view? (21 marks)
    • Section B June 2009 • Write about some of the ways characters are created in the three texts you have studied. (42 marks) • Write about the ways authors use time to shape the order of events in the three texts you have studied. (42 marks) January 2011 • Write about the significance of the ways the three writers you have studied have structured their narratives. • Write about the significance of the ways the three writers you have studied have used places in their narratives.
    • The essay – Section B • You will need to write a short introduction giving an overview of the topic as it affects your chosen texts. • You will need to check carefully whether the question asks you to ‘compare’ your texts or just to ‘write about’ them. If asked to compare, you will need to ensure that you do some crossreferencing of the texts – but you do not have to keep doing this all the time. If asked to write about the topic, you do not need to compare texts, but you might occasionally choose to do so. • You will need to provide some evidence from each of the three texts but with limited time you cannot be expected to say everything. • You will need to write approximately the same amount on each text but there is no rule that says they have to be exactly equal. • You will need to tie your ideas together at the end with a brief conclusion. You will need to practise this sort of writing
    • For section B of the exam you will be assessed for AO1, AO2 and AO3. What are AO1, AO2 and AO3?
    • A02: Can you list all the possible features of form and structure and language which can be explored in a text Form and Structure •Narrative structure/sequence (order of events) •The way time is organised •The connection between chapters •Narrative (the events and causes and the methods used to show) •Representation of characters and events (this can cross over into language) •Point of view /narrative voice •Destination Form: aspects of a text in its totality that enable it to be identified as a novel or poem etc. Structure: how the significant parts of a text work together to form a whole. Look at what the writer has chosen to include or not include and how this choice leads the reader to certain conclusions Language: refers in this context to specific words or phrases in the text. Language •Word choice (including dialect) •Voices (use of speech/narrative voice) •Imagery (metaphor, simile, personification) •How characterisation is built •Sentence construction, function and punctuation •Archaism
    • A01 – critical vocabulary • The difference between story, plot and narrative • Representation (characters and events in stories are representations of reality and not real. They are completely controlled by the author.) • Time and sequence • Characterisation • Point of view / narrative voice • Destination • Ideology – attitudes, values and assumptions • Symbolic • Establishment • Attributed / Free speech • Visual and spatial metaphors • Semiotics What else does A01 cover?
    • A03:Making connections and comparisons between different literary texts, informed by possible interpretations of other readers • What have I seen about the methods used (A02) and how does this help me come to an interpretation? • Are different interpretations now possible? Is one more convincing than another? • If you are looking at part of a text, what is its relationship with the whole text? What is its relationship with other texts being studied? What common ground can be found? • What is the relationship between the opening of the text and its closure? How do these two vital parts of the text relate to each other? • Are there relevant ideas that arise out of contemporary ideas and situations which may affect the way the text can be read? These can be called contexts of reception. (This is an A04 element so don’t dwell to much on this in the exam) • Can different critical methods be applied to the text? What ambiguities and uncertainties arise from studying it? Can these ambiguities be seen positively?
    • Roland Barthes – Narrative Codes The French critic Roland Barthes put forward a scheme of five types of narrative coding useful for analysing stories: The Action Code: Actions have a logical relationship to the real world. For example, a journey involves preparation, departure, travel and arrival. We have expectations from certain actions, e.g. when a gunslinger draws his gun, we expect an exchange of shots. The Semic Code: This code includes all signs and meanings in the text which depict character. E.g. in a horror novel, a vampire may be pale, hide from sunlight etc. Mystery (or Enigma) Code: These are codes that puzzle the audience and create suspense. For example, a sense of mystery is created at the beginning of a detective story, as we find out who committed the crime. The Cultural Code: Stories make sense and possess realism by making reference to information which is part of the real world. For example, James Bond drinks Martini, which is part of the real world. Code of Oppositions: These are binary opposites such as good v evil, nature v civilisation, life v death, childishness v maturity. It is very useful when looking at oppositions to consider which ‘side’ the narrative favours.
    • Narrative Theories Todorov Todorov saw a repeated pattern in narrative structures. Events started out in equilibrium (in harmony), which is disrupted to form disequilibrium (usually with the introduction of an evil character/problem), which is eventually resolved to form a new equilibrium. Propp Theorist Vladimir Propp, analysing Russian fairytales, classified their narrative structure in a more detailed structure, which he called The Seven Spheres of Action. They can be applied to virtually any story.
    • Band 6 (36-42) AO1 use of appropriate critical vocabulary and technically fluent style/ well structured and coherent argument/ always relevant with very sharp focus on task. AO2 exploration and analysis of key aspects of form and structure with perceptive evaluation of how they shape meanings AO2 exploration and analysis of key aspects of language with perceptive evaluation of how they shape meanings AO3 detailed and perceptive understanding of issues raised through connections between texts and task AO3 perceptive consideration of different interpretations of texts with sharp evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses AO3 excellent selection of supportive references Band 5 (29-35) AO1 use of appropriate critical vocabulary and well structured argument expressed accurately with sharp focus on task AO2 exploration of several aspects of form and structure and evaluation of how they shape meaning AO2 exploration of several aspects of language and evaluation of how they shape meanings AO3 detailed and evaluative discussion of connections between texts and task AO3 clear consideration of different interpretations of texts with evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses AO3 significant supportive references Band 4 (22-28) AO1 use of accurate critical vocabulary and clear argument expressed accurately/ relevant with clear focus on task AO2 consideration of how specific aspects of form and structure shapes meanings AO2 consideration of how specific aspects of language shape meanings AO3 clear consideration of connections between texts and task AO3 clear consideration of some different interpretations of texts AO3 apt supportive references
    • Write about some of the ways characters are created in the three texts that you have studied.
    • Possible content: • • • • • • • • Discussion might focus on the ways characters are created: through authorial or narratorial description through the ways they speak through what other characters say about them through their actions, attitudes and behaviour through what is not said – the gaps in texts through the places in which they live through their relationships with others through the structures of the narrative, etc.
    • Write about some of the ways characters are created in the three texts that you have studied.
    • Write about some of the ways characters are created in the three texts that you have studied.
    • Aspects of Narrative • • • • • • Time and Sequence Characters and Characterisation Points of View Voices in texts Scenes and Places Destination All of these aspects work together to form a complete narrative: separating them can help you understand how the narrative works but when it comes to the exam you will be expected to draw on your knowledge of all the aspects, and decide which ones are most relevant in writing about your chosen text.
    • Aspects of Narrative Curious Incident Browning Time and Sequence Character and Characterisation Point of View Voices in Texts Scenes and Places Destination For each aspect of narrative highlight/select a section of the novel or poem which you would use to support your analysis. Tennyson
    • Scenes and Places: • What are the major locations where the novel/poem is set? • How much space, roughly, do the authors give to describing places? • Do any of the places seem to be especially significant – if so how? • Is speech used to represent the way local people might talk? • Are any scenes and places of any particular significance? If so in what ways? • How have the authors signalled this significance to the reader? Time and Sequence • What timescale is covered by the novel? • At what point in the timescale does the novel open in the first chapter? • To what extent is the sequence of events chronological? • At what point in time does the novel end? Is this the end of the story, is everything complete? • How significant overall is time to the way the story is told and to what its meanings are? • To what extent do the poems show aspects of time? • What is the significance of time in the poems? • Does the poem use aspects of time to reflect on aspects of human existence? • Is there any ambiguity about the time in which the poems are set? If so, what is the effect of this? • What is the broader time which surrounds the story, the time in which the story is set? How is this shown in the story? How does this effect the story? Characters and Characterisation • Is there any significance in the way any of the characters are named? • Is there any significance in the way characters are described externally? (what they look like, their speech habits, what they do, their actions_ • Are any of the characters given any noticeable features of speech that help you to remember them and their specific traits? • Are there any aspects of the author’s methods of characterisation that you can identify? • To what extent do the poems show aspects of individual characters? • What methods does the poet use to create characters? • Does the speaker of the poem have a discernible character? If so, how is it created? Voices in Texts • How is speech used in the novel/poem? • Is attribution used to indicate aspects of character? • Is thought given? Whose thought are given? • Are there points in the novel/poem where who is speaking/thinking is deliberately ambiguous? • To what extent do the poems contain direct speech? What is the effect of this? • Do the poems have a range of speakers? • Who is heard and who is not? Is this significant? Points of View • What is the point of view in the novel/poem? How close or distant is it from the action? Can you find an ideological point of view? • Does the point of view remain constant or does it shift? • Does the title have the same point of view as the rest of the poem?
    • A03:Making connections and comparisons between different literary texts, informed by possible interpretations of other readers • What have I seen about the methods used (A02) and how does this help me come to an interpretation? • Are different interpretations now possible? Is one more convincing than another? • If you are looking at part of a text, what is its relationship with the whole text? What is its relationship with other texts being studied? What common ground can be found? • What is the relationship between the opening of the text and its closure? How do these two vital parts of the text relate to each other? • Are there relevant ideas that arise out of contemporary ideas and situations which may affect the way the text can be read? These can be called contexts of reception. (This is an A04 element so don’t dwell to much on this in the exam) • Can different critical methods be applied to the text? What ambiguities and uncertainties arise from studying it? Can these ambiguities be seen positively? This is the Destination.
    • Write about the ways authors use time to shape the order of events in the three texts you have studied. Possible content: Focus might be on: • a specific year or number of years • a season or month • linear narration • the use of retrospective narration • disjointed chronology and use of flashbacks and memories • single days and night • condensed time/protracted time • use of adverbs or adverbial phrases of time, etc.