Mr. Amos Y11 Sunlight on the Grass

How does the writer present a character in your nominated story?

Using your lesson notes / mind maps on presentation of character, please post your finished response.  It should include:

  • at least four quotations (AO1)
  • focus on aspects of language and structure (AO2)
  • aim for two paragraphs
  • sophisticated and developed interpretation of character (link to theme) (AO1)

You can time yourself for 20 minutes, as you would have in the exam, or you could take longer and practise the skills.

Deadline: Friday 29th November  By Friday’s lesson, it is expected that all responses will have been submitted and published on the blog.  Look forward to reading them!

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60 Responses to Mr. Amos Y11 Sunlight on the Grass

  1. Beth ward says:

    English homework
    On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning
    The character of the perfect girl;
    She has no outstanding features of significant beauty
    “All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird”
    He thought his perfect girl would be beautiful and doesn’t understand.

    She is pure and innocent but is lacking any direction;
    “She wears a white sweater and in her right hand she has a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp”
    This uses symbolism as White is associated with purity and innocence. The envelope doesn’t have any direction, as it is without the stamp.

    She is a romantic idealist, and also very imaginative;
    “”And you” she said to him ” are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream””
    These are strong and passionate words to a complete stranger proving her absolute and real conviction

    She has true belief in fate and is spontaneous;
    “Cold indifferent waves of fate”
    She believes that there is a force behind events. The metaphor shows how fate is perceived to be relentless as waves always roll in, and lack feelings for individuals.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Fantastic Beth – making your debut on the blog 😉 I really like the comment about the intensity of the words even though they are strangers.

      Next step – comment on the vocab choice ‘100%’ ‘perfect’ ‘dream’ and explore connotations of fantasy and perfection.

    • aamos2013 says:

      You have the PEEL structure coming through in this response but the delivery of the PEEL should be more sophisticated. For example: imbedding your quotaions within sentences; at times, going for shorter, sharper quotations. Ensure your comments are longer and more detailed.

  2. Stephanie L says:

    ‘When the Wasps Drowned’ is written from the perspective of Eveline, a young child who is portrayed in a sinister and slightly morbid way throughout. ‘A halo of angry wasps blurring her shape, her pigtails dancing,’ vividly describes Eveline’s emotions at the sight of the wasps’ relentless attack on her sister which contrasts to the reader’s expectations. Personification is used to display Eveline’s twisted character as ‘dancing’ conjures images of happiness and fun – an enjoyable past-time – yet, this scene is far from that. The personification emphasises how distorted Eveline’s mind is and the truly horrific nature of the attack. Eveline’s conflicting and unexpected behaviour is also embodied in the line, ‘Pouting Smartie- red lips’. ‘Pouting evokes images of adulthood and flirtatiousness whilst ‘smartie’ reveals childlike innocence as smarties are popular and colourful chocolate sweets amongst children. This juxtaposed sentence and sexualised image reinforces Eveline’s twisted behaviour, which disturbs the reader, making you feel uneasy.
    However, Eveline also displays a more childlike countenance, ‘I wanted Mum’s gentle shush in my own ear.’ Unlike before, the reader sees what they expect; a young child who still yearns for her mother. This line exposes how she craves comfort and companionship whilst illuminating her innocence, fragility and vulnerability. Her silent desire also shows her feelings of isolation – her mother’s absence means Eveline is left responsible and alone, in charge of her siblings. This responsibility is conveyed through the line, ‘I’d watch them idly, lift an arm perhaps.’ Eveline displays a lack of attentiveness and laziness, mimicking her perception of adult behaviour due to her mother’s absence. The line explores how Eveline is forced to grow up too fast, with the words ‘idly’ and ‘perhaps’ giving the reader the impression of disinterest common in some parents. ‘When the Wasps Drowned’ presents Eveline as a confused and twisted child through the absence of parental guidance and companionship.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      I am very impressed with the sharpness of your analysis of the effect on the reader of the devices:

      The personification emphasises how distorted Eveline’s mind is and the truly horrific nature of the attack.

      This juxtaposed sentence and sexualised image reinforces Eveline’s twisted behaviour, which disturbs the reader, making you feel uneasy.

    • aamos2013 says:

      Superb response. The PEEL paragraphs are brimming with detailed analysis that pulls apart the quotations to reveal a sophisticated and substantial interpretation of the character Eveline. You use some marvellous vocabulary such as ‘countenance’, helping your answer to stand out from the crowd. With the smarties quotation, you perceptively pick out the contrast packaged within that says so much about Eveline’s character. I really liked your point about Eveline mimicking adult behaviour, because the mother, when she briefly appears, does exhibit lazy and dispassionate behaviour towards the children.
      Next Step: Nit-picking here, but just be vigilant about imbedding your quotations within sentences. You’re doing this most of the time here.

  3. Eleanor C says:

    How does Aboulela present the feelings of the man visiting?

    Aboulela actively presents the Scottish man’s apprehensiveness and nervousness towards his visit to Sudan.
    The first sentence of the story immediately grabs the attention of the readers – “Her country disturbed him.” The use of a short sentence as the opening of the story attracts attention and creates an ominous feeling, a preconception for the readers of the wary, slightly scared, attitude of the Scottish man.
    The use of ‘her’ in the sentence implies that the country solely belongs to his fiancé, that he has no place in it, that he feels that he will never truly belong in Sudan.
    The use of the negative verb ‘disturbed’ suggests to the reader that the man feels uneasy about visiting Sudan, not just on edge due to the fear of the unknown; it’s almost as if a primitive instinct has led him to fear the country itself, and the concealed threats it may pose. This suggests to the reader that the man himself is cautious and analytical by nature, a pessimist at heart.

    The presumed immaturity, or the childish nature, of the man could also be perceived at a later point in the story. For example, “in a peevish sort of way”; the use of the word ‘peevish’ leads one to believe that the situation was vexing him in some way, albeit his worries being seemingly inconsequential and trifling. This display of almost selfish exasperation (as the man seems only to be considering the thoughts of himself, not of his fiancé’s nerves or the brother’s concerns towards welcoming a foreigner into the family) could be used to support the notion of the juvenile nature of the man. Although the man is in a completely foreign situation – in more ways than one – his irritation, caused by small, insignificant details – for example, the “shabby” car seats or the “thin film of dust” covering everything – cause the readers begin to see the man as irksome and tedious.

    Furthermore, Aboulela also portrays the man to be struck by the bustle of the city; this can be seen by the sentence “It was like a ride in a fun-fair”. This implies the sense of awe the man was experiencing, the powerful simile conjuring up imagesof the bright lights and loud noises, the rumble of countless machines and the chatter of hundreds of people, evident both at a fun fair and in this city. The use of ‘ride’ suggests the speed and freedom with which everything was moving, yet also with a sort of methodical madness. It could also represent the unpredictability of the man’s situation, as the fast-paced nature of fairground rides can be compared to the rapid introduction of the man to the Sudanese culture, which differs from the subdued and quiet atmosphere of Edinburgh.
    The use of “bone coloured sky” to describe the landscape upon the man’s entrance to the country brings to mind slightly morbid images; that of decay, and desolation. ‘Bone’ also alerts the readers to the fears of the man, towards meeting his fiancé’s family for the first time, and the threats he believe to lie in wait in the country.
    This opposes strongly with the brightness and vibrancy of the city. This sudden change in scenery and situation must have been considerably overwhelming for the man. The use of the short sentence places emphasis on the rapid speed of his integration into the Sudanese culture and the simile of the ride at a fun-fair portrays the man’s tumultuous experience to the readers.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Paragraph 2 is superb – the depth of your interpretation is original and detailed. Your language choice for your own ideas is very sophisticated. Well done!

    • aamos2013 says:

      Marvellous application of language to your answer that delivers your points and analysis superbly. The level of attention given to both language and structure is very impressive. Your response focuses intensely on the quotations, pulling out particular details such as ‘peevish’ and ‘shabby’ for analysis. You are clearly writing a lot about a little, and there’s a rich vein of substance running throughout the response. Very appealing PEELS.

  4. KyraC says:

    How does the writer present Carla in My Polish Teacher’s Tie?
    My Polish Teacher’s Tie is written in 1st person from the narrative viewpoint of Carla. At the beginning of the story, Dunmore conveys Carla as excluded, ‘I like the kids’. The fact that she doesn’t mention the teachers illustrates how she is isolated from the rest of the staff. This is further enhanced by the symbolic use of the ‘counter-flap’ which highlights the separation between her and the rest of the teachers. Her internal monologue reveals her exact feelings about the situation, ‘very keen on fairness, we are, here’. The overall tone of the syntax reflects a sense of spitefulness and exposes the situational irony of injustice within the school. Normally, within schools, they promote messages of equality yet we can see here that the teachers are the judgemental characters. Furthermore, the theme of identity is prominent and in the case of Carla, it seems that she has lost her identity because she has lost her profound Polish heritage, ‘I listen, and I think I’m going to understand what we’re saying, and then I don’t’. The isolation in conjunction with her lost heritage is elucidated by Dunmore using symbolism. ‘Bird in a coal mine’- Carla is portrayed as the bird because when birds are sent down into coal mines they get ‘lost in the tunnels’. For Carla, her Polish heritage is those tunnels and everyday she feels that she is slipping further and further away from the teachers and believes there is no hope of acceptance. However, by the end of the story when she unites and sings with Steve, she regains her identity, ‘it went through me like a knife through butter’. The simile implies that she could smoothly re-connect with her Polish heritage.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      In our lesson today we discussed the image of the ‘knot of teachers’- you could cross-reference to this when discussing Carla’s exclusion ( I like your idea about the counter-flap) – knot suggesting a group who are tightly interwined with exclusive membership – conveying the hierarchy and divisions within the school.Very concise and powerfully worded.

  5. Shelby W says:

    Baines presents the boy in compass and torch as a scarred and anxious child as displayed by his body language given to the reader in a range of adjectives for example ‘his eyes were suddenly wide with fear and dismay’. This shows that although the boy throughout the story before this incident was seen as an older mature friend of the father it shines a new light on the childlike innocence and this automatic reaction makes the reader think of his vulnerability. The widening of the eyes is an animalistic action which presents him of the prey of reality as he currently lives in a sphere of imagination displayed by his face losing its composure to fear.

    However towards the end of the story the boy loses all childlike innocence and no longer has interest in maintaining a continuing relationship with the father whereas before the boy has an undenying inner belief of desperation to impress the father and also to live up to his father’s manliness of the father and son camping trip ‘the boy puts his concentration into keeping abreast’ this severe concentration is the cause of the boy staying ahead of the father to try and show him that he isn’t a small boy but a man who deserves respect and the hopeful idea of rebuilding family life as he tries to live in a dream vortex where his life is like a story; a perfect family with a perfect life, however this isn’t the case and it seems he hasn’t yet recovered from the shock of his parents split and he is numb to block out a reality. The idea of becoming a man excites the boy as he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and the tent represents the idea of manhood ‘A tent to weather all conditions. In which he and his father will be two men’. The tent that is immune to all weather conditions shows that men should be ready for anything but the manhood always pulls you through harsh times. The boy eager to impress the father with his own manhood chatters on and on. This suggests several things – that he is trying to impress his father that he is trying desperately to establish a relationship with him, that he is trying to stave off the fear that his father is useless – ‘gabbling, his voice growing shrill when the man failed to light it first time and the flare sputtered and died.’

  6. Amelia says:

    Wigfall presents the character Eveline in When The Wasps Drowned as a sadistic girl, who acts extremely mature for her age due to the absence of her parents, who are not mentioned in the story often.
    Her sadism is portrayed when her sister, Therese, is chased around the garden by a swarm of wasps. “She was running in circles round the garden, shrieking, a halo of angry wasps blurring her shape, her pigtails dancing” This is a vivid image of Therese when she was getting chased by the wasps. “Her pigtails danced” this personification would suggest a happy event, not when a girl was being stung by wasps. The contrast is unusual and is associated with pleasure making the reader think that perhaps Eveline was slightly sadistic and weird. This was introduced in the opening of the story which sets up a strange atmosphere and sinister tone for the rest of the short story.
    Her attempt to act more mature than her age in portrayed in the quote “Pouting smartie red lips”; this conveys the image of her wearing red lipstick which is often associated with sophisticated women, which is a juxtaposed image of adultness and innocence. “I tried to stand taller” shows her trying to act more like an adult, when speaking to the detectives. Her desire to be more adult-like is due to absence of her parents. Her father is not mentioned at all, however, her mother is said to be at work the majority of the time. “I wanted Mum’s gentle shush in my own ear” showing how Eveline yearns for her mother; this conveys to the reader Eveline’s childlike innocence.

    • aamos2013 says:

      A detailed response that shows a clear technical knowledge regarding the application of language. Well chosen quotations are analysed effectively. You use well chosen analytical terminolgy such as ‘juxtaposed’ to provide a sophisticated, targetted response.
      Next step: Be clearer about which parts of the quotations have the effect(s) you’re commenting on.

  7. Mrs Taylor says:

    Superb writing. I really like the identification of foreshadowing ‘This was introduced in the opening of the story which sets up a strange atmosphere and sinister tone for the rest of the short story’

    Next step – develop an interpretation of how you think the writer wants us to respond to Eveline’s character. Does she want us to sympathise or just criticise?

  8. Someone says:

    How is the boy presented in Compass and Torch?
    The boy is presented in Compass and Torch as an eager child that is determined to mend the lost connection between him and his father. There is a theme of admiration and idolisation in the text Compass and Torch in which the boy is desperate to be impressed by his father but also impress his father. ‘Drinking it in: the essence of Dadness’, this presents the child’s desire and almost obsessive nature in relation to the unknown element of a father figure. He has a desire for exploration and knowledge for this unknown topic, however with an overshadowing tone of fear and longing. It leaves the reader with a sense of confusion as never was a father figure described as an ‘essence’. This theme illustrated in the beginning of the text sets a determined atmosphere leaving much anticipation for the father figure. The reader pities the boy for his limited knowledge and desperate fantasied views however gains awareness of the characterisation of the boy.

    The boy constantly tries to impress his father, to live up to the manliness of the camping adventure they are going on. His eagerness is clearly presented as he presents his torch to his father, ‘Here it is!’ this direct speech bluntly illustrates the boy’s enthusiasm. The use of punctuation adds a more dramatic effect and a level of spontaneity. To him the torch is a symbol of manhood between him and his father. One that he is unwilling to share with anyone else, even if they are more suited such as Jim. There is an occasionally a sense of fear that he will find his father as pitiful as Jim regards his. As a solution to this, the boy distances himself from the more caring and gentle stepfather. ‘Forcing himself to acknowledge Jim’s kindness and affirmation’. ‘Forcing’ described the boys unwillingness to acknowledge Jim as a father as he finds him lacking in the most essential way, by blood. Although to the reader Jim may be a more suitable father figure to the boy, the boy refuses to acknowledge this.

    However at the realisation that his views are fictionalised, there is an overshadowing impression of nervousness. ‘Seared by the glitter of anxiety’, ‘seared’ presents the boys burning fear and unease. ‘Glitter’ reflects light which presents a minor symbol of hope. Even at this stage of tension, the boy is still willing to restore his lost relationship with his father. However a strong relationship is built on two people’s determination and at this point of the text, the boy begins to tire out because there is no progress, leaving him frustrated and insecure. The story is left open as the ending is ambiguous and uncertain, leaving room for this symbol of hope to wither or develop.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      A very detailed, thoughtful and well traced exploration of the relationship Alshimaa – you have released your inner Alshimaa once again! This is interpretation focussed; next time try out a language and device focussed approach (The writer uses imagery to convey the damaging impact on the son…’

  9. Carla's No.1 Fan says:

    How does the writer present Carla in My Polish Teacher’s Tie?
    The character of Carla, the protagonist, is slowly revealed throughout the story to the reader through the first person tense as she effectively tries to find her true self: her Polish heritage.
    In the first paragraph, Carla describes her job as being a ‘part-time catering staff’ who earns ‘£3.89’ at a school. Her actions are described as ‘dished out’ and ‘shovel’ which suggests her casual approach to her mundane work and also connotes a feeling of carelessness and disregard.
    When she mentions the teachers at her workplace, it is immediately known that she differentiates herself from them purposefully. She describes the scene before her at the staff meeting as ‘a knot of teachers’, which entails that she seems like she doesn’t care about her inferior status as a dinner lady but in fact deep down, she does. Her true feelings are revealed through her internal monologue when she states ‘very keen on fairness, we are, here’, which has a tone of sarcasm as well as spitefulness as she highlights a key theme of the story: the social injustice that she constantly faces. This theme is also portrayed using symbolism of the counter (‘I lifted the counter-flap’) to represent a barrier between herself and her esteemed colleagues.
    As well as the theme of losing her identity and prejudice, the theme of belonging and gaining her true identity is an influential part of the story. The theme of loss is imaginatively presented as symbolism in the short reminiscence of a Polish poem ‘a bird in a coal mine.’ The poem interestingly reflects Carla as the bird, and when the bird ‘sang and sang until it died’, this shows how she was forced to stop speaking Polish by her father and to forget her heritage. It is also mentioned before the poem as the short sentence ‘My father put a stop to it’. The abruptness and conclusive finality of this sentence reflects the severity of the situation that Carla went through to forget her heritage, which gains sympathy and pity from the reader.
    However near to the end of the story, the reader gets to experience a scene of character development. When her pen friend Steve starts singing a Polish song, Carla’s internal monologue suddenly becomes more animated. ‘I knew it. I knew it. I knew the words in the tune. It was one of the songs my mother used to sing to me. I felt my lips move.’ The short sentences emphasises her spontaneity while she is singing the song, also projecting a sense of liberty; that she has been waiting for this moment of reconnecting with her heritage for a long time, and she is in disbelief after finding out that she still knows the song. ‘I felt my lips move’ connotates that she has finally found her voice: both literally and metaphorically. Also it depicts the involuntary movement of her singing – which is natural, that she can’t help but sing it and it is impulsive. Also ‘I lifted the counter flap’ is mentioned again, and this time it symbolises Carla discarding the barrier and that she is overcoming the prejudicial situations that she has had to face.
    This concluding scene of the story creates a feeling of gladness, happiness and admiration for the reader as Carla has finally been able to regain her confidence in having a Polish background.

  10. eroutley says:

    How is Mrs Rutter presented in ‘The Darkness Out There’?
    In the story ‘The Darkness Out There’ the old lady Mrs Rutter is first presented as an innocent sweet old lady, however her dark, sadistic personality is then exposed, upon recounting her troubled past.
    Mrs Rutter is shown as having a sadistic and uncompassionate nature, as is evidenced by her neglect of a crashed German airman. ‘Mrs Rutter licked her lips; she looked across at them, her eyes darting. ‘Then we went back to the cottage.’’ This blatant disregard for the need to help the injured man shows how inhuman she is and the fact that she licked her lips whilst telling the story reflects her deceptive character. This gives her a similar appearance to the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, who disguises himself as a grandma. The initial appearance of the two is perfectly pleasant; however the truth is that they are cruel and deceitful.
    Similarly it is revealed that Mrs Rutter is somewhat vengeful. She still holds a grudge over an event that had happened to her many years before. ‘Nobody did anything for my Bill, did they?’ She dismissed her wrong doing, as she used it as a form of revenge. She sees leaving the airman as a form of retribution and sees the German man as being responsible for her loss; therefore she sees no reason to help him. Her judgement has been clouded by her grief, which could be why she has such a vengeful nature, to the point where she is ignoring her human instinct to help a person in distress. She then goes on to say ‘I was a widow at thirty-nine.’ This suggests that her want for retribution, is down to how the event of her husband’s death had affected her. The event had a direct impact on her life, which is why she so wanted to leave the airman.
    This greatly contrasts with her initial presentation of a sweet, uncorrupted old lady, described as having ‘a creamy smiling pool of a face in which her eyes snapped and darted.’ This shows that she has a sweet appearance, however also shows that there was an edge of cunningness about her from the beginning as can be seen in her ‘darting eyes’, which make her appear as cautious, as if she has something to hide.

  11. Georgia says:

    Mrs Rutter is first presented as ‘a dear old thing’, this implys to the reader thatt she is a kind average old woman. Sandra says ‘they were really sweet’ which tells us that Sandra’s expecting to be visiting the stereotypical old person who’s kind and pleasnt to talk to. Mrs Rutter complients Sandra by saying ‘you’re a pretty thing, Sandra, arn’t you’, this also makes Mrs Rutter appear to be nice and innocent.

    However as the story goes on Mrs Rutter starts to become horrible and not what Sandra and Kerry expected. Whilst describing the crash it says ‘she chuckled’ which shows that Mrs Rutter finds a pleasure in it. The word ‘chuckle’ is quite childlike and is juxtaposes her evil side.

    ‘She licked her lips’ is quite animalistic. It echoes the fairy tale little red riding hood because the wolf appears to be an innocent old woman but in reality shes a horrible wolf. This makes the reader feel slightly firghtful towardds her.

    ‘Darting’ is used to describe her movments which shows to us the agility of her mind and how depsite her body being old her mind is still young.

    The iodem ‘Tit for tat’ is said by Mrs RItter during her story. Its a causal term which tells us that the story hasnt had an impact on her and hasnt effected her in any way. This shows what a horrible, heartless charecter she is and even though she comes across as a friendly charecter she is really sinister.

  12. Naomi Shingler-How is the character ‘Mrs Rutter’ presented in ‘The Darkness out there’?
    Mrs Rutter is a character much related to the theme of appearance and reality.
    She is described as ‘a cottage loaf of a woman’ this metaphor implies a homely welcoming, kind approach to Mrs. Rutter as ‘cottage loaf’ implies a nice, cosy warm, personality to the reader making the reader feel at home with Mrs. Rutter. However Sandra and Kerry realise that she is not a nice person as she tells of horrible events. Before she is telling the story, the reader is told that she ‘glinted in from the cushions.’ ‘Cushions’ implies the cosy, comfortable appearance, but the juxtaposition with ‘glinted’ makes the reader feel fearful of what Mrs. Rutter is about to say as ‘glinted’ implies sparks or hidden truths about Mrs Rutter, this foretells Mrs. Rutter’s true personality.
    Mrs. Rutter is also portrayed in a fairytale theme. When she is telling her story, she is noticed to be ‘licking her lips’. This reminds the reader of fairy stories such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ or ‘Hansel and Gretel’ when the children are taking in by the nice appearance and find the horrid reality. This also links with the opinions of the other characters. They first find the lovely outside and then they hear of the terrible event, changing the way they think about Mrs. Rutter and maturing from their naïve ways of thinking.
    Also the gestures that Mrs. Rutter makes as she tells the horrible story show the reader how she feels about it. ‘She chuckled’ implies to the reader happiness but in the circumstances, it shows inappropriate pleasure towards what she did as ‘Chuckled’ has connotations with innocence and joy but this is made more sinister with the juxtaposition of her actions and her story.

  13. lucy says:

    How is Mrs Rutter presented in the short story, the darkness out there?

    At the beginning of the story Mrs Rutter is presented as a stereotypical old woman who is friendly and kind-hearted ‘she’s a dear old thing’ the word ‘dear’ is a term of affection making her seem sweet and kind. Her age is also shown as ‘she heaved herself round in the chair’ her physical struggle is a constant reminder of her incapability’s, posing no threat. However, despite this she shows a youthful and agile mind ‘her eyes darting’ it shows her as being very mentally able as she seems to be scheming and plotting as it is a very suspicious action. This makes the reader feel untrustworthy towards Mrs. Rutter.
    Her motherly and friendly figure towards Sandra initially makes her seem very pleasant, she uses affectionate terms such as ‘my duck’ and ‘dear’ this makes both children feel comfortable and welcome in her presence, this then makes her later revelation more shocking. However this characteristic does not continue as a dark, menacing side of her is revealed. After telling Kerry and Sandra of her sadistic actions towards the dying solider ‘she drank, patted the corner of her mouth delicately with a tissue’ this shows her showing no emotion as she upholds a sense of etiquette and formal actions. This to the reader is very distressing as she is able to maintain her calm manner after telling such a morbid and graphic story. This therefore makes the reader question her sense of morality and sanity.

  14. Eveline's Alter Ego says:

    How is the character, Eveline, presented in ‘When the Wasps Drowned?’

    ‘When the Wasps Drowned’ by Clare Wigfall is written from the first person perspective of Eveline, a young girl (believed to be around 13/14 years old) who is caring for her younger siblings throughout the summer holidays whilst coping with an oppressive and overbearing heatwave ‘when the sun shone everyday’.

    Eveline is presented as being sadistic and selfish in the narrative, occasionally being cruel –sometimes without even realising. Following her younger sister, Therese, stepping on a wasp’s nest, she did not help her sister immediately and simply stood there watching ‘not wanting to go anywhere near Therese or those wasps’. This indicates how she simply stood and watched her sister, as she did not want to get hurt herself, despite her sister’s obvious agony. ‘Wasps’ has the connotations of danger and pain, which foreshadows the discovery of the body in Mr Mordecai’s garden later in the text and provides a link to the theme of loss of innocence in the story as the garden is not the safe haven it appears to be to the children and they are confronted with the harsh reality of the outside world – ‘her screaming, the way it broke the day’ symbolising the initial moment when their innocence was lost. Contrastingly, Eveline is also presented as being vulnerable and insecure as she admits ‘I wanted Mum’s gentle shush in my own ear’ after they have discovered the body of the missing girl and Therese has a disturbing nightmare. ‘Gentle shush’ indicates the attention that Eveline is craving and the reassurance she needs from her mother who is often absent and ‘out at work all day’. This creates sympathy from the reader for Eveline as we realise all the responsibility that Eveline has in order to care for all of her siblings, and the theme of loss of innocence as her childhood is stolen from her too early.

    Due to her overwhelming and very adult responsibilities, Eveline shows the reader her longing to be older and mature and the transition between a young girl becoming a woman as she ‘watches the boys’ in the park. This shows her becoming more aware of the outside world and her starting to think about intimacy and relationships for the first time. This can also been seen in the ‘old vest which I cropped just below my nipples’ as we recognise the theme of coming of age and her physical/sexual maturity. Furthermore, she is portrayed as being quite deceptive and secretive throughout the text. ‘I hid my right hand’ depicts her hiding the ring which the children took from the body from the police as they questioned them about the girl’s disappearance. This shows her deceptive nature and calculating behaviour as she hides the ring from view as she knows she is not meant to have it. This can also be seen as she doesn’t admit to having seen the body during this encounter either – ‘we all shook our heads’. This depicts Eveline’s battle with morality and also the theme of appearance and reality as she appears to be a young girl with heavy responsibilities who is craving attention –‘hungry for conversation’ – however, in reality she is quite cunning and indicates her deeper understanding of the world and the evil within as she claims ‘I knew what it was’ after first discovering the body.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How is the boy presented in ‘On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning’?

    The narrator in ‘On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning’ is presented as an insecure, lonely and idealistic boy who is longing for love and romance. These characteristics are portrayed as the boy ‘walk[s] past the 100% perfect girl’, yet fails to approach her, displaying his lack of confidence and search for girlfriend. He goes on to obsess over what he should have said to her, coming up with a story which introduces the theme of fate.

    The writer uses a first person narrative viewpoint with an internal monologue to accentuate the narrator’s characteristics. There are also a variety of minor sentences to portray his immediate reactions, such as ‘it’s weird’ and ‘strange’. These are intriguing and pensive, allowing the reader to see his thoughts of confusion and self doubt, making the reader sympathise with the narrator and almost pity him, willing him to have more self confidence. The short sentences are spontaneous, contrasting with the overall theme of the story, which is planned and rehearsed. This emphasises the boy’s inner conflict and makes the reader wonder whether he knows and understands himself.

    To add to this effect, direct address and colloquial language are used as the narrator talks to the reader with phrases like ‘tell you the truth’. This is the second person narrative which gives a personal, intimate effect as the narrator considers the reader to be a friend, suggesting that he doesn’t have many friends to talk to. This is reinforced as his friend is referred to as ‘someone’, implying that there isn’t a true relationship between the two characters, perhaps implying that people find the boy uninteresting, as the friend is ‘already bored’. This evokes sadness in the reader as their sympathy towards him increases. He also asks the reader for advice as he questions ‘how should I approach her? What should I say?’ emphasising his self doubt and suggesting he doesn’t believe in his own capability to make a decision.

  16. Shannon says:

    How is the character of Eveline presented in When The Wasps Drowned?

    In When The Wasps Drowned, Eveline is presented as trying to act older and more mature as she is on the brink of adolescence. This is shown through the quote “pouting her Smartie-red lips” which gives an image of her wearing a red lipstick, something associated with sophisticated women, contrasting with ‘smartie’ which conveys how she is still young as she is pretending to have lipstick on with the colouring from sweets, which is a child like action. This is an example of how Eveline attempts to make herself appear older, an action which may have been a result of her being at the transitional age where she wants to be seen as mature and treated as an adult or due to the absence of her parents throughout the story and the fact that she has been forced to take on the role of a mother-like figure to her younger siblings over the summer while her mother works. She has attempted to to embrace this authority she has been given by trying to take on the role of an adult. However, despite trying to act older, it is revealed that Eveline craves her mother’s attention in a childlike fashion when she states “I wanted mum’s gentle shush in my own ear” following a nightmare. This portrays how she wants to be comforted like a child and that even though she is desperate to be more mature, she still needs this attention from her mother and needs protection from the things that haunt her and appear in her nightmares.

    Eveline is also presented as secretive through the ways she hides things from her mother and does not tell the police about the discovery of the hand in her neighbours’ garden. The way Eveline says she wears the ring “only ever while Mum was at work” shows how she doesn’t want her mother to see the ring and question her about it. She may be avoiding this because she does not want to have to admit what she has found, which may be because she feels guilty that she has not done anything about it and does not want to get into trouble. This is also shown when she does not reveal their discovery to the police. When the police woman bends towards them, Eveline tries to “stand taller”, which links back to the theme of maturing and appearing older. This action could also be seen as defensive and is an attempt by Eveline to appear as if she has nothing to hide or the action could be caused by the guilt of not admitting what she knows.

  17. Caitlin says:

    The repetition of the statistic “100% perfect” throughout ‘On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning’ connotes a kind of analytical, possibly obsessive, tendency in the way in which the man interprets something that should be entirely emotional, and therefore immeasurable. It coincides with the theme of chance encounters and what ifs, that echoes paradoxically throughout the story, in order to decipher such a concept as love at first sight. It advocates an insecurity and shyness that the man hides behind figures, as a means of comparing and relating it to something solid and comprehensible, by isolating it into a specific entity.
    The story is written as though it were a textbook fairy tale, with the narrator simply forging an imaginary encounter how he always imagined it would be (this is also imitated by the setting, in April the month of spring, symbolic of new beginnings and youth) which accentuates his inexperience. The typical “once upon a time” associates with everyone’s childhood memories, and imaginations of grown up life, and in this way, it is slightly peculiar that he still considers everything to be so straightforward. The narrative voice doesn’t use forenames, which makes the events less personal to the characters and more like a template for anyone to slot their own experience into; in this way he consociates with the reader.

  18. - says:

    How is the character of Kerry presented in ‘The Darkness Out There?

    The reader first meets Kerry in Packer’s End: the scary woods where witches and wolves supposedly lurk. ‘He rose from the plough beyond the hedge.’ The setting suggests Kerry is one of the dangerous creatures that lurk in Packer’s End and he is portrayed as being someone who should be feared. Kerry’s arrival gives Sandra a fright. ‘He grinned.’ Kerry is then portrayed as having some sort of sadistic nature in him. The word grinned has connotations of evil smiles which implies he takes pleasure in scaring others and the reader is encouraged to be believe that he is an untrustworthy person.

    Sandra’s impression of Kerry is revealed when she thinks to herself ‘Some people you only have to look at to know they’re not up to much’. This description portrays Kerry as a very mundane individual with no complexity about him. ‘He shrugged’. The physical action supports Sandra’s thoughts about Kerry as he shows no real interest on the conversation or expanding on why he is in the Good Neighbours Club. The short sentence conveys his lack of care towards the matter as he is portrayed as a boy who isn’t really going anywhere.

    However, it is later revealed that Kerry is more complex than he seems, given the theme of appearance and reality. He begins to show his colours as Mrs Rutter shares her recollection of the German plane coming down. ‘You what?’. The short sentence of direct speech from Kerry towards Mrs Rutter conveys his shock about the matter. The accusative tone he uses suggests he does not agree with Mrs Rutter’s actions and is somewhat angry regarding the story.

    Kerry’s final complexity is shown when he says to Sandra ‘I’m going. Dunno about you but I’m going.’ When he had had enough of Mrs Rutter’s disgusting story he refuses to listen to it anymore. The short sentence ‘I’m going’ shows his certainty in what he is doing and he knows exactly why he is going. His sharp tone subtly suggests that Sandra leaves too, almost in a way that he could be taking care of her due to the fact her innocence and naivety has been stolen by Mrs Rutter.

    The reader is first lead to assume that the theme of darkness given in the title of the story is the part that Kerry plays, however with the other theme of appearance and reality it is later shown that Kerry is not the real danger, and the frail, seemingly vulnerable old woman in the Good Neighbours Club is infact the real threat.

  19. Talia says:

    Throughout the short story, Sandra appears to be maturing physically and emotionally, stepping out of her young and naïve characteristics and expanding her knowledge and realisation that the real world is not what it is meant to be. The theme of growing up van be linked to the setting, as Lively describes the summer grass as ‘polleny’. This can be associated with new life, emphasizing that Sandra is still a growing character, displaying her vulnerability and showing that she is natural and pure.
    Her young appearance presents a naïve light, when Mrs. Rutter asks who made her skirt, and she said ‘I did.’ This show that in her characteristics, she is not self-conscious about what she wears and how she is presented, and does not show any insecurities about the way she looks, which is traditionally stereotyped in a young innocent girl. This links to the theme, as throughout the story, Sandra is seen maturing in herself as she realises the reality of Mrs. Rutter.
    Her relationship with Kerry shows she is lacking knowledge of the real world, as she sees his face is ‘exploding with acne.’ This conveys that she is very stereotypical towards others, and does not realise that the real cold- blooded personality hides behind Mrs. Rutter. As Sandra becomes a familiar with Kerry, she realises that he is a strong character, and her naïve views of Kerry shows she is still living in a fictional world and is unaware of what the actual truth beholds.

  20. stranger says:

    How is the character of the man presented in the short story ‘On seeing the 100% Perfect Girl’?

    The man immediately presents himself to be an extreme fantasist who believes in idealised love when he defiantly states ‘She’s the 100% perfect girl for me.’ The statistic ‘100%’ accompanied with the adjective ‘perfect’ justifies the indefinite lack of doubt regarding his strong feelings for this girl however, ‘from fifty yards away’ it is assumed he cannot clearly see the woman which portrays him to be delusional and also desperate as he deems a girl he can barely see as the perfect match for himself.

    A similar yearning for social appreciation is present when the man ponders the possibility of being rejected after speaking to his 100% girl. He begins to panic and states the after effect consequences to be ‘I’d never recover from the shock. I’m thirty-two.’ This reflects the lack of character development despite his mature age and inability to cope with awkward social situations. The reader is allowed to empathise with the man as the universally familiar situation of talking to a person of the opposite gender is one that is recognisable and relatable to a wide audience.

    The man’s low level of self confidence and his obvious personal insecurity is presented throughout the entirety of the narrative as he frequently uses direct address to speak to the reader such as when he asks ‘How can I approach her? What should I say?’. The constant questioning mirrors his withdrawn and solely insular attitude as her as he confides in the reader for advice. He continues to address the reader when attempting to find the appropriate introduction he could have made and uses self deprecating humour by stating ‘Ridiculous. I’d have sounded like an insurance salesman’. This conveys his severe incapability to possess any minute form of faith in his own ability.

  21. Katie Rollinson says:

    How are characters presented in the darkness out there?

    Mrs Rutter is described as an old ‘cottage-loaf of a woman’ with a ‘creamy swimming pool of a face in which her eyes snapped and darted.’ This juxtaposed image brings light to Mrs Rutter’s sinister character which lies beneath the innocent grandma-like persona she portrays. Her sinister character is exposed throughout the short story; ‘aren’t i lucky – right up beside the woods.’ This creates a unsettling atmosphere as woods are often associated with darkness and fear.

    The old woman clearly asserts her dominance over the girl ‘mind your pretty skirt, pull it up a bit, there’s only me to see if you’re showing a bit of bum.’ She purposely does this in order to make the girl uncomfortable as she is made to feel exposed and vulnerable. Mrs Rutter’s traditional and conventional views are revealed ‘you’re a little dress maker, too, are you?’
    The darker side to Mrs Rutter’s character is shown when the children ask her of the plane crash she witnessed and she ‘chuckled’ in response. This creates a sickening image of Mrs Rutter as she clearly shows no compassion for those who died. Apparently unmoved by this event, Mrs Rutter seems indifferent as she carelessly returns to casual conversation ‘a drop more of milk, dear, if you don’t mind.’ Mrs Rutter presents voyeuristic characteristics as she appears to take pleasure in others suffering which creates an unexpected image of an old woman. She later attempts to justify her actions ‘I recon he may have seen me.’ Her informal tone highlights her coldness and disturbing emotional detachment to those killed as she shows no signs of regret of guilt in her vindictive actions.

  22. Kiera says:

    Character of Kerry in ‘The Darkness Out There’
    In the opening of the book, the reader gets the impression that Kerry does not amount to much. He is undermined by Sandra as she says ‘Kerry Stevens that none of her lot reckoned much on’ and also ‘some people you only have to look at to know that they’re not up to much’. This creates assumptions within the reader that Kerry is not destined for much, and that he is oblivious to the world around him. Mrs Rutter emphasises the low expectations of Kerry by referring to him as ‘what’s-‘is name’. The fact that she has not even bothered to remember his name implies that she has very little respect towards him, and that she has no intentions of getting to know him. However, Mrs Rutter’s and Sandra’s preconceptions of Kerry are challenged when he almost immediately succeeds in an accurate judgement on Mrs Rutter as he starts to notice the hidden depths of her character; he claims that he doesn’t ‘go much on her’, to Sandra’s surprise. This is an early sign of Kerry’s advance in his ability to see beyond Mrs Rutter’s appearance, which carries on throughout the story. This is juxtaposed to Sandra’s attempts to stand up for Mrs Rutter and she says ‘she lost her husband’. Sandra’s failure to see past the harmless, gentle exterior of the elderly woman emphasises Kerry’s agile mind in comparison to her own.

  23. Lucy says:

    Compass and Torch

    Baines uses a lot of symbolism to create the father and sons complicated relationship. The horses are a key symbolic feature in the ‘Compass and Torch’. They are described with ‘dark, deep-fringed eyes’ creating the feeling of darkness, almost mirroring the dad and representing the bond that they do not have. The man ‘pushes her away’ which could be symbolic for him pushing his son away because he can’t be the father figure that he ought to be.
    The torch is also another important indication of the broken connection that is perceived. ‘His dad hasn’t looked at the torch, hasn’t studied or handled it like Jim’. This suggests the dad is not fully involved with his son and the step-father has taken on the responsibility of being a father figure to the boy instead.
    Gradually, continuing through the story the dads attitude changes to a more positive reassuring conversation when he reassures the boy that ‘two are definitely better!’ This implies he is trying to recreate the relationship they once had, again. His statement is emphasised with the repetition of ‘two torches’ in the story after. The convincing positive language from the father is also shown when they both forget their compass’, however this could be symbolising the lack of direction as they don’t need to know the future or don’t need the compass as the torch itself is enough to light the way.

  24. I spent at least 15 minutes trying to make a cool nickname but I thought of nothing and I am disappointed in myself says:

    The Male Protagonist

    The story of Something Old, Something New by Leila Abulela is based around the life of a young Scottish man, who travels to Sudan to meet his wife-to-be. He is staying at a hotel, and spending the majority of his time with his fiancée’s family, who are all native to Sudan. He is a fearful man – “her country disturbed him” – and was worried about being judged by her brother. The contrast of cultures is apparent here, and is expressed by the isolation and anxiousness he man feels a foreigner in another country. His anxiousness conveys his fearfulness as a person further. However, in spite of his anxiety, he is a loving character. While in the back of the car, looking longingly at his wife in the front, he wishes to say “you have no idea how much I ache for you, you have no idea”, which portrays his ability to express his feelings; a sincere character.

    So far in the story, the man has been shown as a somewhat reserved and loving character, but eventually his patience runs out when his passport and camera are stolen. “He began to shout” and was told to “’calm down’, but he could not calm down”. This outburst expresses his short temper and inability to remain calm in compromising situations. This, as well as the romantic element of his personality, conveys that he is not a particularly logical thinker; he expresses his gut reaction to many situations without thinking of a more rational reaction first.

  25. Ella says:

    How is the character Kerry presented in the Darkness Out there?

    The darkness out there is written in a mixture of third and first person; with this you can grasp the overview of all of the characters and also in depth feelings from them too. Kerry is first presented as a young, immature boy. This is highlighted through his actions as ‘he shrugged’, this portrays him as not particularly bothered. It is a short sentence that conveys how he lacks the communication skills. This is backed up when Sandra says ‘Some people you only have to look at to know that they’re not up to much’, this highlights the reader’s initial thoughts on Kerry and also how Sandra views Kerry. Initially this portrays Kerry as a character who carries no interest in having a conversation.
    However Sandra’s views changes after he challenges Mrs Rutter on the story that she revealed to them. When Kerry challenges Mrs Rutter when saying ‘You what?’ he is shown questioning her and revealing that his character has more depth than is first shown. This links with the theme of appearance and reality, as he is first presented as quiet and more reserved whereas by this point Kerry is shown to have matured and have more depth of character than he initially shows.
    Although Kerry’s last sign of maturing is when he says to Sandra ‘I’m going’, this gives Kerry the push towards him maturing as a character as he stands up to Mrs Rutter and walks away from the darkness within her. This gives Kerry a hidden depth that the reader first doesn’t realise. The short sentence expresses his finality and it is lead to believe that he says it a harsh tone so that Mrs Rutter knows his finality and he can take Sandra and himself away from Mrs Rutter. This links to the theme first impressions due to the fact that it makes him realise that Mrs Rutter isn’t everything that she seems.

  26. -S says:

    How does the writer present a character in a nominated story?

    In ‘The Darkness Out There’, Mrs Rutter is a presented as a mysterious and intriguing character. The writer uses actions to highlight the woman’s old age and fragility, for example ‘hauled’. Also the old age is illuminated by stereotypical actions. She describes the girl as a “little dressmaker” which reinforces the differences between genders. When talking about marriage she implies that everyone gets married as if it was normal, because when she was younger everyone married and it was unlikely for people to not marry. She appears a sweet and moral old woman.

    However towards the end of the story there is a twist in the perception of Mrs Rutter. Originally, she was very complimentary towards Sandra; ‘well you’re a pretty girl’. This description is typical of an old woman and is what you’d expect to hear. The children have empathy for the old women, ‘chocky? I always keep a few chockies for visitors.’ She is given the illusion of sweet old women juxtaposed to what she’s revealed to be. Suddenly, there is a mysterious change as the woman begins to reminisce of her past.
    ‘We cheered I can tell you.’ This comes across surprising to the children from her pleasure she sadistically feels. It seems she has no empathy for human life which is unexpected for her stereotype.

    Although her appearance is sweet and loving, the theme of reality is sinister and evil.

  27. One gloomy december night says:

    How is character presented in ‘on seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning’?

    The story follows the unnamed protagonist as he passes his perfect girl one morning and conducts a fantasied story stating ‘this is what I should have said to her’. His character is presented through links to theme, direct speech and characteristics.

    The character is presented to be very insecure especially because of his fear of rejection, shown through the author’s use of modal verbs and linking to one of the main themes of missed opportunity and regret. He stated: ‘No she wouldn’t believe it.’ Referring to the introduction he was planning on giving to her. The word ‘would’ shows his complete confidence in his own failure not letting himself have even the slightest room for hope. He continues to use words such as ‘should’ to imply he is being forced or made to. This makes the character seem quite tragic to the reader as we see what could have if she was truly his 100% perfect girl but his own fear stops him finally finding happiness. He went on to say ‘I’d go to pieces…I’d never recover’ to show his reaction of what would happen when rejected, presenting the character to be so pitifully fearful that it outweighs his desire to quench his loneliness and find his perfect other. The word ‘pieces’ implies that he is so breakable and fragile or not quire whole as he is still fragmented and not yet found his way or put himself together.

    The character is presented as someone who is very self-degrading and thinks himself insignificant shown by the way he refers to other characters. He personally addresses the reader on multiple occasions using phrases like ‘to tell you the truth’ making us feel like his friend and grateful as he trusts us to confide in but also shows how tragic that he can’t tell this to a real friend and makes us feel personally invested, properly feeling the emotion she is displaying as he makes us involved. Despite this it’s made clear we know barely any details about him- not even his name, showing to think he is so ‘average’ a connotation of boring and un-special something no one wants to be especially as he is the protagonist in his own story so should be the starring role. His own self-hatred is presented by how the story contains almost no direct speech and instead displays his creative imagination and thought process showing him to be insular and withdrawn as he doesn’t interact with anyone, arguing and discussing with himself not the outside world. This is all reinforced by his reference of the acquaintances as ‘someone’ rather than ‘friend’ or a name which is who people would expect someone to have a conversation with. this animosity extended to everyone around him strengthens the way he is unable to escape from his own thoughts and worries and interact and make relationships with people. This makes the reader feel more irritated with the protagonist as he is given so many opportunities to escape this loneliness but his fear stops him. For example the ‘someone’ mentioned tried to engage him in conversation asking him question after question such as ‘good looking?’ and ‘favorite type?’ his repetitiveness showing him trying to engage him in conversation but getting only monosyllabic answers in reply such as ‘not really’ not giving him anything to expand on rejecting the attempt of friendship and instead keeping him self in his own insular life not even trying to branch out into differences.

  28. Marshall says:

    How is the character of the mother represented in Compass and Torch?
    The bleak settings and contrasting father/son relationship help to illuminate the mother’s character and relationship with both the boy and the man, which seems so minor. At first she seems quite saddened by the fact that her son is going out alone with his dad, possibly symbolising the long time that she spent looking after him on her own. “Her voice was low and light and mocking” “There was a choke in her voice now.” This explores the depth but subtlety of the mother’s character as she shows to contrasting personalities within and without the presence of her child, as if she was hiding her true nature and feelings from him. Believing her son to be upstairs, she demonstrates a vicious hatred towards the father, discussing the terrible idea of them reuniting and spending time together.
    This quote also reveals a little jealousy in her character, as she seems to not want to embrace the fact of her child leaving to spend time with someone else when he could be at home with her instead.She mocked the proposed activity, supporting the idea of her being annoyed as she assumes the father has adjusted his life around the fact of having a son, however she hides the fact she’s worried by speaking in a rude way, also increasing the tension between her and the father.
    Her son, having a different opinion of his father, is confused by her attitude towards him. When her son is present, the mother projects a different opinion of the trip, encouraging him to enjoy the time he has with his father. “When the boy stepped into the kitchen he saw her start with a look of alarm and shame.” “She said quickly, wrenching a look of bright enthusiasm onto her face”. This enhances the child’s complexity as he also has conflicting opinions of his mother, who seems to change her opinion according to his presence.

  29. Elena says:

    How does Dunmore present Carla in My Polish Teacher’s Tie?
    The story is written from the first person narrative of Carla who in the opening of the story is presented as excluded, ‘It’s not a bad job. I like the kids’. The short syntax ‘It’s not a bad job’ indicates Carla is almost indifferent towards her occupation and suggests that there are adverse aspects of it which she does not want to mention. In addition, the second sentence, ‘I like the kids’ insinuates that she does not like the teachers and suggests that they may be the unspoken aspect of her job that she dislikes. Furthermore, Carla did not even mention the teachers which illuminates the extent of her isolation from other members of staff at the school. The symbolic ‘counter-flap’ further enhances this; it acts as a partition between Carla and the teachers which emphasises her exclusion and separation. The counter-flap also reveals the ironic hierarchy which juxtaposes the idea of equality which is promoted in schools. Carla’s overall satirical tone highlights her aggravation at the pretence of equality particularly when teachers pass ‘catering staff without really seeing them’, creating the idea of them becoming invisible and therefore insignificant.
    Moreover, the idea that ‘the Head vanished in a knot of teachers’ signifies that he becomes remote and unreachable, surrounded by a group who are closely interlinked with an almost exclusive membership which Carla is cut off from. This further highlights the prejudice and divisions within the school.

    • aamos2013 says:

      A good response here Elena. You make effective points about Carla that focus on her sense of exclusion and alienation. What your response requires are references to aspects of language and structure to secure credit under the AO2 criteria. This means focusing on techniques such as metaphors, repetition and personification, as well as word choices. For example, you could comment on the metaphor that is the ‘knot of teachers’. A knot is closed in on itself and can be difficult to undo, highlighting Carla’s exclusion. The choice of the past tense verb ‘vanished’ to describe the Headteacher’s movement into the teachers’ group shows how the teachers look inwardly to their community away from Carla, adding to Carla’s sense of alienation.

  30. Sleep says:

    How does Baines present a character in Compass And Torch?

    Baines presents the character of the father as an adept and disciplined man. Her use of words such as “quickly”, “efficiently”, “neatly” and “smartly” give the image of a man whose actions are carefully planned and executed with as little fuss as possible. This contrasts greatly with son, who’s description is based more on emotional responses, words such as “thrilled” and “chattered” imply that he uses more energy than might be necessary in each movement he makes. This makes the reader feel somewhat sorry for the boy, as his difference in mannerisms sets him apart from his father, causing yet another obstacle or barrier to be conquered by the father and son.

    The man is also presented as being nervous despite the fact that throughout the story most of his emotions are hidden, his anxiety is told through the narrator and the perceptive young boy. Quotes such as “the man’s own anxiety began to mount” clearly demonstrates this to the audience, whilst “unsettled by his nervy hurry” conceals this behind a large paragraph of text. This creates a sense of empathy with the reader, as we see no other emotions from him, so this allows us to connect with him more. It also provides an opportunity for the reader to see a connection with the boy as it’s also made clear through quotes such as “he didn’t want to go. That was another reason the compass never entered his head” that he was just as anxious as his father was.

  31. A says:

    In My Polish Teacher’s Tie Carla is presented to be a women with little self confidence and a ‘lost identity’. In the very first line she shapes the readers perception of herself ‘part-time catering staff, that’s me £3.89 per hour’ this line conveys that she is quick to put herself down, the use of her simple wages ‘£3.89’ hint to the reader that she feels she is not worth much herself. Furthermore she says ‘I dish out buns’, ‘I shovel chips’ this suggest a bored tone and that she is not completely happy in her job.

    This theme is continued throughout the story as she appears to not fit in anywhere. This is mainly portrayed through the use of the counter-flap almost always being down separating her from the rest of the staff. The idea that she does not belong is effectively conveyed through her lost identity, her regret that she has lost her Polish roots are shown ‘I think I’m going to understand what we’re saying, and then I don’t’ this shows how she feels like she has lost a part of herself, and she is hopeful that she will began to remember and understand.

    • aamos2013 says:

      A, this is a well written response that makes some informative points and comments about the character of Carla. You are starting to focus on particular details of the quotations which is focusing your analysis. What you need to do next is ensure you comment on aspects of language or structure. For example, you could refer to the verb ‘shovel’ which is a clumsy action that reflects a lack of skill and precision. This language does suggest Carla doesn’t take pride in her role and that the role doesn’t give her satisfaction.

  32. Becca xo says:

    Eveline – When the Wasps Drowned

    The author of When the Wasps Drowned, Clare Wigfall, presents the character Eveline as prematurely grown up; possibly because of the suggested lack of parents throughout the story. The girl is believed to be around 13/14 years old, however certain things suggest a created persona in which she is much older; ‘I’d fashioned a bikini from a pair of pink knickers and an old vest which I’d cropped just below my nipples.’ This overly sexualised image is quite disturbing for the reader knowing the young age she is.
    Wigfall has also portrayed Eveline as lazy; ‘I’d watch them idly.’ Due to the lack of parents the responsibility of watching her siblings falls to Eveline, however she appears to be less than interested; ‘everything seemed an effort.’

    • aamos2013 says:

      Good points expressed here, bringing some of the complexity of the narrator. Does Eveline model her lazy behaviour on her mother? Look at where the mother briefly appears. Does Eveline describe the mother’s behaviour in a flattering light?
      Continue to work on your quotation comments, including references to language and structure to hit AO2 criteria.

    • aamos2013 says:

      This response demonstrates a good understanding of Eveline’s character ‘Becca. That she cropped the bikini just below her nipples suggests Eveline is consciously trying to accentuate adult features, making it a provocative move. Does Eveline get her lazy approach to child care from her mother? The mother is presented in an unflattering way when she does briefly enter the story. Your comments need to have a focus on language or structure to secure AO2 criteria. For example, you could focus on the verb ‘watch’ because Eveline is very much an observer of people, such as when she watches Therese being attacked by the wasps or Therese and Tyler digging to Australia. Of course, watching is a passive activity, suiting Eveline’s idleness.

  33. Crystal says:

    How does the writer present a character in “When the Wasps Drowned”?

    Wigfall presents the 11 year old girl Eveline as a rather sadistic child who acts overly sexualised due to the absence of parental guidance. “halo of angry wasps blurring her shape, her pigtails dancing” illustrates a sinister facet as it presents Eveline’s twisted mind towards things. Personification is used to describe the image of when Therese gets chased by the wasps, “Her pigtails dancing” reveals Eveline distorted mind as her description of seeing her sister getting stung is somehow related to pigtails dancing which the readers can assume is unusual and could be seen as disturbing.

    The constant absence of the mother causes Eveline- the oldest in the family to be forced to take care of her siblings. “I’d watch them idly” implies her disinterest towards what her siblings are doing. Her body language “I’d roll my eyes” portrays how she is trying to act like an adult, perhaps mirroring the actions of her mother.

    “I’d fashion a bikini from a pair of pink knickers” highlights how Eveline’s behaviour is not of a young girl’s. The sexualised description suggests how Eveline sees herself as a grown adult. “Pouting smartie red lips” portrays the imagery of Eveline wearing a bright red lipstick which is usually linked with a mature and sophisticated woman. This presents how Eveline is growing up too fast as she believes she has a mind of an adult but in actual fact she is still a child. In contrast “smartie” reveals her childlike innocence as smarties are widely popular among young children. This juxtaposed imagery emphasises to the readers how sinister Eveline is.

    • aamos2013 says:

      Crystal, you have done very well here. You’re getting the idea about AO2 criteria regarding language and structure with references to personification and the imagery of ‘pouting smartie red lips’. You bring out the complexity of Eveline’s character very effectively. Also worth considering the verb ‘pouting’ which is a sexualised pose; The kind of facial pose adopted by models in photo shoots. ‘smartie red’ is a metaphor. Overall, very good because you comment on language and its effectiveness.

  34. Robyn says:

    How is the boy presented in Compass and Torch?
    The boy is presented as a very scarred and anxious child, very anxious to please; especially his father. Whilst on their trip, walking through the moor ‘all the time the boy talked’, emphasising that the young boy craves the attention of his father. He is desperate to gain his father’s interest so he doesn’t leave him again. ‘Talked’ implies that the boy wasn’t holding a conversation, merely speaking with little purpose of conversation.

    The boy is very observant of his father, ‘watching Dad. Watching what Dad is. Drinking it in: the essence of Dadness’, paying close attention to his every move. This implies that the boy is keen to learn about his father and get to know him better; hence he is paying close attention.

    Furthermore, the boy is presented as quite a conscious character, he is aware of what is going on around him; particularly with his family situation. He tries to excuse his father’s behaviour to his mother. Also, having to ‘force himself to put the torch into Jim’s big outstretched hand’ shows how the boy is reluctant to accept Jim’s help. It shows that the boy feels as though Jim is replacing his father and by allowing him to examine the torch, he is beginning to replace his father. Jim is offering the boy the attention and interest that he wants his father to show, Jim offering help whereas his father is dismissive towards the boy, brushing him off and answering as quickly as possible when the boy mentions the torch.

    • aamos2013 says:

      A detailed response Robyn that demonstrates a close reading of the text. What’s missing are references to language or structure to secure the AO2 criteria. You had the right idea when you focused on the verb ‘talked’. You could also have referred to the phrase ‘all the time’ because it shows that the boy talks continuously and also implies that the dad says nothing. By extension, the boy may be talking to fill the awkward silences. Clearly, the boy is making all the effort to form a connection. In addition, you could focus the metaphor of ‘drinking’ to do with ‘dadness’. The metaphor is suggestive of nourishment; a need that the boy has been denied lately.

  35. Mel says:

    On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning
    Analysing the boy in the story
    He thinks she has no outstanding features of significant beauty yet is still strangely convinced of his affection for her. “All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird”. It’s not physical attraction, as there’s something else about her that attracts him to her. However, he doesn’t even understand himself and what draws him to her.

    Additionally, he has a fairytale-like imagination where he assumes everything has a huge significance when clearly he is just over dramatizing the situation. “The envelope could contain every secret she’d ever had”. He has a romanticized view and is clearly over thinking and making such an ordinary concept into something so dramatic and important.

    He is unsure of his feelings and this is shown in the quotes, “How can I approach her? What should I say? “Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?” Ridiculous. I’d sound like an insurance salesman.”This internal dialogue reveals his insecurities and how he is struggling to grab the moments and make sense of all his ideas. Again, over thinking the situation and considering the different scenarios too much

    Finally he is over analytical of her and takes notice of the tiniest details most would just look past. “She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp”. The word ‘white’ connotates with purity and so suggests her innocence. Whilst the word ‘crisp’ implies his idea of her being perfect and pristine, not allowing a crinkle in paper. The notion the envelope is “lacking only a stamp” portrays his idea of believing she, like the letter, is directionless and her fate is not yet decided. The fact that he has noticed such minute details conveys his observance.

    Melissa Kuo 11E

    • aamos2013 says:

      This is a close reading of the male narrator in 100% Perfect Girl. Your comments are detailed and reflect a detailed understanding of the character. What your comments need are references to language or structure to fulfill the AO2 criteria. For example, he refers to himself sounding ‘like an insurance salesman’. This simile reveals his fears about seeming insincere and irritating. This aspect raises the question about how to break the ice with someone when you have no pretext for approaching them. Though the paths of the narrator and the girl are passing each other, they do not cross. Good comment about the internal monologue.

  36. I says:

    How does Baines present a character in Compass And Torch?

    Baines presents the character of the child as very anxious and needy. “The boy is intent. Watching Dad. Watching what Dad is. Drinking it in: the essence of Dadness.” This quote emphasises how observant the child is, along with illuminating the separation between the boy and father, showing his deep intent to try and understand and get to know the father better, soaking up every drop he can in order to try and form some sort of mutual understanding and relationship with him. The reader is made to feel sympathetic for the boy by seeing him try so hard in order to connect and repair the relationship with his father, yet it is not reciprocated in such a way from the man.

    The quote “The boy still chatters.” conveys how the boy is desperate for the attention of his father by trying to keep the conversations, even if talking about something trivial, as long as possible with the hope of engaging him. Similarly, the quote “We can use both of them, can’t we, Dad?” signifys the boy’s constant need for reassurance and confirmation from the father.

    • aamos2013 says:

      An informative and perceptive piece of analysis India. Well done. Your comments on your quotations are detailed and really show understanding. All your comments require are some references to aspects of language or structure to fulfill the AO2 criteria. For example, you could refer to the colloquial language evident in the word ‘dadness’ which focuses on what makes a dad and what his role is. This is something of a mystery to the boy because his father is around so little, so ‘dadness’ is a source of fascination to him and as you suggest this is something he wishes to savour. Repetition of the verb ‘watching’ would be an example of something structural to include.

  37. Hannah says:

    How is Anil presented?

    Based on first opinions, Anil is presented as a small, naieve and insignificant child, with minimal responsibilties, for example ‘it wasnt a white cloth, it was a woman dressed in white.’ This shows how, at first, he thought that the two men were innocent wheras they were actually murderours. Also, when it says ‘if there was someyhing out there, he had to know’, this shows a braver side, that he was willing to risk his saftey to find out thr truth. This is also evident later on in the story when he exclaimed ‘you killed her.’ I think that Anil, although young and naieve at times, he really is quite brave. He wanted the truth to be out. ‘He did it. I know he did. I saw it.’
    He changes to his child like personality at the end of the short story ‘I dont want to leave you!’ Anil goes in a full cycle in this story – begining and ending with a childlike, innocent tone (despite the change in him from the begining, as he grows up, having experiences such events), with the middle section full of bravery ahd courage.
    Anil is a story of a small boy eho witnesses a murder among his group of family. The two murderers tried to get away from the truth- but Anil tried to bring them to justice. This resulted in Anil being sent away for education.
    Anil’s father is presented as a very cold hearted man ‘Appas eyes were red but not from sadness.’ This furthers my point that he was incapable of true emotion, and that he had a very monotone personality and charachteristics.
    Not only does he murder his brothers wife, but he fails toconsole any family member and only shows any emotion when he sends Anil away ‘he was ashamed for helping the headman to hide the truth about Marimuthu’s wife’.
    Thjs shows the one and only scene in which he is shown to have any human emotion.
    The star is used as a symbol of Anil. His parents cannot see the bright star, and they cannot see that Anil is different from others.

  38. SpecialK says:

    How is the character of Anil presented in the story Anil?

    The story of Anil follows a small boy as he witnesses a murder, the boy is portrayed differently as the story develops. ‘Wheee, Anil thought,wheee’ expresses Anil’s youth and innocence as ‘wheee’ is a very joyful, childlike expression. This innocence and naivety is also portrayed in a more sinister way when the body is described as ‘twirling sadistically’. ‘Twirling’ has connotations of happiness and a childlike, playful action, this contrasts greatly with ‘sadistically’ and conveys Anil’s struggle to understand what he saw. This links back to the theme of innocence and naivety.

    Contrastingly, in the morning Anil appears rather brave and assured as he confronts the headman’s brother and accuses him of the murder. ‘”You killed her”‘ portrays his certainty which contrasts with his unsure and nervous attitude the previous night. The short sentence appears definate and determined, conveying Anil’s courage and tenacity when it comes to achieving justice. This relates to the theme of power as Anil still believes that he could have power over the headman’s brother, reflecting his naivety and his lack of understanding.

  39. 000 says:

    In the “Darkness Out There” Mrs Rutter is presented as an old, lonely lady, “the woman hauled herself from a sagging armchair”. This highlights her weakness and fragility as “hauled” suggests that it was a struggle for her to pull her decrepit body up and and “sagging” emphasises the age as she and the chair start to wilt.
    At first Mrs Rutter is displayed to conform to the stereotype of an elderly lady. Lively does this through setting the surrounding scene and linking it to Mrs Rutter’s personality, “big-eyed flop-eared rabbits and beribboned kittens and flowery milkmaids and a pair of naked chubby children wearing daisy chains”. All of the ornaments have connotations with sweetness and kindness, in particular “beribboned kittens” highlights the sweetness as it suggests cute young innocent animals adorned with ribbons, showing the emphasis on appearance which becomes a continuous theme combined with reality throughout the story. This instant observation made by the girl lulls her into a false sense of security with Mrs Rutter.
    Mrs Rutter’s character soon reveals sinister properties which shocks the girl as she is presented with a juxtaposed idea of what Mrs Rutter’s character is. The lack of sympathy displayed when describing the plane crash signifies this, “She chuckled. I saw it come down all right”. Her unusual response to a normally catastrophic situation upsets the girl as she is in did belief at Mrs Rutter’s blatant pleasure at the pain of others.
    Her sinister emotions are continued when they realised it was a plane of the opposition, “We cheered, I can tell you”. Her pleasure from death and the enjoyment she is experiencing as she watches other people suffer highlights her voyueristic and sadistic characteristics as well as her lack of sensitivity to Sandra’s feelings.
    Lively uses a combination of serious tone and casual phrases, “it was just stuck there in the ground, end up, withe mess everywhere. Drop more milk, dear, if you don’t mind”. The contrast in tone used emphasises her lack of sympathy.

  40. P says:

    In “My Polish Teacher’s Tie” Helen Dunmore presents the character of Mrs Carter by using a range of descriptive language.
    “I wear a uniform, blue overalls and white cap” shows the reader Mrs Carter works in the service sector. Combined with the specific details of this description and the statement “I shovel chips on to the kids’ trays at dinner-time” implies she is a dinner lady at a school. This can be seen as a humbling job which allows the reader to further develop an understanding of the character and her life.
    The use of pronouns including “they” and “his staff” are effective in showing the reader Mrs Carter doesn’t think herself part of the staff at the school. The reader understands that she feels distant from them.
    “Colleagues don’t wear blue overalls and white caps and work for £3.89 and hour” shows the reader Mrs Carter doesn’t feel her position as a dinner lady is “good” enough to be talking to an educated teacher about poetry. Dunmore portrays the character about unconfident and insecure on her job position which allows the reader to be empathetic towards her.

  41. Georgina says:

    Carla is portrayed as being inferior to her work colleges. The writer using sarcasm to emphasise how differently she is being treated “all about fairness we are here” they also use irony they are in a school, where they are supposed to encourage equality. The serving hatch is symbolic it is the barrier that Carla has seperating her from her colleges. Carla States that she “likes the kids” this also shows irony as adults are supposed to be excepting and equal whereas in this situation the “kids” are excepting.

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