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English A1 Paper 1 HL

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    I chose the poem about the Silkworms, and I think I ended up writing it pretty well. I went verse by verse, bearing in mind that the poem was split up into two main parts, the first being the maturation and growing up of the silkworms while the second about their entrapment and impending death, discussing literally features and effects and blablabla along the way. In terms of interpretation of meaning, I purposefully took the poem literally (meaning it was just about the silkworms) and then towards the end started exploring the different ways in which it could be an allegory. One of my main allegorical interpretations was the silkworms being children in ancient civilizations who would be chosen at birth for sacrifices, and would grow up living normal lives until the day they were sacrificed. If you're interested in knowing what the poem was apparently really about, prepare to be surprised: http://www.answers.com/topic/the-silkworms

    I read the prose passage and thought it was ok, but I chose the poetry just to be on the safe side, because it's more what I'm used to commentating.

    What did you guys do, and how well do you think you did?
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    I took the prose passage because, although I understood the poem, I felt like I couldn't write much about it. I also don't really go for poems in the first place when it comes to paper 1.

    I'm kinda in between about my paper. I mean, I talked about literary devices and their effect, some ideas in my personal opinion and I had a clear outline of my paper. I ended up writing 7 pages but yeah..I felt like it could have gone better but its definitely not a bad grade. I think we should be more worried about paper 2 though.

    Oh wait, I just checked your link. This is why I don't like poems :P Sometimes their meaning behind it is sooooooo off! I mean, how are you supposed to know that "'The Silkworms' belongs, according to its author, to 'a sequence of suburban satires' inspired by his residence in a Sydney northern suburb, St Ives." ? It's not like we can see into the poet's personal life and link that to the poem lol. Your interpretation sounds good though!
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    I chose 'The Silkworms' as well. I've had bad experience with trying to read more into a poem to find allegorical and/or metaphorical meaning, so I played it safe with a literal interpretation - how they spend most of their lives in powerless confinement, and how the poet's use of diction and imagery complemented the depiction of such notions and then finally how there's sort of a redeeming factor for their pitiful lives in that they experience bliss after death.

    I was rushing for time towards the end so the bulk of my essay was about confinement and imprisonment

    The prose passage was quite good though, I usually choose prose over poem but I felt that there was more to write about for Silkworms.
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    Strange, seems everyone had different interpretations!

    I personally wrote about how the the poem seemed to have the same diction as a speech, and being in the the cold war era it was (1957 if I remember correctly) I thought it could be a communist speech, using the silkworms as a metaphor for how the people are kept as 'prisoners' by the American capitalist system...

    I mean I followed it up well enough and made reference to multiple uses of alliteration, anaphora, sibilance etc. so I'm hoping I did well!
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    (Original post by VanillaNightingale)
    I took the prose passage because, although I understood the poem, I felt like I couldn't write much about it. I also don't really go for poems in the first place when it comes to paper 1.

    I'm kinda in between about my paper. I mean, I talked about literary devices and their effect, some ideas in my personal opinion and I had a clear outline of my paper. I ended up writing 7 pages but yeah..I felt like it could have gone better but its definitely not a bad grade. I think we should be more worried about paper 2 though.

    Oh wait, I just checked your link. This is why I don't like poems :P Sometimes their meaning behind it is sooooooo off! I mean, how are you supposed to know that "'The Silkworms' belongs, according to its author, to 'a sequence of suburban satires' inspired by his residence in a Sydney northern suburb, St Ives." ? It's not like we can see into the poet's personal life and link that to the poem lol. Your interpretation sounds good though!
    It doesn't really matter what meaning the poet was actually trying to put across as long as you back up your interpretation well enough though. Anyways, if I was a poet or a novelist, I'd love to read commentaries on a poem or extract of mine to see what awesome ideas people would come up with
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    I chose the silkworm poem as well.. I liked it I guess.
    I mainly wrote about freedom and confinement within social and economical boundaries. I basically took the silkworms and nature as metaphors for the human race and authority and how we are forced to comply to the "voice" (authority) while tormented with the illusion of opportunity beyond grasp.. I also commented on how freedom can only be found beyond the physical realm and physical confinements and went on to say that it is present in death.. Idk that's what I took the "flying" at the end to be..

    I really liked your interpretations, a friend of mine also spoke about freedom and took a Marxism approach

    Ahh Paper 2 next week! It's the one that needs preparation goodluck!
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    I went for The Silkworms as well - your interpretations all sound really in-depth and political! I landed in the idea that the centre of the poem was about human beings' lack of appreciation for nature and its beauty, as well as our unquestionable domination of it. I think I backed it up quite well, so hopefully I'll get an alright mark for it!
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    I went for the prose, the 'Womanizer' passage. I commented on how the author increased the tension in the scene through recurrence of symbols such as Leo's drumsticks or his stare and the decreasing mentions of Josephine in the scene showing how her positive influence in the narrative disappears. I linked this last part to feminist theory, commenting on how the outcome of her relationship with Austin potentially becomes dependent on the encounter of the two somewhat possessive males (though with juxtaposed characters). I was glad to see, after the exam, that Richard Ford has actually focussed significantly on feminism as he wrote many of his works, but perhaps it was a little far-fetched nonetheless.

    I also pointed out the use of contrasting imagery to show the change in tone, a transition from Austin's expectations (e.g. shown through the cheerful and passionate first moments of the encounter, and the vivid imagery to describe Josephine's clothes) to a disappointment as Leo responds with violence (e.g. shown through strong auditory imagery in the last paragraphs, with onomatopoeic 'slashes' and so forth to describe Leo's strikes).

    What did you all focus on in the prose commentary?
    Hope it went well!
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    I did the poem. I concentrated on tone and imagery and how they create contrast between the desire's of the silkworms and the demands of the voices. I also wrote a lot about structure and the turning point. My themes were obedience, faith, and desire. Maybe it was just me, but I interpreted it as religious, in that religions tell you how you should and shouldn't act. And then the end was kind of like their moments of joy before heading to the afterlife.
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    I did the prose planned to do SCASI but didn't find enough about setting so just did about a page each about each character, including action. Ran out of time so had to rush the conclusion :/ and didn't write enough for the style.
    but I thought there was more to analyze than any other past exam
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    I did the poem, and I wrote about the cycle of life and how it traced the journey of the human being through the silkworms as a metaphor, with society being the voices. I talked about how we are born into a never-ending cycle of conformity to the path of life we are expected to take.


    Lol definitely was worried about uni and stuff while I was writing that :P
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    (Original post by swedenbond)
    I went for the prose, the 'Womanizer' passage. I commented on how the author increased the tension in the scene through recurrence of symbols such as Leo's drumsticks or his stare and the decreasing mentions of Josephine in the scene showing how her positive influence in the narrative disappears. I linked this last part to feminist theory, commenting on how the outcome of her relationship with Austin potentially becomes dependent on the encounter of the two somewhat possessive males (though with juxtaposed characters). I was glad to see, after the exam, that Richard Ford has actually focussed significantly on feminism as he wrote many of his works, but perhaps it was a little far-fetched nonetheless.

    I also pointed out the use of contrasting imagery to show the change in tone, a transition from Austin's expectations (e.g. shown through the cheerful and passionate first moments of the encounter, and the vivid imagery to describe Josephine's clothes) to a disappointment as Leo responds with violence (e.g. shown through strong auditory imagery in the last paragraphs, with onomatopoeic 'slashes' and so forth to describe Leo's strikes).

    What did you all focus on in the prose commentary?
    Hope it went well!

    My main point for the prose was the focus on degradation of society with the paint work chipped off the egg being Austin's false nature and Josephines use of make up symbolic of her covering up the past. Leo was obviously from a previous relationship so I talked about how the removal with the stigma with divorce was prevalent and how new people being let into families was difficult. Talked about the vivid use of colour and childlike imagery throughout too.

    HOWEVER

    As I came out of the exam I realised that the extended metaphor was that of globalisation - e.g. Austin was representative of the US taking over other countries - in this case France. This was backed up through american iconography: the cadillac on Leo's T - shirt and Austin playing with leo to try and coax him into "letting him into the family" - let USA be a part of their country for trade or expansion etc etc.... he egg can be seen as the sweetener I guess, but the crumbly personality of the USA shown the same way as Austin's personality.

    If only I'd written that....

    Anyone else decode it?
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    (Original post by joe.robertson11)
    My main point for the prose was the focus on degradation of society with the paint work chipped off the egg being Austin's false nature and Josephines use of make up symbolic of her covering up the past. Leo was obviously from a previous relationship so I talked about how the removal with the stigma with divorce was prevalent and how new people being let into families was difficult. Talked about the vivid use of colour and childlike imagery throughout too.

    HOWEVER

    As I came out of the exam I realised that the extended metaphor was that of globalisation - e.g. Austin was representative of the US taking over other countries - in this case France. This was backed up through american iconography: the cadillac on Leo's T - shirt and Austin playing with leo to try and coax him into "letting him into the family" - let USA be a part of their country for trade or expansion etc etc.... he egg can be seen as the sweetener I guess, but the crumbly personality of the USA shown the same way as Austin's personality.

    If only I'd written that....

    Anyone else decode it?
    didn't get any of that :/ I got a similar idea about America but I ran out of time so I just put at the end that America symbolizes freedom to Leo
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    (Original post by joe.robertson11)
    My main point for the prose was the focus on degradation of society with the paint work chipped off the egg being Austin's false nature and Josephines use of make up symbolic of her covering up the past. Leo was obviously from a previous relationship so I talked about how the removal with the stigma with divorce was prevalent and how new people being let into families was difficult. Talked about the vivid use of colour and childlike imagery throughout too.

    HOWEVER

    As I came out of the exam I realised that the extended metaphor was that of globalisation - e.g. Austin was representative of the US taking over other countries - in this case France. This was backed up through american iconography: the cadillac on Leo's T - shirt and Austin playing with leo to try and coax him into "letting him into the family" - let USA be a part of their country for trade or expansion etc etc.... he egg can be seen as the sweetener I guess, but the crumbly personality of the USA shown the same way as Austin's personality.

    If only I'd written that....

    Anyone else decode it?
    Seems like everyone did this differently then! I did mention the USA - France thing, but not in that much depth; I mainly focused on the difference between true love (i.e. the relationship between Leo and his mother) and fake love (i.e. Josephine and Austin, hence ''The Womanizer.'')

    I thought the egg was a metaphor for Austin's relationship with Leo and Josephine; both the relationships (and the egg) are brittle and seemingly breakable, but then when Leo attempted to break it, protecting his mother from Austin, by fighting him off and severing that relationship, he was unable to. Leo then ran out, as if he had given up (at least temporarily). So ''fake'' love won over true love...

    A lot of people in my class talked about Josephine being pregnant, but I just interpreted it as Austin not being physically attracted to Josephine... again, seems like everyone got something else out of it
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    (Original post by Saelie)
    Seems like everyone did this differently then! I did mention the USA - France thing, but not in that much depth; I mainly focused on the difference between true love (i.e. the relationship between Leo and his mother) and fake love (i.e. Josephine and Austin, hence ''The Womanizer.'')

    I thought the egg was a metaphor for Austin's relationship with Leo and Josephine; both the relationships (and the egg) are brittle and seemingly breakable, but then when Leo attempted to break it, protecting his mother from Austin, by fighting him off and severing that relationship, he was unable to. Leo then ran out, as if he had given up (at least temporarily). So ''fake'' love won over true love...

    A lot of people in my class talked about Josephine being pregnant, but I just interpreted it as Austin not being physically attracted to Josephine... again, seems like everyone got something else out of it
    I didn't mention the egg at all, had no idea really what is symbolized :L

    but I did talk mainly about the relationships between the characters
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    (Original post by Superwoman)
    I didn't mention the egg at all, had no idea really what is symbolized :L

    but I did talk mainly about the relationships between the characters
    Aha, nice! We did it pretty similarly then
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    (Original post by Saelie)
    Aha, nice! We did it pretty similarly then
    Paper 2 is scaring me :/
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    (Original post by Superwoman)
    Paper 2 is scaring me :/
    Same... need to do really well :/ Doing drama, you?
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    (Original post by Saelie)
    Same... need to do really well :/ Doing drama, you?
    yeah me too especially since I missed out on a lot of things for paper 1 :/
    and yeah you?
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    (Original post by Superwoman)
    yeah me too especially since I missed out on a lot of things for paper 1 :/
    and yeah you?
    Yup. Hope the questions don't suck...

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