Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey! Sign in to get help with your study questionsNew here? Join for free to post

AQA English Literature exam, May 2012

Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Hello, I want to ask for help from anyone doing the Literature exam in May. Mine is on Kindertransport and Of Mice and Men and I am struggling with both. I find it hard to talk about them, for example on the Of Mice and Men question where you get an extract and you have to talk about it I can only write a little and I can't fit it into 45 minutes, I take longer than an hour and a half. I'm scared I'm going to fail my Literature GCSE because if this exam
    Also, I look at the mark schemes for both questions but I sort of don't feel like I can mark my own essays correctly using them. Can you give me tips on how to write essays on both books (on any type of question) which are A/A*?
    And can anyone tell me what % this exam is from your GCSE Literature grade?
    Thank you. :rolleyes:
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Ok, you're referring to English Literature Unit 1 which is worth 40% of the entire GCSE. I'm Touching the Void in addition to Of Mice and Men so I will advise you on Section B.
    For a), you should simply look at the extract and pick out how the character mentioned is shown (but they could easily ask about something else because they asked about the bunkhouse before but I digress). This could be through their actions, speech, their surroundings (i.e light), other character's reactions to them (especially important with Curley and Carlson) and how they are actually described by Steinbeck or anything else you feel is appropriate.
    For b), you should simply use your knowledge of the entire book on the character and link this to the social context of Of Mice and Men.
    I feel the best way to revise is to read the book to get a good interpretation of the book, find extracts that they may focus on and learn the themes/social context that you can refer to in question b. Good luck and don't worry; I'm feeling nervous too!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I am so simple but in the higher tier where you get a section A and B to answer for Of mice and men, do you set it as one essay or two?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Capaldian)
    I am so simple but in the higher tier where you get a section A and B to answer for Of mice and men, do you set it as one essay or two?
    It's separate.
    • Thread Starter
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'm having big trouble with Of Mice and Men. Basically, how can I write an A/A* answer to the two questions when we only have 45 minutes on them? Isn't it about having a lot of detail? The problem is, I can write a lot about the passage given and society at the time but at the same time you get only 45 minutes for them so it has to be short but informative...? I'm really confused!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'm currently mentoring some students through this GCSE (I did Of Mice and Men three years ago). The idea of the two parts is that they are separate but that the second part is a development of ideas you touched on in part A. So focus on specific, concise detail. They're not expecting a thesis in 45 minutes, they expect straight to the point analysis.
    • Thread Starter
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Thank you for your replies. I’d really appreciate it if you can help me mark and improve my answer to Section B from my exam.

    The full question comes with part a) – a passage from the book for analysis and the whole question is worth 30 marks but you can still mark the one I answered /I hope/.

    b) How do you think Steinbeck uses the character of Candy in the novel as a whole to convey important ideas about society at that time?

    Candy is a very significant and important character in the novel. He reveals ideas about society at that time such as little tolerance towards people with disabilities, the view on women and a man’s status in society.

    Candy is the old swamper who has only one hand because of an accident that happened to him in the ranch. Candy has a low status and his nervousness while talking to George shows he’s scared of losing his job because he most likely won’t find another one. ‘You won’t tell Curley nothing I said?’ ‘He felt safe now and spoke more confidently.’ Candy is an example of how old and disabled people were treated in America at that time. Candy is old, with one hand and he is a swamper. Slim is capable of driving twenty mules with a single line to the leader, well-respected character whose job is a jerkline skinner to whom other ranchers come for advice. He’s also referred to as ‘the prince of the ranch’ meaning that more skilled and stronger people had more opportunities at that time.

    The views on women in America in society at that time are shown through Candy’s character. ‘Well. I think Curley’s married . . . a tart.’ The idea that Candy refers to Curley’s wife as a tart, a woman who does not have a good reputation means the perception of women in the 1930’s was different. Steinbeck doesn’t give Curley’s wife a name in the book which means that he thinks women weren’t important so they don’t deserve a name. Curley’s wife is also being labeled as ‘trouble’ and ‘jailbait’ in the novel. The reader thinks of her as an attention-seeker whose only interest is other men but Curley’s wife is just as lonely as the other characters.

    One of the other main themes about society in America at that time is the theme of loneliness. After Carlson refers Candy’s old dog to a ‘stinky hound’ and shoots him without much sensitivity. Candy becomes lonely after its death and his dog seems to have been his only loyal companion left. He feels dejected as he says ‘I wish somebody would shoot me when I become useless’. After his beloved dog dies Candy asks George if he can join his and Lennie’s dream of owning a place. ‘You see what they done to my dog tonight?’ ‘When they can me here I wish somebody’d shoot me.’ These quotes show that Candy is a lonely character and wishes to escape for a better life.

    My tutor told me that it’s a solid B, so can you help me improve it to A/A*?
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thu_)

    b) How do you think Steinbeck uses the character of Candy in the novel as a whole to convey important ideas about society at that time?

    Candy is a very significant and important character in the novel. He reveals ideas about society at that time such as little tolerance towards people with disabilities, the view on women and a man’s status in society.

    Candy is the old swamper who has only one hand because of an accident that happened to him in the ranch. Candy has a low status and his nervousness while talking to George shows he’s scared of losing his job because he most likely won’t find another one. ‘You won’t tell Curley nothing I said?’ ‘He felt safe now and spoke more confidently.’ Candy is an example of how old and disabled people were treated in America at that time. Candy is old, with one hand and he is a swamper. Slim is capable of driving twenty mules with a single line to the leader, well-respected character whose job is a jerkline skinner to whom other ranchers come for advice. He’s also referred to as ‘the prince of the ranch’ meaning that more skilled and stronger people had more opportunities at that time.

    The views on women in America in society at that time are shown through Candy’s character. ‘Well. I think Curley’s married . . . a tart.’ The idea that Candy refers to Curley’s wife as a tart, a woman who does not have a good reputation means the perception of women in the 1930’s was different. Steinbeck doesn’t give Curley’s wife a name in the book which means that he thinks women weren’t important so they don’t deserve a name. Curley’s wife is also being labeled as ‘trouble’ and ‘jailbait’ in the novel. The reader thinks of her as an attention-seeker whose only interest is other men but Curley’s wife is just as lonely as the other characters.

    One of the other main themes about society in America at that time is the theme of loneliness. After Carlson refers Candy’s old dog to a ‘stinky hound’ and shoots him without much sensitivity. Candy becomes lonely after its death and his dog seems to have been his only loyal companion left. He feels dejected as he says ‘I wish somebody would shoot me when I become useless’. After his beloved dog dies Candy asks George if he can join his and Lennie’s dream of owning a place. ‘You see what they done to my dog tonight?’ ‘When they can me here I wish somebody’d shoot me.’ These quotes show that Candy is a lonely character and wishes to escape for a better life.

    My tutor told me that it’s a solid B, so can you help me improve it to A/A*?
    Do not abbreviate anything. Embed quotes into your writing and actually analyse the language used. Improve your vocabulary and overall it is too short.
    • Thread Starter
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I tried to write it quickly but at the same time to analyse it because we'd have about 22 minutes on this question. My teacher told us not to write too much but at the same time to write enough..
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    When you answer the part b for Of Mice and Men, I'd suggest writing about 1.5 to 2 sides. Remember to write a lot about a little. For example, Candy calls Curley's Wife 'a tart'. This is ironic because Curley's Wife does not act sweet but instead seems to crave attention but alternatively, it may suggest that Candy is trying to warn George that Curley's Wife tries to appear innocent (i.e. sweet) but is in fact dangerous.

    Nonetheless, there are plenty of points to be made; think about the way he wants to be in George and Lennie's dream as 'he leaned forward eagerly' into their conversation. This bears parallels to Candy's desire to be in the dream as the adverb 'eagerly' demonstrates to the reader how desperate Candy to escape the ranch and the lexical choice of 'forward' showing how Candy wishes to move away from the ranch, perhaps showing that he feels trapped by the ranch and needs to break free. The idea of Dreams were intrinsic in 1930s America as the American Dream stated that 'all men were created equal' and were free in the 'pursuit of happiness', especially considering the bad times of the Depression where there were low wages, high unemployment and rife poverty. In Candy's case, he wants to escape the cruelness of the ranch... etc.

    Just make your own interpretations and be confident about them!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    You should ask your teacher to have a look for you!
    Ask the teacher which details would be best left out so you can train yourself to put in what matters
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thu_)
    Thank you for your replies. I’d really appreciate it if you can help me mark and improve my answer to Section B from my exam.

    The full question comes with part a) – a passage from the book for analysis and the whole question is worth 30 marks but you can still mark the one I answered /I hope/.

    b) How do you think Steinbeck uses the character of Candy in the novel as a whole to convey important ideas about society at that time?

    Candy is a very significant and important character in the novel. He reveals ideas about society at that time such as little tolerance towards people with disabilities, the view on women and a man’s status in society.

    Candy is the old swamper who has only one hand because of an accident that happened to him in the ranch. Candy has a low status and his nervousness while talking to George shows he’s scared of losing his job because he most likely won’t find another one. ‘You won’t tell Curley nothing I said?’ ‘He felt safe now and spoke more confidently.’ Candy is an example of how old and disabled people were treated in America at that time. Candy is old, with one hand and he is a swamper. Slim is capable of driving twenty mules with a single line to the leader, well-respected character whose job is a jerkline skinner to whom other ranchers come for advice. He’s also referred to as ‘the prince of the ranch’ meaning that more skilled and stronger people had more opportunities at that time.

    The views on women in America in society at that time are shown through Candy’s character. ‘Well. I think Curley’s married . . . a tart.’ The idea that Candy refers to Curley’s wife as a tart, a woman who does not have a good reputation means the perception of women in the 1930’s was different. Steinbeck doesn’t give Curley’s wife a name in the book which means that he thinks women weren’t important so they don’t deserve a name. Curley’s wife is also being labeled as ‘trouble’ and ‘jailbait’ in the novel. The reader thinks of her as an attention-seeker whose only interest is other men but Curley’s wife is just as lonely as the other characters.

    One of the other main themes about society in America at that time is the theme of loneliness. After Carlson refers Candy’s old dog to a ‘stinky hound’ and shoots him without much sensitivity. Candy becomes lonely after its death and his dog seems to have been his only loyal companion left. He feels dejected as he says ‘I wish somebody would shoot me when I become useless’. After his beloved dog dies Candy asks George if he can join his and Lennie’s dream of owning a place. ‘You see what they done to my dog tonight?’ ‘When they can me here I wish somebody’d shoot me.’ These quotes show that Candy is a lonely character and wishes to escape for a better life.

    My tutor told me that it’s a solid B, so can you help me improve it to A/A*?



    Hi! I'm totally in the same boat as you..seriously worried about the exam, but I've noticed a few things you haven't done. You need to analyse specific bits of language more, for example, punctuation, verbs, adjectives. (Steinbeck's use of the aggressive verb '...' suggests...) Comment on the significance of the language and then link it to the context. Also the question asks Steinbeck's use so you must include a reference to Steinbeck in every paragraph, maybe begin the intro with a reference to Steinbeck. (Steinbeck presents the character of Candy?!) Something like that! Anyway the rest of the essay looks good! Hope this helps.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Guys do any of you have any A/A* responses to either Of Mice and Men or Inspector calls. I'm panicking, don't want to fail

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: May 11, 2013
New on TSR

Personal statement help

Use our clever tool to create a PS you're proud of.

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.