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my teacher gave me a C for this. i was shocked!

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    (Original post by sconter)
    this is strife.. lulz

    if thats what it takes to get an a.. i am dissapoint.
    If that's what it takes to get an A... Then I am disappointed*

    Luckily for me my essay did get me an A, if my interpretation of the text is that bad you can also take into consideration that I haven't picked up the book since last year.
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    (Original post by Booyah)
    If that's what it takes to get an A... Then I am disappointed*

    Luckily for me my essay did get me an A, if my interpretation of the text is that bad you can also take into consideration that I haven't picked up the book since last year.
    dont correct my intentionally incorrect english.

    i havent picked up the book since 2007 sonnyjim.
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    How does Steinbeck use the character of Crooks in the novel as a whole to convey ideas about America in the 1930’s?


    if i was doing this question i would do:

    crooks is a personification of the debilitating disability that was being black in the 20s. his crooked back is a physical manifestation of this, standing as a metaphor to help the reader to visualise the struggle of every day tasks.

    he was alone, and (like most of the other characters) could carry their life in a box. loneliness is a major theme in the novel.

    cant really think of anything else, havnt read the book(ever actually) in years so cant remember everything.
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    Bit rubbish but not that bad overall, probably abit rubbish at times but mostly not rubbish
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    To get full marks you need to describe more in depth about how all the text you quoted are effective in telling us the information.
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    (Original post by sconter)
    dont correct my intentionally incorrect english.

    i havent picked up the book since 2007 sonnyjim.

    Damn my Grammar Nazi attitude! However there isn't a lot you have to do anyways to get an A/A*...
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    is this the sort of thing i should be doing through out? feel free to edit it and repost it. and is this any better to last time? this is small but i just wanted to check with you guys that i was doing the right thing.


    Crooks is an intelligent, “aloof man” which takes pride for his stable and keeps it “swept and fairly neat” .By describing him as an “aloof man” Steinbeck is implying that the black community were proud and kept themselves in high regard despite the racial intolerance in the 1930s.
    Crooks’ “eyes lay deep in his head” and seemed to “glitter with intensity”. Steinbeck is referring to hopes and dreams and that even though Crooks was a decretive, “cripple” who seemed to work like an animal even had a dream. There is “depth in his eyes” due to this bigotry injustice which he had to face every day. In my opinion Crooks was being drowned in an never ending ocean which seemed to be full of pain, racism and violence against him; the only constituent which kept him alive was hope and his desire.
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    (Original post by katiem93)
    I studied 'Of Mice and Men' for GCSE and got an A, and continued to study until A-level where I also worked at A grade. From my experience when using quotations, for example, 'broken', you should be talking about the adjective Steinbeck uses to portray the character of Crooks to the reader and why he makes such vocabulary choices.
    I would say 'Steinbeck uses adjectives such as 'broken' and 'tattered' when describing Crooks' possessions, suggesting not only that he does not take pride in material things, but also connotates imagery of Crooks himself and his unkempt appearance. It allows us to sympathise with Crooks as a modern day reader, illustrating to us the attitudes surrounding racism and the monotonous stigma associated with black citizens in their minority in the 1930s. Steinbeck is merely reflecting Crooks' 'broken' attitude towards life through his appearance and surrounding possessions.'
    It is important to remember that the examiner knows the story. You are not writing to tell them what happened in the novel, but to pinpoint the techniques Steinbeck used in order to make it effective. Your focus should be on the range of terminology you pick out and relating it to the question. Picking out quotations may seem easy, but it is how you expand upon those quotations (make something out of nothing!) that shows your depth of understanding. Make sure you only use terminology you are comfortable with the meaning of - don't go using words just because they sound good without understanding what they are. This will only hinder you and waste time when you could be making valid points. Try to say 'the adjective 'broken'' or 'the list of three *insert quotation* to ensure that you are saying something about the technique used by Steinbeck and how this enhances the novel. Even if you don't like the novel - pretend to. The fancier you sound, the more it sounds like you know what you're talking about, so expand your vocabulary and brush up on terminology so you know what you're talking about! Also try to vary your structure slightly. I know every class is taught differently, but there is no harm in putting context at the beginning, middle or even end of a paragraph. Just integrate relevant information, keep it precise and don't go off on a tangent!
    The basis is there - your writing is confident. All I can suggest is to submit as many pieces of writing to your teacher as possible before the exam. Get her to set you a list of questions and write 1 point on each. Don't forget your introduction and conclusion too. It's a lot to do in a little time so practice being concise and cram as much in as you can!
    Good luck and I hope this was helpful!
    s this the sort of thing i should be doing through out? feel free to edit it and repost it. and is this any better to last time? this is small but i just wanted to check with you guys that i was doing the right thing.*





    Crooks is an intelligent, “aloof man” which takes pride for his stable and keeps it “swept and fairly neat” .By describing him as an “aloof man” Steinbeck is implying that the black community were proud and kept themselves in high regard despite the racial intolerance in the 1930s.
    Crooks’ “eyes lay deep in his head” and seemed to “glitter with intensity”. Steinbeck is referring to hopes and dreams and that even though Crooks was a decretive, “cripple” who seemed to work like an animal even had a dream. There is “depth in his eyes” due to this bigotry injustice which he had to face every day. In my opinion Crooks was being drowned in an never ending ocean which seemed to be full of pain, racism and violence against him; the only constituent which kept him alive was hope and his desire.
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    (Original post by ScienceConfusion)
    Hmm, I think people are being a bit unfair. It's worthy of a C, perhaps a B since I think the use of language is good.
    However, I'll give you a few more tips if you want them. I'm aiming for an A* too.

    You have to expand this a little. A lot of repetition is being used, and the only real point you're emphasising is that Crooks is a victim of racism. Which is true, though to secure an A* grade you need to reach out to a wider theme:

    ''Crooks illustrates social prejudice. He is intelligent, reads books, and like any other human being needs warmth and companionship. He is denied these, not through any fault of his own but rawly through the fact that he's black. Yet if there is a theme of racial prejudice here it is almost a sub division of a wider theme, that of loneliness. ''

    ''Like Candy, Crooks is an example of Steinbeck's compassion and a further illustration of the way in which loneliness can corrupt and destroy a man. His cynicism about the world is summed up when he says, ''Nobody gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land''.

    Also, ''He is partly disabled in a society which values human beings simply on their ability to provide a service'' is a valid point.

    I would also like to address your point regarding Curley's wife: I have altered it a bit!
    ''The true horror of Crooks's situation is revealed when he dares to challenge a white woman married to a white man. Curley's wife has done little to warrant respect, though she may have your sympathy. This girl, by virtue of her race rather than her attributions as a human being can crush Crooks in little more than a sentence: ''You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?'' I hope that's okay.

    Also, bring up the theme of Dreams and reality. This is so important.
    You have to talk about how Crooks realises the dream is nothing more than a dream (regarding the George and Lennie's dream of owning a farm):

    ''Crooks realises that the dream is nothing more than a dream; doomed to failure because the real world does not allow dreams to come to fruition. Like Crooks, we want to believe in the dream despite everything we know, and like Crooks we come to realise that it is a dream is very much impossible.'' Or something along those lines?

    Basically, a more sophisticated use of language is needed to achieve 90% though it's very do-able. Identify key themes throughout the novel, and relate to them through your answer and you'll be in a good position for the exam.

    Good luck and I hope this helped!!

    Sorry, but how the hell did this get negged? Got top of my year in KS3 English, and highest in my class with this content for the mock?
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    (Original post by ScienceConfusion)
    Sorry, but how the hell did this get negged? Got top of my year in KS3 English, and highest in my class with this content for the mock?
    :youbetcha:
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    (Original post by osama2)
    s this the sort of thing i should be doing through out? feel free to edit it and repost it. and is this any better to last time? this is small but i just wanted to check with you guys that i was doing the right thing.*





    Crooks is an intelligent, “aloof man” which takes pride for his stable and keeps it “swept and fairly neat” .By describing him as an “aloof man” Steinbeck is implying that the black community were proud and kept themselves in high regard despite the racial intolerance in the 1930s.
    Crooks’ “eyes lay deep in his head” and seemed to “glitter with intensity”. Steinbeck is referring to hopes and dreams and that even though Crooks was a decretive, “cripple” who seemed to work like an animal even had a dream. There is “depth in his eyes” due to this bigotry injustice which he had to face every day. In my opinion Crooks was being drowned in an never ending ocean which seemed to be full of pain, racism and violence against him; the only constituent which kept him alive was hope and his desire.
    try to make one point and stick with it throughout the paragraph. expand upon your point and get some terminology in there! as i said before, you are demonstrating your understanding of the techniques steinbeck uses in order to portray different themes and ideas. you integrated your quotes in a much more sophisticated way here, but you are trying to make too many points without expanding upon them enough. this is about quality - not quantity. you need to be able to write a lot about a little. make links between each point you make, using connectives to create a fluent essay. obviously the main point you are making here about crooks is a reference to racism, but there is more to his character than just this. you could write an introductory sentence saying 'steinbeck uses the character of crooks to portray how black people were looked down upon in society during the 1930s' and follow it up with perhaps 2 points on the techniques steinbeck uses to illustrate this. don't get too caught up with lots of quotations. pick out a couple and expand upon them. remember you dont have long in this exam and you need to be able to show off your understanding of other aspects of the novel without getting caught up on crooks and racism. hope this is helpful.
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    (Original post by maturestudy)
    I think you are getting some good advice on this thread. I probably shouldn't be answering this thread as it has been a long time since I have done any GCSE and I wouldn't want to send you in the wrong direction, but I had some thoughts that you might find useful.

    My first thought after reading it was that you didn't actually answer the question. I was left none the wiser as to your understanding of Crooks after reading your answer. I would have expected you to paint a picture of who Crooks is to you and back that up with appropriate quotes from the text. Rather, what you have presented is more of a laundry list of points, which I'm sure are along the right lines but there is very little linking those ideas together.

    Another thing that stood out to me was your constant urge to tell me what was going on in Steinbeck's mind when he wrote the novel. Steinbeck is using, he's trying to put across, he's reinforcing, etc. The question is how do you know what Steinbeck was trying to do? And I could be way off here, if this is how you are taught to analyse at GCSE then far be it from me to tell you otherwise, but unless you have spoken to Steinbeck you can't really know can you? In a way, what you have written is not your understanding of Crooks but what you think Steinbeck's understanding might have been.


    Finally, as another poster pointed out, the quotes don't always back up the points you are trying to make. Does a tattered dictionary and copy of the civil code really suggest he was a 'knowledgeable man' - such as a priest or a lawyer? Perhaps he needed a dictionary in order to be able to understand the California civil code? You then glossed over the interesting point! Why was Crooks so interested in the civil code in the first place. You almost went there, then decided to talk about spectacles.

    I hope that was some use to you - I'm sorry it's so negative but you did ask for a critique. All the best for your exams.
    You are way off with that point.
    Putting across what Steinbeck's purpose was when writing the book is actually a higher level skill (or so I remember my gcse english teacher to keep banging on about it). If OP explains his points better and shows a better understanding of the book as a whole, he can get his grade up.
    I agree with most of your post though.
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    (Original post by SweetsAndSugar)
    You are way off with that point.
    Putting across what Steinbeck's purpose was when writing the book is actually a higher level skill (or so I remember my gcse english teacher to keep banging on about it). If OP explains his points better and shows a better understanding of the book as a whole, he can get his grade up.
    I agree with most of your post though.
    Well, maybe for GCSE that is how it's done - and you would probably know better than me about that.

    At higher levels though, one has to be careful about asserting as fact something which is not demonstrably true. Now, it maybe that Steinbeck later wrote about his purpose for writing the novel, in which case you can safely bring that up provided you reference the source. However, unless I missed the mind-reading chapter in my literary criticism textbooks, it is not considered acceptable to simply put words into the author's mouth. Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine to give reasons why you think the author used a particular literary device, or what have you, but that is a different kettle of fish altogether.
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    The grammar is awful, you don't really analyse anything and it seems totally unstructured.
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    (Original post by osama2)
    i do AQA English literature and this question was on of mice and men. my answer to part A and B. she never gave an individual amrk out of 15 for both but said it was an overall a grade C piece of work. i am aiming for an A*.....
    was she being too harsh? please be honest. by the way part A requires a passage and we answer it by reading that. you can search it up. my answer:


    Part A How do the details in this passage add to your understanding of Crooks?
    From the passage we can learn a lot more about Crooks’ characteristics and intellect. We find out that he lives in a “little room” away from everyone else. “broken harness” and “new leather” show us his work ethic but also give us an insight in to the inhumane, unjust, cruel behaviour hey had to face during the slave trade. “Crooks also had “his apple box over his bunk, both for himself and the horses”, Steinbeck is reinforcing the fact that blacks were treated like animals in 1930’s American society.
    Steinbeck is trying to put across the loneliness people felt at the ranch especially crooks. “number of possessions; for, being alone, crooks could leave his things about”, from this we can infer that no one entered his bunk or stole from him due to the colour of his skin. Steinbeck is also reiterating that no whites socialised with blacks at that time and that there was an incredible amount of segregation. Furthermore because of this segregation Crooks almost had to have plenty of possessions to keep him occupied. “Crooks possessed a single-barrel shogun” which enforces the fact that he had been beaten up or racially attacked so he needed a means of security to defend himself and his dignity.
    In addition Crooks also owned a “tattered dictionary” and a “copy of the civil code” which tells us that he was a knowledgeable man. He must have read this everyday to see whether he was being treated correctly as Steinbeck ads “spectacles hung from a nail on the wall above his bed”.
    Moreover Steinbeck writes “his eyes lay deep in his head” and “seemed to glitter with intensity”. This tells us many things about Crooks. Firstly the depth in is eyes signify the discrimination he has faced and that that build a huge wall and knocked his confidence. But it could also show that he is incredibly defensive and reserved. Secondly the “intensity” represents his hopes and dreams. Steinbeck emphasizing that everyone had a dream from the elderly, the women and the blacks who were finding it particularly difficult at that time.
    Part B How does Steinbeck use the character of Crooks in the novel as a whole to convey ideas about America in the 1930’s?
    There are many aspects of Crooks which Steinbeck symbolises to convey ideas about America in the 1930’s. First of all Crooks lives in the bunk by himself with the animals and completely separate to everyone else. Steinbeck is telling us that there was a lot of segregation between the two races for example schools, water fountains, toilets and even buses were segregated and the blacks had to always sit at the back. So Steinbeck rather astutely added this element of America at that time and brought in on to the ranch.
    Steinbeck uses the character of Crooks to shed light on the amount of racism at that time. The Ku Klux Klan was a great force with the increase rise of membership every month. The group horrifically lynched blacks and set their houses alight. We see this element of American society when Curleys wife says 'I could get you strung up in a tree so easy it ain't even funny.”, after being told to leave by Crooks. Although Crooks was older than Curelys wife and a “cripple” she treated him like nothing. That follows up to my next point which is there was no divide in age but rather power and authority. Even though Crooks has been there longer than most people he still worthless due to the fact that he is old and essentially black.
    Crooks also represent the black community who came to terms with the fact that they were being racially attacked upon. Steinbeck writes “Crooks was a proud, aloof man” because Crooks has no choice but to endure this prejudice and isolation.
    To be honest I think most people have been very harsh and blunt in the way they have worded their criticism. It probably is at a C grade, but only because it lacks depth and analysis. You can easily try to pick this up. You'll just have to dedicate a fair amount of time developing the technique.
    When I started off with English, I was probably at a D grade. I hated the subject and couldn't understand my difficulties. I found out later that I had Aspergers' Syndrome. :rolleyes:
    But, with hard work and motivation I soon became one of those A* students. I did my English language GCSE early in year 10 and managed an A*. When it came to English literature, because of the more abstract nature of it, I struggled a bit more and ended up with a high A.
    Nevertheless, i'm proud of my achievements and hope you haven't been demoralised by the criticism. Work at it hun, and you'll get there.

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