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AQA English Lit and Lang B Text Transformation Coursework

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  1. Offline

    Hi, i have to have my first draft of this coursework in the first day back and i have absolutely no idea what i'm doing.

    i've decided to take "Stig of the dump" by Clive King and take it into a monologue from Stig's point of view, only i'm really struggling. Does anyone have any tips on what I'm supposed to be doing???



  2. Offline

    I got full marks in my coursework so I might be able to be of help. To be honest I don't think Stig of the Dump is the best text to choose if you're hoping to get a good grade - it's a children's book rather than a well thought of piece of literature. what other texts have you considered? What are you particularly interested in?
  3. Offline

    Btw for my coursework I transformed a section of Paradise Lost by John Milton into a short story set in the middle east
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    I realise it's a children's book, but the point is to change the genre so i'm also changing the age group it's aimed at. And to be honest, i'm nowhere near as bright as alot of people on here so i'm not going to be able to write a piece of great literature, i'll be happy with a pass.
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    Fair enough, but my teacher advised even the candidates in my class who were aiming for Ds not to transform childrens books or texts that are not considered traditionally literary, because then you're missing out on the whol 'literature' element of the language and literature course. Obviously it's your own choice but the exam board make a huge point about it
  6. Offline

    For my text transformation I transformed the semi-autobiographical story of Souad - Burned Alive, into a newspaper article. My base text, if you haven't heard of it, is about a girl in the West Bank of Asia who engaged in sex before marriage, fell pregnant, and whose family tred to kill her as part of an honour killing. The news article I changed it into was regarding the terrible crime in the Middle East that is honour killings - it featured an interview with Souad (I took quotes direct from the book) and more of my own research. I got a B for my transformation

    Whatever you do, remember you have to write a commentary for it - basically, whatever you do, you have to explain it. Bear that in mind when you draft.

    If I were you I'd continue with your original idea, wrte your draft and take it in. Your teacher and others will be able to see strong/weak points and advise you where to go. Remember, you have to do at least 2 drafts, so provided you have enough time, you could experiment with lots of different genres and ideas. Try a few and see what works best/worst.
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    I am writing my Text Transformation coursework as well. I am using Patricia Cornwell's novel 'Predator' as my base text to conduct an interview with the lead pathologist, Dr Kay Scarpetta.
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    Cheers for the help. I'm now writing about Matilda- Roald Dahl, because i thoguht about stig of the dump and there's not really alot to play with, but matilda is a character you could make a really emotive piece about.

    lovelee-jublee- Wow your piece sounds really interesting- i may have to read tthat base text!

    [Edited out - Dali]- Sounds good indeed, have read that book and if it's done right, it could be really amazing.

    Just wondering actually- do you think Matilda would be good as a monologue or a diary entry??
  9. Offline

    (Original post by Rosie_Fairy)
    Cheers for the help. I'm now writing about Matilda- Roald Dahl, because i thoguht about stig of the dump and there's not really alot to play with, but matilda is a character you could make a really emotive piece about.

    lovelee-jublee- Wow your piece sounds really interesting- i may have to read tthat base text!

    [Edited out - Dali]- Sounds good indeed, have read that book and if it's done right, it could be really amazing.

    Just wondering actually- do you think Matilda would be good as a monologue or a diary entry??
    Here's a link to my base text - it really is amazing to read - what they did to her was so terrible, but it happens all the time. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Burned-Alive...UTF8&s=gateway

    Hmmm, if you did do a diary entry from Matilda, you would have to make sure you sound as if you are actually Matilda, meaning you're writing should sound like a child's the same age as Matilda. This can be quite tricky to do because you are so used to writing how you do now!!! If possible, find a piece of writing done by a real child the same age as Matilda - maybe from a local school, a younger sibling, or even a book written by a child - you could then use this for your research and then you have a template for the style of writing. Remember, this is only your first draft so don't feel tied down to one idea at this point.
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    I actually really enjoyed this coursework. I used erm The Signalman short story, but someone I can't remember and turned it into a radio play and changed it around a bit. Took a lot of redrafting, but was really good to do.

    Just do anything for your first draft, seriously! I did! Then your teacher can advise you on what she/he thinks. My first draft was nothing like my idea that was my final piece.
  11. Offline

    im trying to transform part of oliver twist into a social workers report on Oliver.
    can anyone help me with this?
  12. Offline

    Is there any way you can get hold of an actual social workers report to see what the language is like? That is crucial. Think about the elements of the original that you want to include and what you want to do with them (if you don't really know what I mean you should have a look at some commentaries for this coursework - they make it obvious. I could send you mine if you're interested)
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    that would be great if i could have a look at your commentary. have to start writing a commentary soon but not 100% sure on what i should include.
    i'v managed to get hold of a social workers report so i'm hoping i should be ok lol.
    thanks x
  14. Offline

    Sure, here's my commentary:

    I chose John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost as the base text for my text transformation, particularly focusing on book IX. Milton was a Seventeenth Century Puritan writer and religion influenced the central principle in Paradise Lost - obedience to God. I was interested in the themes of this text, the aforementioned obedience and its antithesis, temptation. Whilst these can be found in the original bible story Milton’s text offers a further realm of interest in terms of his character exploration (particularly the Satan character). I found this characterisation fascinating and wished to explore it further in a different context.

    In my transformation I aimed to take Milton’s themes and put them in a modern context to give a current perspective to the ideas behind the first story of mankind. I set my story in the Middle East because I felt that it was a context in which the themes which in Paradise Lost would still be relevant due to the strongly held religious/moral values, particularly those concerning women. This choice of setting is evident in my transformation from unfamiliar lexis such as “Pan Chini” and “burka”. Milton’s judgement of womankind (represented by Eve) as sinful and weak appeared to me harsh and unappealing for a modern audience influenced by feminism. Hence I aimed to create a more current interpretation of Eve’s behaviour, yet maintain within the story the condemnation she receives in Paradise Lost. I therefore felt strict Middle Eastern society such as Afghanistan to be an appropriate setting. As I was interested in exploring the characters of Eve and Satan in more depth I used an alternating dual narrative approach.

    Throughout my transformation I retained the passive nature of Eve apparent in Paradise Lost within her own narrative. The purpose of my focus on Eve was not to change her nature but to alter the idea that she should be blamed for events that occur. In Paradise Lost it is Eve who presents herself as submissive, for example referring to Adam as her “head”. I have attempted to give a similar presentation. I used a largely descriptive first person narrative, seen in phrases such as “her demeanour was methodical”. I have included declarative statements such as “I was not obedient” in relation to significant moments in the story. The combination of these techniques presents her as a passive character as she rarely offers insight or analysis into happenings, making her seem subject to external control. Outside her own speech I have also implied passivity, for example never mentioning her by name. Her narratives are entitled with the theme of the section because she is personified by the events in which she partakes, directly contrasting to Satan who is a complex character within himself. I felt that to change the nature of Eve’s character would be straying too much from the ideas of the base text as well as being inappropriate to my setting. The only times when variations are evident (in the base text and in my transformation) are when she suggests to Adam that it would be beneficial for them to part and after she has fallen. The reason for the former is ambiguous in the base text and I too have left this decision for the reader. Meanwhile the fall allows for the awakening of strong emotions for the first time, this can be seen by the fact that she begins to question values in society – “is deceit not a greater evil than curiosity?”. This lets her develop fully as a person, Satan is correct when he says he is offering her knowledge and in both texts the knowledge is of the realities of life. Ironically this means that she can no longer be perceived as a perfectly pure heroine and is condemned. In Paradise Lost the condemnation is symbolised by Adam dropping the wreath he is making for Eve and I reflected this with a reference to dropping flowers – “blossoms from Alaa’s arms plunging around me”. However the view of characters within the text does not constitute a certain view for the audience. I feel that a modern audience would accept knowledge as a greater trait than purity and it is only towards the end that Eve develops complexities as a character and the audience becomes truly interested in her. I have shown her increasing depth by developing her rhetorical sophistication, for example the triadic construction of “entangled, choked, snared” and high register lexis such as “ardour”. In the base text there is ambiguity whether greater blame lies with Eve or Satan whereas I see it as unfair to blame Eve as her response is determined by her creation and background. She lacks understanding of who she is and how to defend her values because she has never been encouraged to do so; for example she is not present during Adam’s discussions with Raphael in earlier books of Paradise Lost. Paradoxically she is encouraged to be submissive and then condemned for weakness when faced with Satan’s self-assurance. Whilst a puritan audience would not naturally comprehend this link I feel that a modern reader would do so and I have attempted to present both Eve’s passivity and my own interpretation of her “temptation”.

    In my transformation I devoted relatively little attention to the character of Adam (Alaa), despite his predominance in Paradise Lost. This was deliberate as given the focus of my story I felt that Adam was more significant in what he represented to Eve and Satan – strength and importance. I have shown this with the language Eve uses to describe him, for example “safe and secure”, as well as the metaphor of architecture, repeated later by Satan. In my transformation Adam is a representation of the power and status of men and God rather than a fully developed character. In Paradise Lost Eve rarely contemplates God, instead trusting Adam to relay God’s laws. I wanted to emphasise Eve’s mental connection between Adam and God, which is why I chose and noted in my text the similarity in name (Alaa, Allah). Although my character of Eve has an abstract understanding of God (Allah) she has little comprehension of His true nature. Instead she sees Adam as her God – someone to whom she must be loyal and who will lay out the rules for her. She focuses not on comprehending the differences between the two, but on realising what is expected of her, i.e. obedience. I felt it was necessary for a sense of realism to include Eve’s family but they are not a direct portrayal of characters in Paradise Lost. They represent an extension of the value of obedience, emphasising its importance both in the base text and in my setting. The significance of this is shown from the opening line – “… your husband will be your God ... you must be loyal and unquestioningly obedient”. This is crucial in demonstrating character viewpoint and emphasising Eve’s passivity and vulnerability. I have used imperatives such as “will” to show the commanding nature of society. This contrasts with the direct speech of Adam himself, for example "I feel that", which is of a more gentle nature. This shows his formal and admirable manner, which mirrors Milton’s character portrayal and is necessary for the realism of the piece.

    I was interested in Milton’s portrayal of Satan in book IX as an individual full of self-contemplation, internal turmoil and jealousy. I attempted to replicate this, including a direct quote from Paradise Lost (“only in destroying I find ease”). Although in earlier books Satan is presented almost as a hero and someone with whom the audience can sympathise, by book IX he has degenerated into desperation and bitterness, wishing to manipulate the happiness of others because he cannot abide seeing it. Although I considered including aspects of the earlier portrayal I decided against it because I wished to focus on Satan’s negative role within the temptation. In his soliloquies I have continually used the present tense and the repetition of personal pronouns in order to attempt to capture his obsession with himself – he cannot contemplate beyond his current feelings. In my transformation Satan is a rapist and I feel that this can be seen in his state of mind – he operates on his own logic and feelings and does not see beyond them. I am interested in the view of some scholars that the snake is a phallic reference and echoed this within my portrayal of the temptation by using sexually implicit language, for example “no scarlet virgin love token” and “my presence is prominent”. I therefore felt that it would be too contradictory to present Satan as a heroic figure, as Milton originally did. I have also attempted to align my character of Satan with the original by using references to his status as a snake. This can be seen both within Eve’s description of him (“elongated”, “tongue seemed to flicker”) and through his own use of sibilance which echoes a hissing sound, e.g. “see their submissive state”. Like Milton’s Satan mine is characterised by his use of language. In Paradise Lost it is Satan’s use of rhetoric that persuades Eve to follow him as she is flattered by his compliments. I have reflected this in my transformation by peppering the direct speech with heightened lexis such as “abashed” and flattery, for example “beauty such as yourself”. Satan can also be seen to use rhetorical techniques to convince himself of his own argument, for example triadic composition, e.g. “for liberty, for knowledge, for exploration” and repetition of centrally important lexis such as “knowledge” and “obedience”. I am particularly concerned with retaining the presentation of Satan as an internally agitated individual whose insecurities lead him to destroy others happiness. I portrayed the hostility and anger of the character through the use of alliteration and consonance, for example “vacant, so vacuous, so devoid” and “flimsy base of female fidelity”. The repetition of firm consonants makes the narrative appear more hard-hitting and contemptuous, which is important in demonstrating character nature. The linguistic choices I have made within Satan’s narratives are noticeably intense, for example “fickle”, “anguish” and “seeming flawlessness”, in order to contrast his incensed contemplation with Eve’s passive description. Within his final sentence, “she is curious, she is tempted and she is mine”, the auxesis shows the extremities in his thought processes, he sees her curiosity as justification for his possession of her. Satan is complex but I feel that the language I have used to present him demonstrates this accurately.

    Although my setting is markedly different from that of Paradise Lost I have included many elements of the base text. This is evident from Eve’s detailed description of the garden; “very greenness of it all”. The beauty of the garden is central in Paradise Lost and hence I used vividly descriptive language such as “lush greenery” to replicate this. I also included phrases reminiscent of the religious element of the setting, such as “paradise” and “heaven on earth” as well as those demonstrating Satan’s animalistic nature, for example “beast” and “animal desires”. Additionally I have included the idea of the earth sighing at the temptation, which can be found in Paradise Lost. I have represented the most important image in Paradise Lost (the wreath), as well as retaining the individual natures of both Eve and Satan. Light and darkness are also important within Paradise Lost, representing the time before and after the fall. I have used this imagery also, before the temptation Eve emphasises the summer heat and the light she sees from Adam (“the light radiated”) whereas afterwards she uses lexis from the semantic field of darkness such as “haunting”, “night and “deepest hours”.

    I did not make many dramatic alterations between the different drafts of my transformation. The purpose of most of my alterations and additions was to expand on character exploration and on the temptation scene in order to ensure greater clarity for the reader. Judging from reader response I feel that this was successful and my transformation appears to be both entertaining and thought-provoking, with or without knowledge of the base text.
  15. Offline

    I did this coursework last year and got an A for it. I think that transforming a poem into a short story/play would be more interesting. I looked at Carol Ann Duffy's "Standing female nude" and transformed it into an interlocking narrative- i included the two characters from the poem and i shed light on their past (not mentioned in the poem) and how they interlocked at the end of the narrative. It was effective and different. Whatever you do make sure you have lots to say in the commentary and just say what you do, why and how. Oh and remember to mention the linguistic terms. That's all really.
  16. Offline

    has anyone here read oliver twist or know the book well in any way at all?

    because in my transformation i think i am going to change my report into modern times, but i could do with some help on the things i should change.
    for example, oliver lives in a workhouse as a child...but what could i use instead of a workhouse? because we wouldn't have workhouses today.
    thanksss x

    and thankyou dreamqueen thats classc
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    I'm in the same boat as many when it comes to the text transformation coursework - I'm stuck on what to do & time's running out till' I have to hand in my first draft!

    I've chosen the novel (which was also made into a film a few yrs back) 'A Walk to Remember' by Nicholas Sparks.

    It's a bit like the novel/film Lovestory and resembles Romeo and Juliet aswell in that it's devoted to two 17yr old teens who couldn't be more different - one popular 'cool dude' meets one unpopular baptists daughter and eventually fall in love. It ends rather Romeo and Juliet-esque, with the girl dying.

    Anyway, the novel's written from the (17yr olds) males perspective - I wanted to perhaps write from the girls point of view as the reader never gets her take on things.

    Any ideas what I could actually write????

    Diary entry perhaps?

  18. Offline

    hmm. We are doing this, but were advised to change one text into the style of another, one novel in to the style of another (distinctive) author of fiction. I am transforming F.Scott Fitzgerald's 'the beautiful and the damned' in to the style of Irvine Welsh's 'trainspotting'.
    I wonder why we have been given a slightly different brief to the rest of you?
  19. Offline

    Im doing this as well, we was told to do something like jane austen into the style of something else. I was thinking of doing something with pride and prejudice just don't know what to transform it into. Got any ideas
  20. Offline

    I got full marks for this coursework, and my main advice would be NOT to play it safe. People tend to get bad marks in this module when their idea is boring. And don't think that your base text has to be a novel or poem, or anything seen as 'classical literature'. I took The Sopranos (a TV drama, as you probably know), and transformed it in to children's story, a la Dahl. The examiners definitely like ambition. A friend of mine who also achieved highly took the Harry Potter series and wrote an Ofsted report for Hogwarts. It barely contained much substantial writing, but the great idea got him a very high mark.
Updated: September 15, 2012
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