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Edexcel Unit 6 -Criticism and Comparison watch

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    Hey - did anyone else do this exam today and if so how did you find it?

    I actually quite liked the unseen poem - felt there was a lot to say about language, structure etc.... fingers crossed!

    I compared Wuth Heights and Return of the Native - didn't really think there was much choice as the second question seemed quite limited to Wuth Heights but a) wasn't too bad - quite a convoluted question - inability to adapt to their cicumstances in their struggles...thought the wording was a bit funny but i guess time will tell when i get my results!!

    Anyone do the same texts/ unseen poetry?
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    Yes, I did... absolutely loved the poem I really got into it. Really hope I excelled at that one, to make up for my abysmal Chaucer essay in poetry and drama :rolleyes:

    I did a) on WH and RotN too - found there was really too much to say on the question and I rushed into a bit, so my structuring wasn't great as a result, but it was OK to good.
    And yeah you're right it was a bit weirdly worded. I focused on:
    1. Cathy marrying Edgar not Heathcliff
    2. Eustacia's pride/idealism causing her to withdraw from society and it's results (voodoo dolls) with a bit about the vortex symbolising the work of external forces on the characters
    3. The use of barrier symbolism in WH to show the conflict between raw passion and social ideals
    4. Egdon as a physical force in their lives, a character rather than an inanimate stretch of land etc.

    Fingers crossed!
    skevvybritt x
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    OMG - I swear i wrote about the exact same things! I'm going to take that as a good sign! same thing with structure for WH - overran on the poetry so rushed it a bit but in a way i'm glad cause I think the extra 10 minutes i spent on the poetry in rounding it up and on my conclusion made the essay far more rounded and will earn me more marks!
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    what in the world was that unseen poem about? Not even my teacher knew!! religion? industry? airplanes?
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    Cannot find anything about the bugger on the internet. I reckon it expressed atheistic sentiment but I also said it was 'Eliotian'. O well.
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    i went for the fact that society is in despair/ corrupt and religion could offer it salvation - - but is 'blocking the sun' ie. light in the sense of salvation and hope - something like that! i must admit when i first read it and got the last line i did think what the hell? but sort of worked my way through it as i was writing my essay
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    I wrote that the last line shocked and surprised the reader.. I certainly didn't expect it, even with the funeral bells tolling at the beginning of the last stanza. The poem was so-so, could have been better, could have been worse I thought. I wrote that it was an inverted idea to what a lot of people think- that religion normally offers comfort and love, but here it blocked out the sun and was worse than the factories, etc, and didn't offer love.
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    thank god someone else mentioned Egdon acting like a character more than just nature! I was worried that wasn't gonna count for anything, as it wasn't part of the social environment.

    The poem was good! Loads to say abuot techniques. Content was a bit hmmm. I said it was about industrialisation threatening the environment and society's traditions and lifestyles. The religion bit at the end was weird though! Blocking out the sun - thats a bad thing! Maybe religion has become so institutionalised even it had changed :confused:
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    I liked the last line... I interpreted it that not even religion can replace what industry has taken away, and also that it is perverted from the normal Christian line and removes, instead of gives, hope. Key word: ambivalent.

    In terms of the poem I said that it was the danger of rapid industrialisation, that in the rush to invent new things we ruin lives etc. etc. Anyone else go down that line? So mainly about industry, with the plane providing a distancing effect as they're not in it.

    IMO there are supposed to be myriad ways to interpret it, thats what makes it so good. If you recognised that in your essay you're well on the way to higher grades
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    The poem I think was fantastic. I wrote about how there is a development of the natural world within the poem (Landscape) vs the imposed manufacturing and industrial world (Aerodrome). I argued that in the first stanza, there was an appearance of harmony between man and nature (shown with the way in which the aeroplane just "fits" in the landscape), but on closer analysis this appearance was not the reality.

    I then fitted it in with the notion and perception of aeroplanes at the time (1933 - novelty, new, glamorous), and the actual reality and harshness of those that had to work with them, and their impact on the environment. The aeroplane moving also I think may have been a metaphor of a journey through life - humans' innocence at the outset and then their eyes become "trained" - their experience and thus the corruption of nature by humanity. This is highlighted by the way in which Spender juxtaposes the natural world with the harsh industrial world and the way in which the city has "drowned out" the voices of the wild birds...the aeroplane is a symbol of the huge unnatural power humans exercise over nature.

    The ending surprised me too, and I definitely wrote that down - it's a very ambiguous last line. Whatever it means, it definitely suggests pessimism (I linked it to the religious idea of armageddon (dying sun), and of the suggestion via the bell that humanity does not have much time left). The last line was left open - but I did suggest that what he meant by "religion" was not so much religion in terms of a matter of faith, but religion as a representative of a doctrinal & human/social construct and therefore another way of emphasising the corruption of the natural by the human. I think the last line is supposed to be deliberately unsettling and throwing for the reader because there is no link to it on first sight, but when you re-analyse it, you appreciate what he is trying to say...in a subtle manner really.

    Agh I hope that was ok :s...
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    (Original post by anycon)
    Cannot find anything about the bugger on the internet. I reckon it expressed atheistic sentiment but I also said it was 'Eliotian'. O well.
    "Spender, Sir Stephen (Harold) (1909-95), British poet and critic. He was in many ways representative of the 'new writing' of the 1930s, with its political awareness and attempts to integrate modern industrial images into the language of poetry, but his own talents were essentially for personal and introspective poetry. Poems (1933) included 'The Pylons', which gave the nickname of 'pylon poets' to himself and his friends and contemporaries, Auden, Isherwood, and MacNeice. He modified his political stance as co-editor of Encounter (1953-69) and in his critical works, such as The Creative Element (1953). His autobiography World within World was published in 1951."

    from: http://lib.blcu.edu.cn/per/981/en/uk/spender.htm

    ----1930s "new writing". Eliotian would perhaps be a good term . Certainly he seems to have the same outlook as Eliot - post WWI, disillusion with the glamour/appearance of war and everything else really (cf Dulce et Decorum Est by Owne for an apt example)

    Also:

    "Stephen Spender, the son of a journalist, was born in London in 1909. He was educated at University College, Oxford, where he met W. H. Auden. Spender left university without taking a degree and went to Berlin in 1930. Poems appeared in 1933.

    Spender took a keen interest in politics and declared himself to be a socialist and pacifist. In 1937 he went with the International Brigades to the Spanish Civil War. Harry Pollitt, head of the Communist Party, told Spender "to go and get killed; we need a Byron in the movement." Spender relived his experiences of the war in Poems from Spain (1939) and Runes and Visions (1941).

    In 1941 Spender married the pianist Natasha Litvin. During the Second World War he enlisted in the London Fire Service. Spender also co-edited Horizon (1939-41) with Cyril Connolly and later edited Encounter (1953-66).

    After the war, Spender joined Unesco as a globe-trotting cultural emissary. He also worked for the Congress for Cultural Freedom, for International PEN, and the British Council.

    Books by Spender include Poems of Dedication (1947), The Edge of Being (1949), an autobiography, World Within World (1951), The Creative Element (1953), The Struggle of the Modern (1963), The Generous Days (1969) and Love-Hate Relations (1974).

    In 1970 Spender became Professor of English at University College in London, a post he held for seven years. Stephen Spender died in 1995."

    Found: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPspender.htm

    I find the fact that he was a Socialist and Pacifist very interesting. Pacifist because that would link to his "dislike" of aeroplanes for the use of warfare or destruction (were they used in WWI?), and Socialist because it implies that any poetry he wrote may well to a great extent be about the human condition/humanity in a collective sense.

    Hmm...interesting . I like this working out of poetry on my own, it's quite fun!
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    And after looking around on the net for a bit - the poem, if you wish to look over it again...

    The Landscape near an Aerodrome

    More beautiful and soft than any moth
    With burring furred antennae feeling its huge path
    Through dusk, the air-liner with shut-off engines
    Glides over suburbs and the sleeves set trailing tall
    To point the wind. Gently, broadly, she falls,
    Scarcely disturbing charted currents of air.

    Lulled by descent, the travellers across sea
    And across feminine land indulging its easy limbs
    In miles of softness, now let their eyes trained by watching
    Penetrate through dusk the outskirts of this town
    Here where industry shows a fraying edge.
    Here they may see what is being done.

    Beyond the winking masthead light
    And the landing-ground, they observe the outposts
    Of work: chimneys like lank black fingers
    Or figures frightening and mad: and squat buildings
    With their strange air behind trees, like women's faces
    Shattered by grief. Here where few houses
    Moan with faint light behind their blinds,
    They remark the unhomely sense of complaint, like a dog
    Shut out and shivering at the foreign moon.

    In the last sweep of love, they pass over fields
    Behind the aerodrome, where boys play all day
    Hacking dead grass: whose cries, like wild birds
    Settle upon the nearest roofs
    But soon are hid under the loud city.

    Then, as they land, they hear the tolling bell
    Reaching across the landscape of hysteria,
    To where larger than all the charcoaled batteries
    And imaged towers against that dying sky,
    Religion stands, the church blocking the sun.

    1933
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    I couldn't understand the poetry. I've always been crap at poetry so...

    I did the prose. I thought it was kind of ok. It was confusing at first and I thought I was screwed... was panicking, so i wasted like 10 minutes, but it turned out okay I guess. I might have interpreted it wrong though!! I basically spoke about this perilous trial that these women went through in order to salvage something from what happened to a woman and her child, then finding a shoe which gave them hope. Then they take it back, and hope was lost when they were told it wasn't the child's shoe. Then I compared all that with the sergeant's story how everyone hoped for the resurrection of a saint, where hope was lost there too. I acknowledged all the language devices and mentioned something on the structure of the passage, so hopefully it went okay!!

    And the Tempest/Translations question was quite good. I had too much to say though I couldn't fit it all in. Plus I was running out of time at the end so my conclusion and stuff is really bad. PLEASE I need an A!!!
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    Anycon: I'm not sure whether I'd have called it 'Eliotian', however, my mind jumped to Prufrock when I read these lines:

    "cries, like wild birds
    Settle upon the nearest roofs."

    Almost an abbreviation of:

    "The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
    The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
    Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
    Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
    Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
    Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
    And seeing that it was a soft October night,
    Curled once about the house, and fell asleep."

    He certainly went in for animal imagery: moths, dogs, wild birds et al. I thought it was a really enjoyable poem to write about actually. Hate to think of it in terms of frigging AOs, however, it was pretty much perfect for a comparison to Blake ('London', 'Jerusalem'). Then you could build on that by discussing how Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, yet Spender was writing when it truly took its grip on England's cities.

    Reema: Nice interpretation. I kept on having to resist writing pure interpretation though due to the "language, form and structure" phrasing.

    Then I did Tempest/Translations...but it seems like no one else did, so I won't bother going into it. Suffice to say the questions were fine.
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    [QUOTE=cjoc28]I couldn't understand the poetry. I've always been crap at poetry so...

    I did the prose. [QUOTE]

    Don't you have to do the poetry if you do drama/ prose for the comparison? - our teacher said there wasn't a choice for section A other than poetry as we were doing prose - Wuth Heights/ ROTN - for section B. And vice versa - of you do poetry comparison don't you have to do prose unseen? Or did I just make that up?
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    Unseen Poetry = Prose or Drama for Section B
    Unseen Prose = Poetry or Drama for Section B

    This is why doing Drama puts you in a nice position - you've got choice in Section A. That said, there was no way I was doing anything but the poetry. Prose prac crit always looks hideous to me!
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    Ah..that makes more sense - so i did only have one choice as i'm doing prose - good to know! I agree - prose just looks awful let alone having to wade your way through it!
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    i hated the poem it is so ambigious, how did u find the north+south/hard times reema? i thought it was alright, i did part a [i think] the one about 'some can think, others have to labour'.
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    I did 'The Tempest' + 'Whos Afraid'. I thought the questions were quite difficult and were much more suited to 'Translations' and 'The Tempest'. Anyone else think so?

    I did the poetry for Prat Crit. I think i went off in a bit of a tangent but hopefully it went ok! My first A level completed
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    (Original post by james45)
    i hated the poem it is so ambigious, how did u find the north+south/hard times reema? i thought it was alright, i did part a [i think] the one about 'some can think, others have to labour'.
    Its good that the poem is ambigious, i means you can interpret it in any way you want!
 
 
 
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