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    Hi everyone,

    In preparation for the WJEC english literature exam this summer, I completed this past paper question.

    I would be very grateful if I could receive some comments as to how I could improve, and if possible could get a grade or mark (/20).

    Show how John Steinbeck presents the theme of friendship in ‘Of Mice and Men’

    Edit: Thank you everyone for your help! Essay has now been taken off
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    Seems like a good essay, I'll read it more thoroughly tomorrow.
    I'm doing of mice and men too - let me know if you need any help!


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    Thank you

    What grade do you think this would get?
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    Well I am doing AQA thus not aware of the grading system but these are some points:
    •Define friendship in the introduction
    •In the second paragraph you say "Like when he says" - Don't use like, such as, etc would be better


    I just remembered, I have an exemplar essay for this, I will find it tomorrow then compare it to yours and if you want, give it to you


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    This is exam is very plain and boring... The structure I used (got A*) was this:

    Para 1 -
    Overview of novel
    Define friendship
    List five friendships you will analyse

    Para 2 - 6 -
    Introduce friendship
    4 PQEs of how this friendship is important to the novel

    Para 7 -
    Common Denominator
    Moral?
    Closing statement


    A* Features -
    Reference to society (Curley's wife - sexist society, Lennie - belief that God was punishing people with mental illnesses)
    Cross Referencing
    Structure
    Try to embed quotes into your speech

    I can post my essay on OMAM if you are interested. I emailed it to my teacher and she said it was a high A*
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    Try and embed your quotes more into your point instead of having it at the beginning or end of your point

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    Thanks everyone, much appreciated.

    Caitlan would be very grateful if you could post your OMAM essay here when you have a bit of time.
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    Although life in the 1930s was very much about looking out for your own back, John Steinbeck presents friendships as being necessary. He shows how these friendships can be desperate and hard to keep fruitful due to circumstance, and ultimately displays how they can crumble away.[Lovely introduction. You have referenced the context and mentioned Steinbeck's intentions. To improve the introduction, I would try and add a sentence like this: "In this essay I will address ..., In this essay I am going to talk about how..." This will help set your essay up, but your introduction is a great start!]


    Characters are shown to seek friendships - no matter how different other people are. George befriends Lennie and although Lennie always does ‘bad things’ and George has to ‘get [him] out’, it is the companionship that George craves for. Without Lennie, George has no one to live for, but by being his interpreter of the world around them, George derives a great deal of satisfaction. Their friendship appears to be genuine, as George is always looking out for Lennie, like[for example] when he says “think I’d let you carry your own work card?”. [Could you go into a little more depth here? Maybe analyse specific words and their effect on the reader.] George even talks for Lennie in front of the boss, at which point the boss ‘turned around and looked for a long moment at the two men’; therefore we learn that their relationship is very atypical of a time when people “get mean” and “don’t want to talk to nobody”, as Slim says. This is because economic hardships after the Great Depression led to a breakdown of trust in other people, and therefore jeopardised friendships. Even Curley’s wife seeks intimacy, despite being a married woman stuck in a man’s world. She has ‘rouged lips’ and ‘her fingernails were red’, revealing how she was always out to get attention from the other men. As she always used the excuse of finding Curley to talk to the other guys, we once again see the desperation of finding friendships, just like in George’s case.[Great! I love the link to the context and then Curley's wife. To get into the top bands, you really do need to analyse key words. For example, when talking about Curley's wife talk about what red symbolically indicates - attention seeking. It is more better to say "red symbolically indicates..." rather then saying "we know she is seeking attention." Moreover, you can easily elaborate on the point about Curley's wife always looking for George - you can link it to loneliness and thereby your point about depression. Remember, Curley's wife and Curley are always seen looking for each other throughout the novella, but are they ever seen together? ]

    Even if characters find friendships, Steinbeck presents how they are hard to maintain. Crooks is isolated for most of the novel, but when Candy and Lennie visit him in his room, we see a slightly more social side to him. He is originally hesitant to invite Lennie in, and very cynical, saying that their dreams are baseless and "it’s just the talking". [Why is this? This is a chance for you to embed a link to the novella's context.]But he starts opening up to the possibility, offering to "lend a hand". However, this potential friendship was doomed to fail as Curley’s wife verbally assaults Crooks, telling him to "keep your place, ******". [What does "Niger/Negro" infer?]Crooks is singled out due to the colour of his skin and silenced from expressing himself and therefore making friendships. Steinbeck shows how racial prejudice was so strong that Black people had no chance of interacting with others, especially on a ranch full of white men. Doing so risked the reputation of the white man, and carried the risk of lynching for the Black man. Despite Curley’s wife’s endless attempts at making friends with anyone – even Lennie – there is no avail. No one truly cares for her, even her husband who has a ‘glove full of vaseline’, suggesting the marriage is nothing more than sexual pleasure for the man in its purpose. When she speaks to Lennie ‘her words tumbled out in a passion of communication’, revealing how she has to force the listener to allow her to confide in them, and that without doing so it is impossible to get her voice heard. Her failure to make friendships is down to circumstance – despite being very outgoing and flirtacious, she is simply seen by the men as ‘a jail bait all set on the trigger’.[Very good point! It is highly sophisticated and assured."]

    Finally, Steinbeck gives the message that friendships are so rare that when they do happen, more often than not they are destined to break into nothing. Curley’s wife tried excessively hard to seek solace in Lennie ,in section five, as ‘she took Lennie’s hand and put it on her head’, showing a sense of trust and submission. She shared her broken dream and even Lennie talks about his American Dream fo petting rabbits. However, a mentally retarded man and married woman simply were not compatible, resulting in Curley’s wife’s death. In the same way, although George and Lennie’s intimacy seemed unbreakable and Lennie said ‘because I got you to look after me and you got me to look after you’, the two characters belong to separate worlds so their friendship is not permanent. Just as the water snake’s death was inevitable, so was Lennie’s. This view is further supported by the fact that perhaps when characters that are compatible meet, only then do friendships last, because they are natural. We see that Slim takes George to be ‘different’ to the other men, and even at the end comforts him and understands that he had to kill Lennie, saying ‘you hadda George, I swear you hadda’. I think that if the novel was to be continued, Slim and George would have remained close companions to each other, as they were the only two characters that understood each other.

    Overall, Steinbeck gives the message that humans crave companionship as we all run away from isolation. However, he aims to show how we sometimes try and make unnatural friendships in the process, and how they cannot be forced (like by Curley’s wife) or be a result of compromise (as in George’s case), because they will always remain dysfunctional and be destined to fail.[/QUOTE]

    Very Good! This essay of yours shows an extensive amount of knowledge of the context of the book. You have used quotations well and, in most cases, embedded them. There is some language analysis, and links to nearly all the characters in the novella, which are clearly developed.

    Despite your highly assured links to the novella's context, you fail to deeply analyse the language and structure of the book - which is an entire Assessment Objective. You analyse some language - without looking at the hidden meanings and multiple meanings of some words - but never bring up anything about the novella's structure to support your point. Also, I feel that another very interesting character you should address is Candy, and his relationship with his dog.

    Looking at the mark scheme your piece easily fits into Band 3. Your analysis of the context of the novella, alone, can be placed into Band 4 (the top band), but your language analysis and structural analysis would fit into the top of Band 2. The piece is close to both Band 2 and Band 4, hence why the mark I would award this piece would be the middle mark that Band 3 offers: 13/20 (really one mark above the middle mark!) I think this is equivalent to a B.

    If you can analyse the language and structure in more depth I think that this essay could comfortably sit in Band 4 (The A/A* band).
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    (Original post by kingaaran)

    Very Good! This essay of yours shows an extensive amount of knowledge of the context of the book. You have used quotations well and, in most cases, embedded them. There is some language analysis, and links to nearly all the characters in the novella, which are clearly developed.

    Despite your highly assured links to the novella's context, you fail to deeply analyse the language and structure of the book - which is an entire Assessment Objective. You analyse some language - without looking at the hidden meanings and multiple meanings of some words - but never bring up anything about the novella's structure to support your point. Also, I feel that another very interesting character you should address is Candy, and his relationship with his dog.

    Looking at the mark scheme your piece easily fits into Band 3. Your analysis of the context of the novella, alone, can be placed into Band 4 (the top band), but your language analysis and structural analysis would fit into the top of Band 2. The piece is close to both Band 2 and Band 4, hence why the mark I would award this piece would be the middle mark that Band 3 offers: 13/20 (really one mark above the middle mark!) I think this is equivalent to a B.

    If you can analyse the language and structure in more depth I think that this essay could comfortably sit in Band 4 (The A/A* band).
    Thank you so much, this is very kind of you!

    According to the WJEC specification and my teacher, the whole text essay only assesses AO1 (making judgements, responding critically) and AO4 (social/historical context). AO2 (language analysis) is assessed only in the extract question.

    Even if it is not being assessed, do you think I should include some language analysis anyway?

    Thank you so much for all of the help!
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    (Original post by cannonball.)
    Thank you so much, this is very kind of you!

    According to the WJEC specification and my teacher, the whole text essay only assesses AO1 (making judgements, responding critically) and AO4 (social/historical context). AO2 (language analysis) is assessed only in the extract question.

    Even if it is not being assessed, do you think I should include some language analysis anyway?

    Thank you so much for all of the help!
    Depends, how long do you have to write the essay in the exam?


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    40 minutes for this part of the exam
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    (Original post by cannonball.)
    Thank you so much, this is very kind of you!

    According to the WJEC specification and my teacher, the whole text essay only assesses AO1 (making judgements, responding critically) and AO4 (social/historical context). AO2 (language analysis) is assessed only in the extract question.

    Even if it is not being assessed, do you think I should include some language analysis anyway?

    Thank you so much for all of the help!
    When I looked at the mark scheme it clearly evident that for 20 marks, the exam board want you to address all of the AOs. In my opinion, I believe that language and structural analysis is required for any essay, that requires deep analysis, to be successful. By not analysing the language, all you are doing is giving ambiguous meanings that the text infers, but not really showing a deep understanding.

    I hope that helps


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    http://www.megafileupload.com/en/fil...glish-doc.html

    In my resit, I wrote a piece of less quality and got an A* combined with an average poetry part

    (Resit due to when doing first time, ended up writing about 5 characters and with a minute left, realised it was specific to Lennie so ended up with a B)
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    Thanks everyone!
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    Thanks my friend


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    Hi, would it be possible to email me too as my exam is on the 4th and I'm not sure as how to construct the essay or what points to include?
 
 
 
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