Please explain the difference between these two points stated for A04Watch
a. explore and analyse the significance of the relationships between specific literary texts and their contexts, making sophisticated comparisons
b. evaluate the influence of culture, text type, literary genre or historical period on the ways in which literary texts were written and were – and are - received.
- Study Helper
B is asking you to evaluate how the historical background and context have influenced the text when it was written. So for example, Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations' is a good novel to start with. In Chapter 1, Pip is at a graveyard at his mum and dad's headstone. So Dickens uses the well known fact in the Victorian Era where lots of children were orphans and didn't have any parents. What you could say about this is that, immediately the reader notices the sense of isolation and loneliness that Pip has because he has no one to give him that unconditional love that parents have for their child. Also, when Pip meets the ex-con man in the same chapter, Dickens describes what the con man was wearing, a withered hat and shackles. So the withered hat suggests that a lot of people were in poverty and had a tough life, a lot of people including children and some adults would be out on the streets of Victorian England trying to survive. Also the shackles has a connotation of being tramped and locked up away from freedom because of the social capitalism of that time restricted a lot of people if they were not upper class. All-in-all you're looking at all the things the author writes about and how the context creates meaning within the texts.
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