URGENT! English coursework- please please help me!

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Yw56
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Hi i am doing my as English coursework which is due in tomorrow and i would be grateful if any of you could take the time to help!
this is the question:
“The past in a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
Compare and contrast the ways in which Ian McEwan and Alan Bennett suggest that the past can seem a different world from the present in ‘Atonement’ and ‘The History Boys’.
i have been advised by my teacher to set it out in themes such as settings and characters etc but i am stuck
any suggestions of what i can include into the essay and how i can do it?
eg. themes, topics and all that...
Thanks in advance
ps. my teacher at school isnt so great so i am really struggling with this essay
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Yw56)
Hi i am doing my as English coursework which is due in tomorrow and i would be grateful if any of you could take the time to help!
this is the question:
“The past in a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
Compare and contrast the ways in which Ian McEwan and Alan Bennett suggest that the past can seem a different world from the present in ‘Atonement’ and ‘The History Boys’.
i have been advised by my teacher to set it out in themes such as settings and characters etc but i am stuck
any suggestions of what i can include into the essay and how i can do it?
eg. themes, topics and all that...
Thanks in advance
Form, structure and language are crucial. In what ways do they differ because one is a play and one is a novel? (One has a narrator, but she is unreliable, the other has a framing narrative iirc. I don't teach either of these, so I'm a bit hazy.) What effect does the structure have on the text? (Flashbacks, non-linear narrative etc.) What themes do they have in common and what are the language features of the parts of the text where theses are explored? (There's quite a lot of regret going on, I think.) Don't forget PEEL - Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link.
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Yw56
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(Original post by carnationlilyrose)
Form, structure and language are crucial. In what ways do they differ because one is a play and one is a novel? (One has a narrator, but she is unreliable, the other has a framing narrative iirc. I don't teach either of these, so I'm a bit hazy.) What effect does the structure have on the text? (Flashbacks, non-linear narrative etc.) What themes do they have in common and what are the language features of the parts of the text where theses are explored? (There's quite a lot of regret going on, I think.) Don't forget PEEL - Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link.
thanks! but can you help me? im stuck and i really dont understand
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Yw56)
thanks! but can you help me? im stuck and i really dont understand
Well, I thought I had. What don't you understand?
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Yw56
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(Original post by carnationlilyrose)
Well, I thought I had. What don't you understand?
i'm just confused as to which themes i can use in order to form my paragraphs...i just dont know how to start and structure my essay!
for eg, my essay could consist of four main points eg, settings, charcaters and prolepsis
but i'm not sure if that is correct and i can't think of any other methods that the authors use
thank you so much!
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Yw56)
i'm just confused as to which themes i can use in order to form my paragraphs...i just dont know how to start and structure my essay!
for eg, my essay could consist of four main points eg, settings, charcaters and prolepsis
but i'm not sure if that is correct and i can't think of any other methods that the authors use
thank you so much!
Are they the topics your teacher has told you to use? I would be inclined to allow them to emerge from within other topics.

As I said, form structure and language are the key things, so make sure you included them in the topics you have been given. I have read both these texts, but I don't know them well enough to plan your essay for you. However, there are some things which apply to all literature essays, and I mentioned some of them above.

Form. How do the authors use it to convey the thoughts and feelings of the character? In a novel, there is a narrator. What does the narrator do in this novel to show things are different now? Atonement is a first person narrative, iirc, so how does Bryony show how she thought then compared with now? In the play, there is no narrator, so how does Bennet reveal thoughts and feelings? Asides? Soliloquies?

Structure. Both of these have a framing narrative, don't they? The twist at the end of Atonement is done expressly to show that the past is an unsatisfactory place for Bryony because she regrets her actions and creates an alternative past as atonement for them. In The History Boys, the main character, whose name I can't recall, appears in the present day to cast light on the effect the events of the past had on him. Discuss the effect this has.

Language. Lots of scope. Pick out the sections which explicitly talk about the past, and there are plenty of those because the very titles tell you that history is a huge part of what the texts are about, and analyse what is being said about then and now by the different characters/narrator. Lots of examples. Show the difference between Bryony then and now, the difference between the main guy then and now.

That's how I would set about it.
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Yw56
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(Original post by carnationlilyrose)
Are they the topics your teacher has told you to use? I would be inclined to allow them to emerge from within other topics.

As I said, form structure and language are the key things, so make sure you included them in the topics you have been given. I have read both these texts, but I don't know them well enough to plan your essay for you. However, there are some things which apply to all literature essays, and I mentioned some of them above.

Form. How do the authors use it to convey the thoughts and feelings of the character? In a novel, there is a narrator. What does the narrator do in this novel to show things are different now? Atonement is a first person narrative, iirc, so how does Bryony show how she thought then compared with now? In the play, there is no narrator, so how does Bennet reveal thoughts and feelings? Asides? Soliloquies?

Structure. Both of these have a framing narrative, don't they? The twist at the end of Atonement is done expressly to show that the past is an unsatisfactory place for Bryony because she regrets her actions and creates an alternative past as atonement for them. In The History Boys, the main character, whose name I can't recall, appears in the present day to cast light on the effect the events of the past had on him. Discuss the effect this has.

Language. Lots of scope. Pick out the sections which explicitly talk about the past, and there are plenty of those because the very titles tell you that history is a huge part of what the texts are about, and analyse what is being said about then and now by the different characters/narrator. Lots of examples. Show the difference between Bryony then and now, the difference between the main guy then and now.

That's how I would set about it.
thanks so much, you're the best!
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