Could someone mark my/give feedback on my GCSE English Literature Past Paper?

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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
I've just done one question in the June 2013 AQA GCSE English Lit 'Exploring Modern Texts' question, based on the novel Mister Pip. I would be SO grateful if I could have some feedback on my answer, as I am really nervous for the exam. Thank you! :-)

Here is the question along with my answer. It is worth 30 marks.

Part (a)
In this passage, how does Jones present Matilda’s feelings about the Foundling Hospital? Refer closely to the passage in your answer.

Near the end of the novel, when Matilda later resides in England, she visits the foundling hospital where Lloyd Jones uses various literary techniques in order to convey Matilda’s outlook.

Matilda’s visit causes her to reflect on the Mother’s who gave up their children, as they “hand their babies over”. The calm manner that she uses infers how simple these Mothers find the process. Victim of loosing her own Mother, Matilda nonchalantly describes this process as a way of indicating her disappointment towards these mothers, as they give up their children as if it is the easiest action in the world. Therefore, Jones uses language to convey Matilda’s disrespect towards these Mothers, who gave up the chance to be Mothers, whereas Dolores had no choice but to give up being a Mother, since she was murdered.

Moving on, repetition is used frequently to enforce the idea into the reader’s head. “I remember” Matilda recounts, as she describes the painful moments as her Mother slips away. Jones has used repetition to continually remind the reader how often Matilda thinks about her Mother’s death. The static and separate feel of the sentences that begin “I remember” emphasise the hard impact the situation has had on Matilda, consequently causing the audience to feel empathy towards her.

Alternatively, we could view the repetition more universally: The frequent occurrence of “I remember” symbolises how death keeps coming back and haunting us, when someone dies, we are constantly reminded of them and Jones’s use of repetition is a reminder of how we can never forget the dead.

Jones uses the theme of ‘Identity’ in this passage. The babies that are ‘handed over’ are referred to in their multitude, indicating that there are too many of them for them all to have an identity and feelings. Jones continues with this theme as he describes how the orphanage firstly “change[s] the baby’s name”. From this we understand how Matilda perceives the name change will give them a new identity, because she then describes how changing your name can give you a new life. Therefore, Matilda infers that she believes the Foundling Hospital tears the babies away from their old lives and Mothers, yet she thinks that your old history should remain part of you, which is akin to how Pip (from Great Expectations) left his past behind, and it only caused misery for the ones he left.

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