AQA A2 LITB3: Elements of Pastoral 11th JUNE 2015

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aksanghera
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Hey everyone, there was no thread for the pastoral section of this exam for this year, so I thought I'd make one.
I've seen the Gothic thread for this exam and other past years pastoral threads and they all looked really helpful!

What texts are you studying?
Do you have any predictions for the questions that might come up?
Please use this to ask questions, post essays and answers and revision tips that could be useful for all of us.

Good luck to everyone taking this exam.
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edgarcats
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I'm sitting this exam, studying Blake, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and As You Like It. Not sure what's gonna come up but I'm probably going to do Blake for the first section.
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lg96
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I would say Shakespeare for the second section, but wouldn't want to tempt fate
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aksanghera
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(Original post by edgarcats)
I'm sitting this exam, studying Blake, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and As You Like It. Not sure what's gonna come up but I'm probably going to do Blake for the first section.
Hey there, I'm also studying Tess of the D'Ubervilles. Same here, I think poetry would be best for Section A.
I always prefer poetry to the novels.
Nostalgia came up as a question for Section B last year which I've seen on a couple of past papers so it might not come up, but don't quote me on it.
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aksanghera
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(Original post by lg96)
I would say Shakespeare for the second section, but wouldn't want to tempt fate
Do you mean as in one of the texts you're going to do in Section B?
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username1138622
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Hi, everyone! I might be quite active on this thread, as it is probably the exam I am most nervous about! I am doing Pastoral Poetry 1500-1800, As You Like It and Brideshead Revisited. I'm planning on doing either poetry or AYLI for section A. I'm currently working on refining my technique because I tend to write long, waffley paragraphs.
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lg96
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(Original post by aksanghera)
Do you mean as in one of the texts you're going to do in Section B?

As in I hope one of Shakespeare's texts comes up in the second half
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username1138622
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I was wondering - how are people approaching introductions and conclusions?
Personally, I do introductions which are very brief (because I struggle for time). I start with a phrase such as 'I agree for the most part' or 'I disagree with..' and then pretty much write out the question. I then unpick the question term a bit, so if it was about the pastoral being about a childhood state I'd state that this consists of a time of innocence, free from the troubles of the world. I'd then put across the counter argument.

So it might go something like this, if the question was 'To what extent do you agree with the view that pastoral writing always celebrates the freedom of a childhood state?':

"I agree for the most part that pastoral writing reflects, as a central idea, the freedom of childhood. Many authors portray the countryside as a place where characters live a life replicating that of youth, blissfully free from the adversities and pressures of the outside world. However, in my mind this is not 'always' the case, as some authors present visions of childhood which are, beneath their seemingly Arcadian surface, far from idyllic."

I just realised this doesn't fit with my texts very well, so I wouldn't actually choose this question. The examiners' report suggests looking at the verb 'celebrate', looking at texts where freedom is a bad thing ie. not celebrated ('Blue Remembered Hills' would have been brilliant for this but is unfortunately no longer on the syllabus ). It also suggested looking at different types of freedom (I might look at Rosalind's freedom in Arden and how that allows her to live in a world distant from reality (like a child's game of make-believe ??) )

They are my thoughts on how to approach this - would like to know if anyone agrees/disagrees with this approach! At time Litb3 seems a bit of a mystery.


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aksanghera
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(Original post by indigorain)
I was wondering - how are people approaching introductions and conclusions?
Personally, I do introductions which are very brief (because I struggle for time). I start with a phrase such as 'I agree for the most part' or 'I disagree with..' and then pretty much write out the question. I then unpick the question term a bit, so if it was about the pastoral being about a childhood state I'd state that this consists of a time of innocence, free from the troubles of the world. I'd then put across the counter argument.

So it might go something like this, if the question was 'To what extent do you agree with the view that pastoral writing always celebrates the freedom of a childhood state?':

"I agree for the most part that pastoral writing reflects, as a central idea, the freedom of childhood. Many authors portray the countryside as a place where characters live a life replicating that of youth, blissfully free from the adversities and pressures of the outside world. However, in my mind this is not 'always' the case, as some authors present visions of childhood which are, beneath their seemingly Arcadian surface, far from idyllic."

I just realised this doesn't fit with my texts very well, so I wouldn't actually choose this question. The examiners' report suggests looking at the verb 'celebrate', looking at texts where freedom is a bad thing ie. not celebrated ('Blue Remembered Hills' would have been brilliant for this but is unfortunately no longer on the syllabus ). It also suggested looking at different types of freedom (I might look at Rosalind's freedom in Arden and how that allows her to live in a world distant from reality (like a child's game of make-believe ??) )

They are my thoughts on how to approach this - would like to know if anyone agrees/disagrees with this approach! At time Litb3 seems a bit of a mystery.


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Hey there,
I guess for introductions it would also be good to do a brief outline of whichever theme they have asked about and how it fits in or is present in the text. But yes, addressing whether you agree or disagree with the argument they have put across is key. I have also read a few examiner reports where they want us outline whether we are arguing against or for because it makes it more easier to read for the examiner rather than them guessing all the way through.

That introduction sounds really good!

Unfortunately we aren't doing the same texts but I did do As You Like It for my AS coursework and that is a good starting point. You could also talk about Orlando's childlike romantic behaviour of putting all those love poems on the trees and elaborate on that.
Which pastoral poetry are you doing for 1500-1800?
I'm doing Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey.

As for predictions for Section B, I was thinking;
How is country life idealised in pastoral poetry?
How some texts are anti-pastoral?
How there is lament portrayed in pastoral literature?

I'm not sure if those predictions are any good, but I know that 'nostalgia' and 'country vs urban life' have both come up quite a bit, so maybe those might not be in this year's exam but you can never be sure with AQA.
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aksanghera
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Does anyone have any other predictions for the questions for Section B?
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username1138622
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(Original post by aksanghera)
Hey there,
I guess for introductions it would also be good to do a brief outline of whichever theme they have asked about and how it fits in or is present in the text. But yes, addressing whether you agree or disagree with the argument they have put across is key. I have also read a few examiner reports where they want us outline whether we are arguing against or for because it makes it more easier to read for the examiner rather than them guessing all the way through.

That introduction sounds really good!

Unfortunately we aren't doing the same texts but I did do As You Like It for my AS coursework and that is a good starting point. You could also talk about Orlando's childlike romantic behaviour of putting all those love poems on the trees and elaborate on that.
Which pastoral poetry are you doing for 1500-1800?
I'm doing Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey.

As for predictions for Section B, I was thinking;
How is country life idealised in pastoral poetry?
How some texts are anti-pastoral?
How there is lament portrayed in pastoral literature?

I'm not sure if those predictions are any good, but I know that 'nostalgia' and 'country vs urban life' have both come up quite a bit, so maybe those might not be in this year's exam but you can never be sure with AQA.
All those questions (epecially anti-pastoral) would be great!! Although, perhaps the only counter argument for that woukd be picking out poems which are fully about idyll ie. Marvell's 'The Garden'.

For poetry we've studied the whole 1500-1800 collection in the anthology apart from Ode to Evening. For that question, Tintern Abbey is the obvious for childhood!

That's a good point for Orlando - hadn't thought of it. I'd say that, but then offer the view that he finds more freedom in a more mature kind of love which he gradually develops.



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username1138622
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Also - for section B I thought something about sentiment could come up. That would be great because we could incorporate nostalgia and love of nature in the present.


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BaudelaireLucky
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I'm doing As You Like It, Brideshead Revisited and Arcadia, and I am not looking forward to this exam. I'm hoping for a section B question about change/setting/anti-pastoral in some way but I have no idea what will come up
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aksanghera
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Does anyone have any Tess of D'ubervilles essays?
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aksanghera
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(Original post by indigorain)
Also - for section B I thought something about sentiment could come up. That would be great because we could incorporate nostalgia and love of nature in the present.


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That is a good one!
I hadn't thought of that. Nostalgia is such a key theme in pastoral literature and it is one that there is a lot to say for.
I was thinking maybe the 'peasant lifestyle' just as a thought but then I guess that is basically the rural life, so I'm not sure if it's any good.
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aksanghera
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How's revision going for everyone doing this exam?
Doesn't seem like there are many of us doing 'elements of pastoral'.
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edgarcats
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(Original post by aksanghera)
How's revision going for everyone doing this exam?
Doesn't seem like there are many of us doing 'elements of pastoral'.
I'm not starting A2 revision properly till I finish my AS retakes on Wednesday but I've been reading some texts I found about the pastoral genre and literary tradition because I feel like it's quite difficult to get your head around. After that, I'm gonna memorise quotes, make some mind-maps and hope for the best. I always find that English is quite hard to revise for tbh
How about you?
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aksanghera
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(Original post by edgarcats)
I'm not starting A2 revision properly till I finish my AS retakes on Wednesday but I've been reading some texts I found about the pastoral genre and literary tradition because I feel like it's quite difficult to get your head around. After that, I'm gonna memorise quotes, make some mind-maps and hope for the best. I always find that English is quite hard to revise for tbh
How about you?

Definitely, the pastoral genre is quite a tricky one.
My fear is that I will sound repetitive in the exam.
What is your technique for remembering the quotes?
And how many quotes are you planning to memorise per each text?

For me I know the basic story for each of my texts but I just feel I should be writing more essays which I haven't had the time to do.
Also, finding the correct context for each text (depending on what question comes up) I feel will be hard for me to get the marks for AO4.
AO1 and AO2 I'm not finding too difficult.
AO3 which is different interpretations is taking ages because I'm having to read a lot and search for ages what critics interpret the texts as and memorising that as well.
We have just over 2 weeks so hopefully I am prepared by then!
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edgarcats
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(Original post by aksanghera)
Definitely, the pastoral genre is quite a tricky one.
My fear is that I will sound repetitive in the exam.
What is your technique for remembering the quotes?
And how many quotes are you planning to memorise per each text?

For me I know the basic story for each of my texts but I just feel I should be writing more essays which I haven't had the time to do.
Also, finding the correct context for each text (depending on what question comes up) I feel will be hard for me to get the marks for AO4.
AO1 and AO2 I'm not finding too difficult.
AO3 which is different interpretations is taking ages because I'm having to read a lot and search for ages what critics interpret the texts as and memorising that as well.
We have just over 2 weeks so hopefully I am prepared by then!
My process of memorisation is through using quizlet flash cards to test how well I remember them. I don't have a set number but I'm choosing by themes and by planning responses to questions and noting which quotes I would use. How about you? My teachers are telling me to memorise lots of multifunctional quotes, ones which really relate to the pastoral genre.
Although we've studied some critics alongside our texts I haven't really memorised any interpretations because our teacher said it wasn't necessary. TBH I'm not too sure, I might look some up but I worry that I'll seem too rehearsed in the exam because I remember reading an examiner report where they mentioned something like that. As for context, I think it depends on the question but I've probably done way more context for Blake, who I'm planning to use in section A. So hopefully I'll be okay on that front.
It's mainly Section B I'm worried about because I loathe one of my texts so I'm not looking forward to writing about it.
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crawfy
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Hi! I'm doing Tess (which I love), As You Like It (which I hate) and 1300-1800 poetry anthology. I find it hard to revise for English, and unfortunately its being neglected slightly because of my other subjects :/ How's everyone's revision going?
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