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This is a practice 8-mark question I have taken from the Understanding Prose past paper, animal farm. (January 2013).

I seem to get no advice from my English teacher, so I am posting my answer on here and I hope someone can give me advice, even if they are a fellow student. What mark would you give this?

Here is my response.

From the extract it is clear that the character Mr Jones is presented as a rather depressed individual. Jones ‘had been a capable farmer’ but recently he had ‘fallen on evil days’. Jones is supposedly down because of ‘losing money on a lawsuit’, and has taken up ‘drinking more than what’s good for him’ in order to try and take away the effect of his ‘disheartening’ losses. The fact that he is so hard up may have a possible link to the ‘underfed’ animals and the ‘maltreating’ of them.

Furthermore, from the extract it is also clear that the character Mr Jones is presented as a lazy individual who cannot be bothered to work and make back his lost money. Jones would ‘lounge whole days at a time‘, where he would spend his time ‘reading the newspapers, drinking.’ The fact that he is so hard up you’d think he’d be working as hard as possible, however by presenting him as a drinker who ignores his duties to the farm we see him as a lacking figure.

Finally, from the extract it is also clear that the character Mr Jones is presented as an irresponsible figure, who clearly is not responsible enough to look after the animals. Mr Jones gets ‘so drunk… that he did not come home until midday on Sunday’. This shows just how irresponsible he is in ignoring his duties just to drink. The animals are shown in the extract as ‘underfed’ and malnourished’, and these highlight the irresponsible abuse from Mr Jones, who obviously cares more for himself than his animals.


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