A2 English Literarure coursework Watch

La09
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Just started my a2 English lit course which has started with coursework. Was thinking about doing ' one flew over the cuckoo's nest' by Ken Kesey, pair with maybe 'the bell jar', 'the wasps nest' or 'the bluest eye'.
Any other suggestions that woulld complement the first novel (common thread being the decent into insanity/ the portrayal of mental breakdown) or a completely different area?
Was also interested in ' birdsong' by Sebastian Faulk or 'the colour purple' by Alice walker
Tia
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Cherrychocolate
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Hey! I think Birdsong is a great novel for coursework! I studied it for my AS English Lit exam and it was a lovely book with some gorgeous symbolism. I think one of the negative things about studying it that you had to produce your own ideas, since there are pretty much no resources for it on the internet.
In short, this novel follows the life of Stephen but there's a slight twist too as the book is divided into 3 main sections: the first being Stephen's life in Amien's France, Elizabeth's section (Stephen's great granddaughter, if i remember correctly) and his life in the war. Obviously the main theme in the book is war and love. One of the most prominent symbolism in the novel is the theme of birds which appear at various different times.
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The ending was inspired by Wilfred Owen's 'Strange Meeting'.
I guess you could compare this with another war novel, perhaps All Quiet on the Western Front is a good one because it actually gives you the German perspective on the war which contrasts with Birdsong.


I was thinking of doing my coursework on Feminism and basing it on Margaret Atwood's 'The Handsmaid's Tale' and 'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov.

Hope this helped!!
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JayAlice
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Hey! I just finished up A2, with the exam happening today! I did Wuthering Heights for mine, and I loved it, but we had Frankenstein, Cat's Cradle, Heart of Darkness, North and South, Jane Eyre, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to name a few in our class! I also studied Birdsong at AS Level; it wasn't my cup of tea personally, but there is so much to talk about, and it could definitely be used on the thread of mental health and insanity, through Stephen and Weir! I hope this helps

- Jay
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by La09)
Just started my a2 English lit course which has started with coursework. Was thinking about doing ' one flew over the cuckoo's nest' by Ken Kesey, pair with maybe 'the bell jar', 'the wasps nest' or 'the bluest eye'.
Any other suggestions that woulld complement the first novel (common thread being the decent into insanity/ the portrayal of mental breakdown) or a completely different area?
Was also interested in ' birdsong' by Sebastian Faulk or 'the colour purple' by Alice walker
Tia
I've read Cuckoos Nest and it's such an amazing novel! I've read the Wasp Factory too which I enjoyed... Such a weird novel but don't think it's a literary classic as such.

I did the corruption or morality and insanity for my A2 coursework and i picked Dorian Gray (fav insanity novel) with the compulsory texts of Othello and Enduring Love.

You could look at the idea of how mental instability is portrayed through different novels since Cuckoos Nest is set in a psychiatric institute you could compare it with some other text with a similar setting? Texts like Equus (love this play!), I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, Not About Heroes, Regeneration (both WW1 texts explore the masculinity behind mental health), The Woman in White and Girl, Interrupted. All these are set in or around a mental health institute.

Or you could compare how Victorian novels portray insanity to that of modernist novels. So Vic novels include Dorian Gray, The Woman in White, Madame Bovary, Therese Requin, etc.

Tell me which one you decide to do!
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ikillner98
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Just wondering if anyone has any book recommendations that hold the theme of either love or a strong/interesting representation of women? I'm comparing a text to Birdsong (may I add, one of the most uneventful books I have ever encountered.) for my coursework and need some summer reading!!
Also, has anyone read Enduring Love? Please given me your opinions!!
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by ikillner98)
Just wondering if anyone has any book recommendations that hold the theme of either love or a strong/interesting representation of women? I'm comparing a text to Birdsong (may I add, one of the most uneventful books I have ever encountered.) for my coursework and need some summer reading!!
Also, has anyone read Enduring Love? Please given me your opinions!!
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot is really good! That really focuses on representation of women. If you're not a fan of Victorian novels, then you can try DH Lawrence's The Rainbow or Three Sisters. I think the former is the prequel to the latter, but don't quote me on that. The Rainbow is totally worth it though.

I had to do Birdsong for Ww1 lit at AS and I just thought it was so unnecessarily long, it was just too long. I liked some of it though, but not start to finish.

Also read Enduring Love and at first, absolutely hated it but had to do it for A2 coursework so needed to re-read it to find quotes and it was actually alright. I personally wouldn't recommend it because I only recommend books I can reread any day of the week. Mcewan is arguably infamously known for his loooooong descriptions of scenes that really doesn't add anything to the plot, so yeah it gets boring. However, one of his novels, Atonement is one of my favourite novels so I think it's an each to their own.
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