English Literature AS discussion on texts!

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shuutupcharli
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#1
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#1
Hello, so I'm doing Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth, Measure for Measure by Shakespeare and poems by Christina Rossetti.
I don't want to sound big headed, but i was good at english at GCSE, however I'm really struggling at a-levels with these texts.

Are any of you doing any of the same texts as me, so we could talk about them? Or does anyone have any resources or tips for any of them, especially Mrs Dalloway!!

Thank you!!!
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shuutupcharli
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Conceited)
Death of a Salesman, Othello and The Great Gatsby here coupled with poetry by John Keats..

Ensuring you know the books inside helps I guess..
I wish I was doing The Great Gatsby and Othello!! And yeah, Mrs Dalloway is the only one out of those four which we've finished studying in class and I'm still worried that I'm not doing it well...

Well, I wish you luck in your exams!
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crashMATHS
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Conceited)
Death of a Salesman, Othello and The Great Gatsby here coupled with poetry by John Keats..

Ensuring you know the books inside helps I guess..
I just have to say, you have great texts. Gatsby is a joy to analyse; Othello has just so much criticism about it and gives you a chance to consider the Aristotelian concept of tragedy; Keats is just Keats.
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StressedByDay
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#4
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#4
Bloody chamber, Hamlet, Merchant's prologue and another text idek?!
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shuutupcharli
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#5
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#5
(Original post by StressedByDay)
Bloody chamber, Hamlet, Merchant's prologue and another text idek?!
It's a shame that your not doing the same as me (I've never even heard of those pieces of literature so can't help you out sorry) I'm struggling so much with Mrs Dalloway - how are you finding literature a level?
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Babs Posh
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#6
I'm studying Dracula and A Streetcar Named Desire, literally nobody else is studying these texts I swear!
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StressedByDay
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#7
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#7
(Original post by shuutupcharli)
It's a shame that your not doing the same as me (I've never even heard of those pieces of literature so can't help you out sorry) I'm struggling so much with Mrs Dalloway - how are you finding literature a level?
I'd say the poetry is relatively straightforward as it essentially using the same skills as GCSE. Though the Shakespeare seems a bit tricky for me personally. But I haven't started the prose yet ( post 1909?) The secondary reading is difficult to keep up with too :/
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thecatwithnohat
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Conceited)
Death of a Salesman, Othello and The Great Gatsby here coupled with poetry by John Keats..

Ensuring you know the books inside helps I guess..
You're doing TGG in AS?! :eek3: I'm doing it in A2!
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Georg Hegel
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#9
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#9
(Original post by shuutupcharli)
Hello, so I'm doing Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth, Measure for Measure by Shakespeare and poems by Christina Rossetti.
I don't want to sound big headed, but i was good at english at GCSE, however I'm really struggling at a-levels with these texts.

Are any of you doing any of the same texts as me, so we could talk about them? Or does anyone have any resources or tips for any of them, especially Mrs Dalloway!!

Thank you!!!
With Mrs Dalloway, what would be good to focus on is the fact it is a 'modernist' piece. In some of her essays, she talks about what literature should be about. Traditionally, previous literature focused on the external (buildings, nature, appearance) but the modernists challenged this by focusing on the internal, e.g. in the book we witness the same thing that the characters do, rather than be told by the character what they feel... there's a very subtle difference. We hear their thoughts and feel their emotions. It is far more direct than say, for example, Charles Dickens. Today, we have a mix of the external and internal so we take it for granted but Woolf and the modernists were very ground breaking (I personally don't like To The Lighthouse but credit where credit is due). There are a few textbooks that guide on Mrs Dalloway e.g. but try to come to your own understanding first. It's good practice and a textbook is only someone else's opinion (unless it is the original author, which would help you understand some of the authors intent.)

As for Shakespeare, it is best to read it first in one sitting. Don't worry about not understanding words, just read through and you'll get a vague sense of what the book is about. You need to understand what a book is about first before dissecting specific scenes. For bits you are unsure of (and the same goes for poetry) try reading it aloud to yourself too.

Oh that reminds me, How To Read A Book offers great advice on how to really get to grips with what a book is saying and how to criticise it (though it is a tad boring and repetitive).

I've only studied English at postgraduate level, but I'm sure your teacher will be willing to help you with extra reading and the like. If not, they shouldn't be a teacher.
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Fafalala
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Babs Posh)
I'm studying Dracula and A Streetcar Named Desire, literally nobody else is studying these texts I swear!
I'm doing A Streetcar Named Desire!
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ivybridge
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#11
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#11
(Original post by shuutupcharli)
Hello, so I'm doing Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth, Measure for Measure by Shakespeare and poems by Christina Rossetti.
I don't want to sound big headed, but i was good at english at GCSE, however I'm really struggling at a-levels with these texts.

Are any of you doing any of the same texts as me, so we could talk about them? Or does anyone have any resources or tips for any of them, especially Mrs Dalloway!!

Thank you!!!
This is because the jump is huge. You can't really teach yourself to be good at English Literature. You either have it or you don't.

I haven't done these texts... for AS I did:

1. 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott-Fitzgerald (exam text)
2. 'Much Ado About Nothing' by William Shakespeare (coursework text)
3. Anthology of poems by Browning and Tennyson (exam text)
4. 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan (exam text)
5. 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde (coursework text)

At A2 I'm doing:

1. 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley (exam text)
2. 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare (exam text)
3. 'Maurice' by E.M. Forster (independently selected coursework text)
4. 'Giovanni's Room' by James Baldwin (independently selected coursework text)
5. 'Regeneration' by Pat Barker (given coursework text)
6. A feminist anthology (coursework critical piece)
7. 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett (coursework critical piece - independently selected text)
8. 'The Bloody Chamber' by Angela Carter (exam text)

If anyone has any questions on those, then shoot.

~ OP, I can give general advice but I don't know those texts, I'm afraid!
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ivybridge
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Babs Posh)
I'm studying Dracula and A Streetcar Named Desire, literally nobody else is studying these texts I swear!
'Dracula' by Bram Stoker was removed from my syllabus... kind of glad. Seems like an amazing book but just way too dense.
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Fafalala
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#13
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#13
(Original post by ivybridge)
This is because the jump is huge. You can't really teach yourself to be good at English Literature. You either have it or you don't.

I haven't done these texts... for AS I did:

1. 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott-Fitzgerald (exam text)
2. 'Much Ado About Nothing' by William Shakespeare (coursework text)
3. Anthology of poems by Browning and Tennyson (exam text)
4. 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan (exam text)
5. 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde (coursework text)

At A2 I'm doing:

1. 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley (exam text)
2. 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare (exam text)
3. 'Maurice' by E.M. Forster (independently selected coursework text)
4. 'Giovanni's Room' by James Baldwin (independently selected coursework text)
5. 'Regeneration' by Pat Barker (given coursework text)
6. A feminist anthology (coursework critical piece)
7. 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett (coursework critical piece - independently selected text)
8. 'The Bloody Chamber' by Angela Carter (exam text)

If anyone has any questions on those, then shoot.

~ OP, I can give general advice but I don't know those texts, I'm afraid!
I'm doing Frankenstein at AS
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ivybridge
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Fafalala)
I'm doing Frankenstein at AS
Awesome! I think that's a hard one for AS, not going to lie.
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StressedByDay
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Babs Posh)
I'm studying Dracula and A Streetcar Named Desire, literally nobody else is studying these texts I swear!
Dracula is dull and really isn't written well compared to Frankenstein
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Fafalala
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#16
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#16
(Original post by ivybridge)
Awesome! I think that's a hard one for AS, not going to lie.
I love it personally
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ivybridge
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Fafalala)
I love it personally
I love it but it isn't easy.
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Fafalala
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#18
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#18
(Original post by ivybridge)
I love it but it isn't easy.
The best things in life aren't always easy
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ivybridge
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Fafalala)
The best things in life aren't always easy
Haha, indeed.
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shuutupcharli
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Georg Hegel)
With Mrs Dalloway, what would be good to focus on is the fact it is a 'modernist' piece. In some of her essays, she talks about what literature should be about. Traditionally, previous literature focused on the external (buildings, nature, appearance) but the modernists challenged this by focusing on the internal, e.g. in the book we witness the same thing that the characters do, rather than be told by the character what they feel... there's a very subtle difference. We hear their thoughts and feel their emotions. It is far more direct than say, for example, Charles Dickens. Today, we have a mix of the external and internal so we take it for granted but Woolf and the modernists were very ground breaking (I personally don't like To The Lighthouse but credit where credit is due). There are a few textbooks that guide on Mrs Dalloway e.g. but try to come to your own understanding first. It's good practice and a textbook is only someone else's opinion (unless it is the original author, which would help you understand some of the authors intent.)

As for Shakespeare, it is best to read it first in one sitting. Don't worry about not understanding words, just read through and you'll get a vague sense of what the book is about. You need to understand what a book is about first before dissecting specific scenes. For bits you are unsure of (and the same goes for poetry) try reading it aloud to yourself too.

Oh that reminds me, How To Read A Book offers great advice on how to really get to grips with what a book is saying and how to criticise it (though it is a tad boring and repetitive).

I've only studied English at postgraduate level, but I'm sure your teacher will be willing to help you with extra reading and the like. If not, they shouldn't be a teacher.
Oh my gosh, this is so so helpful, thank you so much!!!
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