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    Lit unit 1: An Inspector Calls, To Kill a Mockingbird

    What are the predictions for the themes/topics of the exam questions?

    Lit unit 2: Moon on the Tides (Character and Voice section)

    Predictions on the selected poem?
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    (Original post by Smidge_midge)
    Lit unit 1: An Inspector Calls, To Kill a Mockingbird

    What are the predictions for the themes/topics of the exam questions?

    Lit unit 2: Moon on the Tides (Character and Voice section)

    Predictions on the selected poem?
    Not sure about TKAM, but the characters most likely to come up for AIC are Gerald, Sheila and Mrs. Birling as they are the least recent. Themes might be class, wealth, or they might spring another "How does the audience respond to [extract]?" on us.

    The only poems that haven't been for Character and Voice are "Give" and "The Ruined Maid", so I'm fairly certain at least one of those will come up. Also pretty sure that "Brendan Gallacher" (thank God) and "My Last Duchess" won't show up again as they were last year's.
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    (Original post by GlassyMarbles)
    Not sure about TKAM, but the characters most likely to come up for AIC are Gerald, Sheila and Mrs. Birling as they are the least recent. Themes might be class, wealth, or they might spring another "How does the audience respond to [extract]?" on us.

    The only poems that haven't been for Character and Voice are "Give" and "The Ruined Maid", so I'm fairly certain at least one of those will come up. Also pretty sure that "Brendan Gallacher" (thank God) and "My Last Duchess" won't show up again as they were last year's.
    Totally agree with character and voice - I love 'Give' so I hope that comes up.

    For TKAM, there is a list of characters who have not come up for part A here
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    As previously mentioned, 'Give' and 'The Ruined Maid' haven't come up ever. It's been a while since 'Medusa' has been mentioned and it's one of my favourites to talk about so I'm hoping it'll come up!
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    Thank you, v helpful. My favourite out of the three is Mockingbird...I'm freaking out about unseen poetry though
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    (Original post by Smidge_midge)
    Thank you, v helpful. My favourite out of the three is Mockingbird...I'm freaking out about unseen poetry though
    Would it help you if I posted a practice unseen poem I did?
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    (Original post by thatonepunkguy)
    Would it help you if I posted a practice unseen poem I did?
    That would help a lot, thank you
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    (Original post by Smidge_midge)
    That would help a lot, thank you
    This wasn't actually a past paper question, but rather a poem my English teacher chose herself but it still shows you how to go about answering an unseen!

    2) "How are memories of childhood represented in the poem 'In Mrs Tilscher's class?"

    One of the key themes that represent childhood in 'In Mrs Tilscher's class' is that of childlike wonder and the classroom being an idyllic paradise for children.One way we see this is through the simile 'The classroom glowed like a sweetshop' The word sweetshop prompts the reader to think about what a sweetshop implies, especially for a child. A sweetshop is full of colour and variety, for a young child going to a sweetshop is a pleasurable and exciting experience. Furthermore, this links to the well known quote 'like a kid in a candy store.' If you think about a child in a candy store, this highlights a sense of a child being in a complete utopia, there's something wondrous, whimsical and magical about a place like that for a child. It's the perfect place for them, in their eyes. Furthermore, sweets are something that are 'sweet' as the name suggests, possibly relating to the idea of children being sweet and innocent. By comparing these images and symbols to a classroom, this underlines for the reader that the classroom is also a place of wonder and a paradise for children. This paints very positive images of the narrator's childhood if they are comparing the classroom in this way.

    We also see this presented through the quote 'This was better than home.' Somebody's home is usually their favourite place to be, a home represents family, joy, recreation and safety. When used here, the narrator is saying that school is even better than this, showing the reader that they have a clear joy and passion for going to school and that it excites them if it is on a level even higher than home itself. This idea is also carried on with the quote 'Mrs Tilscher loved you.', showing that the narrator clearly had an affection for how lovely their teacher was, their teacher was a very loving person and made school a place even better than home with how amazing she was. These ideas continue to convey to the reader that the narrator had a very pleasant childhood.

    The idea of change and transformation in the form of growing up is also used in the poem. 'The inky tadpoles changed from commas into exclamation marks.' The tadpoles in this quote are not literal, they are a metaphor and symbol for the children in the class. The image of a tadpole suggests to the reader something small and vulnerable but also something wiggly, something excitable. Tadpoles move around a lot, and so do small children. 'Commas' and 'exclamation marks'. are educational language, linking to the idea of school and the classroom. The idea of change is very important in this quote, it represents not only the children growing up, but also them maturing educationally as they go on in their school careers. From this, we see the narrator's ideas of growing up in their childhood.

    However in the last stanza, we see ideas that contrast with the wondrous and optimistic imagery used before as we see a shift in emotion. July is described as being 'feverish' 'untidy, hot' and 'the heavy, sexy sky' The use of the word 'feverish' generally has negative connotations, fevers are very unpleasant, and they are an illness. This could suggest to the reader the idea of the narrator feeling unwell, not at ease. Fevers have to be sweat out, just as you have to leave childhood behind. This imagery gets continued in 'untidy, hot' and 'the heavy, sexy sky.' This makes the atmosphere sound oppressive and almost like a pressure cooker, the feeling of being in an unsettling, compromising position. You could also see the word 'sexy' as a juxtaposition, implying that the summer is something pleasurable, something attractive. This is a pathetic fallacy, where the mood is represented in the weather and it can be read in both of those formerly mentioned ways. However, it all boils down to the ending of the stanza, 'the sky split open into a thunderstorm.' All chaos and hell breaks loose, the heavens have opened. We can draw several connotations from this ending. All throughout primary school, there has been a sense of anticipation for secondary school, but here we can see the start of adolescent life as something chaotic and unpleasant, and a 'be careful what you wish for' message, along with it being the end of childhood, and even innocence. Once again, the thunderstorm is a pathetic fallacy, representing the chaos and negativity. This neatly ties up the idea that the narrator had a nice childhood, but from here is where it all goes downhill.
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    (Original post by thatonepunkguy)
    This wasn't actually a past paper question, but rather a poem my English teacher chose herself but it still shows you how to go about answering an unseen!

    2) "How are memories of childhood represented in the poem 'In Mrs Tilscher's class?"
    Nice question, amazing essay. I'm hoping to get a good poem like this with lots of imagery and detail. Did you get a mark/grade for this?
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    (Original post by Smidge_midge)
    Nice question, amazing essay. I'm hoping to get a good poem like this with lots of imagery and detail. Did you get a mark/grade for this?
    Not yet, but I emailed it to my teacher along with a poetry comparison question so I'll update you when I get a grade.

    And thank you!
 
 
 
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