Bias in AQA English literature A level

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AperfectBalance
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The A level English lit specification demands that you do "independent study" of a book among other books we are told to read. we have been told that as usual, we will be analyzing the literary works, the criteria for analysis before has often been mundane, along the lines of "How does X represent love or a change in society" mundane and neutral.

Now we are forced to analyze at least two of these topics



narrative construction and how the texts work (Narrative theory)


gender (Feminist theory)


economics and social organisation (Marxist theory)


nature and the survival of the planet (Eco-critical theory)


nationality, identity and power (Post-colonial theory)


aesthetics and value (Literary value and the Canon)

these topics all seem very politically biased (bar the first and last topics) and this upsets me greatly as a person who does not identify with the left nor enjoy my """""""""""independent"""""""""" " studies to be ruined by such biased and lackluster topics, even if you think that Feminism is not biased I assure you this will not be just first and second wave feminism but involving the uselss modern interpretation of feminism with "toxic masculinity" and other such nonsense

these questions are horribly biased and should have been made more politically neutral or at least give some other options bar the two very uninteresting bottom and top ones.
It is also not like I am able to argue against these as someone coming to a book from a marxist perspective would not be talking about how bad or morally corrupt marxism
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lowza
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Is this specification A or B?

I do specification A and it definitely isn't a requirement of the course.
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AperfectBalance
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(Original post by lowza)
Is this specification A or B?

I do specification A and it definitely isn't a requirement of the course.
I would assume B then and I am certain that this is not some guideline but an actual demand
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lowza
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(Original post by AperfectBalance)
I would assume B then and I am certain that this is not some guideline but an actual demand
Hm, sounds unlikely. The new specification has deliberately tried to move away from forced critical responses. I've just had a look at Spec B and it specifies that "At no point is there a requirement to guess what others thought or might have thought or felt. The personal pronoun inthe tasks is ‘you’: ‘To what extent do you agree with this view?" This is the same as Spec A which lists that there is no requirement to use marxist, feminist, freudian etc theory.

I think you will have been taught these aspects of literary theory in order to try and enhance your grades, as they are obviously useful in essays in regards to AO5 response. There is no necessity to use them, however. Sometimes they create forced links, so it's better to talk about your responses to texts with a consideration of other ideas.

In regards to 'political bias' - it is true that literary perspective is usually political. There is no requirement to agree with a political point, but just to consider what someone who has that opinion might think about a text.

However, if you don't like using them, there is absolutely no requirement to. Your essay shouldn't be anything to do with political debate, but if the theme of class or sexism came up in a text - then considering a marxist or a feminist view may be useful.

Hope this is helpful X
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AperfectBalance
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(Original post by lowza)
Hm, sounds unlikely. The new specification has deliberately tried to move away from forced critical responses. I've just had a look at Spec B and it specifies that "At no point is there a requirement to guess what others thought or might have thought or felt. The personal pronoun inthe tasks is ‘you’: ‘To what extent do you agree with this view?" This is the same as Spec A which lists that there is no requirement to use marxist, feminist, freudian etc theory.

I think you will have been taught these aspects of literary theory in order to try and enhance your grades, as they are obviously useful in essays in regards to AO5 response. There is no necessity to use them, however. Sometimes they create forced links, so it's better to talk about your responses to texts with a consideration of other ideas.

In regards to 'political bias' - it is true that literary perspective is usually political. There is no requirement to agree with a political point, but just to consider what someone who has that opinion might think about a text.

However, if you don't like using them, there is absolutely no requirement to. Your essay shouldn't be anything to do with political debate, but if the theme of class or sexism came up in a text - then considering a marxist or a feminist view may be useful.

Hope this is helpful X

From aqa b 1176
"This process is supported by the AQA Critical anthology, which has accessible extracts on the following critical methods and ideas:

  • narrative theory
  • feminist theory
  • Marxist theory
  • eco-critical theory
  • post-colonial theory
  • literary value and the canon.


In this component, students write about two different literary texts. One of the texts must be a poetry text and the other must be prose. Each text must be linked to a different section of the Critical anthology."

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danwilko115
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I also have the same problem, especially when your teacher is imposing their propaganda of how capitalism is the cause for all the worlds problems. Brainwashing the whole class. Absolutely disgusting, needs to be discussed as most people who take English Literature are female and/or socialist. Wouldn't be as bad if we were given the chance to interpret text from a capitalist point of view as well, instead of a far far left wing perspective.
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AperfectBalance
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(Original post by danwilko115)
I also have the same problem, especially when your teacher is imposing their propaganda of how capitalism is the cause for all the worlds problems. Brainwashing the whole class. Absolutely disgusting, needs to be discussed as most people who take English Literature are female and/or socialist. Wouldn't be as bad if we were given the chance to interpret text from a capitalist point of view as well, instead of a far far left wing perspective.
Yeah it is very annoying.
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HSennett
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I am currently doing the same thing in which the theory must be applied to a coursework question. Have you got the critical anthology? The contents actually not too bad and I don't think I've ever felt imposed upon by the content :/
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Tolgash
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From what I've experienced at GCSE, education is predominantly left-wing. This comes as no surprise. I hope you're able to find some solace in doing the first or last of those five options.
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