Q3 Structure question English LanguageWatch
How has the writer structured the extract to interest you as a reader?
You could write about:
● What the writer focuses our attention on at the beginning
● How and why this focus changes as the extract develops
● Any other structural features that interest you
The writer begins the text with the setting of the doctor's house following on the dialogue with the servant, Kino and the doctor. At the end, Kino’s child was rejected from the doctor therefore no treatment which echoes Kino’s anger.
At the beginning of the text, the writer has focused on the “scurrying crowd” in the “doctor’s house” we can also see that the doctor has a “big gate” the writer has constructed this to show a contrast between the “crowd” and the “doctor” by the doctor being in a higher level at the house rather than the crowd being below the doctor. This makes us understand the doctor does not want to be involved within the crowd therefore showing superiority for himself which the writer has constructed to foreshadow later on of the behaviour the doctor portrays on people.
The focus then shifts from the crowd to Kino, the writer zooms on Kino’s feelings about the doctor “Rage and terror went together” this portrays how Kino does not like the doctor by the race of the doctor as he is “not of his people” foreshadowing later on how the doctor will not like Kino by his race this lets us understands how difference between the race with a history can have impact on people by the doctor’s race; the writer shifting the focus to Kino’s internal thoughts “robbed and despised Kino’s race” the writer has constructed this to already arise the tension between Kino and the doctor perhaps to let us understand how this doctor is different from other doctors towards people.
The writer then zooms out of Kino’s internal thoughts and shifts the focus on the doctor’s garden “coolness of the garden” this is a contrast to the internal thoughts that Kino had about the doctor. The writer then shifts to the dialogue of Kino and the servant of his race by “Kino spoke to him in the old language” we can understand that Kino is happy to see someone in his culture therefore showing us that he is comfortable with people that have the same culture as him, but the writer contrast this to the behaviour of the servant by “servant refused to speak in the old language” suggesting to us of the doctor from a different race has gained control upon the servant by not allowing him to speak in his old language; the writer has constructed this to show how the doctor does have negative impact on people by him being higher level contrasting to the servant being lower level.
The writer has shifted to the dialogue of the doctor and the servant “It is a little Indian with a baby. He says a scorpion stung it” this zooms in on the doctor by “put his cup down gently before he lets his anger rise” the writer has used this to show the actions of the doctor can be aggressive therefore it could have lead to the doctor throwing the cup; the writer lets us understand from the beginning of the “scurrying crowd” showing how the doctor is not in the state to treat people, but the people rely on him as he is a doctor this lets us the understand the doctor’s selfishness by not using his status as a doctor to help people. The writer also zooms in on the speech of the doctor by using the repetition “money” by “Has he any money?” “they never have any money” “See if he has any money” showing us how the doctor does not care about curing people, but cares about to build his status with “money” this also refers back to how Kino did not like the doctor by his race therefore foreshadowing the doctor not liking Kino either by the doctor being angry as soon as the servant says “little Indian with a baby”
At the end of the text, the writer shifts to Kino’s action by “ Slowly put his hat on his head” to “struck the gate a crushing blow” the contrast of “Slowly” to “struck” suggest the anger building upon Kino by him being rejected from the doctor; this has affected our understanding of before where Kino already had interior thoughts about the doctor to now. The text ends like this to show how people judge each other by their race and do not help one another.
Please mark my work out of 8 and comment on feedbacks.
Is there any way you can send your work to a teacher who will be better placed to mark your work? Perhaps it would be useful to also try to self-assess your writing using the mark scheme?
Shows detailed and perceptive understanding of structural features:
Analyse the effects of the writer’s choice of structural features - this means looking at dialogue, narrative perspective, setting, pace etc. and how it changes throughout the extract.
Selects a judicious range of examples - as in, using useful and relevant evidence including quotes from the text.
Makes sophisticated and accurate use of subject terminology - using technical language to make your points e.g. chronological, prolepsis etc.
For more specific marking points, you will need to contact your teacher/find the mark scheme for this question paper.
As some general advice (a few years old, but I was the first year to sit the new 9-1 exams in English and Maths and received 9s in English):
Write yourself a few bullet points of what to look out for in the extract (I always found the structure question harder than any language ones)
- time (e.g. flashbacks, prolepsis)
- changes of place
- changes in viewpoints (i.e. always from one character's perspective or moving between them? Intrusive narration?)
- use of dialogue (Why? When? Significance?)
- paragraph/sentence structure (frenetic? reflective? Use of fragments? Polysyndeton?)
Pick up on as many interesting features that lie within these categories and connect them, driving an argument about what you think the writer is trying to do. Purpose is key.
You seem to do some of this quite promisingly, and I can't tell you where to improve because I haven't read the extract your work is based off, but perhaps you could go back through and look at the extract, checking for some of the features I have mentioned above. I think you could refine your answer a little, checking your grammar and the structure of your own answer to ensure it does not lean too repetitive. I also think you could aim to link your points so you get a consistent flow throughout your answer.
Hope this helps and do ask if you've got any more questions