English language paper 1 question 2:Watch
Please could you mark my answer this question for English GCSE practice out of 8 and give any feedback comments so I can improve it.
How does the writer use language to describe the setting and Thomas’ emotions within the opening of the novel? (8 marks)
You could include the writer’s choice of:
• words and phrases
• language features and techniques
• sentence forms.
Firstly, the writer uses similes describing the room as “like an old lift in a mine shaft,” and creates a parallel effect with describing the sounds of the room to be “like the workings of an ancient steel factory.” The writer does this to present the room the character is trapped in as a mechanical ruse where the character is getting deafened by the “harsh sounds” that are filling and overpowering the “mine shaft” like room. The fact that he is describing the sounds as a “steel factory” links to the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass production of steel which used a lined furnace used to convert pig iron into steel by the Bessemer process which can imply that he is in fact being treated inhumanely as if he is the animal. It seems that the character is in the midst of a mechanical process which is no place for a boy of his age to be located in which demonstrated that he is separated and lost from true world which suggests the cruelness and brutality of the Glade. This may awaken a sense of sympathy in the reader as the writer has created a sinisterly industrial setting for the character in which he is trapped and in danger. It seems that he’s very much out of his comfort zone.
In addition, the writer uses semantic field of apprehensive perception in which the character’s “Sinking to the floor, he pulled his legs up tight against his body, [...].” The fact that the writer uses the defeated verb “sinking” suggests how the character has almost given up in terms of trying to escape and demonstrates how he has become “invaded” by the simulation he has entered. The semantic field also presents the boy as exhausted and fearful as he has only just begun to sense the ‘nausea” caused by the cruelty of his new surroundings which presents a dystopian like perception of his future and implies that there is no hope for the boy as the worst is yet to come. The further use of complex structure within this sentence reflects on the complexity of his emotions and his overpowering, fearful emotions that are caused by having to leave his old life. This creates a complicated yet pessimistic outlook of his cynical life and causes the reader to become immersed into the fascination of why the character is so out of place and they may feel engaged with the new sensations and feelings of apprehension of the character.
Lastly, the writer introduces the soft consonant alliteration of the letter “L” when describing the “lightless lift”. The dark undertone of the adjective “lightless” implies that the lift has a lack of hope as “light” usually seems to suggest positivity and faith. Therefore, this illustrates how the character is consumed by the unsettling darkness and creates captivating tension in the reader as the darkness creates a sense of curiosity where the surroundings are unknown, dark and mysterious. However, the soft alliteration produces an effect of lightness and completely counteracts the darkness in the room which may seem confusing for the reader but this just is another way that the writer demonstrates how complex the new experiences are for the character and can also suggest a problematic outlook on the entire introduction as things are already becoming confusing and making no sense for the reader. Although, from another viewpoint, a sensation of calmness and serenity is created from soothing sound and this alternate view of the lift can be reinforced by the holy verb “ascended”. This verb implies angelic and peaceful connotations of the lift and almost reveals how the lift is eventually leading the boy to heaven which although sounds peaceful, creates a negative stance on the place the lift is leading him to. This is because the verb foreshadows that that place which is the maze, has the potential to cause his death. While this mild use of dramatic irony gives the reader a sense of understanding to the character’s experience, it can also awaken terror in the reader as they are apprehensive of whether the boy can survive.