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Higher English

Hello, I am doing “A Streetcar Named Desire” as my drama critical essay, I am just needing a little help in how to revise for my essay. I asked my English teacher and she said to try timing myself but the thing is, I don’t know what structure to use. Because I know what topic sentences I want to write but I am not sure how to elaborate and when to add quotation and analysis.
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Hello, I personally found it helpful to use the PCQER (Point, Context, Quotation, Evaluation, Refer to text) method! For example, here’s a paragraph I used last year for The Great Gatsby (which got me an A):

Firstly, Fitzgerald’s tactful use of the symbolic nature of the green light makes clear the inherent shortcomings found within the American Dream. After Nick returns home to West Egg (the nouveau-riche estate), ‘confused and a little disgusted’ after a strenuous day in the exhaustive company of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, extremely materialistic and supercilious upper-class individuals from the prestigious East Egg, the class divide is abundantly clear due to the generational wealth and ‘strata’ that is inherent in East Egg. He observes Gatsby in his ‘grandiose’ mansion (which we later realise is Gatsby ostentatiously flaunting his wealth to impress Daisy), reaching out towards the green light, the symbol of hope, dreams and the past:

‘He stretched out his arm towards the dark water in a curious way [...] I could have swore he was trembling.’

Fitzgerald’s impeccable technique of word choice in ‘stretched’ suggests the dedication and desperation that Gatsby holds for his dream (to be reunited with Daisy). However, this ‘extraordinary gift for hope’ is entirely futile as it is unattainable and just outwith his reach. The brilliant inclusion of the word choice of ‘trembling’ further emphasises the limitations that Gatsby faces due to being newly rich and the relentless struggle to be valued as equal to an East Egger as a result of this, due to the ‘dark water’ of the social divide (hierarchy) which prevents Gatsby from attaining the American Dream that Gatsby had strived for his entire life. This exposes the fundamentally corrupt nature of the American Dream, as despite Gatsby’s tireless efforts to erase ‘James Gatz’ and become someone worthy of Daisy’s materialistic standards, the ‘grotesque reality’ of Gatsby’s impoverished roots will only ever allow him to have the reputation of a Bootlegging West Egg crook, as opposed to Tom Buchanan, who does not have to try to be admired by Daisy because his East Egg origin and familial wealth ensures that he does not have to climb the ladder of societal acclaim as they are secured a place at the top from the moment they are born. Fitzgerald perfectly emphasises the flawed ideology of the American Dream through the symbolism of the green light as although West Egg individuals have money, arguably as much as East Eggers, they will never be regarded as the highest class due to their lack of East Egg etiquette and decorum learned from generational inheritance, that cannot be replicated.

I hope this helps!

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