The Student Room Group

I can mark AQA English Language and AQA English Literature essays for GCSE

Hello,
I got a grade 9 in both GCSE AQA English Language and GCSE AQA English Literature, so I have a good idea of the mark scheme, as I am currently doing English language AQA a level.

I am happy to mark anyone's essays

Scroll to see replies

Original post by revision52
Hello,
I got a grade 9 in both GCSE AQA English Language and GCSE AQA English Literature, so I have a good idea of the mark scheme, as I am currently doing English language AQA a level.
I am happy to mark anyone's essays

hi,
I would be so greatful if you could give me some feedback on this Macbeth practice essay I wrote. It's on the 2019 exam for how does shakespeare present the attitudes of Macbeth and Banquo towards the witches. The extract ws from 1.3

How does Shakespeare present the attitudes of Macbeth and Banquo towards the supernatural?
In Shakespeare’s eponymous tragedy Macbeth, Shakespeare presents the differing attitudes of Macbeth and Banquo towards the supernatural in order to warn against the dangers of committing regicide at a time of political and religious turmoil in Jacobean England. Banquo represents the morally righteous character who resists the temptation of the witches (who are symbolic of the devil). However Macbeth pursues the prophecies due to his ambition, ultimately ending the play as a traitor and a usurper completing the cyclical structure of the play.

When Macbeth first meets the witches he is initially entranced by what they have to tell him. His first line in the play is “so fair and foul a day I have not seen”. This immediately establishes a connection between him and the witches paradoxical chant of “fair is foul and foul is fair”, symbolising the equivocation that is to come, in the opening scene of the play. Shakespeare does this in order to foreshadow how later in the play Macbeth will follow the path of temptation the witches have laid for him and unknowingly be the catalyst for his own downfall. When Macbeth hears the prophecies he is described as “rapt” by Banquo. The use of this verb connotes that Macbeth is stunned by what he hears and he demands the witches to “tell me more” using the imperative “tell” to imply he is almost impatient and wishes to know more immediately. Shakespeare uses the witches as a tool in order to warn his contemporary audience of the dangers of listening to supernatural forces which were seen at the time as evil. He aims to win the favour of King James by presenting this viewpoint so that he could win him as a patron.

In contrast, Banquo’s first reaction to the witches and their supernatural forces is slightly different. He first questions “what are these inhabitants so withered and so wild in their attire…? The adjectives “withered” and “wild” match with the Jacobean audience’s stereotype of witches whilst also demonstrating a feeling that these witches are unnatural. Although, these adjectives could also create a parallel with the nature of the isolated heath that the witches seem to inhabit and perform their magic on. Banquo’s use of a rhetorical question conveys the idea that he believes they are unnatural straight away and questions this, linking to his presentation as a morally righteous character throughout the play.However, Shakespeare also presents Banquo as curious of the prophecies. Like Macbeth he uses imperatives demanding the witches to “speak to [him]”, perhaps suggesting that he is secretly ambitious for himself. He also uses the metaphor to ask the witches what “seeds of time will grow”. The natural plant imagery could link to ambition as the extended metaphor of plants growing is symbolic of human success throughout the play. However, unlike Macbeth, ambition is only Banquo’s flaw; not his hamartia, so he can control it and resist the temptation to advance above his place in the great chain of being. Which is why although he dies, the audience are comforted in the fact that he remains morally and religiously pure.

In the extract, the idea of killing King Ducan has already taken root in Macbeth’s mind thanks to the catalyst that is the witches. In his soliloquy, Macbeth describes a very visceral reaction to the idea of the murder saying it makes his “seated heart knock at [his] ribs” and “unfix[es] his hair. Shakespeare uses personification to describe Macbeth’s heart in order to highlight that although he is against the idea now, it doesn’t take much to persuade him later. Macbeth also describes the idea of killing Duncan as “against the use of nature” suggesting that if he kills him the natural order will be destroyed, which as we know it is when the “horses… eat each other” and “darkness strangles the travelling lamp” in Act 3. Macbeth also describes the meeting with the witches as “supernatural soliciting”. Shakespeare perhaps uses the alliteration of the sibilant sound to present the force of the supernatural as something that is unknown and mysterious to mortals. By describing this as “soliciting”, it creates the impression that Macbeth has knowingly or unknowingly entered a bargain with the witches (the forces of evil) by openly pursuing the supernatural. Shakespeare aims to reveal to his audience that pursuing this evil is wrong and dissuade usurpers.

Finally, in the extract, Banquo’s attitude to the supernatural is that he is wary. He uses the metaphor to describe the witches as “instruments of darkness”. The word “instruments” suggests that like a real life instrument, Macbeth will be played by the witches and deceived by their obfuscatory language. Whilst Shakespeare's use of “darkness” is symbolic of evil and death, perhaps foreshadowing Macbeth’s downward descent into evil himself. Banquo is also aware that the witches seek to “tell us truths; win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence”. Underlining that he is perceptive of their motives and senses evil because unlike Macbeth he seems to have a strong moral compass. Banquo is used as a dramatic device by Shakespeare throughout the play in order to act as a foil to Macbeth and highlight that it is possible to resist the overwhelming desires of temptation.
In conclusion, throughout the play Macbeth relies on the prophecies and answers that the witches give him and Banquo does not. Although Banquo's suspicion of the supernatural doesn;t protect him from death and betrayal at the hand of Macbeth, it protects him from moral disgrace in the afterlife that was so pivotal in Jacobean society. Shakespeare presents the two men’s differing reactions to the supernatural and their consequences in order to make his reader consider what path they will choose and ultimately display how it affects their place in the afterlife
Reply 2
How does Priestley explore responsibility in An Inspector Calls? Write about: The ideas about responsibility in An Inspector Calls How Priestly presents these ideas by the way he writes
Please be as harsh as possible

Priestley explores different views of responsibility in An Inspector Calls by using the generation divide. The older generation fail to take responsibility whereas the younger generation admits their negligence and tries to take responsibility.

Priestley uses Mr Birling as a microcosm for capitalist employers who failed to take responsibility over their employees. This is shown through the quote "She had far too much to say - far too much - so she had to go". Mr Birling unfairly abuses his power to fire Eva as he felt challenged by Eva standing up for herself. Instead of considering Eva's needs, he refuses to take responsibility and discards of her without reflecting on the consequences.

Mrs Birling further reflects the lack of responsibility in the upper class by refusing to help Eva in a time of distress. This is shown through the quote "I used my influence to have it refused'. The quote not only displays Mrs Birling's lack of responsibility but also her cold nature towards lower class women. As a prominent member of the Brumley Charity, Mrs Birling had the power to use her influence to support Eva, however, she chose to refuse Eva. While this displays Mrs Birling's lack of responsibility, it also reflects upper class attitudes towards the lower class.

While the older generation constantly display their lack of responsibility, the younger generation come to see their mistakes.

Despite Sheila firing Eva at Milwards, she comes to learn the gravity of her actions and starts to change. This is shown when she contradicts her father's economic ideals and views the working class - "aren't cheap labour, they're people". Unlike her parents, Sheila views the lower class as her equals and not just machinery. She displays her responsibility by changing her actions,from firing Eva for a small reason to regretting her actions.

Sheila's change is fueled by the Inspector, who is used as a mouthpiece for Priestley and socialists. The Inspector embodies responsibility through his duty without getting swayed. This is shown through the quote "Public men... have responsibilities". The Inspector challenges Mr Birling, stating how the higher you are in society, the more freedom you have, but that freedom requires responsibility. The Inspector despite being tempted and attacked by the family, stays true to his responsibility, advocating Eva's needs and encouraging the younger generation to change.

Priestley also uses Eric to present partial acceptance of responsibility. The conflict within Eric and his nature prevents him from taking responsibility fully. This is shown through the quote "You lot may be letting yourselves nicely, but I can't". In this quote, Eric openly alienates himself from his family, refusing to be involved with their lack of responsibility. Eric refuses to escape responsibility and despite being unable to change the consequences, he shows remorse for his actions.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by revision52
Hello,
I got a grade 9 in both GCSE AQA English Language and GCSE AQA English Literature, so I have a good idea of the mark scheme, as I am currently doing English language AQA a level.
I am happy to mark anyone's essays

Hi, if you don't mind answering, how did you revise for english lit to get a grade 9, and what would you recommend, a week away from the exam?
Reply 4
Original post by mitchellharriet
Hi, if you don't mind answering, how did you revise for english lit to get a grade 9, and what would you recommend, a week away from the exam?

Don't re-read your texts, the biggest mistake as you have no time now. Memorise quotes for each of your characters and each of your themes in the your novel and then explode them out on a sheet of paper , analysing them (maybe the have language features, structural features, interesting choice of ambiguous words and punctuation, captivates author's view, links to context). Then plan a model answer for each character, for example if you study Macbeth, make sure u have done a past paper question on each character and theme on the play. Also spend a maximum of 50 mins on a 30 mark question and please for a 30 mark question, write 500 words as a minimum and 750 words as maximum, should be around 2 sides of A4 (1 A4 page doublesided and a half page more. So 3 pages)
Reply 5
Original post by lillieg0045
hi,
I would be so greatful if you could give me some feedback on this Macbeth practice essay I wrote. It's on the 2019 exam for how does shakespeare present the attitudes of Macbeth and Banquo towards the witches. The extract ws from 1.3
How does Shakespeare present the attitudes of Macbeth and Banquo towards the supernatural?
In Shakespeare’s eponymous tragedy Macbeth, Shakespeare presents the differing attitudes of Macbeth and Banquo towards the supernatural in order to warn against the dangers of committing regicide at a time of political and religious turmoil in Jacobean England. Banquo represents the morally righteous character who resists the temptation of the witches (who are symbolic of the devil). However Macbeth pursues the prophecies due to his ambition, ultimately ending the play as a traitor and a usurper completing the cyclical structure of the play.
When Macbeth first meets the witches he is initially entranced by what they have to tell him. His first line in the play is “so fair and foul a day I have not seen”. This immediately establishes a connection between him and the witches paradoxical chant of “fair is foul and foul is fair”, symbolising the equivocation that is to come, in the opening scene of the play. Shakespeare does this in order to foreshadow how later in the play Macbeth will follow the path of temptation the witches have laid for him and unknowingly be the catalyst for his own downfall. When Macbeth hears the prophecies he is described as “rapt” by Banquo. The use of this verb connotes that Macbeth is stunned by what he hears and he demands the witches to “tell me more” using the imperative “tell” to imply he is almost impatient and wishes to know more immediately. Shakespeare uses the witches as a tool in order to warn his contemporary audience of the dangers of listening to supernatural forces which were seen at the time as evil. He aims to win the favour of King James by presenting this viewpoint so that he could win him as a patron.
In contrast, Banquo’s first reaction to the witches and their supernatural forces is slightly different. He first questions “what are these inhabitants so withered and so wild in their attire…? The adjectives “withered” and “wild” match with the Jacobean audience’s stereotype of witches whilst also demonstrating a feeling that these witches are unnatural. Although, these adjectives could also create a parallel with the nature of the isolated heath that the witches seem to inhabit and perform their magic on. Banquo’s use of a rhetorical question conveys the idea that he believes they are unnatural straight away and questions this, linking to his presentation as a morally righteous character throughout the play.However, Shakespeare also presents Banquo as curious of the prophecies. Like Macbeth he uses imperatives demanding the witches to “speak to [him]”, perhaps suggesting that he is secretly ambitious for himself. He also uses the metaphor to ask the witches what “seeds of time will grow”. The natural plant imagery could link to ambition as the extended metaphor of plants growing is symbolic of human success throughout the play. However, unlike Macbeth, ambition is only Banquo’s flaw; not his hamartia, so he can control it and resist the temptation to advance above his place in the great chain of being. Which is why although he dies, the audience are comforted in the fact that he remains morally and religiously pure.
In the extract, the idea of killing King Ducan has already taken root in Macbeth’s mind thanks to the catalyst that is the witches. In his soliloquy, Macbeth describes a very visceral reaction to the idea of the murder saying it makes his “seated heart knock at [his] ribs” and “unfix[es] his hair. Shakespeare uses personification to describe Macbeth’s heart in order to highlight that although he is against the idea now, it doesn’t take much to persuade him later. Macbeth also describes the idea of killing Duncan as “against the use of nature” suggesting that if he kills him the natural order will be destroyed, which as we know it is when the “horses… eat each other” and “darkness strangles the travelling lamp” in Act 3. Macbeth also describes the meeting with the witches as “supernatural soliciting”. Shakespeare perhaps uses the alliteration of the sibilant sound to present the force of the supernatural as something that is unknown and mysterious to mortals. By describing this as “soliciting”, it creates the impression that Macbeth has knowingly or unknowingly entered a bargain with the witches (the forces of evil) by openly pursuing the supernatural. Shakespeare aims to reveal to his audience that pursuing this evil is wrong and dissuade usurpers.
Finally, in the extract, Banquo’s attitude to the supernatural is that he is wary. He uses the metaphor to describe the witches as “instruments of darkness”. The word “instruments” suggests that like a real life instrument, Macbeth will be played by the witches and deceived by their obfuscatory language. Whilst Shakespeare's use of “darkness” is symbolic of evil and death, perhaps foreshadowing Macbeth’s downward descent into evil himself. Banquo is also aware that the witches seek to “tell us truths; win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence”. Underlining that he is perceptive of their motives and senses evil because unlike Macbeth he seems to have a strong moral compass. Banquo is used as a dramatic device by Shakespeare throughout the play in order to act as a foil to Macbeth and highlight that it is possible to resist the overwhelming desires of temptation.
In conclusion, throughout the play Macbeth relies on the prophecies and answers that the witches give him and Banquo does not. Although Banquo's suspicion of the supernatural doesn;t protect him from death and betrayal at the hand of Macbeth, it protects him from moral disgrace in the afterlife that was so pivotal in Jacobean society. Shakespeare presents the two men’s differing reactions to the supernatural and their consequences in order to make his reader consider what path they will choose and ultimately display how it affects their place in the afterlife

Hey, firstly I would like to say this is too much writing for a 30 mark question (750 words max), remember quality >quantity as I would spend a maximum of 50 mins on Macbeth if I were you. I would recommend having 3 paragraphs - one on extract, one on elsewhere in text, one one either one you can pick. Don't spend a lot of time writing a thesis statement and conclusion, it's not required so in the exam if you have remaining time, you can write thesis statements then, but in the exam just get on with 3 paragraphs on Macbeth and your 19th century novel and then if spare time, write thesis statements.

AO1 - 10/12
AO2 - 10/12
AO3 - 4/6

Overall = 24/30
Reply 6
Original post by J ~ I§U
How does Priestley explore responsibility in An Inspector Calls? Write about: The ideas about responsibility in An Inspector Calls How Priestly presents these ideas by the way he writes
Please be as harsh as possible
Priestley explores different views of responsibility in An Inspector Calls by using the generation divide. The older generation fail to take responsibility whereas the younger generation admits their negligence and tries to take responsibility.
Priestley uses Mr Birling as a microcosm for capitalist employers who failed to take responsibility over their employees. This is shown through the quote "She had far too much to say - far too much - so she had to go". Mr Birling unfairly abuses his power to fire Eva as he felt challenged by Eva standing up for herself. Instead of considering Eva's needs, he refuses to take responsibility and discards of her without reflecting on the consequences.
Mrs Birling further reflects the lack of responsibility in the upper class by refusing to help Eva in a time of distress. This is shown through the quote "I used my influence to have it refused'. The quote not only displays Mrs Birling's lack of responsibility but also her cold nature towards lower class women. As a prominent member of the Brumley Charity, Mrs Birling had the power to use her influence to support Eva, however, she chose to refuse Eva. While this displays Mrs Birling's lack of responsibility, it also reflects upper class attitudes towards the lower class.
While the older generation constantly display their lack of responsibility, the younger generation come to see their mistakes.
Despite Sheila firing Eva at Milwards, she comes to learn the gravity of her actions and starts to change. This is shown when she contradicts her father's economic ideals and views the working class - "aren't cheap labour, they're people". Unlike her parents, Sheila views the lower class as her equals and not just machinery. She displays her responsibility by changing her actions,from firing Eva for a small reason to regretting her actions.
Sheila's change is fueled by the Inspector, who is used as a mouthpiece for Priestley and socialists. The Inspector embodies responsibility through his duty without getting swayed. This is shown through the quote "Public men... have responsibilities". The Inspector challenges Mr Birling, stating how the higher you are in society, the more freedom you have, but that freedom requires responsibility. The Inspector despite being tempted and attacked by the family, stays true to his responsibility, advocating Eva's needs and encouraging the younger generation to change.
Priestley also uses Eric to present partial acceptance of responsibility. The conflict within Eric and his nature prevents him from taking responsibility fully. This is shown through the quote "You lot may be letting yourselves nicely, but I can't". In this quote, Eric openly alienates himself from his family, refusing to be involved with their lack of responsibility. Eric refuses to escape responsibility and despite being unable to change the consequences, he shows remorse for his actions.

Firstly, it's rather too short so you don't have detailed paragraphs. To get full marks, you need 3 big separate ideas which are extremely detailed. This answer seems to have 7 paragraphs with not a coherent academic style of writing. Also please try to embed your quotes in your writing for smoothness and to make your essay flow. Avoid introductions please, get straight to perceptive and detailed analysis as u don't have enough time. Pick 3 characters in antithesis to each other (a key term you could've used too) I would say this needs a lot of improvement, but good attempt. I like the quotes you have selected though to enhance your argument, you just need to work on academic coherent style of writing, subject terminology to get higher marks also this lack context. Please unpack your quotations too!

AO1 - 4/12
AO2 - 4/12
AO3 - 0/6

Overall = 8/30 (Level 2 as you have supported, relevant comments)
Reply 7
Hi, did you study A Christmas Carol. If u did, i would rlly appreciate if u could mark this and tell me how many marks and what level i would get.

The question is:How does Dickens present redemption as essential for change?

In ‘A Christmas Carol’, Dickens presents Scrooge as a character who transmogrifies from a misanthropic miser who disagrees with the idea of Christmas and charity, to a warm-hearted, philanthropic father figure by the end of the novella. This change is influenced by the ghosts who reveal to Scrooge the importance of Christmas spirit and charitable acts, and the repercussions of those who do not comply with them, prompting Scrooge’s redemption. It soon becomes clear that redemption is necessary for change as Scrooge is only able to reach his epiphany after the visit of the ghost of Christmas Yet to come who sparks his redemption by revealing his fate and presenting Christmas and charity as the only path to redemption. As a result, Dickens is able to “raise the ghost of an idea” through Scrooge’s redemption, in order to emphasise the importance of charity and Christmas and encourage them to be practiced in society in order to implement change.

In the extract, Scrooge’s transformation is revealed as a result of being exposed to the ramifications of his misanthropic lifestyle in order to encourage Christmas spirit, leading to his redemption. After seeing his abandoned and “neglected” future self, Scrooge experiences his epiphany where he asks the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come “Am I that man who lay upon the bed?”, crying “upon his knees”. The body language of Scrooge kneeling before the Ghost reveals his reformation as he humbles himself and accepts the superiority of the Ghost which contrasts to his “covetous” behaviour at the start of the novella. Scrooge then tells the Ghost “Why show me this, if I am past all hope!” suggesting that Scrooge is willing to accept his fate and possibly doesn’t believe that he deserves redemption, generating sympathy from the readers as well as the ghost, who’s hand “for the first time (…) appeared to shake”. The fact that the ghost’s hand shaking was unprecedented highlights Scrooge’s unprecedented repentance. Furthermore, the Ghost was previously described as being “immovable”, suggesting that Scrooge’s fate remained unchanged, however, Scrooge was able to cause his hand to “shake” revealing the possibility of his transformation as a result of his redemption. He then asks if “I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!” His tone has gradually become more respectful and courteous, reinforced by his reference of the ghost as “Good Spirit”. Scrooge asks for a chance to change his fate by an “altered life”, clearly highlighting his intentions to change his ways in an attempt to avoid the undesirable future he has been shown due to his redemption. He states that he will “honour Christmas in (his) heart, and try to keep it all the year”. To “honour” Christmas doesn’t just mean that Scrooge intends to celebrate it, but respect it as many Victorians did. Christmas was a very important traditional celebration in the Victorian era and was widely celebrated by Christians as a time to spend with family and reflect on religion. Perhaps Scrooge sees Christmas as a means of becoming closer to God in order to repent for his past actions after having learnt the importance of Christmas from the ghosts. Scrooge says he will “not shut out the lessons that they teach”. At the start the of the novella, Scrooge is described as having a “shut up heart” which prevented him from celebrating and enjoying Christmas before his redemption, so by “not shut(ting) out” the ghosts’ lessons, he is finally able to change and experience Christmas cheer. Perhaps Dickens wanted to emphasise the essential need for Christmas cheer in order to achieve redemption and therefore live a good, moral Christian life and used Scrooge’s redemption to encourage Christmas spirit among his readers. Therefore, Scrooge’s change, triggered by his redemption, urges the celebration of Christmas and emphasises its importance.

At the start of the novella ‘A Christmas Carol’, Scrooge is described as a stingy and ignorant character who rejects the idea of Christmas and charity. This is evident in Stave 1 when he tells Fred that “every idiot who goes about with ‘merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart”. His response to ‘Merry Christmas’ is comical yet excessively aggressive as he turns images of Christmas into images of violence. This hyperbolic statement exaggerates Scrooge’s ignorance towards the celebration of Christmas, and perhaps Scrooge directs his distaste towards the readers in order to make them aware of their own ignorance. As the contemporary readers of Dickens were likely to be rich and have the same ideas as Scrooge, he is used as an audience surrogate to force the readers to reflect on their own morality in an attempt to disassociate themselves from Scrooge who is portrayed as a disliked character. Scrooge’s ignorance is yet again evident in Stave 1 when he tells the charity workers that he “can’t afford to make idle people merry”. With Scrooge’s wealth, the words “can’t afford” emphasise his disbelief in charity. As Scrooge is symbolic of the quintessential Victorian upper class, his Malthusian views reflect the apathetic beliefs of the rich that the poor were too “idle” to break out of the cycle of poverty. Thus Scrooge believes that charity is rewarding ‘bad behaviour’ and so doesn’t contribute to charitable acts. Dickens’ novella was written in a post-Industrial Revolution society where poverty was rife, and so Dickens used the novella to express the need for collective contribution to charity in order to solve the crisis of poverty, which the upper class viewed as the “surplus population”. Therefore, at the start of the novella, Scrooge’s stinginess and ignorance towards Christmas and charity are used to highlights the essential need for change in society, foreshadowing Scrooge’s redemption which is necessary for his reform.

Throughout the rest of the novella, as Scrooge interacts with the ghosts, he gradually reforms to become a loving “second father” to Tiny Tim, who cherishes Christmas and provides for the poor. This is influenced by the ghosts who use different methods to encourage Scrooge to change. In stave 1, Scrooge is reunited with his old business partner, the ghost of Jacob Marley, who warns Scrooge of the repercussion of his avaricious behaviour and ignorance of the poor. Marley describes purgatory as “incessant torture of remorse” in an attempt to intimidate Scrooge into redemption. The adjective “incessant” emphasises Marley’s pain and agony, and generates sympathy from the readers towards his suffering. This makes Scrooge fear Marley’s fate, and thus fear his own, as he was so similar to Marley in his lifetime; however it is not enough to spark Scrooge’s epiphany. Scrooge is then visited by the ghost of Christmas Past who takes him back to his “long forgotten” hometown. At the sight of this, Scrooge becomes emotional as his “lip is trembling” and he begins to cry. The ghost then takes Scrooge to see his childhood self “solitary” and “neglected”, at which Scrooge recalls the young carol singer stating that “I should like to have given him something”. The change in tone from indifferent to sympathetic marks the start of Scrooge’s transformation as it is his first genuine expression of concern for the poor, however there are still no physical signs of change. He then visits his old workplace where he sees his younger self and another apprentice “pouring their hearts out in praise of Fezziwig”. This suggests that Fezziwig was a generous and kind-hearted employer, who directly contrasts to Scrooge, making him reflect on his treatment of his clerk. This triggers his guilt as he compares himself to Fezziwig, his foil, suddenly feeling the need to “say a word or two to my clerk”. In this way, the ghost of Christmas Past makes Scrooge revisit past events in his life in order to evoke emotional memories to help him reach his epiphany. While the ghost of Christmas Present exposes Scrooge to the reality of the present day Christmas for the poor where they are struggling financially, yet are still able to enjoy the festive season. However, after watching the Cratchit family, Scrooge becomes increasingly concerned about Tiny Tim’s wellbeing, and after hearing of his likely death in the near future, Scrooge becomes distraught. He desperately asks if “these shadows will remain unaltered by the future”, demonstrating his love and affection for the poor boy out of fear for his death. The ghost replies by echoing Scrooge’s words of “he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population” to which Scrooge is “overcome with penitence and grief”. He is finally able to realise the flaws in his beliefs when put in the context of people he cares about, building up to his redemption. Dickens uses the hendiadys to prove the immorality of such beliefs and encourage charity by showing that the only way to stop poor children like Tiny Tim from dying is for the rich to financially support them. This would encourage redemption from Scrooge as well as readers who now feel sympathetic towards the poor, foreshadowing Scrooge’s repentance. This persuades Scrooge to reform by the end of the novella and become a “second father” to Tiny Tim as a result of his redemption which has allowed him to become a philanthropic and warm-hearted character.

In conclusion, Dickens uses Scrooge’s redemption to demonstrate the positive impacts of reform, achieved through charity and Christmas cheer. Dickens reveals the need for change by exposing us to the repercussions of the archetypal avaricious and misanthropic behaviour of the Victorian upper class, as well as using Tiny Tim as a construct to represent the poor population in order to generate sympathy and encourage change as a result. When we compare the character of Scrooge before and after his redemption, it is easy to recognise how beneficial it would be for society to experience change like Scrooge. However, we also notice that redemption is essential for change as Scrooge doesn’t reform until he has undergone it to eventually become the loving character society needs. Therefore, Dickens is able to “raise the ghost of an idea” through Scrooge’s redemption by highlighting its necessity through the positive change it brings.

Edit: I realise now that it might be a bit too long!
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 8
I also wrote this essay on A Christmas Carol which is a lot shorter!

How does Dickens present Scrooge as an outsider?

In ‘A Christmas Carol’, Scrooge is presented as an outsider through the way he is treated by others in society as a result of his misanthropic and avaricious behaviour. Despite being wealthy, Scrooge still feels less a part of society than the impoverished, whom he initially ostracises in line with his Malthusian views. Although he claims to enjoy being feared by others, no amount of money can fill the ever-growing hole caused by being “neglected”. Thus Scrooge is given a chance to change his lifestyle and avoid becoming an outsider, encouraging readers to do the same by embracing Christmas and giving to charity. In this way, Dickens is able to “raise the ghost of an idea” through Scrooge’s alienation.

In the extract taken from stave 1, Dickens presents Scrooge as an outsider in society due to his misanthropic behaviour leading to his neglect. His reclusive nature is a result of being “secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster”. An “oyster” is shut tightly and hard to open, which reflects Scrooge’s unapproachable personality. It also lives at the bottom of the ocean away from other species, mirroring Scrooge’s isolation. However, inside an oyster is a pearl which is rare and highly valued by society possibly symbolising Scrooge’s compassion which he locks away. The use of sibilance also highlights Scrooge’s wicked exterior, but again hints at the possibly of a softer interior such as love. Scrooge may see this as his weakness that can be exploited by others, so he keeps it hidden just like a “secret” and doesn’t depend on others resulting in him being “self-contained”. This suggests that Scrooge has become a recluse as a result of distrust leading us to ponder on what Scrooge’s past was like, foreshadowing the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Past. We also see how Scrooge is neglected in the extract by how “no beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge”. The use of listing emphasises the magnitude of his neglect; he is an outsider to all of society, not just a certain group of people. The fact that even the desperate “beggars” and the innocent and naïve “children” know better than to approach Scrooge, gives us an understanding that Scrooge has a well-known reputation for being inhospitable. It is ironic how Scrooge appears alienated in the same way he ostracises the poor, yet the poor seem to fit into society better than he does. Perhaps Dickens meant to touch on the insignificance of money. Money cannot buy people happiness as even the wealthiest of people feel miserable and outcast if they are misanthropic like Scrooge.

Dickens also presents Scrooge as an outsider due to his miserliness and greed at the start of the novella, creating a moral and emotional distance between him and others. Scrooge’s stinginess roots from his obsession with wealth, which isolates him from the warmth and generosity that are valued in society. He claims that he “can’t afford to make idle people merry”. With Scrooge’s wealth, the words “can’t afford” emphasise his disbelief in charity. Scrooge clearly has no desire to help the poor, calling them “idle” which reinforces his Malthusian beliefs of the poor being too lazy to break out of the cycle of poverty. He goes a step further when he states that “if they would rather die (…) they had better do it and decreases the surplus population”. The word “surplus” relates back to the idea of money and therefore the economic language proves Scrooge’s obsession with money which sets him so far apart from others, believing that everyone’s raison d’etre is financial gain. Dickens also uses Scrooge as an audience surrogate to show the upper class audience the repercussions of their avaricious behaviour and lack of empathy towards the plight of the poor. This is because Scrooge is a representation of the quintessential upper class, and so portraying Scrooge as an outsider would force the contemporary reader to reflect on their own attitudes towards charity in an attempt to disassociate themselves from Scrooge. However, by the end of the novella, Scrooge undergoes a drastic transformation after reaching his epiphany as a result of being exposed to the consequences of his current lifestyle where he promises to live an “altered life” by “honour(ing) Christmas in (his) heart” and committing to charitable acts in order to avoid becoming an outsider. Perhaps Dickens hoped to use Scrooge’s change to “raise the ghost of an idea” by presenting charity and Christmas cheer as the solution to being an outsider, and therefore encourage these acts to be practiced in society.

In conclusion, it is both Scrooge’s misanthropic behaviour and stinginess which ultimately lead to his alienation in society, which emphasise the detrimental consequences of a lack of empathy towards the poor and lack of Christmas celebration. Dickens uses this to underline the essential need for empathy and Christmas cheer in order to change and avoid an outcast life. Therefore, Scrooge is presented as an outsider in society in order to persuade the readers to implement these changes in their lives and avoid the repercussions of their stinginess.
Reply 9
Original post by revision52
Firstly, it's rather too short so you don't have detailed paragraphs. To get full marks, you need 3 big separate ideas which are extremely detailed. This answer seems to have 7 paragraphs with not a coherent academic style of writing. Also please try to embed your quotes in your writing for smoothness and to make your essay flow. Avoid introductions please, get straight to perceptive and detailed analysis as u don't have enough time. Pick 3 characters in antithesis to each other (a key term you could've used too) I would say this needs a lot of improvement, but good attempt. I like the quotes you have selected though to enhance your argument, you just need to work on academic coherent style of writing, subject terminology to get higher marks also this lack context. Please unpack your quotations too!
AO1 - 4/12
AO2 - 4/12
AO3 - 0/6
Overall = 8/30 (Level 2 as you have supported, relevant comments)

Tyyy for the advice, I'll try to do better next time. Do you have any advice for theme questions as I really struggle with those and do you have any advice for eng lang especially q5.
Reply 10
Original post by J ~ I§U
Tyyy for the advice, I'll try to do better next time. Do you have any advice for theme questions as I really struggle with those and do you have any advice for eng lang especially q5.

language question 5 on paper 1 could follow a story mountain structure like setting the scene using pathetic fallacy, then build up, climax, tension, resolution etc. Or you could start your story with a flashback which is a structural technique to gain insight into what's happening. or you could begin in medias res so your examiner is excited as your are at the climax but then slow things out and maybe get a flashback to gain insight into the protagonist or foreshadowing or creating foreboding, flashforward are good too. BUT your PLOT isn't the most important, u just need to stick to the wording of the question but you can stretch your mind and go as far with your plot, for example for descriptive writing if there's an image of an old lady, you don't just describe it. Maybe she's going to meet someone and then another character describes their POV or she's from the future perhaps or a dead grandmother, anything you can think of. The most simple plot can f=get 40/40 if you have ambitious vocabulary in the grammatical context of your lines, punctuation like semi colon ;, language devices (metaphor), structural devices (mentioned above like cyclical structure). Take inspiration from section a fiction extracts
Hi, i wrote a practice essay on loneliness (and isolation) in a christmas carol.

In his political diatribe, “A Christmas Carol”, Dickens constructs Scrooge as a character who transforms from being willingly isolated to determined to “live to be another man” (who does not suffer from extreme loneliness). Dickens’ message therefore is to inspire more charitable, philanthropic attitudes in the aristocratic, upper class businessmen of Victorian London.

In the exposition of the novella, Scrooge’s lifestyle is established as considerably lonely (his “sole fiend” having died, an equally avaricious businessman subjected to purgatory as a result of his isolation from the rest of society), as he disregards any attempts of friendliness from others, including his own “cheerful” nephew, Fred. Clearly, Scrooge’s “melancholy” lifestyle is a conscious choice, as “darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked it”. This introduces the motif of light and fire, symbolising kindness; at this point, Scrooge’s isolated status inhibits any possible manifestation of kindness. Dickens may be demonstrating that the isolation of businessmen from their employees, and from the needy in society is closely related to misanthropy. This alternatively suggests that, while this lifestyle may be a choice, it is ultimately an inevitable consequence of pursuing a “golden idol”, wealth.

In Stave 2, Scrooge’s lonely nature is interestingly exposed as not having been always present in his character. His childhood self is described as “a solitary child, neglected”. The adjective “solitary” references Scrooge’s later portrayal in the simile “as solitary as an oyster”, highlighting the permanence of such a trait, however an “oyster” (despite having the potential for a pearl) is a considerably more closed portrayal than simply being “neglected” (which gives an impression of his loneliness being a product of others’ actions and choices, not his own). Furthermore, the setting includes a “feeble fire”; the motif of fire is used to symbolise how at this point, Scrooge still harbours some form of virtue and kindness (albeit “feebly”), further emphasising how he is not yet fully isolated. The fricatives suggest aggression, perhaps foreshadowing Scrooge’s later choice to accept and even make greater his isolation and loneliness. The overall contrast between this portrayal and the one presented in the beginning of the novella may be a message from Dickens that realistically, no one is born with a rooted sense of isolation, therefore proving the capacity for the target upper class readership to revert back to their sociable ways. Dicken’s portrayal of Scrooge as a “poor” young child may also evoke sympathy in the reader, which further persuades them to seek change.

As the “phantom” is introduced in Stave 4, loneliness is portrayed as a much more morbid attribute, and a punishing consequence of misanthropy and myopic pursuits of personal wealth. This is evident as Scrooge, when introduced to businessmen who casually “laugh” and “yawn” when discussing his own death, is “assured of a hidden purpose”. Clearly, he is reluctant to admit his flaws; this emphasises his “hard and sharp”, stubborn nature, whose loneliness could only ultimately be highlighted by the supernatural (this proves the inevitability of isolation as a result of his miserly ways, as no other force could successfully “influence” him). In response to Scrooge’s hopefulness, the “phantom” “answered not”, proving that a lonely, isolated life can only be sought and pursued by Scrooge himself, through his actions that he “girds” of his “own free will”. This uncertainty is further emphasised by the lexical field of uncertainty in Stave 4, including “vague”, “mystery” and “uncertain”; Dickens is perhaps intending to shock and evoke fear in the reader, as a harsh “lesson” to persuade them to “live to be another man” (or suffer in purgatory). This effect is highlighted through Scrooge, who desperately wished to “sponge” off the “writing” on his grave, and instead “Honour” the spirits’ “lessons” with a “thankful heart”. Furthermore, Dickens uses the consequence of death (portraying a “churchyard overrun by weeds”) to link miserly loneliness to God, further urging the Christocentric readership to reflect on their ways, and possibly be more communal in their ideals (to improve the working class and child labour crisis currently taking place in 1843 industrial London).

Overall, Dickens uses the portrayal of loneliness and isolation to prove to his target readership that loneliness is an undesirable consequence of selfish monetary gain, however it is possible to adopt more communal, sociable ideals (to avoid the inevitable consequences and “chains” that may otherwise follow).
Reply 12
Original post by user_09
Hi, did you study A Christmas Carol. If u did, i would rlly appreciate if u could mark this and tell me how many marks and what level i would get.
The question is:How does Dickens present redemption as essential for change?
In ‘A Christmas Carol’, Dickens presents Scrooge as a character who transmogrifies from a misanthropic miser who disagrees with the idea of Christmas and charity, to a warm-hearted, philanthropic father figure by the end of the novella. This change is influenced by the ghosts who reveal to Scrooge the importance of Christmas spirit and charitable acts, and the repercussions of those who do not comply with them, prompting Scrooge’s redemption. It soon becomes clear that redemption is necessary for change as Scrooge is only able to reach his epiphany after the visit of the ghost of Christmas Yet to come who sparks his redemption by revealing his fate and presenting Christmas and charity as the only path to redemption. As a result, Dickens is able to “raise the ghost of an idea” through Scrooge’s redemption, in order to emphasise the importance of charity and Christmas and encourage them to be practiced in society in order to implement change.
In the extract, Scrooge’s transformation is revealed as a result of being exposed to the ramifications of his misanthropic lifestyle in order to encourage Christmas spirit, leading to his redemption. After seeing his abandoned and “neglected” future self, Scrooge experiences his epiphany where he asks the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come “Am I that man who lay upon the bed?”, crying “upon his knees”. The body language of Scrooge kneeling before the Ghost reveals his reformation as he humbles himself and accepts the superiority of the Ghost which contrasts to his “covetous” behaviour at the start of the novella. Scrooge then tells the Ghost “Why show me this, if I am past all hope!” suggesting that Scrooge is willing to accept his fate and possibly doesn’t believe that he deserves redemption, generating sympathy from the readers as well as the ghost, who’s hand “for the first time (…) appeared to shake”. The fact that the ghost’s hand shaking was unprecedented highlights Scrooge’s unprecedented repentance. Furthermore, the Ghost was previously described as being “immovable”, suggesting that Scrooge’s fate remained unchanged, however, Scrooge was able to cause his hand to “shake” revealing the possibility of his transformation as a result of his redemption. He then asks if “I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!” His tone has gradually become more respectful and courteous, reinforced by his reference of the ghost as “Good Spirit”. Scrooge asks for a chance to change his fate by an “altered life”, clearly highlighting his intentions to change his ways in an attempt to avoid the undesirable future he has been shown due to his redemption. He states that he will “honour Christmas in (his) heart, and try to keep it all the year”. To “honour” Christmas doesn’t just mean that Scrooge intends to celebrate it, but respect it as many Victorians did. Christmas was a very important traditional celebration in the Victorian era and was widely celebrated by Christians as a time to spend with family and reflect on religion. Perhaps Scrooge sees Christmas as a means of becoming closer to God in order to repent for his past actions after having learnt the importance of Christmas from the ghosts. Scrooge says he will “not shut out the lessons that they teach”. At the start the of the novella, Scrooge is described as having a “shut up heart” which prevented him from celebrating and enjoying Christmas before his redemption, so by “not shut(ting) out” the ghosts’ lessons, he is finally able to change and experience Christmas cheer. Perhaps Dickens wanted to emphasise the essential need for Christmas cheer in order to achieve redemption and therefore live a good, moral Christian life and used Scrooge’s redemption to encourage Christmas spirit among his readers. Therefore, Scrooge’s change, triggered by his redemption, urges the celebration of Christmas and emphasises its importance.
At the start of the novella ‘A Christmas Carol’, Scrooge is described as a stingy and ignorant character who rejects the idea of Christmas and charity. This is evident in Stave 1 when he tells Fred that “every idiot who goes about with ‘merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart”. His response to ‘Merry Christmas’ is comical yet excessively aggressive as he turns images of Christmas into images of violence. This hyperbolic statement exaggerates Scrooge’s ignorance towards the celebration of Christmas, and perhaps Scrooge directs his distaste towards the readers in order to make them aware of their own ignorance. As the contemporary readers of Dickens were likely to be rich and have the same ideas as Scrooge, he is used as an audience surrogate to force the readers to reflect on their own morality in an attempt to disassociate themselves from Scrooge who is portrayed as a disliked character. Scrooge’s ignorance is yet again evident in Stave 1 when he tells the charity workers that he “can’t afford to make idle people merry”. With Scrooge’s wealth, the words “can’t afford” emphasise his disbelief in charity. As Scrooge is symbolic of the quintessential Victorian upper class, his Malthusian views reflect the apathetic beliefs of the rich that the poor were too “idle” to break out of the cycle of poverty. Thus Scrooge believes that charity is rewarding ‘bad behaviour’ and so doesn’t contribute to charitable acts. Dickens’ novella was written in a post-Industrial Revolution society where poverty was rife, and so Dickens used the novella to express the need for collective contribution to charity in order to solve the crisis of poverty, which the upper class viewed as the “surplus population”. Therefore, at the start of the novella, Scrooge’s stinginess and ignorance towards Christmas and charity are used to highlights the essential need for change in society, foreshadowing Scrooge’s redemption which is necessary for his reform.
Throughout the rest of the novella, as Scrooge interacts with the ghosts, he gradually reforms to become a loving “second father” to Tiny Tim, who cherishes Christmas and provides for the poor. This is influenced by the ghosts who use different methods to encourage Scrooge to change. In stave 1, Scrooge is reunited with his old business partner, the ghost of Jacob Marley, who warns Scrooge of the repercussion of his avaricious behaviour and ignorance of the poor. Marley describes purgatory as “incessant torture of remorse” in an attempt to intimidate Scrooge into redemption. The adjective “incessant” emphasises Marley’s pain and agony, and generates sympathy from the readers towards his suffering. This makes Scrooge fear Marley’s fate, and thus fear his own, as he was so similar to Marley in his lifetime; however it is not enough to spark Scrooge’s epiphany. Scrooge is then visited by the ghost of Christmas Past who takes him back to his “long forgotten” hometown. At the sight of this, Scrooge becomes emotional as his “lip is trembling” and he begins to cry. The ghost then takes Scrooge to see his childhood self “solitary” and “neglected”, at which Scrooge recalls the young carol singer stating that “I should like to have given him something”. The change in tone from indifferent to sympathetic marks the start of Scrooge’s transformation as it is his first genuine expression of concern for the poor, however there are still no physical signs of change. He then visits his old workplace where he sees his younger self and another apprentice “pouring their hearts out in praise of Fezziwig”. This suggests that Fezziwig was a generous and kind-hearted employer, who directly contrasts to Scrooge, making him reflect on his treatment of his clerk. This triggers his guilt as he compares himself to Fezziwig, his foil, suddenly feeling the need to “say a word or two to my clerk”. In this way, the ghost of Christmas Past makes Scrooge revisit past events in his life in order to evoke emotional memories to help him reach his epiphany. While the ghost of Christmas Present exposes Scrooge to the reality of the present day Christmas for the poor where they are struggling financially, yet are still able to enjoy the festive season. However, after watching the Cratchit family, Scrooge becomes increasingly concerned about Tiny Tim’s wellbeing, and after hearing of his likely death in the near future, Scrooge becomes distraught. He desperately asks if “these shadows will remain unaltered by the future”, demonstrating his love and affection for the poor boy out of fear for his death. The ghost replies by echoing Scrooge’s words of “he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population” to which Scrooge is “overcome with penitence and grief”. He is finally able to realise the flaws in his beliefs when put in the context of people he cares about, building up to his redemption. Dickens uses the hendiadys to prove the immorality of such beliefs and encourage charity by showing that the only way to stop poor children like Tiny Tim from dying is for the rich to financially support them. This would encourage redemption from Scrooge as well as readers who now feel sympathetic towards the poor, foreshadowing Scrooge’s repentance. This persuades Scrooge to reform by the end of the novella and become a “second father” to Tiny Tim as a result of his redemption which has allowed him to become a philanthropic and warm-hearted character.
In conclusion, Dickens uses Scrooge’s redemption to demonstrate the positive impacts of reform, achieved through charity and Christmas cheer. Dickens reveals the need for change by exposing us to the repercussions of the archetypal avaricious and misanthropic behaviour of the Victorian upper class, as well as using Tiny Tim as a construct to represent the poor population in order to generate sympathy and encourage change as a result. When we compare the character of Scrooge before and after his redemption, it is easy to recognise how beneficial it would be for society to experience change like Scrooge. However, we also notice that redemption is essential for change as Scrooge doesn’t reform until he has undergone it to eventually become the loving character society needs. Therefore, Dickens is able to “raise the ghost of an idea” through Scrooge’s redemption by highlighting its necessity through the positive change it brings.
Edit: I realise now that it might be a bit too long!

Hey, this is great but it's only a 30 mark question. You've written 1,694 words when a minimum of 500 and maximum of 750 words can get you full marks, so therefore you have not fully developed some ideas so remember sometimes 'less is more.' It's proven you cannot write this much under 45 mins with an unseen question closed book, so please don't write too much. I always wrote just 3 pages of A4 (1 doublesided and a bit more or sometimes just a page doublesided to get full marks) Also, I always like to say Write A lot about a little, which means unpacking things, language and structural devices or how it builds characterisation, terminology, relating to context and remember for everything you say link it to question and also why Dickens has crafted a christmas carol like this.

EBI -In the exam do not write an introduction and conclusion for both your Macbeth and A Christmas Carol essay, just get straight to your paragraphs as that's how you pick up the most marks out of 30. In the end, if you have remaining time add your introductions and conclusions.

AO1 - 9/12 focus on extract needed
AO2 - 9/12
AO3 - 3/6
Overall = 21/30
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by revision52
Hey, this is great but it's only a 30 mark question. You've written 1,694 words when a minimum of 500 and maximum of 750 words can get you full marks, so therefore you have not fully developed some ideas so remember sometimes 'less is more.' It's proven you cannot write this much under 45 mins with an unseen question closed book, so please don't write too much. I always wrote just 3 pages of A4 (1 doublesided and a bit more or sometimes just a page doublesided to get full marks) Also, I always like to say Write A lot about a little, which means unpacking things, language and structural devices or how it builds characterisation, terminology, relating to context and remember for everything you say link it to question and also why Dickens has crafted a christmas carol like this.
EBI -In the exam do not write an introduction and conclusion for both your Macbeth and A Christmas Carol essay, just get straight to your paragraphs as that's how you pick up the most marks out of 30. In the end, if you have remaining time add your introductions and conclusions.
I award this 24/30, just pick a few ideas next time over different characters and only write about redemption

thanks, this was so useful. Btw, how long do u recommend planning??
Reply 14
Original post by User_09
I also wrote this essay on A Christmas Carol which is a lot shorter!
How does Dickens present Scrooge as an outsider?
In ‘A Christmas Carol’, Scrooge is presented as an outsider through the way he is treated by others in society as a result of his misanthropic and avaricious behaviour. Despite being wealthy, Scrooge still feels less a part of society than the impoverished, whom he initially ostracises in line with his Malthusian views. Although he claims to enjoy being feared by others, no amount of money can fill the ever-growing hole caused by being “neglected”. Thus Scrooge is given a chance to change his lifestyle and avoid becoming an outsider, encouraging readers to do the same by embracing Christmas and giving to charity. In this way, Dickens is able to “raise the ghost of an idea” through Scrooge’s alienation.
In the extract taken from stave 1, Dickens presents Scrooge as an outsider in society due to his misanthropic behaviour leading to his neglect. His reclusive nature is a result of being “secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster”. An “oyster” is shut tightly and hard to open, which reflects Scrooge’s unapproachable personality. It also lives at the bottom of the ocean away from other species, mirroring Scrooge’s isolation. However, inside an oyster is a pearl which is rare and highly valued by society possibly symbolising Scrooge’s compassion which he locks away. The use of sibilance also highlights Scrooge’s wicked exterior, but again hints at the possibly of a softer interior such as love. Scrooge may see this as his weakness that can be exploited by others, so he keeps it hidden just like a “secret” and doesn’t depend on others resulting in him being “self-contained”. This suggests that Scrooge has become a recluse as a result of distrust leading us to ponder on what Scrooge’s past was like, foreshadowing the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Past. We also see how Scrooge is neglected in the extract by how “no beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge”. The use of listing emphasises the magnitude of his neglect; he is an outsider to all of society, not just a certain group of people. The fact that even the desperate “beggars” and the innocent and naïve “children” know better than to approach Scrooge, gives us an understanding that Scrooge has a well-known reputation for being inhospitable. It is ironic how Scrooge appears alienated in the same way he ostracises the poor, yet the poor seem to fit into society better than he does. Perhaps Dickens meant to touch on the insignificance of money. Money cannot buy people happiness as even the wealthiest of people feel miserable and outcast if they are misanthropic like Scrooge.
Dickens also presents Scrooge as an outsider due to his miserliness and greed at the start of the novella, creating a moral and emotional distance between him and others. Scrooge’s stinginess roots from his obsession with wealth, which isolates him from the warmth and generosity that are valued in society. He claims that he “can’t afford to make idle people merry”. With Scrooge’s wealth, the words “can’t afford” emphasise his disbelief in charity. Scrooge clearly has no desire to help the poor, calling them “idle” which reinforces his Malthusian beliefs of the poor being too lazy to break out of the cycle of poverty. He goes a step further when he states that “if they would rather die (…) they had better do it and decreases the surplus population”. The word “surplus” relates back to the idea of money and therefore the economic language proves Scrooge’s obsession with money which sets him so far apart from others, believing that everyone’s raison d’etre is financial gain. Dickens also uses Scrooge as an audience surrogate to show the upper class audience the repercussions of their avaricious behaviour and lack of empathy towards the plight of the poor. This is because Scrooge is a representation of the quintessential upper class, and so portraying Scrooge as an outsider would force the contemporary reader to reflect on their own attitudes towards charity in an attempt to disassociate themselves from Scrooge. However, by the end of the novella, Scrooge undergoes a drastic transformation after reaching his epiphany as a result of being exposed to the consequences of his current lifestyle where he promises to live an “altered life” by “honour(ing) Christmas in (his) heart” and committing to charitable acts in order to avoid becoming an outsider. Perhaps Dickens hoped to use Scrooge’s change to “raise the ghost of an idea” by presenting charity and Christmas cheer as the solution to being an outsider, and therefore encourage these acts to be practiced in society.
In conclusion, it is both Scrooge’s misanthropic behaviour and stinginess which ultimately lead to his alienation in society, which emphasise the detrimental consequences of a lack of empathy towards the poor and lack of Christmas celebration. Dickens uses this to underline the essential need for empathy and Christmas cheer in order to change and avoid an outcast life. Therefore, Scrooge is presented as an outsider in society in order to persuade the readers to implement these changes in their lives and avoid the repercussions of their stinginess.
Still a bit long. Cut your introduction and conclusion down to save time and getting straight to detailed paragraphs as they hardly give you 1 or 2 marks. I would add more paragraphs in your main body so instead of introduction , write another one on extract, and instead of concluding write another one on rest of the novella.

Missing some form/structural analysis along with context and less paragraphs.

21/30
Reply 15
Original post by terumikami
Hi, i wrote a practice essay on loneliness (and isolation) in a christmas carol.
In his political diatribe, “A Christmas Carol”, Dickens constructs Scrooge as a character who transforms from being willingly isolated to determined to “live to be another man” (who does not suffer from extreme loneliness). Dickens’ message therefore is to inspire more charitable, philanthropic attitudes in the aristocratic, upper class businessmen of Victorian London.
In the exposition of the novella, Scrooge’s lifestyle is established as considerably lonely (his “sole fiend” having died, an equally avaricious businessman subjected to purgatory as a result of his isolation from the rest of society), as he disregards any attempts of friendliness from others, including his own “cheerful” nephew, Fred. Clearly, Scrooge’s “melancholy” lifestyle is a conscious choice, as “darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked it”. This introduces the motif of light and fire, symbolising kindness; at this point, Scrooge’s isolated status inhibits any possible manifestation of kindness. Dickens may be demonstrating that the isolation of businessmen from their employees, and from the needy in society is closely related to misanthropy. This alternatively suggests that, while this lifestyle may be a choice, it is ultimately an inevitable consequence of pursuing a “golden idol”, wealth.
In Stave 2, Scrooge’s lonely nature is interestingly exposed as not having been always present in his character. His childhood self is described as “a solitary child, neglected”. The adjective “solitary” references Scrooge’s later portrayal in the simile “as solitary as an oyster”, highlighting the permanence of such a trait, however an “oyster” (despite having the potential for a pearl) is a considerably more closed portrayal than simply being “neglected” (which gives an impression of his loneliness being a product of others’ actions and choices, not his own). Furthermore, the setting includes a “feeble fire”; the motif of fire is used to symbolise how at this point, Scrooge still harbours some form of virtue and kindness (albeit “feebly”), further emphasising how he is not yet fully isolated. The fricatives suggest aggression, perhaps foreshadowing Scrooge’s later choice to accept and even make greater his isolation and loneliness. The overall contrast between this portrayal and the one presented in the beginning of the novella may be a message from Dickens that realistically, no one is born with a rooted sense of isolation, therefore proving the capacity for the target upper class readership to revert back to their sociable ways. Dicken’s portrayal of Scrooge as a “poor” young child may also evoke sympathy in the reader, which further persuades them to seek change.
As the “phantom” is introduced in Stave 4, loneliness is portrayed as a much more morbid attribute, and a punishing consequence of misanthropy and myopic pursuits of personal wealth. This is evident as Scrooge, when introduced to businessmen who casually “laugh” and “yawn” when discussing his own death, is “assured of a hidden purpose”. Clearly, he is reluctant to admit his flaws; this emphasises his “hard and sharp”, stubborn nature, whose loneliness could only ultimately be highlighted by the supernatural (this proves the inevitability of isolation as a result of his miserly ways, as no other force could successfully “influence” him). In response to Scrooge’s hopefulness, the “phantom” “answered not”, proving that a lonely, isolated life can only be sought and pursued by Scrooge himself, through his actions that he “girds” of his “own free will”. This uncertainty is further emphasised by the lexical field of uncertainty in Stave 4, including “vague”, “mystery” and “uncertain”; Dickens is perhaps intending to shock and evoke fear in the reader, as a harsh “lesson” to persuade them to “live to be another man” (or suffer in purgatory). This effect is highlighted through Scrooge, who desperately wished to “sponge” off the “writing” on his grave, and instead “Honour” the spirits’ “lessons” with a “thankful heart”. Furthermore, Dickens uses the consequence of death (portraying a “churchyard overrun by weeds”) to link miserly loneliness to God, further urging the Christocentric readership to reflect on their ways, and possibly be more communal in their ideals (to improve the working class and child labour crisis currently taking place in 1843 industrial London).
Overall, Dickens uses the portrayal of loneliness and isolation to prove to his target readership that loneliness is an undesirable consequence of selfish monetary gain, however it is possible to adopt more communal, sociable ideals (to avoid the inevitable consequences and “chains” that may otherwise follow).

Well Done as it's not super long and is something you can write in timed conditions. Please remove your introduction and conclusion and instead add depth in your paragraphs. Please embed quotations rather than putting them in brackets as that shows you have a smooth, coherent answer to get in the top bands you need to be sophisticated.

AO1 - 4/12 no reference to extract and not coherent enough, don't dump quotations in
AO2 - 6/12 some good analysis but needed more
AO3 = 1/6 put context which helps answer the question

11/30 places you at the bottom of level 3 which is a grade 3, just need a bit more work and then you can get over with your gcse english by passing them :smile:
Original post by revision52
Well Done as it's not super long and is something you can write in timed conditions. Please remove your introduction and conclusion and instead add depth in your paragraphs. Please embed quotations rather than putting them in brackets as that shows you have a smooth, coherent answer to get in the top bands you need to be sophisticated.
AO1 - 4/12 no reference to extract and not coherent enough, don't dump quotations in
AO2 - 6/12 some good analysis but needed more
AO3 = 1/6 put context which helps answer the question
11/30 places you at the bottom of level 3 which is a grade 3, just need a bit more work and then you can get over with your gcse english by passing them :smile:

bruhh aint no way you got a grade 9. im currently working at 8/9 level (got these grades in all mocks, essays were moderated by multiple teachers). i understand that this is a practice essay and i probably didnt put in as much effort as i would in the exam. however anyone could read my essay and see that it got a higher grade than a 3. AO1; i inlcuded enough quotations to support my argument. in fact, i did reference the extract, however in writing essays you do not actually need to specify "in the extract" (in this case i didnt actually write what the extract was, so i dont know where you came to the conclusion that i didnt reference the extract). AO3; i included relevant context, including Dicken's targeted aristocratic, Christocentric readership, and the 1843 industrial revolution condition crisis taking place. furthermore, i have been experimenting with tilf.io bot on premarked essays etc. (interestingly so has mr salles, seems its pretty accurate), which gave me a potential mark range of 23-26 for this particular essay. in essence perhaps read a couple more pre graded essays written by others to conclude which essays would be awarded a given amount of marks.
Original post by revision52
Well Done as it's not super long and is something you can write in timed conditions. Please remove your introduction and conclusion and instead add depth in your paragraphs. Please embed quotations rather than putting them in brackets as that shows you have a smooth, coherent answer to get in the top bands you need to be sophisticated.
AO1 - 4/12 no reference to extract and not coherent enough, don't dump quotations in
AO2 - 6/12 some good analysis but needed more
AO3 = 1/6 put context which helps answer the question
11/30 places you at the bottom of level 3 which is a grade 3, just need a bit more work and then you can get over with your gcse english by passing them :smile:

hi, quick question, what do you mean by embed quotations rather than putting them in brackets. do you mean dont include "" marks and just write the quotes in the sentence without distinction from the rest of the content?
Reply 18
Original post by username6617044
bruhh aint no way you got a grade 9. im currently working at 8/9 level (got these grades in all mocks, essays were moderated by multiple teachers). i understand that this is a practice essay and i probably didnt put in as much effort as i would in the exam. however anyone could read my essay and see that it got a higher grade than a 3. AO1; i inlcuded enough quotations to support my argument. in fact, i did reference the extract, however in writing essays you do not actually need to specify "in the extract" (in this case i didnt actually write what the extract was, so i dont know where you came to the conclusion that i didnt reference the extract). AO3; i included relevant context, including Dicken's targeted aristocratic, Christocentric readership, and the 1843 industrial revolution condition crisis taking place. furthermore, i have been experimenting with tilf.io bot on premarked essays etc. (interestingly so has mr salles, seems its pretty accurate), which gave me a potential mark range of 23-26 for this particular essay. in essence perhaps read a couple more pre graded essays written by others to conclude which essays would be awarded a given amount of marks.

Sorry for this, I am not a teacher but I understand now, I hope you get the grades you're aiming for, good luck for Monday
Reply 19
Original post by laylahhhhhh
hi, quick question, what do you mean by embed quotations rather than putting them in brackets. do you mean dont include "" marks and just write the quotes in the sentence without distinction from the rest of the content?

An example of a sentence with no embedded quotations could be:
Shakespeare uses the character of Benvolio to demonstrate pacifism. The quotation 'put down your swords' suggests..
OR
Shakespeare uses the character of Benvolio to demonstrate pacifism. For example, in the quotation from Act 1 Scene 1 Benvolio says that '...'. Or Benvolio demonstrates pacifism in the extract. ('Put down your swords')

Instead embed quotations so your answer runs smoothly and becomes sophisticated. For example:-

In his play 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare crafts the characterisation of Benvolio as a pacifist who is shown as a constructive character throughout the play. In the extract, Benvolio is linked to being a peacemaker and is in complete antithesis to Tybalt. Shakespeare uses religious imagery as Benvolio wants the servants to 'put down your swords' which is an intertextual reference to the Bible, when Jesus said ...

Above, I've highlighted the embedded quotation. Any questions, please let me know!

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending