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GCE English Literature

LT1
CPD Autumn 2012










































http://www.wjec.co.uk/englitgce
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LT1: Section A - AO3
AO3 (links): suggested approaches

Compare and contrast poem titles e.g.
Eliots The Journey of the Magi and Yeats The Magi
Bolands The Bottle Garden and Pollards To a London Plane Tree
Heaneys Follower and Sheers Inheritance
Larkins Sunny Prestatyn and Abses In Llandough Hospital
Plaths The Moon and the Yew Tree and Hughes Full Moon and Little Frieda
Duffys Lizzie Six and Pughs Paradise for the Children
Candidates can then go on to compare and contrast the poems themselves (see below)

Think AO2+AO3: encourage students to explore similarities and differences through writers techniques
Get students to identify techniques that are the same/similar in the core and partner texts. Discuss
how the writers use these techniques. Encourage students to move beyond simple links. Focusing
on differences is important (e.g. the different attitudes displayed). Writers may use the same
technique but in a very different way, or to display a very different attitude.
Discuss how writers explore the same topic/theme but using different techniques.
Put two poems (one core and one partner) that are linked by at least one theme onto an A4 sheet.
In pairs, students list all of the similarities and all of the differences (by title, themes/ideas,
attitudes, techniques etc.).
Give students one core poem and ask them to come up with three partner poems that would be
useful to compare/contrast. Students have to justify their choices to the rest of the class. All pairs
can be given the same core poem, or different ones.

Examples of AO3 (links) from exam scripts
1. Hughes, like Plath in Daddy, uses war imagery in The Tender Place to present personal suffering:
however, while in Daddy the speakers suffering is presented as being caused by her father, in
Hughes poem the unnamed woman (who is like the speaker in Daddy generally agreed to be
Plath) suffers due to EST treatment for depression, shown in the violent simile: the nerve threw off
its skin / Like a burning child / Scampering out of the bomb-flash. The reference to the child
creates a sense of vulnerability, as in Daddy where the speaker is arguably trapped in her
childhood. It could be argued that the war imagery is much more controversial in Plaths poem as
the speaker equates her suffering to the Holocaust (I think I may well be a Jew). However, as
Hughes simile arguably evokes the famous photograph of the naked Vietnamese child burned with
napalm, both poems use extreme examples of historical suffering to vividly show the extent of the
personal suffering of the women in the poems.

2. Both Pugh and Duffy use desire in their poetry as a device to explore the boundaries that might
hinder a physical expression of desire. In Eva and the roofers the physical distance between Eva
and her spectators is impressed upon us to show the impossibility of the existence of anything
other than mental desire: we are told that the fenced territory protects them all, wards off reality
showing that the geographical position of the characters allows desire to flourish without the
threat of inappropriate physical behaviour. This technique is also used by Duffy in Dear Norman,
with the line I trace his name upon the windowpane the window acts as a physical barrier
between the desiring and the desired and, while it allows her to observe and therefore fantasise
about the newspaper boy, it prevents their physical connection and so highlights her longing.

3. Social barriers are also discussed by Pugh in this poem, and how desire can transcend them. The
line blurred at the edges suggests an ambiguity about the present social boundaries between the
characters sex, class, reserve, duty, danger. These are listed by Pugh to show the number of
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ways in which the desire is unacceptable in society but Pugh uses this to create the sense that
desire provides escape from mundane realities temporarily at least (the phrase theyll all burn
tomorrow suggests that shame and guilt are the predictable outcomes). Duffy also discusses social
barriers in relations to desire, as seen in Standing Female Nude. The artist desires his nude female
subject. However, because of the boundaries she imposes upon his desire it cannot be fulfilled
she states youve not the money for the arts I sell, an almost patronising tone that belittles the
artist.

4. Similarly to Night Drive, the physical journey [in Farther] is conveyed with brief snapshots of
places: the dry stone wall; that cleft of earth. During the physical journey the narrator undergoes
a mental change, a realisation that the careful balance of the relationship he has hitherto shared
with his father grows weaker as he is growing stronger, shown in the metaphor the tipping in the
scales. While Sheers is physically next to his father, yet emotionally distant, in contrast, in Night
Drive the speaker is physically separate from his wife (the break in the line highlighting their
separation), yet emotionally close: I thought of you continuously / A thousand miles away.

5. Abses Leaving Cardiff is equally as personal as Larkins Here, only arguably more obviously so,
with a clearer emphasis on the emotional value that Cardiff has for him, which contrasts Larkins
rather unforgiving portrayal of Hull Whilst in Larkins Here the speaker was distanced from that
which he was observing (through the barrier of the train window), Abse is intimately involved with
his surrounding landscape, shown through the natural similes and metaphors to describe his
emotions: there is heightened pathos in Abses tears as the knots of water flow, using nautical
measurements in the knots in order to accentuate the depth of his pain and love.

6. [From an introduction] Larkin and Abse both write about unhappiness in their poems, but through
the prism of different outlooks on life. Larkin presents unhappiness as an insidious and long-term
damaging force while Abse focuses more on short disagreements. The poets also both often write
about the unhappiness caused by death: but where Larkin focuses on generalised disappointment,
Abse relates personal losses.

AO3 (other readings) examples from exam scripts
1. Duffy and Pughs poems discussing the nature of desire can be interpreted from a feminist
perspective: it could be said that some of their poems show the objectification of women. Both Eva
and the narrator from Standing Female Nude are subjects of a male gaze, part of feminist theory
that, in these cases, suggests that the onlookers desire gives them power over the women.

2. The metaphor feet to the stars connotes beauty and wonder, suggesting that the mother is in awe
of the new life inside her. The image also suggests the mothers attitude that the child has potential
(reinforced by the phrase O high riser later on in the poem).

3. On one level Dockery and Son recounts the story of the speakers visit to his old college; however,
this visit is used as a medium to trigger memories that lead the speaker to speculate on the
meaning of life and the significance of legacy.

4. The most controversial imagery in this poem, however, is the use of the Holocaust, which has
caused much dispute. Many critics have accused Plath of hysteria and self-indulgence to the point
where the poem denies any right to claim sympathy from its readers ... However, I argue that
instead of alienating the reader the use of this imagery draws the reader in as it effectively
illustrates the extent of the speakers psychological damage.
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