‘War on Wasps’ revision Jan 25th

Please remember to bring A3 printed text of the novel to the lesson on Monday Jan 25th. Can you also please pass this on, in case anyone misses this reminder ? Thank you !

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Possible Coursework Questions

  1. ‘I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its studipity.’ How do X, Y and Z explore the effects of war, in particular the nature of loss in  TEXT A, B and C, and how do they use form, structure and language to present their views?
  2. ‘One of the first casualties of war is faith/God/truth/love/honour/trust..’   How do X, Y and Z present the loss of faith and the effect this has on men in war?
  3. To what extent do you agree with the view that X, Y and Z present mankind as an intrinsically destructive animal ? How do the writers use form, structure and language to explore this aspect of war?
  4. “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end ot mankind” JF Kennedy How far do you agree that X, Y and Z present similar concerns in their works, and how do they use form, structure and language to present their concerns?
  5. ‘I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.’ W T Sherman How do X, Y and Z present their attitudes towards civilians  and how they were viewed by soldiers in WWI ?
  6. ‘I know not with what weapons WWIII will by fought, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones.’ EInstein. How far would you agree that X, Y and Z explore the idea that man’s evolution will be his ultimate downfall, and how do they use form, structure and language to explore this idea ?
  7. ‘War does not determine who is right – only who is left’ Bertrand Russell. How do X, Y and Z use form, structure and language to present the common humanity of the soldier in Text A, B and C ? (My personal favourite at this stage – Owen – ‘Strange Meeting’/universality of many poems – no nationality given; Long, Long Way – use of soldiers in Ireland etc; Faulks – German soldiers at the end; tunnels both sides scared etc., German lover etc).
  8. ‘Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.’ George S Patton To what extent woudl you agree that X, Y and Z’s main achievement is to combat this view of war ? How do they use form, structure and language to achieve this ?
  9. ‘We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be… ‘ WInston Churchill. Do what extent do you feel that X, Y and Z’s greatest achievement is to describe that  ‘cost’ to the modern reader? How do the writers use form, structure and language to present the ‘cost’ of war on the individual soldier or the individual soldier and his family?
  10. ‘War is a defeat for humanity’. Pope John Paul II. Do what extent do you feel X, Y and Z presents war as dehumanising, and how do they use form, structure and language to present the dehumanisation of men in both life in the trenches and in battle in Text A, B and C ?
  11. Wars have never hurt anybody except the people who die.’ Salvidor Dali. How do X, Y and Z use form, structure and language in Text A, B and C to firmly dispute Dali’s view?
  12. ‘In my dreams I hear the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.’ Douglas MacArthur. How do X, Y and Z use form, structure and language to describe the experience of the battlefield, and in particular the sounds, and its effects on those who fought in WWI? (The question invites a considerable amount of historical context and will require a firm focus on the writing style of the writers to prevent the necessary context information over-shadowing the literary analysis.)

Please ensure your question:

  • does not include the word ‘quotation’
  • includes the words ‘uses form, structure and language’ 
  • invites/ requires you to persuade your reader of your viewpoint – i.e. you are taking up a debatable position – which will require support from not just the text, but with information about the context AND the consideration of other informed readers i.e. you must cite the views of recognised critics or evaluate critical approaches which would both support or argue against you.

Please post your chosen question or your own question, worded/presented in the above format by Sunday 5pm. Please remember to show you have looked at other posts – not the least to ensure you are avoiding questions already chosen by too many others. 

Please expect to be asked to explain any failure to meet this deadline. 

You will need to bring an essay plan giving the estimated number of words for each section to the final lesson next week. You also need to bring copies of your comparative grid (produced in class), copies of texts (at least 7 poems to actually reference + the titles of other poems read/considered), and copies of print outs, photocopies, books, leaflets etc of the criticisms you are going to evaluate.

You are required to give a FULL bibliography of ALL the materials READ (not just cited). Any material cited must be given full credit in numbered footnotes. Remember you are given credit for referencing, and are warned against any plagarism. 

You should also have material about the social, historical and cultural context – however, much of this personal research should have been blogged, may be online etc – but you must have dates, names, lists of points etc to incorporate into your essay.

You will be expected to produce this FIRST DRAFT in lessons by the middle of January. Homework will continue to be personal research, re-reading texts, collecting quotations etc. The handwritten first draft will be peer-marked. This version may then be taken home to be ‘typed’ up and improved. Both the first and rough drafts will then be handed in by the end of January. You will recieve feedback and the typed draft back immediately after half-term. You will then have a short time to produce your FINAL draft.

It is VITAL deadlines are met as you need the ‘coursework lessons’ to begin your final examination preparation.

*Please LIKE this post to show you have read it and if you have any questions, use the comment facility. 

Sebastain Faulks’ Literary Techniques in ‘Birdsong’

Faith Baker

Language of War

When Azaire is talking with his business associates he uses various words which could be associated with the language of war. For example he uses the word, ‘retrench’. He then talks about the workers in a military ranking fashion, ‘reclassified as untrained workers’. He doesn’t talk about them as real people with livelihoods and families to sustain. He instead talks about them as objects which are either earning or losing him money. This is very similar to the way in which the army generals, and Stephen, talk to the soldiers later on in the novel during the war.

Language of Love and Reproduction

Although the erotic scenes have not yet begun in the first chapter of the novel, the language used by Faulks is still very suggestive and sensuous. He uses many words that have sexual connotations for example: ‘thrust’ and ‘plunge’. This could be premeditating what…

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1000 words – third text – Journey’s End

This is a great response at this stage. You now need to identify a list of the key writing techniques including the use of lighting and sound, and other dramatice devices (structural patterns, motifs) and the use of language for the personal dramatis voices. I like the idea about ‘being educated’ although I suspect you mean social background/class. ou could persue this with Owen and Faulks by suggesting that all three texts show how the war broke down the social class barriers – although Owen does not address social class directly ‘his love’ for his ‘men’ does suggest a new relationship between the upper/commissioned officers and their charges. Faulks also does this with Stephen and Jack coming from different backgrounds. There would be plenty of material to discuss, including evaluations of different readings esp. Marxists’ where they would argue that, ironically, WWI caused by social injustice and political greed ultimately led to a fairer society, not in a small part because of the closeness of the relationships between social classes who previously had had little to do with each other beyond master/servant. HOW this is presented is through the writing techniques used to show Owen cared about his men, the language and devices used by Faulks to show the relationship between Jack and Stephen and obviously the material you’ve mentioned above. Feminists’ reading would argue that whilst all three show the comaraderie between the men, it is interesting none of them really address any serious feminine issues as their female characters, if they have any, continue to be the stereotypical dependent or femme fatale (in Faulks – nearly 90 years later does little to challenge this!).

Lucy Loughnane Lit Blog

Journey’s End by R.C Sherriff is a play that explores heroism and comradeship. Writer R.C Sherriff was wounded in 1917 in France during World War 1, therefore his work is accurate in its detail and well respected.  ‘Journey’s End’ was considered his greatest achievement.  The play is set in France 1918 and life in the trenches is presented throughout.

The play opens with a conversation between Captain Osborne and Captain Hardy. Hardy reveals to the audience that Captain Stanhope has a drinking problem, whereas Osborne stresses that Stanhope has suffered and is not the same man that he used to be. During World War One, many men adopted a drinking problem as a result of being witnesses to the horrifying consequences of war. It was seen as a coping mechanism that often spiralled out of control. Throughout the play, Stanhope has many outbursts of anger and we see a dark…

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1000 words on Birdsong.

Liam's Blog

Sebastian Faulks displays the futility and pity of war through a variety of techniques. One of these techniques is the monologue, which is utilized to help the writer express their ideas using certain characters. One character Faulks uses to express the idea that war is bot futile and pitiful is Stephen, who states: “This is not war this is an exploration into how far men can be degraded.” “You think they will take no more, that something in them will say, enough, no one can do this.” “They will do more.” George Simmers states: “Faulks’ hero is surely showing a remarkable naivety.” “The aim of war is always to degrade the enemy.” It is a weakness of Simmer’s argument that he forgets who Stephen is really blaming for the degradation of these men. From Stephen’s perspective, and hence Faulks’, the degradation of these soldiers is self inflicted. This is clear…

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Birdsong Essay:)

An excellent piece! Well-focused and consistently detailed analysis of writing technique. You now need to move towards a thesis about what Owen and Faulks achieve, in your opinion, showing you have taken other readers’ opinions into account. In your 3,000 words you will not have ‘words’ to give all the above information, but will have to select the techniques that have impacted upon your thesis i.e. the particular methods used to convey what you think is the ‘similarity’ with Owen’s poetry. Whilst choosing/reading the third text you should then be looking at how yet another writer has presented a similar ‘idea’/explored a similar ‘theme’ and which are the particular tequniques which have drawn your attention to this idea.

Nimbus Type40

The novel ‘Birdsong’ by Sebastian Faulks focuses on WW1 and its effect on society through the journey of the protagonist Stephen Wraysford and his family. The novel is structured around three time periods and Faulks uses these time changes and the characters in each to show the differences that the war made. The first section is set in France before the war and introduces Stephen and his affair with Isabelle. This whole section shows how little rights women had, especially shown in Isabelle’s unhappy and abusive marriage to Azaire. The next section contains the war and explores trench warfare, tunnelling and going over the top. The final section is set in 1970s Britain and concerns Stephen’s granddaughter Elizabeth who is researching WW1. This last section truly shows the change in society and women’s rights as Elizabeth is free to have a child despite being single.

The novel opens with a…

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