Monday, 31 May 2010
1) Cosmetic surgery helps those who have been badly damaged in an accident or who have physical birth defects.
2) Plastic surgery is expensive. In the US, a facelift costs from $6,000 to $15,000.
3) Any surgery is potentially dangerous, including plastic surgery. Complications are rare but they do occur, ranging from scarring to fatalities.
4) Everyone is different. Some people do much better than others, even when treated by the same plastic surgeon.
5) With correct care and protection after surgery, most scars fade to become barely noticeable.
6) Plastic surgery might adversely affect the physiology of your skin and underlying tissues, speeding up the aging process.
7) Cosmetic surgery can help increase confidence and low self- esteem.
8) Minimally invasive plastic surgery reduces the aging process.
9) Cosmetic surgery tourism allows people to have operations at a cheaper price.
10) Plastic surgery may be particularly risky if you have certain health conditions (e.g. diabetes).
11) The redefining of features gives results that are generally permanent and need no future review.
12) It may take several weeks or months to recover from plastic surgery.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Friday, 21 May 2010
End of the day
Night in trenches
See: Looking out across no-man’s land
Germans on guard
Bomb craters/ shells
Other men on watch – checking guns
The toilet (the latrine)
Hear: Occasional gunshots
Other men talking quietly
Some men crying
Afraid of: German attack
Being taken prisoner
Losing the trench
Not seeing family again
What’s coming tomorrow?
Going ‘over the top’
The Big Push
Worried for your friends
Hopeful – proud to fight
Want the war to end
What would you say to the people you love?
Hope to get home
You love/ miss them
Afraid you won’t see them again
Hope to see your son play for the school team
Want to see them grow up
It’s the end of a long day for most of the men but I’m just going on watch. It’s eleven o’clock and the night is dark and still. I can see out across no-man’s land and see the rats scurrying between the dead bodies, puddles of muddy water and bomb-craters. In the distance are the lights of the German trenches, where guards like me are keeping watch. I look up the line and see some of my friends checking their guns, smoking cigarettes or sitting silently. The smell of gunpowder drifts across the trench, mixed with something sick and sweet: the smell of human flesh. The rats will come to seek the smell, and bring their disease with them. The night is mostly silent but sometimes I hear a gunshot ring out. One of our men taking a shot at a German or vice versa. It’s unlikely they would hit anyone in this darkness. I hear a gentle sobbing from up the line as one of our men thinks about his family, or his wife, or his friends in England.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
v Sherlock Holmes is a character from books written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
v His most famous story was The Hound of the Baskervilles.
v Many of the stories were made into movies and television dramas.
Who is he?
v Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
v Solves mysteries.
v Monument in London.
v Clever – solves almost impossible cases.
v Dr Watson - retired army officer.
v Violin/ pipe.
v Drugs - Cocaine and morphine.
v First appearance – 1887.
v Best detective in the world.
v Hat – going bald.
v Born - 6th January 1854.
v Figuring things out based on things you already know.
v The Sign of Four, part one - "The Science of Deduction".
v Attention to detail – impresses Watson.
v Details that appear unimportant can be crucial in solving a mystery.
v A Study in Scarlet - method is explained in detail.
v Consultant Detective
v Science of Detection is based on analysis and deduction
v Literature, philosophy, astronomy or politics
v Professor James Moriarty - archenemy.
v Master criminal.
v Mathematical genius.
v Professor of Maths at an English university.
v Moved to London - the centre of organized English crime.
v Sherlock Holmes vs Moriarty - great and famous battle.
v Holmes spoke often of Moriarty's genius.
v He spoke well of Moriarty.
v For more than 100 years his name has been known in every country of the world; and not only his name, but his appearance too.
v The hawk-like features and piercing eyes; the dressing-gown and pipe; the funny cap and magnifying glass - these details are so familiar that if he were to appear amongst us today we should know him at once.
2. “God, you’re a lot of trouble… I could get along so easy if I didn’t have you on my tail.” (George to Lennie)
3. “If I was alone I could live so easy…” “you do bad things and I got to get you out” (George to Lennie)
4. “guys like us that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world…” “they ain’t got nothing to look ahead to” (George to Lennie)
5. “if you jus’ happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here and hide in the brush” (George to Lennie)
6. “a guy on a ranch don’t never listen nor he don’t ast no questions” (Candy to George)
7. "at the old man’s heels there walked a drag-footed sheep-dog, grey of muzzle and with pale blind old eyes… “I had him ever since he was a pup” (Candy to George)
8. “I seen the guys that go around ranches alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin’ to fight all the time.” (George to Slim) (about Curley?)
9. “Sure, he’s jes’ like a kid. There ain’t no more harm in him than a kid, neither, except he’s so strong” (George to Slim)
10. “watch out them cats don’t get the little rabbits’. Lennie breathed hard. “You jus’ let ‘em try to get the rabbits. I’ll break their god-damn necks.” (Lennie to George)
11. “I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.” (Candy to George)
12. “I didn’t mean no harm, George.” (Lennie to George)
13. “…a guy talking to another guy and it don’t make no difference if he don’t hear or understand. The thing is they’re talking, or they’re settin’ still not talkin’.” (Crooks to Lennie)
14. “They’ll take ya to the booby hatch. They’ll tie ya up with a collar, like a dog.” (Crooks to Lennie)
15. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody… I tell you a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.” (Crooks to Lennie)
16. “I seen hundreds of men come by on the road… an’ that same damn thing in their heads… every damn one of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a god-damn one of them ever gets it. Just like heaven. Nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land.” (Crooks to Lennie)
17. Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while?.. I tell you I could of went with the shows… An’ a guy tol’ me he could put me in pitchers…” (Curley’s wife to Crooks/ Lennie/ Candy)
18. “I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.” (Curley’s wife to Lennie)
19. “Coulda been in the movies an’ had nice clothes… an’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me… because this guy says I was a natural.” (Curley’s wife to Lennie)
20. “I don’t want to hurt you but George’ll be mad if you tell… I done a bad thing. I done another bad thing.” (Lennie to Curley’s Wife)
21. “Lennie never done it in meanness. All the time he done bad things but he never done one of ‘em mean” (George to Candy)
22. “I thought you was mad at me, George.”
“No” said George. “No, Lennie, I ain’t mad. I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now. That’s a thing I want you to know.” (Lennie and George)
23. “You hadda, George. I swear you hadda.” (Slim, to George)
Thursday, 13 May 2010
If you prefer to read from screen rather than books this could be good for you!
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Discuss the theme of loneliness in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men".
Where and when is the novel set? Where did the inspiration for the novel come from? Who is the book about? What kind of life do these people have? There are other characters in the novel who are also lonely. What makes them lonely? (Age, race, sex.)
Discuss the central characters - George and Lennie. Who are they? What do they do? What do they look like? Describe their personalities - what are they like? What do they like to do?
Discuss the relationship between George and Lennie - what is it like? What does George think of Lennie? How does Lennie feel about George? Who is in control? Why do they travel together?
Discuss the character of Candy. Who is he? What does he do? What does he look like? What is he like? Who is his 'friend'? What happens to it? What does the future hold for him? How does he try to stop this? Relationship with George and Lennie? (Buys into a friendship.)
Discuss the character of Crooks. Who is he? What does he do? What does he look like? Where does he live? How does he describe his past? How does he describe his present life? How is he treated? How is he forced to spend his time? Relationship with others? Why is he so bitter?
Discuss the character of Curley's wife. Who is she? What does she look like? What do all the farm workers say about her? Why are all of the workers frightened to talk to her? Why does she marry Curley? What does she feel about him? How does she describe her life on the ranch? How does she behave - what things does she say and do in order to befriend the men? Why does she do this? Is she really 'a tart'? At the end of the novel, what does her loneliness cause?
Look at the incident in the barn. What brings Lennie and Curley's wife together - why are they there? What happens? How does this affect the relationships between George, Lennie and Candy.
Summarise your findings. As a guide, think about writing one or two sentences for each paragraph in the main body of your essay.
The central characters in the novel are George and Lennie. George is a sharp-witted man and has assumed responsibility for Lennie, who has the body of a very strong man but the mind of a child. We are told in the novel that their previous job was in a town called Weed. They had to flee after a misunderstanding between Lennie and a young girl; he wanted to feel her dress because it was soft, but the girl was scared by him and screamed she had been raped. This incident is one of many that lose both men their jobs. This is a continual frustration to George, who longs to settle down. Lennie is a very sociable man who loves to pet soft things with his fingers; his desire to do this often leads him into awful situations. George is much more cautious and wary of strangers. Throughout the novel, George plays solitaire; this game in particular is used to emphasise the idea of loneliness.
George and Lennie have a very atypical relationship compared to other ranch hands because they are very close, whereas usually ranch hands have no companions. George expresses this in the phrase “guys like us are the loneliest guys in the world”. This point is mentioned several times throughout the novel, particularly poignantly at Lennie’s death. George views Lennie as a burden and often reminds Lennie of this: “When I think of the swell time I could have without you I go nuts”. However, deep down, George knows they both need each other equally despite his obvious social advantage over Lennie; he expresses this at the end of the novel when he tries to reassure Lennie that he “never was mad at him”. Lennie thinks of George as a kind of father figure- his constant fear of doing a “bad thing” and getting into trouble from George shows this- but also as his only friend. Lennie feels extremely close to George; his distress when Crooks hypothetically proposes George might not come back after a night away in town shows how strongly he feels: “Who hurt George?... Ain’t nobody gonna talk no hurt to George”. We are told in the novel Lennie previously lived with his Aunt Clara (though he only remembers her as a lady who used to give him mice to pet) and when she died, George assumed responsibility for Lennie. This makes them unique as ranch hands because, as several characters observe, usually men don’t travel together. Lennie does several “bad things” in the novel but, as George mentions to another ranch hand Slim, “He ain’t mean. But he gets in trouble all the time because he’s so...dumb”. However, the other characters fail to understand this, leading to disaster at the end of the novel.
The first character George and Lennie encounter when they arrive at the ranch is Candy, an old “swamper” with one hand. Because of this disability, he cannot work in the fields like the rest of the men, so is left at the ranch to do odd jobs. As a result of this he feels useless and is excluded from the main group of men. His only companion is an old crippled dog he has had since it was a puppy. Candy is bullied into giving up his dog to be shot; Carlson, a ranch hand, persuades Candy that “He ain’t no good to himself and he stinks to beat hell”. This shows that no matter how old or how strong a friendship is, it can only last as long as both parties involved want it to. Candy regrets ending this friendship later, and confides in George he shouldn’t have let a stranger shoot his dog. Candy’s friendship with his dog has strong connotations of George and Lennie’s companionship in that Lennie often behaves like an animal, both friendships are ended by the stronger member, and both Lennie and the dog are both shot in the back of the head with the same gun. The similarities between Candy and his dog are so profound even the character himself recognises them, and realises the same thing could happen to him if people judge him to be no longer useful. When Candy overhears George and Lennie discussing their dream of owning a small farm, he realises he could be saved from this awful fate by buying into their friendship. However, at the end of the novel, such a dream is deemed impossible by George; “I think I knowed we’d never do her”. The failure of their dream was as inevitable as the failure of their friendship in such an isolated environment as the ranch.
Several of the characters in the novel suffer loneliness through isolation. One such character is Crooks, a stable buck with a crippled back who also suffers discrimination because he is black. He is treated like an animal by the other men; the fact he sleeps on a bed of straw in the harness room alone emphasises the loneliness he suffers. As a result of this harsh treatment, he has become very bitter towards the ranch hands and extremely wary of any attempts at friendship. His childhood has made a large contribution towards this attitude because he was not brought up to be treated so poorly: “I was born right here in California. My old man had a chicken ranch, ‘bout ten acres. The white kids came to play at our place, an’ sometimes I went to play with them, an’ some of them was pretty nice”. This shows that he had a happy childhood but since then has realised the way people of his colour are treated. One point made a few times in the novel is how Crooks reads a lot. The ranch hands admire this, however Crooks reveals he would much prefer human company: “Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody- to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody”. Despite his best efforts to combat loneliness by pre-occupying himself with books, all he needs to feel happy is someone to talk to.
One of the key characters in the novel is Curley’s wife. She is a very attractive woman who has married the boss’s son Curley. The ranch workers all say she is a “tart” because of the way she is always searching for the men; however later in the novel we find this is not the case. The men don’t talk to her because they are scared of Curley’s jealous retribution: “Curley’s a lightweight, and he’s pretty handy”. Another point that emphasises her isolation is her lack of a name; in the eyes of the men, she only exists in conjunction with Curley. Near the end of the novel, she reveals to Lennie she only married Curley because her other dance partner, who promised to “put her in the movies”, never wrote to her: “I never got that letter...so I married Curley”. This shows she doesn’t really have any feelings of love toward Curley; she only married him because he was the first man available. Unsurprisingly, she admits she doesn’t like Curley: “He ain’t a nice fella”. Her reluctance to accept her current situation is the cause of most of her misery; she describes her life on the ranch as feeble in comparison to the one she believes she could have led if she had joined an acting group. She constantly pursues the men just so she can talk to them, using the excuse “I’m looking for Curley”. This shows she too knows Curley would be jealous and angry if he found out her true feelings towards him. At the end of the novel, her loneliness and desire for companionship leads to her death and the ultimate destruction of everyone’s dreams.
The climax of the story is an incident in the barn which occurs near the end of the novel. Lennie has come to the barn to pet his pup, but accidentally kills it. He is distraught: “Why do you get killed? You ain’t so little as the mice”. This reinforces how Lennie doesn’t know his own strength and as a result loses something close to him. In the midst of his distress, Curley’s wife enters the barn looking for him. The other men are looking for him. The other men are playing horseshoes, so they are alone; “All the guys got a horseshoe (tournament) goin’ on. None of them guys is gonna leave that (tournament)”. This shows she knows they are going to be alone, and has every intention of talking to Lennie. They talk, and Curley’s wife invites Lennie to stroke her hair; “Feel right aroun’ there an’ see how soft it is”. When Lennie pets her head too hard, she screams and tries to wriggle free. Lennie, in his confusion, grips tighter and crudely attempts to make her quiet by smothering her nose and mouth. This only makes her scream louder until Lennie angrily shakes her, resulting in her neck breaking. Lennie, realising the enormity of what he’s done-“I done a real bad thing. George’ll be mad”- scrambles off to the brush to hide. This reinforces the theory that although he is unable to control his actions at the time, he does know the difference between right and wrong. Later, Candy finds Curley’s wife and fetches George, who immediately surmises something terrible is going to happen to Lennie. Candy, meanwhile, is concerned over the future of the dream he has bought into: “You an’ me can get that little place, can’t we George?” George then admits he always believed it would never happen, but “he usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would”. Steinbeck is saying that although you may allow yourself to believe in a dream or a friendship often, because of uncontrollable circumstances, they fail. Candy then realises that he is once again on his own; however this time there is no escaping his loneliness through dreams. At the end of the chapter, we are left believing the friendship between Candy, George and Lennie has been shattered and everything they have hoped for will never come to pass.
The novel ends with George shooting Lennie in the brush to prevent his death being stressful and painful. Throughout the novel, different events cause changes in friendships between some characters and create further feelings of isolation for others. There are also many examples of the cruelty of the human race in the novel; lonely men making weaker men feeling even more isolated. A recurring theme throughout the novel is the failure of friendship; Steinbeck is saying that loneliness is inevitable in such conditions as a ranch, and any attempts at friendship are doomed to failure. However, there is a positive message that can be taken from the novel; friendship, however long it may last, can defeat feelings of loneliness and give you hope for the future. Throughout this essay I have tried to discuss the theme of loneliness and the many ways people may react to it. Although loneliness can be all consuming, it only takes one small act of friendship to start a chain of events where everyone feels hopeful for the future.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
See how many you can remember...
1. "The creature was a party of boys, marching..."
2. "'We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages.”
3. "'You got your small fire all right.'"
4. " Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach...”
5. " the taboo of the old life."
6. "He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling."
7. "'I painted my face--I stole up. '"
8. "Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains."
9. "'Maybe there is a beast....maybe it's only us.'"
10. "The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away."
11. "'You'll get back to where you came from.'"
12. "'Kill the pig! Cut his throat!'"
13. "He says things like Piggy. He isn't a proper chief.'"
14. "'This head is for the beast. It's a gift.'"
15. "'You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?.. I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?'"
16. "The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble."
17. "You can't tell what he might do."
18. "Which is better--to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?"
19. " the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist."
20. "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."
Monday, 10 May 2010
Over the Easter holidays: the least you should have done is re-read the texts and glanced over your notes. This creates a good basis for your serious revision later. Memory is built up very effectively in layers so that every time you go over something it reinforces and adds to the last revision.
The lead up to the exam: Serious revision is not ‘reading over’ nor is it ‘copying out’. Absorption into the brain is necessary and this requires you to actively memorise material.
1. Prepare all 3 genres thoroughly. Do not rely on poetry as an option.
2. Know what you might be asked. (see below)
3. Revise with questions in mind.
4. Memorise important quotations.
5. Practise writing essays in 45 minutes.
(This will build your confidence and consolidate your revision. )
1. Know the exact title of the play and the playwright’s name. (Don’t laugh!)
Learn to spell “playwright”.
2. Understand and be able to use the following terms:
conflict, climax, denouement, set, staging, monologue, dialogue, character, theme, audience, soliloquy
3. Be prepared to answer questions on the following:
v character (creation of), character relationships
v conflict, tension, structure, climax
v a key scene, opening scene
v theme and how it is developed
v staging (set, music, lighting props) as relevant
v significance of title
v all of the above in relation to each other
1. Know the exact title of the novel and the author’s name. Learn to spell
2. Understand and be able to use the following terms:
main / minor character, theme, setting, structure, symbolism, plot
3. Be prepared to answer questions about:
Character (main/ minor) relationships & influences
v structure (avoid story-telling)
v symbolism / fable / allegory
v significance of the title
v all of the above in relation to each other
N.B. Poetry questions are very specific, which makes them particularly
difficult. There may well be NO poetry questions that relate to the poems you
have studied in class. You have been warned.
1. Know the exact title of the poems and the name of the poet(s). (Don’t laugh!)
Learn to spell these and the names of poetic techniques accurately. Know
whether your poem has a specific form (sonnet, ode, ballad, concrete, haiku,
dramatic monologue etc.) or whether it is rather a narrative poem, prosaic in
2. Understand and be able to use the following terms (as relevant to your
imagery, figure of speech, simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, word/lexical choice, stanza, structure, form, enjambment, rhyme, rhythm, paradox, oxymoron, irony, emotive language, theme
3. LEARN YOUR POEMS OFF BY HEART
Quotation must be accurate!
4. Be prepared to answer the following types of question:
v relationship between form and content (style and ideas) etc.
v key lines / beginning / ending/ in relation to the rest of the poem
v comparison or contrast between two poems (by the same poet or on
v the same theme)
v imagery and its impact on theme / the reader
1. Get a good night’s sleep. The most you should do the night before is think about everything you know, calmly and logically. It should all be in your brain now so avoid desperately reading notes.
2. Don’t try to swot up anything in the morning over breakfast. If you don’t know it by now, you never will.
3. Arrive in plenty of time, knowing your seat and candidate numbers. Have a few pens ready and wear a watch!
4. Read through all the possibilities in each section and choose the best two overall. Generally, specific, narrow questions are better than vague, open ones.
5. Once you have chosen, draw up a brief, skeleton plan for the first and get writing. Ensure that you allow equal time for each essay. Unfinished work is unlikely to pass.
6. Answer the question, the whole question and nothing but the question.
Remember that the second sentence in the task tells you what to do. Use topic sentences to provide a clear structure and show the examiner how relevant your work is. RELEVANCE IS CRUCIAL!!!
7. Don’t try to regurgitate a previous essay. Tasks will not be worded exactly like previous practices so your essay can’t be either - even if the task is very similar.
8. Finally, technical accuracy is important. Check your work, looking carefully at spelling, sentences and paragraphing. Ensure that quotation marks have been used correctly. Check your apostrophes and whether words like ‘however’ have been written correctly.
e.g. The word itself is not emotive. However, its impact is.
The word “caught”, however, is not emotive in itself.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Choose a novel or short story in which a conflict between two of the main characters is central to the story.
Explain how the conflict arises and go on to discuss in detail how the writer uses it to explore an important theme.
Veldt- Ray Bradbury – 1951 – science fiction – view of utopia gone wrong – focus on relationship between Peter and George – father and son – brings out theme of failed responsibilities.
Future – perfect house – fulfils all needs – removes need of work – meals prepared – tidies itself – raises children – the nursery – visions of Africa – sinister atmosphere – lions – G&L note their growing irrelevance – fail to change their ways – children feel denied – seek revenge – psychic connection to nursery – trap parents – kill psychiatrist.
George - wants to provide the best - He loves his children – refuses to be a disciplinarian – believes he will punish the children when necessary - slowly becomes frustrated with the house’s effect on the family - cares more for his family than he does for the convenience of the house - has no problem turning off the house - tries to take a very logical approach to problems - does not realize the true danger of the nursery until it is too late. “Walls, Lydia, remember; crystal walls, that's all they are.”
David McClean tells George, "You've let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children's affections." This accidental abdication of parental responsibility sets the children up to become emotionally attached to the nursery.
George threatens to turn off the nursery, the children are terrified because now they are going to be abandoned by their new, surrogate parent, the nursery.
Lydia clearly recognizes her own feelings of alienation when she admits very early in the story, "I feel like I don't belong here."
Man versus machine. Struggle to control and direct the destructive power of the nursery's technology. Whoever controls the machine will have the ultimate power.
George and Lydia are murdered by the nursery; the children are also dehumanised - feel no guilt, remorse or regret when their parents die - as cold and emotionless as the machinery that controls the nursery.
Foreshadowing - "Those screams—they sound familiar." – Lions heat “on his neck”
Personification - "'I don't imagine the room will like being turned off,' said the father. 'Nothing likes to die—even a room. I wonder if it hates me for wanting to switch it off?'"
Inverted power - "Will you shut off the house sometime soon?"
"We're considering it."
"I don't think you'd better consider it any more, Father."
"I won't have any threats from my son!"
"Very well." And Peter strolled off to the nursery.
Difference in register – control in children’s hands – G ignores the threat – cold tone from P
Irony of utopian house bringing misery
Peter is seduced by the total care of the house
Parents can’t compete
They refuse to take responsibility