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P2 trouble

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I'm getting better and better at P1 with practice, but my P2 is falling flat. (Ours is the novels & short story one)

Half of the time I don't know what the questions mean and I find it really hard to relate to my books.

For instance, when there is a question on settings or narrative voices, I don't know how to write a full 2hr essay on such narrow topics.

It's like "oh the story is set in the post colonial late 19th century"........................done...... what more???

I find it extremely difficult to think of examples too - my teacher comments on most of my P2 practice essays saying that my points are quite irrelevant and so the essay has no real focus.

Can someone help me how to go about in writing a P2 response? Do you guys like memorise quotes for all sorts of topics/themes ???

How do you guys write a full essay on such narrow questions?

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you need to talk more about the effects of such literary feature.

example for the one on settings:

you can talk about how its settings in century X makes the characters act like that or makes the themes like that or whatever.. for example in my book the settings is in Cairo in year idk I forgot but that's a long time ago, in this place at that time the male figures are dominant over the female figures, women had to be circumcised etc, and all these things were portrayed in the novel. you can talk about that. also in my other book it's set in the 16th century where indonesians were still traditional and wives had to serve their husbands and nothing else, and this made the female characters in the novel wanted to break out from this situation and be more modernised and free. for this reason you'll need to find out the settings of your texts and the background of the authors (in the first book i mentioned, the author is a feminist who's anti female circumcision that's why). I think I can write an essay on this, pretty sure.

example on narrative voices:

in my first book in the example, there are 3 chapters, the first and last ones told by a psychiatrist where the 2nd one is told by the protagonist. you can discuss how the switching of narrative voice is effective. you can say that the psychiatrist speaking makes us unable to figure out what the protagonist is thinking of and we don't know her character which later will be developed in the next chapter and this makes us curious about her character etc...and having the psychiatrist to speak makes us see a different perspective of what the protagonist is like from the psychiatrist's point of view... then in the 2nd chapter the protagonist is the narrator which makes us able to see her opinions and what she thinks about the situation surrounding her, which emphasises the author's message as this message is conveyed by the protagonist mostly through her thoughts.

and in my other book the narrator is a third person so i can say this is effective because i can see what all characters feel, and understand what it's like to be in their shoes. i can also see one thing in different characters' perspectives and from there i can see their characterisation...stuff like that

this topic is also feasible methinks!

if you think those topics are too narrow, just choose your topic from the "General" section. we have it in Indonesian A1 so I guess you have it too in English... those topics are more like about the nature of literature in general or about the authors. so I think it should be a bit broader in your eyes.

I suggest that you read good paper 2 examples, maybe your friends' work or something you find on the net... I wish I could show you mine but if it's translated I'm afraid the meaning will go wrong anyway, and I can't write one in English haha. so try to find the English ones... I'm sure there are some on the net.

when you get a topic, I think it should be narrow and clear enough on what it demands from you. for example I last wrote my paper on something about "literary works are written in purpose for the readers to get a chance to consider new norms that are better than what's believed in their society" -- something like that, I can't precisely remember and it's originally written in Indo anyway :P under this topic I can focus on talking about other purposes of literary works, or about the types of norms portrayed in the work. I opted for the latter. I said that there were good norms, bad norms and controversial norms portrayed in my texts, related to the themes of each novel. for each one I gave one example from each novel. what's important is to also talk about its implications, like why are those bad norms being portrayed in the novels? I said the purpose is to make the readers more critical to take only the good sides and not merely take the bad norms.

implications, implications... those are important in order to get a 4 or a 5 in a criterion, I think it's criterion B or C.

oh and good luck with it!! exams are coming up yeah? good luck!! :D

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