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May 2012 English A1 HL TZ2

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Dear all,

share your thoughts/opinions/ideas on the English A1 HL TZ2 paper.. .

Which option did you'll choose - The Silkworm or The Womanizer? What were the main points you'll mentioned? If you found something particularly striking, feel free to mention it... :)

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Guest Loco Mo Mo

Surprisingly there's no topic on English yet. So did you choose the poem or prose? How did you find it?

I didn't even look at the prose because it was so damn long. I realised after the exam though that I had started off writing 'the silkworms' as the title says but for some reason drifted to 'the silver worms.' So I'm really worried of getting heavily penalised for it.

Other than that, you never know with English exams eh?

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I did the poem but i'm so dumb that i didn't know silkworms were domesticated :S I bet everyone else knew that too though lol. But still i think it was okay. I'm not jinxing it :P

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I chose The Womanizer! full of characterization and conflict!

My thesis was:

Ford uses descriptive diction, characterization, and narrative style in order to illustrate various conflicts between the characters to foreshadow future events.

Some of the things I talked about:

For Diction:

  • The kiss in the beginning (descriptive dictions suggests that Josephine is in love with Austin)
  • The description of Josephine's dress (white shows how she wants to be perceived as pure; loud colors of the trousers indicate how she wants to attract attention. Also presents conflict since Austin doesn't like them that much)
  • French conversation between Leo and Josephine and the fact that Austin can't speak it (portrays a conflict)
  • The description of Leo's shirt (red Cadillac is the symbol of America and the fact that it says "All American Luxury" on his shirt shows how they might be immigrants)
  • I said some other stuff as well.. but I can't remember

Characterization:

  • Austin: Attracted to Josephine (cause at some point it says "Josephine looked pretty and Austin wanted to go to her and kiss her again). Also tries to connect with Leo (the egg - as a motif - and the fact that he memorized some French are both used to highlight this
  • Leo: Is not comfortable with Austin (portrayed by his reaction to Austin's present) and highlights the conflict between them
  • Josephine: Is selfish (highlighted by the chronology of the passage: she opens the door, kisses Austin, goes back to geting ready, asks Austin how he is... She basically doesn't care about Leo! She doesn't explain anything and she doesn't even ask how he feels about all this. All she says is that "[Leo] is very mixed up". This is another conflict presented

Third Person Omniscient Narration:

  • Is used to portray character emotions (how Austin feels about Josephine)
  • Is used to develop the conflict between Leo and Austin (since Leo doesn't talk and his feelings about Austin are explained by the narrator)

Conclusion:

  • I basically summed up everything and then said it's foreshadowing an unsuccessful relationship (lust?) because of the title of the text and these conflicts:

  1. Austin and Josephine: He doesn't like her pants that much - They come from different backgrounds (French and American)
  2. Austin and Leo: Austin tries but to Leo, he's a complete stranger - Different languages and how they can't communicate - The ending of the passage (Leo hurts Austin and runs away and shouts the door behind himself, forcefully isolating himself from the conflict)
  3. Leo and Josephine: Josephine doesn't seem to care about Leo that much

I think I did good but I wish I mentioned something about the part where Austin sympathizes with Leo... That was significant.

By the way, the book is actually about a married American salesman who goes to Paris and meets this French single mother and falls in love with her. She doesn't love him that much and the relationship fails. Austin goes back to America to his wife. It kinda doesn't match with what I said; I kinda said Austin is "The Womanizer" and Josephine (who is a French immigrant in the US) is gonna get hurt in this lustful affair.

Definitely one of the easiest paper 1 passages for HL! We've done so many past papers in our class but this one was the most straightforward one!

I didn't even read the poem after reading the prose halfway through!

How did you guys do? What do you think about my outline?

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My interpretation was almost completely different!

Themes: I talked about modern society (it's a post-modern text) and how there was a conflict between cultures ( French and English), and how children growing up in ''melting pot'' societies often felt frustrated (Leo's example). Even though I wish I'd written more about the egg as a symbol of this frustration.

Oh and ofcourse probably the sexual freedom present there.

Characterization:

Austin: (As the point of view is third person limited omniscient, the descriptions kind of show Josephine and Leo from Austin's perspective) I thought that Austin's character was portrayed as a guy who was overly concerned with physical appearances ( he carefully notes what Josephine and Leo are wearing, and is initially a bit put off by J's pants, and soon after wants to kiss her when he realises she looks pretty) and how he wants to make a good impression (He learns French for Leo and gets him a present, and also feels awkward with him around)

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TZ2, I chose The Silkworms.

I'm really not sure how well I did - I ended up relating the poem to the Cold War since it was written in 1957. I thought that it was a good link when I was in the exam but now I'm just kind of thinking "why did I write that?!?!?" Ah well, what's done is done and all that. And I suppose you never know with English...

Hoping for a really good Paper 2 as my IOP was pretty bad (IMO) so I want to save my grade a bit...

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I actually thought about writing something like that but I'm always scared to be that abstract and take everything metaphorically! I rather get 1-2 mark(s) off for not mentioning subtleties like that than getting caught in a trap called "over-analyzation"! But your interpretation makes perfect sense! Our characterization points are almost identical, which makes me feel better about my paper :D

Edited by Vincent Casey F

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I did the Womanizer...

I can't be bothered to write it all out... I focused on the way tone changes and mentioned ellipsis and sibilance there, I talked about characterization and the relationships the characters have with one another, visual imagery, comparison, the symbolism of the egg, can't even remember what else... I hope I did well, it's my most important subject. :/

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Um, I'm surprised, hahaha. Didn't anybody choose the poem? I thought it was absolutely beautiful. My only problem was that it was so FULL with literary aspects that I couldn't have possibly written them all down in the two hours. It had too many metaphors, similies, and the rhyme scheme was just fantaaastic. Maybe this is just the literature nerd in me speaking, LOL.

Since the poem was ambiguous, I explained the poems in terms of the silkworms and then in terms of humans and fighting for freedom. I focused on the metpahors and what they signify in terms of freedom and the lack of it, etc. etc. Uh...I could have sworn I commented on diction and other things, but I can't really remember right now. As far as I know, I did pretty well, but I wish I had more time because the poem was just so full of literary techniques.

Edited by Minuet

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I took the womanizer too! I talked a lot about the relationship between Austin and Josephine and how Leo could be a resemblance to the readers because he is just as confused as we are when it comes to the relationship between Austin and Josephine. I talked about the mood, language, diction, the title, the characters and how Josephine barely appeared in the passage and some other stuff. All in all, I wrote 7 pages :)

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I chose The Womanizer! full of characterization and conflict!

My thesis was:

Ford uses descriptive diction, characterization, and narrative style in order to illustrate various conflicts between the characters to foreshadow future events.

Some of the things I talked about:

For Diction:

  • The kiss in the beginning (descriptive dictions suggests that Josephine is in love with Austin)
  • The description of Josephine's dress (white shows how she wants to be perceived as pure; loud colors of the trousers indicate how she wants to attract attention. Also presents conflict since Austin doesn't like them that much)
  • French conversation between Leo and Josephine and the fact that Austin can't speak it (portrays a conflict)
  • The description of Leo's shirt (red Cadillac is the symbol of America and the fact that it says "All American Luxury" on his shirt shows how they might be immigrants)
  • I said some other stuff as well.. but I can't remember

Characterization:

  • Austin: Attracted to Josephine (cause at some point it says "Josephine looked pretty and Austin wanted to go to her and kiss her again). Also tries to connect with Leo (the egg - as a motif - and the fact that he memorized some French are both used to highlight this
  • Leo: Is not comfortable with Austin (portrayed by his reaction to Austin's present) and highlights the conflict between them
  • Josephine: Is selfish (highlighted by the chronology of the passage: she opens the door, kisses Austin, goes back to geting ready, asks Austin how he is... She basically doesn't care about Leo! She doesn't explain anything and she doesn't even ask how he feels about all this. All she says is that "[Leo] is very mixed up". This is another conflict presented

Third Person Omniscient Narration:

  • Is used to portray character emotions (how Austin feels about Josephine)
  • Is used to develop the conflict between Leo and Austin (since Leo doesn't talk and his feelings about Austin are explained by the narrator)

Conclusion:

  • I basically summed up everything and then said it's foreshadowing an unsuccessful relationship (lust?) because of the title of the text and these conflicts:

  1. Austin and Josephine: He doesn't like her pants that much - They come from different backgrounds (French and American)
  2. Austin and Leo: Austin tries but to Leo, he's a complete stranger - Different languages and how they can't communicate - The ending of the passage (Leo hurts Austin and runs away and shouts the door behind himself, forcefully isolating himself from the conflict)
  3. Leo and Josephine: Josephine doesn't seem to care about Leo that much

I think I did good but I wish I mentioned something about the part where Austin sympathizes with Leo... That was significant.

By the way, the book is actually about a married American salesman who goes to Paris and meets this French single mother and falls in love with her. She doesn't love him that much and the relationship fails. Austin goes back to America to his wife. It kinda doesn't match with what I said; I kinda said Austin is "The Womanizer" and Josephine (who is a French immigrant in the US) is gonna get hurt in this lustful affair.

Definitely one of the easiest paper 1 passages for HL! We've done so many past papers in our class but this one was the most straightforward one!

I didn't even read the poem after reading the prose halfway through!

How did you guys do? What do you think about my outline?

I think whatever you have said makes sense as long as your chose examples are well supported.

I focused heavily on symoblism of the egg, the french vs. english clash of cultures and the useage of dialogues to help juxtapose the differences in the language and to carry along action etc, and imagery to build up the characters of the woman and Austin and how Austin's reaction to the pants the woman wears and combining that with the title "The Womanizer" what this says about him though it's a bit ambiguous since afterall, they might be serious because he is meeting her child for the first time and tried hard to win over his affection.

I can't remember what else I said just remember a lot of focus on characterization through visual imagery, build up of the conflict between Leo and Austin through kinesthetic imagery like in the beginning with Austin is coming up the stairs and later when Leo keeps lashing out at the egg with his drumsticks, symbol of the egg like I mentioned, usage of dialogues all over...

But I was wondering, in the passage I noticed a lot of things I didn't get the chance to mention. Like specific similes and some random things that I felt related heavily to Leo's character and background and might have contributed to the building up of the conflict -- but I ran out of time. I had about 5 minutes left when I realized I hadn't managed to cover EVERYTHING I had brainstormed so I just finished up my point and tried to end with a decent conclusion. I found this passage relatively easy, despite being very dry, and I was pretty happy with how much I came up with since sometimes its hard to disect a passage you find extremely uninteresting. But if I have only been able to focus primarily on whatever I have mentioned above can I get penalized for not mentioning even more? Luckily whatever I introduced in my intro was covered and disected appropriately (from what I remember) so it's not like I've introduced and idea and then not gotten to to it... and it seems like since people had very different ideas it's not possible that we all spoke about every device in the passage or every effect it could have had, right? So I'll be okay if the content is viable, sound, and well-supported and drawn back into the overall context -- correct? :) thanks in advance hehe.

p.s. I covered about 10 sides (5 separate shees of paper) usually I write about this much, maybe slightly more sometimes and the content is usually appropriate to score me a high 6 or even a 7 once.

Edited by ro_1293x

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