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English exam November 2013

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Unless my converting between GMT and AEST is terrible, I believe we're allowed to talk about English paper 1 now.

So, did you pick prose or poetry?

And what were your thoughts?

I did poetry and talked about the poet's seeming reluctance to accept the new perspective on the inanimate objects as he kept trying to point out that he knew it was weird and was explicity referring to the fact that it was dignified.

I also looked at the contrast between 'still life' art and what the poet was observing and suggested that the poem was critiquing the lifeless nature of 'still life'

My final paragraph was a bit rushed towards the end, but other than that I think it went alright.

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I did the prose which I liked much more than the poem, I couldn't really work out what the poem was about so didn't linger on it, just got stuck into the prose (but I usually do poetry so that could be a risk)

I thought the prose was interesting and I talked about the narrator's relationship with words versus relationship with wife

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I did the poem. Did the whole coming alive thing actually happen or was it supposed to be the persona's head? I was slightly confused but hey there were plenty of literary techniques to deal with.

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I thought that the poem had heaps to talk about, but it was hard finding an interpretation... I basically talked about the antithesis between Still and Life (from the title) and explored this through diction and other literary features, as well as our ability to bring a kind of dignified 'magic' to something as banal as a doorknob, but how this must return to normality when the sun rises again? I tried not to force an interpretation though, as it was so ambiguous; just more suggesting what some things might allude to.

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I did the prose! I didn't really get the poem.. I only understood it literally and superficially and had absolutely no idea what I'd be able to write about.. It's definitely interesting to hear how you guys interpreted it!

Initially after the first rushed read I was like what *mini panic attack* with the prose, but after reading it carefully again, I actually really loved it! There was like techniques in every line! and usually it takes me a while to come up with what to write about but all the ideas just started bursting out of my head.. & I thought it was actually a beautiful piece of writing, aha.

I talked about the significance of words/spoken language and how words can be deceiving/harmful/unnecessary.. then went on to the speaker's rejection of it/the vow, his isolation, and his detached relationship with his wife. :)

I feel pretty happy with Paper 1, as it went as well as it could have.. given I hate english. Although the only thing I hope I did was enough actual analysing and not too much literal/superficial analysis.

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Agreed, the prose was full of stuff I feel like I didnt have time to fully explore! I also worry that the analysis was too superficial but eh, what can you do now?

Also I said the narrator was a monk which, upon reflection, isn't necessarily the case, in fact probably not

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I also chose the poem and interpreted his poem as a sort of ode to artists and craftsmen. I considered his perception of the bench beneath his slippered feet that was described as the actual carpenter as the speaker's perception of an artist putting a part of himself, his life, into each work of art. Also, I mentioned the use of the hanging lines as the necessary transition or passing through a boundary between the harsh reality of daytime life and the still life of the nighttime.

I wasn't too sure about the interpretation either because it seemed that the speaker was slightly embarrassed about his activities during the night so he would try not to attract attention from his family or it could be that he simply was so engrossed in appreciating the craftsmanship that he didn't want any disturbances.

Did anyone focus on the structure? Personally I just bsed the structure and said its irregularity conveyed the speaker's stream of consciousness.

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I chose the poem. I talked about how he viewed furnishings as an embodiment of the artist and also how the title: Still Life, is a form of visual art but also on a denotative level was an apt paradoxical title of the poem so I thought that there were two arguments that Whittemore was making, one on the appreciation of our surroundings (I used the word ubiquitous a lot) and one that refuted a "Still Life" perception noted by his allusion to Picasso who was also in opposition to realism in art. I also said that the nighttime created an atmosphere of solemnity. In retrospect, there were a few things I could have said to make my commentary read better, but I felt I did okay. The only mention of structure I included was that it was blank verse and somewhat grammatical, using caesura and enjambment to control pace. Also, with regards to how 'must' was all in upper-case I said that this emphasised the importance of his subject and made it an imperative for Whittemore. I also noted Living-room being literal and the title being embedded in the first two lines of the second stanza.

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I did the poem too, but I talked more a our how it might the poet's desired escape from reality and how he finds more activity and more life in seemingly superficial inanimate objects than his real life. I suggested it was a commentary on the mundanity and the repetitive nature of life and supported it with the repeated use of alliteration and rhyme. To be honest I didn't really have a concrete interpretation I more just suggested that was what it was about and focused more heavily on poetic devices because I figured that would get me the most marks overall.

Are we allowed to discuss paper 2 yet?

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YESSS we can discuss paper 2! Because it is now Thursday GMT time and it was officially 24 hours after 6pm Wed GMT time......

I thought paper 2 questions were very straightforward, almost too much so.

I thought the props question was too narrow to answer, the dramatic irony one was too risky for the plays my school studied and so that left me with question 3 - pretty much on the ways in which the openings of the plays encourage engagement... I thought this was a pretty good question as you could compare and contrast the opening of the plays quite easily although it meant I said 'engaging' many times..

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I didn't like the paper 2 questions at all to be honest! All the past ones we looked at seemed to be very long and detailed questions that invited you to talk about a lot of different things, but I felt these ones were too narrow and specific and didn't really invite a lot of analysis. They were a bit superficial really.

I went with the third question too simply because I had some killer quotes from the beginning of A Streetcar Named Desire and the other plays we studied in class didn't have a lot to do with props or dramatic irony...

Did anyone here do something other than drama?

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I did the props question for drama and I think it went pretty good, I was much happier with paper 2 than paper 1 for english. I thought the third drama question didn't give me enough scope to write a whole essay on and I didn't really understand 'dramatic irony', but I found I had plenty to talk about in regard to props.

Was everyone else aware that they had cut the 'general literature questions' from the exams, or did you have a mini panic during reading time like me? I think it was better havng 3 drama questions though.

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My school does poetry for Paper 2! I think I definitely prefer doing poetry to drama/prose just because it seems easier to me.

The questions were lovely! I was super worried that it was going to be 3 questions that were either specifically technique based (2 were in the exam) or on a very specific theme, but the first question was so perfect for my poems and quite open too.

Very happy with the paper!

^They got rid of the general literature questions in our new 2013 syllabus! I'm surprised your teacher didn't tell you.. but hope you/everyone else went well nonetheless! :D

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I did drama, question 2 on dramatic irony. I completely confounded dramatic irony and general irony, although, luckily for me, my arguments were still applicable but I wasn't explicit enough. Although I'm happy with paper 1 and with my IOs and Written Assignment, I should get a 6. Gotta study for maths hl now!

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Anyone here SL Lit? Can someone please explain to me why would an illegal immigrant even try to pass through an immigration... (prose)

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I did Still Life. I couldnt find an interpretation, i basically said that he was criticizing human being for not seizing the beauty of life. Sometimes inanimate things which reflect like simple thing could bring pleasure. **** i think i won't get a 6 for my english... coz i messed up paper 2 so badly.

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I think the majority here took HL English/not SL.. but do you remember the name/author of the poem? Maybe you could look it up online and see others' interpretations/someone else might be interested to look it up and explain it? :)

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