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Introductory lesson to A level Aqa B Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing

Terry Eagleton, Virginia Woolf, Duffy, Orwell

Jane Ambrose

on 11 July 2017

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Transcript of Introductory lesson to A level Aqa B Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing

Elements of Political and Social
Protest Writing.
We will be studying three set texts and preparing to respond to an unseen passage:

What defines the texts here is that they have issues of power and powerlessness at their core, with political and social protest issues central to each text’s structure. The political and social protest genre covers representations of both public and private
settings. All set texts foreground oppression and domination and they all look at the cultures we live in and have lived in over time. A crucial word in the title of this option is ‘Elements’ and students need to consider the specific elements that exist in each of their texts.
In no more than 30-40 words try to define it?

Why do you think people read?

What assumptions have you made?
What is Literature
Look carefully at the following thoughts about what is literature and why people read it:

When treating upon that glorious and inexhaustibe subject, the Literature of our Country - I shall esteem it my duty to inculcate lessons of virtue, through the medium of the masters of our language. Professor Thomas Dale 1928

It helps to shape the personality, refine the sensibility, sharpen the critical intelligence. Bullock Report 1974

Literature . . . . .is any kind of writing which for some reason or another someone values highly. Terry Eagleton 1983

Literature has never really been just about information delivery—about information in the form of experience and enlightenment perhaps, but content that is inseparable from its formal presentation. Jessica Pressman 2009

Make a list of the books you have read recently and categorise them as Literature and Other kinds of reading.

Look at your set texts:

Learning Objectives:

To begin to understand the Political Nature of Literature itself
To understand the terms signifier and signified
To begin to appreciate some Feminist Literary Concerns
Learning Objective:

To understand how Language communicates
To understand the terms signifier and signified
To begin to appreciate some Feminist Literary Concerns
He loved Miriam with his soul. He grew warm at the thought of Clara, he battled with her, he knew the curves of her breast and shoulders as if they had been molded inside him; and yet he did not positively desire her. He would have denied it for ever. He believed himself really bound to Miriam. If ever he should marry, some time in the far future, it would be his duty to marry Miriam.

She was not what he expected. Cecil had warned him that the local Lakota Indians were a bunch of lazy drunks- but not this woman. The proud way in she held her body as her eyes swept over him, made it obvious that neither of those adjectives applied to her. He’d never seen a woman who was stop -what- he-was-doing-dead and stare as beautiful as she was. She leaned forward and he caught the shape of her buck-skinned clad chest and glimpsed her rib-cage.
Signifier sound or visual image
Signified mental image
Signifier sound or visual image
Signified mental image

Virginia Woolf

A Room of One's Own

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction
Learning Objective

To understand the differences between being the subject or the object of Art
To recognise elements of political and social protest in Carol Ann Duffy's poetry
How would you define the terms subject or object?
Standing Family Nude
Mrs Beast
Explore the significance of the elements of political protest in this extract. Remember
to include in your answer relevant detailed analysis of the ways Woolf has shaped

What is she arguing?
How is she saying this?
How is this an effective and powerful way to make her point?
How would you describe the tone in various places? How can you justify this opinion?
Who is the subject and who is the object in this poem?

How are the terms relevant to this poem?

How do you relate this to the idea of political and social protest?
Explore the significance of the elements of political protest in this extract. Remember to include in your answer relevant detailed analysis of the ways Duffy has shaped meaning.

What is she saying?
How has she said it?
What different elements of gender divide is she complaining about? How does she use language to do this?
Why is the form of this poem significant?
Think about the tone?
How does that contribute to meaning?
Does the poem link to any other literature that you have encountered?

We need to think about five topic sentences that we can organise our essay around.

Introduction - Duffy's position, form of the poem, one sentence that captures the overall protest.
Conclusion - What is the most significant line of protest and why?
Fiction here is likely to contain more truth than fact. Therefore I propose, making use of all the liberties and licences of a novelist, to tell you the story of the two days that preceded my coming here—how, bowed down by the weight of the subject which you have laid upon my shoulders, I pondered it, and made it work in and out of my daily life. I need not say that what I am about to describe has no existence; Oxbridge is an invention; so is Fernham; ‘I’ is only a convenient term for somebody who has no real being. Lies will flow from my lips, but there may perhaps be some truth mixed up with them; it is for you to seek out this truth and to decide whether any part of it is worth keeping. If not, you will of course throw the whole of it into the waste-paper basket and forget all about it.
If the Literary Canon is a list of writers and texts that the establishment has decided are important, then can you put the following 10 in order:
Gilly Cooper
Roald Dahl
William Shakespeare
John Milton
Stephanie Myer
Percey Shelley
Charles Dickens
Terry Pratchett
Maya Angelou
1. How would you describe the narrative voice in the opening lines? What genre of poem is this?
2. Why does she list all these famous women from the past? What is she sayinghere?
3. What is the effect of all the punctuation when she is telling the Little Mermaid’s story?
4. What is the effect of the alliteration in Prince and pretty?
5. How does she make it sound as if a Prince’s treat women as if they are unimportant?
6. What is the effect of the last line of the first stanza?
7. What is the effect of the enjambment linking the first and second stanza?
8. How is repetition used in the first half of the second stanza?
9. What do you notice of the structures in the second half of the verse? What genre do they remind you of? Why are they effective?
10. In lines three and four of the third stanza how are the Beast and Mrs Beast differentiated? Why is this significant?
11. Who sounds more in control in this relationship in the second half of the third stanza?
12. How are the women described in stanza four? What is the effect?
13. Similarly in the fifth stanza how would you describe these women and why?
14. How is tension built in stanza 5?
15. How does the tone change in stanza 6?
16. How does the list of women differ?
17. What is the effect of the enjambment of the second line of the sixth stanza?
18. How would you describe the last line of stanza 6?
19. How does the speaker ensure she sounds in control in the final stanza?
20. How is the tone different in the middle of the stanza and why?
21. What is the effect of the last line?

Explore the significance of the elements of political protest in this extract. Remember to include in your answer relevant detailed analysis of the ways Orwell has shaped meaning.
The Literary Canon
The Western canon is the body of books, music, and art that scholars generally accept as the most important and influential in shaping Western culture. It includes works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, music, art, and sculpture generally perceived as being of major artistic merit and representing the high culture of Europe. Philosopher John Searle suggests that the Western canon can be roughly defined as "a certain Western intellectual tradition that goes from, say, Socrates to Wittgenstein in philosophy, and from Homer to James Joyce in literature".[1]

The canon of books, including Western literature and Western philosophy, has perhaps been most stable, although expanding to include more women and racial minorities, while the canons of music and the visual arts have greatly expanded to cover the Middle Ages and other periods, once largely overlooked. Some examples of newer media such as cinema have attained a precarious position in the canon.

There has been an ongoing debate over the nature and status of the canon since at least the 1960s, much of which is rooted in critical theory, feminism, critical race theory, and Marxism.[2] In particular, postmodern studies have argued that the body of scholarship is biased because the traditional main focus of academic studies of Western culture and history has only been on works produced by European men.
the meaning to be found in words or events.
"the significance of what was happening was clearer to me than to her"
synonyms: meaning, sense, signification, import, thrust, drift, gist, burden, theme, implication, tenor, message, essence, substance, relevance, purport, intention, spirit, point
"the significance of his remarks was not lost on Scott"

So when it says 'Explore the significance of elements of political protest' - it means explore
How the political protest is articulated and why it is articulated in that way.
Learning Objectives:

How to Write an A level English Literature Essay

What is the historical and political context of 1984?

How is the physical environment represented and how does this relate to the concept of political protest?
How is language used to control?
How is privacy represented? How does this relate to the idea of political protest?
How is the individual represented?
How do you feel about living in this society and how is this related to political protest?

Make detailed notes on the following:

How is the sense of being watched communicated?
How is the physical environment presented? Why is it presented in this way?
How is language used in Oceania to manipulate people?
How is Winston's rebellion presented?
What does Winston's description of the film tell us about the society?
How is Goldstein presented to the reader?
How is the two minute HATE presented?
What does Winston's response to the dark haired girl tell us?
What elements of opposition to the state are introduced in this chapter?
How is tension built up at the end of he chapter - how does this relate to the idea of political protest?

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