The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Monday, 12 December 2011

Aspects of Narrative: Beginning

In today's lesson we were:

- Clarifying the expectations of Sixth form students (punctuality,

- Analysing the importance and features of beginnings of a narrative

Why is a beginning important?

A beginning helps to set the tone of the book, reading the beginning of the book determines whether we will be interested in reading the rest.

How are beginnings of narratives thresholds?

the beginning determines whether or not a reader will cross the "threshold" to a world that the author has created in order for us to be interested and be absorbed into the story.

*threshold - being taken from one place to another, in relation to a narrative our world to the author's written world.

what we need to get used to at the beginning of a book:

the different characters and their background.

narrators speech - the way they've written it. this affects the flow of how the reader interprets it.

language - author could use words that a reader has never heard before. also associated with the flow of how the reader interprets it.

the different aspects of narrative we'll be learning:


the kite runner (Hosseini)

the great gatsby (fitzgerald)


robert browning

alfred, lord tennyson

section a:

question assessing a02 - one poem from one of the poets

question assessing a01, a03, a04 - debate question on the same poet

section b:

question assessing a01, a02, a03 - aspect of narrative across three authors

we were shown a picture of a woman behind a glass looking at a dog and were asked to pretend we were 9years old and imagine what questions and things we would say if we were to see this picture. the main points were "i have a dog", "why is that woman behind a glass?" or noticing the stitch keyring.

we were given the information, 'japan, march 2011' and then had to give feedback to what we would say at our own age and the feedback was more grown up.

we found that the older we are, the more:

- alert and aware we are of things that go on around us

- influenced by things that happen, the way we feel

- we interpret things differently

- more knowledge we have about certain things/been through more, experiences

organised into chapters - one - begins with a first chapter

december 2001 - associated with a diary

"i became what i am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. i remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. that was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, i've learned, about how you can bury it. because the past claws its way out. looking back now, i realise i have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years."

narrative - the way its told

"i", "i've" 1st person - confessional - intimate, personal

gives the impression of a journey that the speaker wants us to join them on, helps to tell the story

"frigid", "deserted", "crumbling" sets the tone, words used - dark, painful, cold, regretful

gives us the impression we are in the world of the speakers mind, somewhere thats usually guarded and hidden.

numbers - significance of using numbers in a narrative

dates used in diaries, a link age and time - flashbacks or memories

difference in time, age where things could have occured bad or good

dates link to background of characters or setting

chapters which may have importance, the order, the way its organised

"one, two..." chronological order

confessional - confessing your personal feelings, in a diary or somewhere where others will not be able to read it. expressing emotions you want to keep private.

"i became what i am today..." "i remember the precise moment..." - these quotes emphasise how personal the speaker is being, something that is private that only the speaker has experienced. a meaning that others wouldn't understand.

"the past claws its way out" - expresses that what ever the speaker has been hiding from their personal experiences has a way of being discovered and the speaker feels a fear of this. it suggests that the experience could be bad, a mistake and something they cannot forget or move on from.

language - the way its written

key to the entering of the world - "crossing the threshold"

"crumbling mud wall..." descriptive, makes the reader imagine it as if they are there

"peeking" senses - seeing and imagining what the reader is seeing and trying to portray

personification - represenation of an idea or person ,adds the effects of the narrative

beginning of learning about the authors thoughts and how it is portrayed and how we percieve it

connection between author and past

"but it's wrong what they say about the past, i've learned, about how you can bury it" - tried to forget about it, sense of returning and following him forever

"because the past claws its way out" - shows fear of their past, fear of memories or thoughts that can harm them mentally rather than physically.


  1. This is a really informative blog. I like how you have gone into detail about the different aspects of narrative we were learning about today when looking at the opening to kite runner.

  2. I like the way you have summed up what we did in the lesson, it is easy to understand and I found it was very useful in triggering my memory of what we did :)