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?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Narrativve Voice

Objective: To analyse Nick's narrative voice and consider Fitzgerald's romantic modernist style.

We began the lesson by writing newspaper headlines, summarising chapter 1, such as:
'Tom's New Woman'
'Mysterious Gatsby'
'Nick and Miss Baker?'

Next we answered questions to recap on the first chapter:

What impression do you get of the Narrator of the story Nick?
- He is rather observant and also judgemental, although this is kept to himself.

Where does Nick move to in Chapter 1?
- West Egg.

Who does he visit in this chapter?
- His second cousin, Daisy, and friend Tom.

What kind of people are they?
- They are rich, flashy, rather egotistic people, with little bond between them.

Who does Nick see at the very end of the chapter? What is he doing?
- His neighbour, Mr Gatsby. He is standing, looking at the stars.

We then looked at the following statement, and came up with keywords to describe the kind of character we believe Nick is from the very beginning.

‘In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.'

- slightly wiser due to older age.
- over thinker.
- easily influenced.
- lack of independence as he is seeking advice.
- in need.
- patriarchal society as he admires the men in his world, such as his dad and Mr Gatsby.

We observed a statement which claimed that an authorial voice is a disliked one, because it takes away from the realistic illusion and emotional intensity. This is more commonly eliminated, as the action is now presented through the consciousness of the characters, by them fulfilling the narrative tasks.

Next we answered the following questions:

What does the beginning of the novel establish?
- It establishes the Narrator's voice, Nick, and his narrative style, which appears to be rather judgemental.

What kind of narrative voice are we presented with?
-A rather observant narrative voice, because although attempting to hold back from being judgemental, we are made aware of Nick's thoughts and ideas, mainly based on the other characters and the setting. Also, Nick is portrayed as a confidant, meaning he is reliable and rather trustworthy in a sense.

What is set up?
- It sets up some kind of curiosity as to who Mr Gatsby is, as he is portrayed as a rather desirable character, though we have not yet been introduced to him, creating a sense of mystery.

We then looked at two images, and described the differences between them.

The first image was of a man standing on a cliff and the setting was rather cloudy and floaty, and in the background were other cliffs. This image was rather calm, but also lonely. It left us with questions as to what the was thinking. Also, this image was rather soft, due to the light colours and floaty background.

The second image was of a city, full of buildings, a setting in America. This image was not so calm, but rather claustrophobic and chaotic. We were not focusing on an individuals, but felt as though there would have been many people within this image, as it appeared to be so busy. It was also rather dull due to the lack of colour or vibrancy.

Next we listened to two pieces of music.

We found that the first created suspense, as it was dramatic and consisted of different sounds. It also appeared to be rather chaotic as there was a lot going on within the music. It sounded rather eventful and therefore could be linked to the second image, as this too was rather busy and occupied.

The second piece of music was rather modernised. In different sections of the music, it built up tension, but breaking away from the previous, repetitive pattern within the music. It was also quite busy, and slightly overwhelming as it came across as rather strange.

We then listened to the two pieces at the same time, and found it to also be overwhelming, as there was so much going on, and the two different songs were loud and hectic together.

Nicholas Tredell explained romanticism to be: 'a cultural and artistic movement which valued imagination over intellect, feeling over reason, subjectivity over objectivity, extremism over moderation, ambiguity over clarity, and the quest for transcendence over the respect for its limits.’

In our own words, we described romanticism to be person feelings and your inner ideas, as well as your own imagination, as opposed to the actual answer or reality of a situation.

Then we focused on a sheet full of words and phrases from Chapter 1, and distinguished whether or not each word/phrase was a romantic one, or a modern one. We found that the majority were romantic.

The effect of combining both romantic and modern styles and imagery in Chapter 1 is a balancing one. This is because it allows readers to identify the passion coming from the narrator, and also displays the kind of character he is and what some of his interests are. But also provides realism to the readers, by including modern terms, which are more frequent. This allows readers to connect with the character when he is expressing his thoughts through romanticism, whilst demonstrating them with the surroundings and the current state of the settings within the novel.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Great Gatsby

Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Hi guys, today we started the lesson with analysing Sophie's essay on "How does Tennyson help tell the story in Mariana?". We colour- coded the aspect, evidence, analysis of language/structure/form and the function of the narrative. By the end of this task we could see that the aspect of narrative was clearly stated at the beginning of each paragraph, followed by the function of the narrative with weaved in evidence and its analysis. Perhaps, including a bit more evidence. The five key aspects in Tithonus were;
the character- the use of caesuras showing "the breakdown of Tithonus" and the switch from iambic pentameter to dactylic trimeter.
setting- interior dramatic monologue and the abscence of enjambent
key moments- developed on the dramatic monologue and syntax changing from mellifluous to staccato.
focalisation- use of plosive sounds
structural contrast- developed on the switch in meter and contrast in colours.

Secondly, we moved on to The Great Gatsby. We started off by listening to a piece of music and saying how we feel towards it. Several words that arose were; cheerful, energetic, isolated, upbeat, mellifuous, fast- paced and uplifting. Then we looked through ten different pictures that was took/drawn in the post- war period which was just after The Great War. This was between 1918- 1925 which was the same time that The Great Gatsby takes place.

Image 1: performance, jazzy, joyful
Image 2: style, advertisement, beauty, birth of fashion and electrical devices for hair.
Image 3: isolated, lifeless, extinct, abandoned.
Image 4: silence, static, isolated, roads (suggesting vehicles existed)
Image 5: centre, crowded/busy, technology.
Image 6: lifeless, industrial, isolation, after Wall- street crash
Image 7: colonial, wealth, pretty
Image 8: machinery, prohibiton (ban of alcohol)
Image 9: timesquare, busy, vehicles
Image 10: New-York, economy boost.

After that, we started annotating titles and what tone/mood, impressions of people it told us.
The jass age was decribed to the the rise of media- advertisements, movies, parties, music "booming", fun, jolly, sociable. The Inter (between)- war was between the two wars, after WWI and before WWII, therefore this time was peaceful and the people were happier. The pre(before) depression was when the business started to boom (which later crashed), employment was widely available, people were content as they had development of cars, nicer houses and a lot of parties. The Bright- young things was connotated with new ideas, difference, new level of acceptance. The Lost Generation was when people were mournful, gloomy and dull. There was abscence of family (as some died in the war), morality and family values. These were all due to people partying and not having time for their families. The Golden age of Hollywood was the success of fame, publicity, celebrities, celebratory, materialism, development, new talents. The Prohibition Era was strict, ban, indulgence on alcohol. Last but not least, we had the Roaring 20's has rapid success, rise in technology, anger against alcohol.

That's basically the summary of the class, hope I have mentioned everything. Also, don't forget to read the first chapter of The Great Gatsby by Friday!
7 words to summarise the time period starting with the letter "S":
-swinging (music)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Aspects of Narritive - Reconnections

In this lesson we mainly focused on the form of the the novel, paying close attention to how the whole story is structured in a fragmented manner.
So we first looked at the principle stages through time periods set in the book from beginning to end.

  • 2001, California/America - at the first chapter of the book we we see Amir to be reflective and critical to his past because of his guilt. A lack of information is brought up in this chapter, bringing the reader to question the book.

  • 1960-1975, Kabul/Afghanistan - we are brought to Amir's retrospective childhood conveyed in a much more positive and descriptive way. As we reach the 1975 tension is built until we reach a significant climax in the story.

  • 1981, Afghanistan - we have now jumped a few years and there is still and some tension due to the changes that have taken place in Afghanistan. However we do see some relief from Amir as he starts to leave his home.

  • 1980+, America/California - all tension has calmed down and relaxes as we start to see some links to place changing the state of the narration eg. America represents a comfortable life and Amir's way to bury the past.

  • 2001-2002, America/Afghanistan - as Amir is called back to Afghanistan to confront his past we see the narration pick up pace again bringing more tension and negative imagery, in contrast to America.

What we see from this is that Amir's narrative chronology is broken parts of his memory in different time frames. This is called Fragmentation.

We didn't only see this in the form of the story but we would also see this in the in the structure. In chapters like seven we would see the intrusion of memories that come flooding back at parts of the story; these memories are conditioned by Amir's adult perspective. In addition it also splits and interrupts the narrative which (like in chapters seven) can cause suspense and tension as it cuts us from the action momentarily.

The fragmentation of the story would show:

  • The characterisation of Amir

  • The impact of time passing

  • The contrast of time periods

  • The importance of his past

The common ways these fragmentation's are conveyed through:

  • Italicised change of writing when referring to a memories or time jumps.

  • Split the narrative instead of carrying on with story.

  • Alternating tones, tending to contrast to the built narrative eg. would switch from tense dark imagery to scenes that are relaxed with positive imagery.


Monday, 6 February 2012

For our lesson we continued to look at Tithonus in closer detail.

During the lesson we were split into groups, each focussing on a single aspect. We looked at how that aspect helped to tell the story of Tithonus.


lines 1-4 is in Iambic Pentameter however line 5 changes to Dactylic Trimeter. This interrupts the rhythm of the poem, forcing the focus to now be on Tithonus instead of his surroundings.

lines 1-4 also have no enjambment, however this stops at line 5 which flows onto the next line. The use of enjambment when describing the dying environment mirrors it will come to and end like the line. On the other hand, the line where Tithonus is mentioned reflects on the fact he is immortal and will go on forever, like the line.

the dramatic monologue changes from dialogic (lines 1-31) to interior (lines 32-49) and then back to dialogic (lines 50-76).
However it isnt a clear change, it tends to blur from one to the other, showing the complexity of his character. The dialogic shows his isolation as Eos has been taken out of the conversation entirely, and the interior showing his sadness as he lets out his inner thoughts of desperation.


lines 1-4 also have no enjambment, however this stops at line 5 which flows onto the next line. The use of enjambment when describing the dying environment mirrors it will come to and end like the line. On the other hand, the line where Tithonus is mentioned reflects on the fact he is immortal and will go on forever, like the line.

in line 71, there is an antithesis, 'and grassy barrows of the happier dead' this represents his feelings of being happier dead than alive.

interior dramatic monologue shows the characters inner thoughts of sadness as it consists of lifeless language.


lines 46-49, the smallest stanza shows him regretting his choice of immortality and is a relfection of this sadness. It is also at the cntre of the poem, representing his heart which is full of negative emotions.

in line 26 there is melifluous language, 'shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears' however Tithonus' syntax changes in line 27 to become staccato. The line is made up of imperatives 'let me go: take back thy gift:'. This could symbolise his own death, he does not want immortality any longer.


structure-the shift in focalisation between Tithonus and Eos in the stanzas shows the contrast between life and death, cheerful and morbid.language-in the 3rd stanza, there is an over use of plosives 'brows, bosom, pure, begins, brightens' this represents her powerful presence which has a big impact on Tithonus and his mood, consequently altering his language.


iambic pentameter to dactylic trimeter in the first stanza shows the shift between the setting and him.language-the contrast between the colours, greys represent Tithonus in his dull state and Eos is surrounded by bright and vibrant colours to represent that she is full of life and youthful.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Who wants to live forever?


The story (short)

The Man Ulysses was a greek legend who battled on troy and sailed over the seas, finding new adventures and women. He became king when he went home and became old and bored of doing nothing but creating laws. He wants to leave his home and fight and die at sea with his crew mates.

we learned about the four types of dramtic monologue.

1. dialogic dramtic monologue which is when only one speaker can talk and no one else.

2.interior dramtic monologue which is a characters perosnal thoughts.

3. oration dramtic monologue which is a public speech.

4.narration dramtic monologue which is when a person tells a story from another person they had herd it from.

In Ulysses I would say dialogic,inertior and oration dramic monologue is used to voice Ulysses. Also Tennyson uses of a focal spotlight shows that everything is focused on Ulysses. There is also a active and inactive contrast of setting, 'barren crags' and 'windy troy' this shows there is more life as he talks about his old adventures and more boredem for his own home.

The iambic penemetre shows he does not want to stop, along with the structure as the poem has massive verses about his adventure and hate for his his home while when he talks about his son there is a contrast as that verse is tiny compared to the first and last.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


We began the lesson by discussing whether or not we would want immortality if we had the option.

- Some said yes, as they would like to live forever and experience the changes of the world, though they would like to stay youthful during this.

- Others disagreed with this, as they felt it was unnatural and would not like to outlive their families. Also, they stated that by living forever, you would have nothing to live for.

We then looked at four different comic strips, each consisting of the same story, told in different ways. We identified the narrative aspects of each comic strip.

- The first was retrospective, as the character was looking back on the previous situation. Also, the man was characterising himself, his language displayed him as confident, with a sense of heroism. We identfied him as an unreliable narrator. This is because the comic strip consisted of his point of view only. Also, it included homodiegetic narration, as the man was in the world of the story he was telling.

- The second was also retrospective. Intradiegetic narration was included, as the narrator was telling a story, within a story. This is also known as framing. The setting displays structural contrast, as he begins in a bar, showing he is unstable, and is then seen in an office, displaying a sense of independence, alongside stability. This comic strip included analepsis, as was thinking about the past, though prolepsis is also included as he flashes foward in the final image. Embeded narrative is included, as the man refers to Jessica's speech.

- The third comic strip was homodiegetic, as the narrator was included in the story. We identified that this comic strip started with what we previously saw as the end, as the first image is of the man looking in the fridge. This strip was rather personal, as it was from the narrators perspective. Also, the naration was concurrent.

- The fourth comic strip consisted of a fantasy theme, displaying a complete change in genre. Also the language within this strip was different to the previous language style we had seen in the other comic strips. Whilst this strip consisted of similar features to the other ones, it had a very different story.

ANALEPSIS = flashback, previous memories.

PROLEPSIS = flash foward, current or future situations.

We then read Tithonus, who was the brother of Priyam, the King of Troy. We focused on the opening and found the following aspects included:

- Iambic pentameters, which makes the speech sound like it is dragging, as is his life.

- Both interior and dialogic dramatic monologue. This emphasises how lonely Tithonus is feeling, as Aurora is unable to speak.

- lack of enjambment. This symbolises that everything within the opening verse is dying, as there is no flow and the lines are just ending.

- The language in the opening verse is very dark, and lifeless. "Decay...weep...wither." This symbolises the current state of Tithonus, and demonstrates his old age.

- Line 5 of the first verse is a dactylic trimeter. The rhythm is stressed, unstressed, unstressed, and there are three iams. This shift in verse demonstrates that Tithonus is different to others, and does not belong, similar to this line, which is different to the iambic pentameter within the opening verse. It also shows the shift from him speaking about the setting, to him speaking about himself.