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?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Browning's 'The Bishop Orders his Tomb'

'The Bishop Orders his Tomb'

Rome, 15--

Vanity, saith the preacher, vanity!
Draw round my bed: is Anselm keeping back?
Nephews -sons mine ... ah God, I know not! Well —
She, men would have to be your mother once,
Old Gandolf envied me, so fair she was!
What’s done is done, and she is dead beside,
Dead long ago, and I am Bishop since;
And as she died so must we die ourselves,
And thence ye may perceive the world’s a dream.
Life, how and what is it? As here I lie
In this state-chamber, dying by degrees,
Hours and long hours in the dead night, I ask
“Do I live, am I dead?” Peace, peace seems all.
St Praxed’s ever was the church for peace;
And so, about this tomb of mine. I fought
With tooth and nail to save my niche, ye know:
— Old Gandolf cozened me, despite my care;
Shrewd was that snatch from out the corner South
He graced his carrion with, God curse the same!
Yet still my niche is not so cramped but thence
One sees the pulpit o’ the epistle-side,
And somewhat of the choir, those silent seats,
And up into the aery dome where live
The angels, and a sunbeam’s sure to lurk:
And I shall fill my slab of basalt there,
And ’neath my tabernacle take my rest,
With those nine columns round me, two and two,
The odd one at my feet where Anselm stands:
Peach-blossom marble all, the rare, the ripe
As fresh-poured red wine of a mighty pulse.
- Old Gandolf with his paltry onion-stone,
Put me where I may look at him! True peach,
Rosy and flawless: how I earned the prize!
Draw close: that conflagration of my church
- What then? So much was saved if aught were missed!
My sons, ye would not be my death? Go dig
The white-grape vineyard where the oil-press stood,
Drop water gently till the surface sinks,
And if ye find...ah God, I know not, I!...
Bedded in store of rotten fig-leaves soft,
And corded up in a tight olive-frail,
Some lump, ah God, of lapis lazuli,
Big as a Jew’s head cut off at the nape,
Blue as a vein o’er the Madonna’s breast...
Sons, all have I bequeathed you, villas, all,
That brave Frascati villa with its bath,
So, let the blue lump poise between my knees,
Like God the Father’s globe on both his hands
Ye worship in the Jesu Church so gay,
For Gandolf shall not choose but see and burst!
Swift as a weaver’s shuttle fleet our years:
Man goeth to the grave, and where is he?
Did I say basalt for my slab, sons? Black -
’Twas ever antique-black I meant! How else
Shall ye contrast my frieze to come beneath?
The bas-relief in bronze ye promised me,
Those Pans and Nymphs ye wot of, and perchance
Some tripon, thyrsus, with a vase or so,
The Saviour at his sermon on the mount,
St Praxed in a glory, and one Pan
Ready to twitch the Nymph’s last garment off,
And Moses with the tables...but I know
Ye mark me not! What do they whisper thee,
Child of my bowels, Anselm? Ah, ye hope
To revel down my villas while I gasp
Bricked o’er with beggar’s mouldy travertine
Which Gandolf from his tomb-top chuckles at!
Nay, boys, ye love me -all of jasper, then!
’Tis jasper ye stand pledged to, lest I grieve.
My bath must needs be left behind, alas!
One block, pure green as a pistachio-nut,
There’s plenty jasper somewhere in the world -
And have I not St Praxed’s ear to pray
Horses for ye, and brown Greek manuscripts,
And mistresses with great smooth marbly limbs?
That’s if ye carve my epitaph aright,
Choice Latin, picked phrase, Tully’s every word,
No gaudy ware like Gandolf’s second line -
Tully, my masters? Ulpian serves his need!
And then how I shall lie through centuries,
And hear the blessed mutter of the mass,
And see God made and eaten all day long,
And feel the steady candle-flame, and taste
Good strong thick stupefying incense-smoke!
For as I lie here, hours of the dead night,
Dying in state and by such slow degrees,
I fold my arms as if they clasped a crook,
And stretch my feet forth straight as stone can point,
And let the bedclothes for a mort-cloth drop
Into great laps and folds of sculptor’s-work:
And as yon tapers dwindle, and strange thoughts
Grow, with a certain humming in my ears,
About the life before I lived this life,
And this life too, popes, cardinals and priests,
St Praxed at his sermon on the mount,
Your tall pale mother with her talking eyes,
And new-found agate urns as fresh as day,
And marble’s language, Latin pure, discreet,
- Aha, ELUCESCEBAT quoth our friend?
No Tully, said I, Ulpian at the best!
Evil and brief hath been my pilgrimage.
All lapis, all, sons! Else I give the Pope
My villas: will ye ever eat my heart?
Ever your eyes were as a lizard’s quick,
They glitter like your mother’s for my soul,
Or ye would heighten my impoverished frieze,
Piece out its starved design, and fill my vase
With grapes, and add a vizor and a Term,
And to the tripod ye would tie a lynx
That in his struggle throws the thyrsus down,
To comfort me on my entablature
Whereon I am to lie till I must ask
“Do I live, am I dead?” There, leave me, there!
For ye have stabbed me with ingratitude
To death -ye wish it -God, ye wish it! Stone -
Gritsone, a-crumble! Clammy squares which sweat
As if the corpse they keep were oozing through -
And no more lapis to delight the world!
Well, go! I bless ye. Fewer tapers there,
But in a row: and, going, turn your backs
- Ay, like departing altar-ministrants,
And leave me in my church, the church for peace,
That I may watch at leisure if he leers -
Old Gandolf, at me, from his onion-stone,
As still he envied me, so fair she was!

For your homework, analyse how Browning uses beginnings and one other aspect (voice/ character?) to tell the story in this poem.

Chapters 5-6

In today's lesson we were looking at how Fitzgerald uses different types of narration to tell the story of The Great Gatsby in chapters 5 & 6.

First we looked at the Tredellon Structure:

*Modified 1st person: Fitzgerald uses this because the disadvantage of having only one persons narration is that they cannot tell you about what has occurred at events which the narrator wasn't involved in. Therefore another character tells the 1st person narrator about these events. The narrator then filters this information through to the reader. Fitzgerald also uses another technique in The Great Gatsby by making Nick (the 1st person narrator) put some of Gatsby's narrative into his own words.

*Scenic Method: Fitzgerald borrowed this method from Henry James. The novelist dramatises the scenes by making the narrator produce a running commentary of images instead of just retelling a story. The narrator then directs you to the things he sees e.g:body language, actions.


Extradiegetic narrator: is part of the diegesis but tells a story within the the diegeis.

Intradiegetic narrator: is part of the diegesis but tells a story that creates or is set in another diegesis.

Nick is a extradiegetic homodiegetic narrator in The Great Gatsby

There are 7 ways in which Fitzgerald modifies the first person narration:

1. Recounting dialogue between character.

2. Direct quotation of another character's sustained account. (Jordan as an intradiegetic narrator)

3. Paraphrasing another character's words.

4. Piecing together fragments of a story into a continuous narrative in Nick's voice.

5. Speculation about what might have happened.

6. Speculation about how a character might have felt. ('he must have felt')

7. Evocations of another character's consciousness. ('he felt')

By Mumtas

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

the great gatsby character

We learned that f. scott fitzgerald uses of specific detail , gives more mystery to characters. When we first meet Gatsby we only get a description of his smile and nothing else, giving us more mystery towards him as we can never make a true picture of what he looks like. We also noticed that because he is always leaving or having to get the phone we get this theme or which he always disappears.

The Fitzgerald specific detail and style of gives us even more mystery for all the characters other then nick.

Gatsby-smile and hair.
Daisy- white and voice
Tom-eyes and hair
Jordan- figure

oh and the last character which is well hidden the 1920's. I wont go into that just yet.

Tyrun McDonnell

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Browning's 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin'

After re-reading this long poem by Browning, add a comment. In your comment, briefly state what is happening in each section (narrative). Then, highlight two or three key aspects of narrative for each section (e.g. character, place). Return to the blog before Friday's lesson so that you are familiar with the poem.

Robert Browning's 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin'

A Child's Story

1 Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
2 By famous Hanover city;
3 The river Weser, deep and wide,
4 Washes its wall on the southern side;
5 A pleasanter spot you never spied;
6 But, when begins my ditty,
7 Almost five hundred years ago,
8 To see the townsfolk suffer so
9 From vermin, was a pity.

10 Rats!
11 They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
12 And bit the babies in the cradles,
13 And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
14 And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
15 Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
16 Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
17 And even spoiled the women's chats,
18 By drowning their speaking
19 With shrieking and squeaking
20 In fifty different sharps and flats.

21 At last the people in a body
22 To the Town Hall came flocking:
23 ``Tis clear,'' cried they, ``our Mayor's a noddy;
24 ``And as for our Corporation -- shocking
25 ``To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
26 ``For dolts that can't or won't determine
27 ``What's best to rid us of our vermin!
28 ``You hope, because you're old and obese,
29 ``To find in the furry civic robe ease?
30 ``Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking
31 ``To find the remedy we're lacking,
32 ``Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!''
33 At this the Mayor and Corporation
34 Quaked with a mighty consternation.

35 An hour they sat in council,
36 At length the Mayor broke silence:
37 ``For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;
38 ``I wish I were a mile hence!
39 ``It's easy to bid one rack one's brain --
40 ``I'm sure my poor head aches again,
41 ``I've scratched it so, and all in vain
42 ``Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!''
43 Just as he said this, what should hap
44 At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
45 ``Bless us,'' cried the Mayor, ``what's that?''
46 (With the Corporation as he sat,
47 Looking little though wondrous fat;
48 Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
49 Than a too-long-opened oyster,
50 Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
51 For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)
52 `Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
53 ``Anything like the sound of a rat
54 ``Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!''

55 ``Come in!'' -- the Mayor cried, looking bigger
56 And in did come the strangest figure!
57 His queer long coat from heel to head
58 Was half of yellow and half of red,
59 And he himself was tall and thin,
60 With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
61 And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin
62 No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
63 But lips where smile went out and in;
64 There was no guessing his kith and kin:
65 And nobody could enough admire
66 The tall man and his quaint attire.
67 Quoth one: ``It's as my great-grandsire,
68 ``Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone,
69 ``Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!''

70 He advanced to the council-table:
71 And, ``Please your honours,'' said he, ``I'm able,
72 ``By means of a secret charm, to draw
73 ``All creatures living beneath the sun,
74 ``That creep or swim or fly or run,
75 ``After me so as you never saw!
76 ``And I chiefly use my charm
77 ``On creatures that do people harm,
78 ``The mole and toad and newt and viper;
79 ``And people call me the Pied Piper.''
80 (And here they noticed round his neck
81 A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
82 To match with his coat of the self-same cheque;
83 And at the scarf's end hung a pipe;
84 And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
85 As if impatient to be playing
86 Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
87 Over his vesture so old-fangled.)
88 ``Yet,'' said he, ``poor piper as I am,
89 ``In Tartary I freed the Cham,
90 ``Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats,
91 ``I eased in Asia the Nizam
92 ``Of a monstrous brood of vampyre-bats:
93 ``And as for what your brain bewilders,
94 ``If I can rid your town of rats
95 ``Will you give me a thousand guilders?''
96 ``One? fifty thousand!'' -- was the exclamation
97 Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.

98 Into the street the Piper stept,
99 Smiling first a little smile,
100 As if he knew what magic slept
101 In his quiet pipe the while;
102 Then, like a musical adept,
103 To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
104 And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,
105 Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled;
106 And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
107 You heard as if an army muttered;
108 And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
109 And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
110 And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
111 Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
112 Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats,
113 Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
114 Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
115 Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
116 Families by tens and dozens,
117 Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives --
118 Followed the Piper for their lives.
119 From street to street he piped advancing,
120 And step for step they followed dancing,
121 Until they came to the river Weser
122 Wherein all plunged and perished!
123 -- Save one who, stout as Julius Caesar,
124 Swam across and lived to carry
125 (As he, the manuscript he cherished)
126 To Rat-land home his commentary:
127 Which was, ``At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
128 ``I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
129 ``And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
130 ``Into a cider-press's gripe:
131 ``And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards,
132 ``And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
133 ``And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks,
134 ``And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks:
135 ``And it seemed as if a voice
136 ``(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery
137 ``Is breathed) called out, `Oh rats, rejoice!
138 ```The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!
139 ```So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
140 ```Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!'
141 ``And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
142 ``All ready staved, like a great sun shone
143 ``Glorious scarce an inch before me,
144 ``Just as methought it said, `Come, bore me!'
145 `` -- I found the Weser rolling o'er me.''

146 You should have heard the Hamelin people
147 Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple
148 ``Go,'' cried the Mayor, ``and get long poles,
149 ``Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
150 ``Consult with carpenters and builders,
151 ``And leave in our town not even a trace
152 ``Of the rats!'' -- when suddenly, up the face
153 Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
154 With a, ``First, if you please, my thousand guilders!''

155 A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue;
156 So did the Corporation too.
157 For council dinners made rare havoc
158 With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
159 And half the money would replenish
160 Their cellar's biggest butt with Rhenish.
161 To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
162 With a gipsy coat of red and yellow!
163 ``Beside,'' quoth the Mayor with a knowing wink,
164 ``Our business was done at the river's brink;
165 ``We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
166 ``And what's dead can't come to life, I think.
167 ``So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink
168 ``From the duty of giving you something to drink,
169 ``And a matter of money to put in your poke;
170 ``But as for the guilders, what we spoke
171 ``Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
172 ``Beside, our losses have made us thrifty.
173 ``A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!''

174 The Piper's face fell, and he cried,
175 ``No trifling! I can't wait, beside!
176 ``I've promised to visit by dinner-time
177 ``Bagdad, and accept the prime
178 ``Of the Head-Cook's pottage, all he's rich in,
179 ``For having left, in the Caliph's kitchen,
180 ``Of a nest of scorpions no survivor:
181 ``With him I proved no bargain-driver,
182 ``With you, don't think I'll bate a stiver!
183 ``And folks who put me in a passion
184 ``May find me pipe after another fashion.''

185 ``How?'' cried the Mayor, ``d'ye think I brook
186 ``Being worse treated than a Cook?
187 ``Insulted by a lazy ribald
188 ``With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
189 ``You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
190 ``Blow your pipe there till you burst!''

191 Once more he stept into the street,
192 And to his lips again
193 Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
194 And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
195 Soft notes as yet musician's cunning
196 Never gave the enraptured air)
197 There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
198 Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
199 Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
200 Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
201 And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
202 Out came the children running.
203 All the little boys and girls,
204 With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
205 And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
206 Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
207 The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

208 The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
209 As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
210 Unable to move a step, or cry
211 To the children merrily skipping by,
212 -- Could only follow with the eye
213 That joyous crowd at the Piper's back.
214 But how the Mayor was on the rack,
215 And the wretched Council's bosoms beat,
216 As the Piper turned from the High Street
217 To where the Weser rolled its waters
218 Right in the way of their sons and daughters!
219 However he turned from South to West,
220 And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
221 And after him the children pressed;
222 Great was the joy in every breast.
223 ``He never can cross that mighty top!
224 ``He's forced to let the piping drop,
225 ``And we shall see our children stop!''
226 When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side,
227 A wondrous portal opened wide,
228 As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed;
229 And the Piper advanced and the children followed,
230 And when all were in to the very last,
231 The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
232 Did I say, all? No! One was lame,
233 And could not dance the whole of the way;
234 And in after years, if you would blame
235 His sadness, he was used to say, --
236 ``It's dull in our town since my playmates left!
237 ``I can't forget that I'm bereft
238 ``Of all the pleasant sights they see,
239 ``Which the Piper also promised me.
240 ``For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
241 ``Joining the town and just at hand,
242 ``Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew,
243 ``And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
244 ``And everything was strange and new;
245 ``The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
246 ``And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
247 ``And honey-bees had lost their stings,
248 ``And horses were born with eagles' wings;
249 ``And just as I became assured
250 ``My lame foot would be speedily cured,
251 ``The music stopped and I stood still,
252 ``And found myself outside the hill,
253 ``Left alone against my will,
254 ``To go now limping as before,
255 ``And never hear of that country more!''

256 Alas, alas for Hamelin!
257 There came into many a burgher's pate
258 A text which says that heaven's gate
259 Opes to the rich at as easy rate
260 As the needle's eye takes a camel in!
261 The mayor sent East, West, North and South,
262 To offer the Piper, by word of mouth,
263 Wherever it was men's lot to find him,
264 Silver and gold to his heart's content,
265 If he'd only return the way he went,
266 And bring the children behind him.
267 But when they saw 'twas a lost endeavour,
268 And Piper and dancers were gone for ever,
269 They made a decree that lawyers never
270 Should think their records dated duly
271 If, after the day of the month and year,
272 These words did not as well appear,
273 ``And so long after what happened here
274 ``On the Twenty-second of July,
275 ``Thirteen hundred and seventy-six:''
276 And the better in memory to fix
277 The place of the children's last retreat,
278 They called it, the Pied Piper's Street --
279 Where any one playing on pipe or tabor,
280 Was sure for the future to lose his labour.
281 Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
282 To shock with mirth a street so solemn;
283 But opposite the place of the cavern
284 They wrote the story on a column,
285 And on the great church-window painted
286 The same, to make the world acquainted
287 How their children were stolen away,
288 And there it stands to this very day.
289 And I must not omit to say
290 That in Transylvania there's a tribe
291 Of alien people who ascribe
292 The outlandish ways and dress
293 On which their neighbours lay such stress,
294 To their fathers and mothers having risen
295 Out of some subterraneous prison
296 Into which they were trepanned
297 Long time ago in a mighty band
298 Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
299 But how or why, they don't understand.

300 So, Willy, let me and you be wipers
301 Of scores out with all men -- especially pipers!
302 And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,
303 If we've promised them aught, let us keep our promise!

Mr Gall

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Exploring Symbols and Setting.

*consider the importance of place in the novel.
*analyse symbolism, motifs and settings.

We then summarised the importance of one setting within The Great Gatsby, in 23 words.

"The two eggs are of vital importance in the novel as they show the effects of the economic changes that have taken place"

We then looked at an extract from David Lodge, in which he explained the changes of the function of setting and the importance it has. After, we came up with our own ideas:

  • Novelists make the readers "see" the setting through vivid descriptions, this is fairly new in novels.

  • Setting can reflect characters and can emphasise their feelings, moods.

  • Settings have equal importance to characters. Are just as animated as characters.

  • Can also reflect themes, events, social context.

Symbol: an image that stands for something bigger (idea, belief, feeling)

Motif: recurring word, phrase, image, object or idea that runs through a text. Motifs are part of the structure of a novel and can be used to develop themes.

Themes: an ida/concept/ issue that runs throughout. We might see this as what the story is 'about'. Themes might be seen through motifs.

In groups, we then began to look at different objects, analysing what they could symbolise.

- industrialisation
- new wealth
- modernism
- transport
- feeling of empowerment
- 'fallic' representation
- direction/ lack of
- society becoming mechanical/ robotic
- overtaking romanticism
- mobility (social)

- envy
- money
- isolation
- jealousy
- nature
- success
- positivity

- Nick's observant behaviour
- Fitzgerald's detailed writing
- deception
- hidden truth
- omniscience
- judgement
- honesty

- wealth
- seclusion
- change in social mobility
- closure
- protection
- new life
- fragility

- death
- damage to land
- grey = modernity taking over
- lifelessness

What is symbolic realism?
Symbolic realism is when an object/idea/concept is taken from the real world and transformed into something else, something magical.

In partners, we then focused on a setting and the symbol behind that.

Me and Jack looked at 'The Valley of Ashes':

colour: grey, dull, monotonous.
symbolic realism: the Valley of Ashes can be seen as the lost world between the two eggs. The image created can also forebode the dark times of what is to come, the wall street crash, a time of unexpected bleak sadness.
repeated images: ash-grey men, grey cars, grey land.
mood and atmosphere (nick): Nick sees the valley of ashes as the full extent of modernism. This is the effect of industrialisation.
style - (romantic modernism): The description of the Valley of Ashes lacks romantic language, as modernism has taken over.
contrasts with other settings: The Valley of Ashes, compared to other settings lacks a sense of romanticism. It is very bland and opens Nick's eyes to an unfamilar sight.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

'Porphyria's Lover' by Robert Browning


Interpret the principal aspects of ‘Porphyria’s Lover’
Apply this analysis in answering an Aa question

We first considered different actions lovers might take if they could not be with their love, for example: write a song, move on, win them over.

Reading the dramatic monologue 'Porphyria's Lover', we were able to recognise key moments when Porphyria enters the cottage, when the man responds to her declaration of love, the strangling, followed by the final scene, where the emotionally unstable man recognises an absence of punishment.

Students retold the narrative pictorially in order to engage with the narrative, which was successfully reduced.

The following model for Aa answer was shared:

Browning also establishes characters who contrast with one another to anticipate what will happen to Porphyria at the hands of the dominant male character. The man is introduced as an emotionally unstable listener: ‘I listened with a heart fit to break.’ The metaphor ‘fit to break’ reinforces how fragile his emotions are for the rain and ‘sullen wind’ may break his heart. Porphyria, on the other hand, is described according to her actions: ‘straight / She shut the cold out and the storm, / And kneeled and made the cheerless grate / Blaze up’. Anaphora here emphasises Porphyria’s listed actions. Because the man is thoughtful whereas Porphyria is active, the two characters are set up as conflicting. This contrast between the two central figures helps establish an opposition which is at the heart of the narrative: all of Porphyria’s actions are stopped as a result of the man’s instability.

Students recognised that the topic sentence does more than identify an aspect and say it 'helps to tell the story'. We focused on ensuring the topic sentence shows a clear link to the narrative in hand: it should be specific, interesting and track connections from previous paragraphs.

Together, the class wrote the following paragraph analysing the aspect place:
Browning also uses place in order to set up an atmosphere which reflects the narrator’s unstable emotional state. Pathetic fallacy creates a physical portrayal of the male’s chaotic emotions: ‘The rain set early in to-night, / The sullen wind was soon awake’. The personification of the ‘sullen wind’ introduces the idea of a depressive atmosphere which is beginning to arise. Porphyria tries to make the atmosphere inside the cottage comfortable, yet the dark atmosphere seems to make what happens to Porphyria inevitable. Place initiates a sense of foreboding, making the reader aware that the narrative will have tragic or fatal consequences.

It was helpful to note before beginning writing that for the narrative, place reflected the man's dark emotions. This helped to focus our analysis of the aspect's function for the narrative of Porphyria's murder.

Next steps:

Students are to comment on this blog and then add their homework, another paragraph analysing character, voice or key moment.

New revision sessions:

From Tuesday, all students will be required to attend after-school revision sessions from 3.30 - 4.30pm each Tuesdays. These classes will be treated as normal lessons and therefore attendance is mandatory. The sessions will focus on exam preparation.

Mr Gall

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Great Gatsby: Narration and Portrayal of Nick

So in this lesson we focused mainly on the characterisation of Nick and how he tells the story in The Great Gatsby. We also looked at how romantic images, motifs, symbols and ideas are combined with modern styles. We gathered that this use of modern style mixed with romanticism interrupts the narrative and shows corruption of the modern world on romance.

We then moved onto our analysis of chapter two where we made some headlines to summarise: "TOM BREAKS MISTRESSES NOSE".

Analysing nick as a character we found him to be quite judgemental and contradictory, which we found is reflected in the way he tells the story. Like in chapter two when Nick is drunk we suddenly find him calling Ms Wilson by her first name, Myrtle, this expresses nick unreliability when telling the story and gives us an insight into Nicks complex character.

We also looked at a significant quote from nick that pretty much summarises nicks character and his narrative manner at the same time in chapter 2 (page 24).

"I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life"

This quote bring us to see the complexities of Nicks character and links very nicely with the way that we have to remember that nick is telling the story from a retrospective point of view however we often find him switching frames - from being a homodiegetic narrator speaking concurrently, to almost as a hetrodiegetic narrator, retrospectively reporting what is going on. i.e. "Gatsby turned out alright in the end" even though at that point of the story he hasn't even met Mr Gatsby yet.

We then looked at the role of the narrator.

David lodge, The Art of Fiction.

"The choice of the point of view from which the story is told…fundamentally affects the way readers will respond, emotionally and morally, to the fictional character and their actions."

The narrator is used to:
•Present information.

The narrator may also:
•Comment and judge (used by Fitzgerald)
•Directly address the reader
•Be a participant in the story (used by Fitzgerald)
•Be a detached observer (used by Fitzgerald)
•Be ‘transparent’, appearing to speak with the voice of the author

We then looked at the advantages and disadvantages of first person narrative

•Emotional involvement
•A sense of immediacy
•We can identify with narrator

•We only get one viewpoint
•We don't get to see everything

From this we found that Fitzgerald has modified the first person narrative that nick portrays and very smartly makes Nick's character have knowledge of other people and events as well as other characters giving information during dialogue. This allows the reader to have a wider view of the diegesis world that Fitzgerald has created in a way that works around the disadvantages of first person narrative.



  1. comment on this damn blog with character/narritve sheet

  2. read chapter 3

  3. watch video with bold man (W:\English\ENGLISH MR SADGROVE\Year 12\Gatsby videos\VIDEO_TS) even though i dont think it works.