Katherine Essay

1871 words - 7 pages

Paper 3 and 4 June 07 Examiner's comments6. Katherine Mansfield: The Garden Party and Other Stories(a) Candidates tended to agree that Mansfield's stories were more concerned with the characters' minds than events, and used stories such as The Garden Party, Bliss, An Indiscreet Journey, Her First Ball, Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding and A Married Man's Story to illustrate their discussion. Ironically, even in these answers, though, some candidates lapsed into narrative summary while asserting that the real interest was in the characters' minds. More successful answers looked closely at the mental life of the characters, contrasting their responses with the events around them. Sophisticated responses examined Mansfield's narrative techniques, showing that events are frequently filtered through the characters' perceptions and responses asthe narrative moves in and out of characters' minds, making it difficult to pin down events themselves separately from the characters' mental responses.(b) This was a very popular question, though a surprising number of candidates seemed unaware of the context which is revealed in The Voyage, namely the death of Fenella's mother, thus missing the emotional undercurrent of the extract. On the other hand, many candidates commented on the pervasive dark imagery at the beginning of the story and suggested that by this means Mansfield is already hinting at the mother's death and the family's mourning. Others commented on the way several parts of the description suggest a childish perception, suggesting that the narrative veers towards Fenella's perception of the journey. There were some very sensitive responses, which looked at Fenella's embarrassment at the emotion between her grandmother and father and questioned her own avoidance of mourning and emotion.Question 2 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: Twelfth Night(a) In general, the treatment of Malvolio was handled perceptively, with candidates taking a view both of his faults and the way that others treat him. Subtle answers made the point that whilst initially Malvolio got what he deserved with the extended trickery surrounding the letter, his subsequent treatment during his imprisonment was excessive, pushing him towards madness. A few candidates went further and pointed out that his final cry for revenge might change the balance of sympathy once again as it upsets the notionally happy equilibrium of the play's ending.(b) There were many fine answers on the passage, but many candidates at the bottom end often had difficulty locating the precise moment of the action and of being very clear about precisely what is going on. In particular, candidates were often rather uncertain about Olivia's feelings towards Orsino which are not - as many argued - perverse. Rather, she has tried to be honest with Orsino and has even prolonged the mourning for her brother in order to not hurt his feelings. Candidates were at their best when exploring the language used by the characters,...

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