Hello, I am a level 1 student and have my English exam on Thursday. I was hoping to do better in my exam than in my mock. I struggled with unfamiliar text. It would be great if someone could please give me feedback on this practice I’ve done from the 2015 paper. There is a link to the resource booklet I found on the internet. I’ve done the poetry section of it. Any help would be highly appreciated.
so sorry it’s a lot
Unfamiliar Text 2015
QUESTION ONE: FICTION
Refer to Text A, “Arrival at Magpie Hall”, on page 2 of the resource booklet to answer this question.
(a) (i) Identify one language feature the writer uses to describe the setting of the text.
The writer has used Similes as one of the language features to describe the setting of the text.
(ii) Give an example of this language feature from the text.
“The voice was like an explosion in the late afternoon air.”
(b) Explain how this language feature helps us to understand the writer’s feelings about the setting.
This simile helps me understand the writer’s fresh feelings about the house. Comparing the shutting of car doors to explosions creates the effect of eeriness that is present at the farm. There was a time when the author felt excited and joyous to be at the house. However, everything changed now that the author has a changed perspective. Now they feel nervous and afraid to go to the farm, even though it belongs to them now. Small things, such as even closing a door, felt bizarre and frightening to the author now. The farm where they felt welcomed now felt unsettling and empty. This conveys the idea that the author must be very close to their grandfather, and now that he passed away, the farm is not lively and fun anymore but scary instead. The author feels as if they don’t belong anymore. Their grandfather was the glue that held the farm together. The place feels empty and terrifying without him, making it nearly haunted.
(c) Explain how the writer’s experience of the setting has changed. Support your answer with reference to techniques, including language features, that show:
• how changes in the physical environment reflect the writer’s feelings
• how a particular mood is created and/or sustained.
Along with the simile mentioned above, the author has also used several other language features that help us understand how the author feels about the farm now. One of these features includes contrast. The author has used contrast to compare the two different scenes of before and after their grandfather passed away. The author’s life was happy and simple before events took a turn. The line, “my arrival was always accompanied by movement and sound: Grandpa waving, one of the dogs wriggling its hips and coming over to sniff and bark hello, always at least one chicken out of its coop, scratching and nudging the Earth, with a crowing rooster no far behind.” creates the effect of comfort and homelike feelings for the author. That was certainly affected when the author arrived at the farm a while later. “The stillness frightened me.” everything was calm, and the silence was almost disturbing. A place that was once full of life and laughter is now intimidating. The sinister aura was created to hook the reader’s interest. Small, subtle details were added by the author to give the readers a full insight into how quickly the atmosphere changed.
Another language feature used by the author is Personification, in the lines, “the spectre of my grandfather stood on the front step to greet me before dissolving into the shadows.” This line also involves imagery as the author imagines her grandfather being present for her there. But here, this line conveys that the author subconsciously wants her grandfather to be present as she moves into the new place. The line shows that the author sees her grandfather there as if they want his permission to take over his place now. Other lines that show personification are, “places on the farm I managed to avoid for 20 years staring at my back, willing me to turn and face them.”, “the weak autumn light descended from the clouds and bounced off cliffs to the north, playing tricks.” These two lines interlink together to show the image of how the author perceives the farm now. Dark, dull and nothingness filled the place because the farm was out of place without their grandfather. The author thought that it was now their duty to take over and look after the farm. The author used this technique to show the connection between the past and the present lives of their life. Showed how different people handle loss in different ways. The author must’ve been reminded of all the good memories they had at the farm.