I there, I am aiming for excellence in my level one written texts exam. Today I have written a practice essay as a way of studying for this exam.
- Can you please mark my essay, and tell me if it is anywhere near excellence level, and if not how I can get to excellence level?
- Is writing practise essays the best way of studying, and can you suggest any other methods?
Here is the essay:
Describe a conflict in the text. Explain how the conflict helped you to understand human nature.
A conflict in a text usually serves to help the reader understand an aspect of human nature. Throughout The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Christopher endures a myriad of conflict between his logic-based mathematically-ordered world and the chaos and disorder of the real world. This essay will describe this conflict, and how it helps the reader to understand human nature. Christopher is a T-800, incredibly smart, but incompatible with the concept of “Hasta la vista, baby.”
The first aspect of conflict between Christopher and the real world is his relationship with his parents. Although both of his parents clearly love him Christopher’s condition means that they are rarely on the same page, sometimes even resulting in violence. An example of this is when Father hits Christopher after he finds the book Christopher had been writing about his murder investigation - the very book we are reading. Christopher says “I find people confusing,” and this remains true with his parents. The stark contrast between Christopher’s parents, emotionally impulsive, and Christopher, with his logic-based worldview, points out a lot of irrationalities in ‘normal’ human nature and prompts us to rethink society’s expectations for our behaviours. Christopher’s point of view loses it’s strangeness and seems merely unique.
The second aspect of this pertains to the conflict between Christopher and members of society. Christopher strongly dislikes social interaction and tries his best to avoid it, which is understandable given the disasters that ensue when interactions happen with someone outside his circle, such as when he punched the policeman in the face for touching him. People are constantly frustrated with Christopher because of the difficulty they have communicating with him, like his interaction with an information centre lady: “And I said, ‘How do I get to 451c Chapter Road, London NW2 5NG?’ And she said, ‘Where is that?’ And I said, ‘It’s 451c Chapter Road, London NW2 5NG. And sometimes you can write it 451c Chapter Road, Willesden, London NW2 5NG.’ And the lady said to me, ‘Take the tube to Willesden Junction, honey. Or Willesden Green. Got to be near there somewhere.’ And I said, ‘What sort of tube?’ And she said, ‘Are you for real?’” Frustration with Christopher is one of the many motifs in this text, and it often results in conflict between the Christopher when someone’s frustration makes them do something Christopher doesn’t like, like when that policeman touched Christopher, and when Christopher does not like something his reaction can be very strong, like when Christopher punched the policeman for doing so. Christopher’s experiences serve as a perfect demonstration of society’s ignorance towards those with mental disorders. This ignorance needs to be stamped out.
The third and final aspect is the conflict between Christopher and the subjective chaos of the world around him. Everything in the world seems to work against Christopher, from loud noises, massive cities, train stations, to human emotion and metaphor. Ironically, I think the complex nature of the world, and in this example, London serves as a metaphor for Christopher’s relationship with his parents. That is, being difficult to navigate, dangerous at times, and incredibly complicated, but also a really nice place to be in if things go nicely. “I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” Christopher tries to use his mathematical worldview to find order and reason amidst the chaos around him, but this does not always work. Christopher’s navigation of instability through his alternate worldview represents the plight of an individual whose difference makes dealing with volatility all the more challenging.
This essay has described the conflict between Christopher and the world around him, and how this conflict helped us to understand aspects of human nature. The main dimensions of this conflict have been between him and his parents, him and society, and him and the world. These conflicts are all connected in the fact that Christopher’s condition makes it hard for him to navigate whether that be with his parents, London, or the world, the world he has repeatedly fantasized about being the last human left on. Scientists are doing so much work researching other things, but maybe we should still be focussing on ourselves.