Ok… so I’m only going to discuss the Modules which I’ve tutored before – otherwise I won’t know what I’m talking about.
Module A: Elective 2: Texts in Time
Wow, I was surprised by the 2010 questions for this Elective! I’ve always thought Module A was pretty breezy, but this year’s questions were a bit harder – they didn’t focus on specific themes etc.
In terms of Blade Runner and Frankenstein – I think this question was ok. You could’ve talked about how:
- Deckard, Roy, Tyrell – challenging notions of humanity, creation/invention, consumerism etc (Capitalism).
- Victor, the monster – challenging again notions of humanity, the pursuit of science etc (Age of Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution).
I think it was much harder for The Great Gatsby and Browning. I mean, with The Great Gatsby, the characters don’t challenge the values of the Jazz Age directly. I suppose you could talk about how Nick questions the values, and how Gatsby shows that the values are destructive. For Browning, this seems quite difficult, because she (as persona) doesn’t really challenge the Victorian values! She adheres to them, I would think, right? Except for the fact that she does challenge religion to some extent, and the conservative expression of emotions…
What did students write for that?
Module B: Hamlet
Yay, this was a pretty stock standard question. Asking for your interpretation in response to the ideas of “struggle” and “disillusionment” – very similar to the format of the 2009 question.
Based on my interpretation, I would’ve talked about Hamlet’s internal struggle (Renaissance duty and Christian beliefs), his disillusionment by the betrayals/deceptions around him etc.
It would’ve been interesting though – to discuss whether it is THOSE ideas which continue to engage readers over time.
Module C: Conflicting Perspectives
Textual form? Good thing I told my students to always mention textual form in their Mod C essays! This was quite a good question, because of the “to what extent” aspect. You could also use “textual form” to then branch out and talk about specific textual techniques etc.
For example, with Justice Game, I would’ve begun with discussing how JG’s non-fiction format creates a sense of authority and objectivity to Robertson’s views, shaping our response and understanding of the conflicting perspectives about a particular issues. However, the textual techniques, within the textual form are what act as the greatest influences upon our reading…