Animal Farm Revision Notes

Animal_Farm_by_TheFool432

Attached are revision notes and key events of each chapter for Animal Farm. I hope these are useful for anyone sitting exams this June. Click the links below to download.

 

Animal Farm Revision Notes

 

Animal Farm Key Events

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To Kill A Mockingbird

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Revision notes for To Kill A Mockingbird can be found in the link below. These should help you for your English Literature exam. Its best to learn English Literature of by heart so its basically just recall in an exam essay.

 

To Kill A Mockingbird Revision Notes

English Essays for Of Mice and Men and Blood Brothers

Attached in this post are essays relating to Of Mice and Men and Blood Brothers. Many of them are relevant and you will find them helpful for revision in May and June.

Left Out Characters

Tension

Sorryness Quotes OMAM

Poverty In Blood Brothers

Money Source of Hapiness

Edward and Micky

Temporary Hapiness

Micky Responsible for his Life

Sample Answer Unseen Poetry

“Out, Out” (1916)

The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside them in her apron
To tell them “Supper.” At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,
As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart—
He saw all spoiled. “Don’t let him cut my hand off—
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!”
So. But the hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

A young man is cutting firewood with a buzz saw in New England. Near the end of the day, the boy’s sister announces that it is time for dinner and, out of excitement, the boy accidentally cuts his hand with the saw. He begs his sister not to allow the doctor to amputate the hand but inwardly realizes that he has already lost too much blood to survive. The boy dies while under anesthesia, and everyone goes back to work.

Frost uses the method of personification to great effect in this poem. The buzz saw, though technically an inanimate object, is described as a cognizant being, aggressively snarling and rattling as it does its work. When the sister makes the dinner announcement, the saw demonstrates that it has a mind of its own by “leaping” out of the boy’s hand in its excitement. Frost refuses to lay blame for the injury on the boy, who is still a “child at heart.”

In addition to blaming the saw, Frost blames the adults at the scene for not intervening and telling the boy to “call it a day” before the accident occurred. Had the boy received an early excuse from the workday, he would have avoided cutting off his hand and would have been saved from death. Moreover, a mere half-hour break from his job would have allowed the boy to regain part of his childhood, if only for a moment.

Frost’s emphasis on the boy’s passivity and innocence in this situation is particularly significant in the context of the time period. After moving to England with his family, Frost was forced to return to America because of the onset of World War I in 1915, an event that would destroy the lives of many innocent young boys. With that in mind, this poem can be read as a critique of the world events that forced boys to leave their childhoods behind and ultimately be destroyed by circumstances beyond their control.

After the boy’s hand is nearly severed, he is still enough of an adult to realise that he has lost too much blood to survive. He attempts to “keep the life from spilling” from his hand, but even that is only an attempt, since nothing can be done. Above all, though, the boy hopes to maintain his physical dignity in his death, rather than die with a missing hand. Again, Frost channels the horrors already occurring on the battlefields in Europe, where death from enemy shells was automatically devoid of dignity.

By the end of the poem, the narrator no longer has anything to say about the tragedy of the boy’s death. While the first twenty-six lines contain elegant metaphors and descriptions of the scene- IDENTIFY the final eight lines are detached and unemotional. The narrator’s “So” and “No more to build on there” reveal that even the narrator is unable to find any explanation for why such a young boy had to die.

In the last line of the poem, the narrator enters a state of complete detachment, almost as if indifference is the only way to cope with the boy’s death. Just as soldiers on the battlefield must ignore the bodies around them and continue to fight, the people of this New England town have nothing to do but move on with their lives

Frost uses different stylistic devices throughout his poem. He is very descriptive using  imagery and personification to express what he wants to say. Frost uses imagery when he describes the setting of the place – a boy sawing some wood. He tells his readers the boy is standing outside by describing the visible mountain ranges, and sets the time of day by saying that the sun is setting. Frost gives his readers an image of the boy feeling pain by using contradiction words such as “rueful” and “laugh” and by using powerful words such as “outcry”. He also describes the blood coming from the boy’s hand as life that is spilling. To show how the boy is dying, Frost gives his readers an image of the boy breathing shallowly by saying that he is puffing his lips out with his breath. When talking about the saw, Frost uses personification and repetition. Personification is seen when he says that at times it can run light and at others it has to bear a load, talking as if the saw was a person that had to carry something. Repetition is used to help build an image of the saw’s movements where the words “snarled and rattled” are repeated several times throughout the poem to display an image of the saw moving back and forth. While Frost uses iambic pentameter for the rhythm, he uses blank verse for the rhyme. His variation in the lengths of his sentences almost reflects the boy’s life for when the boy is still alive and healthy, the lengths of Frost’s sentences are much longer then they are when the boy is dying.

The poem’s title, “Out, Out-” is taken from the Shakespearean play Macbeth where the main character, Macbeth, speaks after he is told that his wife is dead. Using a simile to compare Lady Macbeth’s death to a candle which is blown out he says “Out, out, brief candle!” Both Lady Macbeth’s death and the death of the young boy from Frost’s poem are tragedies. They are both about people whose lives come to an end before it is their time to die, before they’ve lived a long life and aged to die a natural death. Comparing them to a candle is suitable because just like a candle’s light can go in a matter of seconds caused by a simple blow, their lives ended in a matter of seconds. A candle that leaves darkness once it is not shining any longer can be compared to the darkness left in the hearts of the families of Lady Macbeth and of the boy after their death. Saying “brief candle” clearly compares to the boy, who dies before he even gets the chance to reach manhood. Another comparison that can be made between Lady Macbeth and the boy, is the way that after their deaths, their surroundings move on and go back to their regular routine. In Macbeth, Macbeth continues his fight for the kingdom, and in “Out, Out-” the doctor and the boy’s family get back to their affairs. This helps prove Macbeth’s words when he says

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player; That struts and frets his hour upon the stage; And then is heard no more: it is a tale; Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; Signifying nothing.”  -because he is saying that life is brief and meaningless. The boy’s quick death shows how life can be short, and the way everyone got back to their businesses shows how life is meaningless, how when one is gone it does not make that much of a difference. Although it is clear to see that there is an allusion between the two pieces, it is not needed to read one in order to understand the other.

It is Frost’s style of writing that makes his readers feel as if they are part of the poem, as if the events in the poem are truly taking place and the readers are merely people who are standing by and watching it all. It is his writing that allows him to make an allusion between the story of a tragic boy and the story of a tragic hero.

Blood Brothers- Mickey and his Problems

With reference to the way Russell presents Mickey- Show how far you agree that Mickey is responsible for the things that go wrong in his life.

Russell reveals much about the characters in the play through use of dramatic methods. Russell does this by using Music and Song, movement, staging and language. These methods come together to show us a complete picture of Mickey’s life.

Russell shows Mickey as a jealous and envious person. This is evident when Mickey confronts Edward towards the end of the play.

“Does my child … as well as everythin’ else?”

Mickey is jealous of Edwards’s life. Edward has everything and Mickey is left with nothing. This is particularly shown during the finale of the play when Mickey, who is fed up with having nothing and depending on other people, confronts Edward. Mickey’s language and movement show his anger and frustration. Mickey uses foul language and his body language e.g. Pushing/Shoving shows anger. Mickey’s life goes wrong at this point and it is totally his fault. His resentment and rage against Edward makes him go to the extreme and kill Edward.

Mickey is very naive and because of this many things go wrong in his life. He is easily persuaded by Sammy to be a watch out. This is possibly because he is at the end of his tether and feels that there is no other way out of his present situation of misery. Mickey should have known that going with Sammy was a bad idea.

“Fifty quid … Take Linda if you had cash like that”

Mickey may have felt that taking this risk would get him closer to Linda and strengthen their relationship. Mickey’s body show that he is nervous. He moves slowly as said in the stage directions and constantly looks around nervously. He cries when he sees the dead body. After this we know that Mickey did not want to go along with Sammy but it was his fault that he was arrested. This ruined his life and only he and Sammy can be blamed.

Mickey is not able to express his feelings for Linda which may have contributed towards his death.

“Linda, I wanna kiss … but I don’t know how to tell y’”

Linda feels that Mickey is not making an effort and is growing away from her on purpose. This causes her to turn to Edward. Mickey is in the wrong for this because it was his pill taking that meant he couldn’t feel close to her. Again this is a bad time in Mickey’s life and his language shows this. He shouts at Linda and threatens her for his pills. He makes Linda feel second best to his pills and he does not know what he is doing. He is at fault here; if Mickey had made an effort to control his addiction then Linda and he could have had a good relationship.

Mickey was also hurt when Edward moved away from him. Mickey is partially to blame for this. His body language towards Mrs Lyons and the way conveys himself makes Mrs Lyons want to move away.

“You see why I don’t want … like a horrible little boy”

Mickey teaches Edward bad language and Mrs Lyons is not happy. She blames Mickey for what happened. It was Mickey’s fault that they moved away. He pushes his way into Mrs Lyons house at one time. All of this adds up until Mrs Lyons cannot take anymore, she is beginning to hate Mickey and feels that she needs to escape him.

However, Mickey was not totally to blame for the bad things that go wrong in his life. He suffered from poor parenting. Mrs J could not handle all of her children so they were left without any life lessons. Mickey was never taught to vocalise his feelings, express emotions towards other people or to be mannerly towards other people.

“I don’t know how to tell y’”

Mickey is self-conscious and therefore can’t tell Linda how he feels about her. He was never taught that it was alright to do so. Mrs J loved him very much but does not teach him right from wrong. This leads to Mickey getting n trouble with Police as a child. Mickey never grows out of this and still takes risks later in life- Agrees to be Sammy’s accomplice. His naivety in these situations is shown by the way he laughs when he is first caught by the police. Mickey does not know how he should react and has no manners to act properly.

Mickey is also a Victim of Circumstance. He is fired from his job as a “Sign of the times”. This depresses Mickey to the point of turning to crime for money. He has grown away from Linda and is never happy. This is shown by the staging. Mickey is shown alone and dreary for these scenes and does not respond very well. The differences between him and others around him are obvious. Mickey is miserable but others around him are happy and encouraging.

The Field of Waterloo- Revision Notes

The Field of Waterloo – Thomas Hardy

 

Context:

  • The poem’s subject is an epic battle fought on 18th June 1815 in what is now Belgium bringing to an end the Napoleonic Wars which had lasted for 12 years. In the battle a joint Prussian and British force battled Napoleon’s French army.
  • The scale of the battle can be seen from the numbers involved. 190,000 men were involved in the battle in which 47,000 men were either killed or wounded.
  • One army major who visited the battlefield on 22nd January described the sight as “too horrible to behold,” “the multitude of carcasses, the heaps of wounded men with mangled limbs unable to move”

Theme

  • Hardy’s poem captures the brutal ferocity and gory outcome of the battle, not by focusing on the battle itself, but by describing it from the perspective of the small animals, insects and finally plant life whose habitat is the field of battle and who are unwittingly caught up in it.

Tone:

  • The opening word of the poem establishes the conversational tone of the poem.
  • A sympathetic tone develops as he captures the terror of the animals
  • The tone shifts in the final verse to sorrow as he reflects on the premature death of the plants, destroyed before they have grown to maturity. The image, by association, can be interpreted as a sorrowful reflection on the young men killed in battle will never fulfil their promise and potential in life.

 

Words & Phrases:

  • In each verse Hardy’s references to nature stress its fragility in the face of military onslaught – fleeing rabbits; lark’s eggs; worms; butterflies; burrowing moles. These vulnerable images of nature reflect the fragile nature of life which are then juxtaposed with the destructive forces of war  
  • The first verse uses swift verbs of motion – “their white scuts flash at their vanishing heels” – to capture the panic and terror felt by the rabbits as they try to flee from the advancing cavalry.  These are then juxtaposed with the heavier onomatopoeic “thud of hoofs” which implies its menacing power
  • Onomatopoeia is a prominent method in the poem. In verse 2 & 3 the onomatopoeic “crushed”  and alliterative phrases “terrible tread” and “beaten about” are used to describe how forcefully the wheels of the artillery destroy the landscape – the insects and their habitats. (In the last verse “trodden and bruised”)
  • Hardy’s use of personification to describe the futile attempts of the worm to evade the chaos creates sympathy for the plight of the creatures and hints at the devastating scale of human destruction taking place above it. (It is also used to capture its innocence, using black humour to portray it as it “asks what can be heard overhead”)
  • This effect is reinforced by the hyperbolic metaphor used to describe the bloodshed foul red flood” – which also skilfully exploits alliteration, consonance and assonance to place greater stress on the image and capture the bloody gore of the battle and subtly reflect on the enormous scale of the human loss and suffering
  • The final verse shifts the focus from insects and creatures to the plant life destroyed by the battle. The imagery stresses thwarted potential. He uses two images of plants that have been cut off and destroyed before they have fully grown and reached their prime. The words “greened” and “gold” are counterpointed by alliteration and consonance in the second last line while the keys words “bud” and “bloom” are counterpointed in the final line to emphatically reinforce this brutal reality of war. The repetition of “never” also helps to create this sense of tragic loss and waste.
  • Final verse also employs a metaphor to describe the battlefield as “a miry tomb”

 

Structure:

  • The poem is written in tercets (three line verses) which has the effect of condensing the imagery in each verse thereby making it stand out more prominently
  • The poem has a complicated rhyme scheme known as chain rhyme aba, bcb. cdc etc…  Each verse rhymes aba, but the middle line then provides the rhyme for the next verse.
  • This has the effect of allowing each verse to stand out prominently while also linking the verses to capture the relentless process of destruction the battle creates. This effect is also enhanced by the use of enjambment between the third and fourth verses.

 

In Westminster Abbey- Revision Notes

In Westminster Abbey – John Betjeman

 

Context

  • The poem is set during the second world war at a time when Britain, was part of an alliance of nations which were fighting against German expansionism in Europe and North Africa
  • England, and London in particular, was subject to regular bombing raids by the German air force.
  • British society of the time was rigidly divided into social classes – the speaker in the poem is a wealthy upper class woman who lives in 189 Cadogan Square, a very affluent part of West London.

 

Theme

  • The poem is a dramatic monologue – a poem in which the poet creates a character who speaks for the entire poem to an audience who does not respond. During the course of the poem, the speaker’s character and attitudes are revealed to the reader.
  • This dramatic monologue is a satirical poem. The more the woman says the more the poet reveals her flaws and exposes her to ridicule and contempt.
  • Through the poem Betjeman satirises, not just this one woman, but the English upper class.

 

Tone

  • Being a dramatic monologue the tone is dominated by the speaking voice of the well-off lady. Her tone throughout is bossy, domineering and  condescending
  • Beyond the speaking voice of the woman, the reader can sense the poet’s contempt for this kind of person

 

Language

  • In this dramatic monologue the poet creates a situation in which we overhear a wealthy English woman pray in Westminster Abbey. He uses irony throughout, as the woman unwittingly in the process gives her true character away.
  • Her ostentatious use of Latin in the first verse – “Vox humana” – when addressing God suggests a pompous, conceited character
  • The poet uses the conventional language of praise and worship – “Gracious Lord”, “ dear Lord”, the motivation for her prayer is continually shown to be a series of base motives and not in any sense spiritual or noble
  • In the second verse she implores God to –  “oh bomb the Germans” – incorporates a complacent assumption that God is violent and shares her prejudices
  • Her self-centredness appears several times in the rhymed couplets at the end of verses 2 & 4
  • In the third verse her imperial pride shines through when she prays that God “keep our Empire undismembered”
  • As the verse progresses her sense of racial superiority emerges when she asks the Lord to protect the “Gallant blacks” from Britain’s empire who have joined the army but the verse concludes with “Protect them Lord in all their fights / And even more protect the whites.”
  • Betjeman portrays her as more materialist than spiritual. Her selfish materialism is mocked by the rhymed couplet at the end of verse 5 when she prays “So, Lord, reserve for me a crown / And do not let my shares go down.”
  • Her unchristian spitefulness is evident in the pride with which she offers to send “white feathers to cowards.”
  • Her half-hearted Christianity is apparent when she promises to attend “Evening Service / Whensoever I have the time” and even more prominently in the rhymed couplet that ends the poem – “And now dear Lord, I cannot wait / Because I have a luncheon date”.

 

Structure

  • The poem is written in seven sextets. Like An Irish Airman there are eight syllables per line but in this poem the rhythm is trochaic tetrameter rather than iambic. By placing the stress on the first syllable of each “foot” the poet helps capture the speakers bossy tone.
  • The poem has a bouncy / jaunty rhythm which helps convey the insincerity of the prayer as it lacks intensity.
  • Each verse rhymes abcbdd. The rhymed couplet at the end of each is particularly effective for stressing and ridiculing her flaws