Animal Farm Revision Notes


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


To Kill A Mockingbird


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


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.

Poverty in Blood Brothers

We see from this story that the Johnston’s are a very poor family who are suffering from poverty. With Mrs. Johnston being the sole provider for the family it makes it even tougher for her and the family as a whole to cope, especially as she has a lot of children.

Although they are poor, the Johnston’s seem to cope okay, but only just, and here are many examples throughout the story that suggest this. A prime example of this is how Mrs. Johnston always orders items from a catalogue and promises her children, even though there is no money to ever pay for them. She does this so that her children can have a little bit of happiness in their lives until the items they have received are taken away and repossessed by the catalogue. Although this happens almost all the time for the Johnston’s the children still feel neglected because all the children in their school and around them have all the things they want, and all the things the Johnston kids wish they had and can only dream about. Mrs. Johnston also promises lots of things to them and always tries to console them and reassure them, things like telling them that she had a new, better paid, more luxurious job, which straight away makes her kids feel like everything is going to change and that they will now start getting the things that they always wanted, and not be poor anymore, but this isn’t the case, even though she allows them to think it, we see this in the story when the children ask for, “Mummy, can we have ham…” “…And Spam…” “ And Mummy can we have jam, please Mummy…” But these things never really arrive, as she hasn’t actually got any money, even if she did get a new job, because of all the bills and debts that there are to pay. This is another prime example of how poverty has affected their family.

These are all short-term problems because the children are getting older and they will soon be out working and helping with the financial situation, but the fact that she has to go through every thing on her own was the fault of her husband, who ran out on the family. But before he left the family, Mrs. Johnston got pregnant again. As they already have lots of kids and are really unable to support them all, social services have been watching the family and have warned Mrs. Johnston that she will lose them and see them taken into care if things don’t change, so the fact that she has another child on the way will not help matters.

As Mrs. Johnston was at work, as a cleaner for a rich couple, the Lyons, she mentions her troubles to Mrs. Lyons, she, however has quiet the opposite problem as she has lots of money, but cannot have children. As Mrs. Johnston learns that she is expecting twins, Mrs. Lyons thinks up a plan that she says will make them both extremely happy and better off for it. She says to Mrs. Johnston that she could sell her one of the twins and nobody would ever find out, and as Mrs. Lyons knows the situation of Mrs. Johnston she tries to sway her decision by telling her that she could see the twin everyday and that the only difference would be that the baby has a different name. And because of Mrs. Johnston’s financial mess, and also the fact that Mrs. Lyons has persuaded her to, she gives in and agrees to give her one of the twins. Little does she know that after a few weeks, and when Mrs. Lyons husband returns from a 9-month trip around the world, that she will be sacked and never get the chance to see her baby again.

These as well as some of the other things that I have mentioned are the reasons that the Johnston family are affected by Poverty and that they are practically living their lives in it. It not only financially affects them but mentally, as it compromises Mrs. Johnston’s decisions, eventually making her give up one of her own children, effectively just so she can pay the bills, which is truly unthinkable.


Blood Brothers- Edward & Mickey

From Act 1 only comment on the similarities and difference which can be observed between Mickey and Edward. There are many differences between the two characters in the first act of the play. Throughout the play the similarities overshadow the differences and the characters become more like each other. First difference is that Mickey makes friends easily unlike Edward who has very little friends, this is because his Mother very rarely lets him go out and play. This is instrumented in the play when Mickey plays many imaginary games with a large group of friends when Edward is in his house. As said before the reason for this is that Mrs Johnstone lets Mickey play freely without any rules, this allows Mickey to socialise more than Edward who is controlled by Mrs Lyons. The second variation is the difference in Education between Mickey and Edward. Edward has a good, high class education whereas Mickey has a poor education. This is revealed throughout Act one. An example of this is when Mickey is shown not to know what a dictionary is. Most people know what a dictionary is so when it says he does not is gives us the idea that Mickey is poorly educated. Another example of is the fact that Edward knows many large words which a normal eight year old would not; this suggests a good, strong education. The next difference between the pair is their behaviour with other people. Edward is well mannered and well spoken whereas Mickey uses bag language and is not mannerly. This is also shown throughout the first act and is very obvious. Mickey is consistently rude with his Mother and other characters. An example of this is when Mickey pushes the woman to answer his questions even when she does not know the answer (pg47). However, Edward is the complete opposite he says Please and Thank You. He politely enquires about Mrs Johnstone’s health and shares his sweets with Mickey. The fourth and final main difference is the class of their families. Mickey has a low class family and Edward has a high class family. Mickey and his family are shown to be disliked where they live and are treated like dirt by the Police (pg43). They are threatened with court and talked to with no respect. It is the opposite for the Lyons family. The police treat them like royalty and speak to them politely. The policeman has Scotch with Mr Lyons, this shows that the Police like them and wish to stay on their good side by blaming the lower class family for what Edward done. However, there are some similarities between Mickey and Edward which are revealed as the play goes on. One similarity between the two characters is that they are both easily excited by anything. This is shown when Sammy buries his worms and when it is revealed they are born on the same day. This is probably because they are young and may not have much excitement in their lives. They also both make friends easily and this evident that they like each other as soon as they meet. The boys are both superstitious like Mrs Johnstone and believe that certain things will affect their life. Overall the boys are more different in their younger years. As they both get older the similarities multiply and they become more alike.

The Field of Waterloo- Revision Notes

The Field of Waterloo – Thomas Hardy



  • 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”


  • 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.


  • 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”



  • 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.