Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose: A Brief Synopsis for Year 11 English

Twelve Angry Men

Area of Study 1, Unit 2 – Reading and Comparing Texts

Twelve Angry Men a play by Reginald Rose is a text to be studied by Year 11 English students in Area of Study 1, Unit 2 – Reading and Comparing Texts. Students are asked to study 2 texts and produce an analytical response to a pair of texts, comparing their presentation of themes, issues and ideas. Students should consider 12 Angry Men compared with either Montana 1948 or Joe Cinque’s Consolation in Reading and Comparing Texts.

Students will be asked to investigate how the reader’s understanding of one text is broadened and deepened when considered in relation to another text. Students also explore how features of texts, including structures, conventions and language convey themes, issues and ideas that reflect and explore the world and human experiences, including historical and social contexts.

The Basics of the Case of Twelve Angry Men:

At the beginning of Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose, the jury has just finished listening to six days of trial proceedings. A 16 year old is on trial for the murder of his father. The defendant has a criminal record (and a lot of circumstantial evidence piled against him). The defendant, if found guilty, would receive a mandatory death penalty.

The jury is sent to a hot, crowded room to deliberate.

Before any formal discussion, they cast a vote. Eleven of the jurors vote “guilty.” Only one juror votes “not guilty.” That juror, who is known in the script as Juror #8 is the protagonist of the play. As the tempers flare and the arguments begin, the audience learns about each member of the jury. Slowly but surely, Juror #8 guides the others toward a verdict of “Not Guilty.”

The relationship between the 3rd and 8th juror is the central one in the play:

The conflict between the 3rd and 8th jurors is based not just on their different opinions of the defendant’s guilt, but also on their different interpersonal styles. The 3rd juror is frustrated by the 8th juror’s slow and patient approach and his willingness to re-examine evidence and his admission that he does not honestly know whether or not the defendant is guilty of the crime. In fact their conflict represents the broader conflict throughout the play. It also is symbolic illustrating the nature of their conflict. It foreshadows how that conflict will ultimately be resolved since the 8th juror will not relinquish his position; the 3rd juror is ultimately forced to step down, changing his vote.

The Characters in the Play:

Instead of organizing the jurors in numeric order, the characters are listed in the order they decide to vote in favour of the defendant.

Juror #8:

He votes “not guilty” during the jury’s first vote. Described as thoughtful and gentle, Juror #8 is usually portrayed as the most heroic member of the jury. He is devoted to justice, and is initially sympathetic toward the 19-year-old defendant. At the beginning of the play, when every other juror has voted guilty he is the only one to vote: “not guilty.” Juror #8 spends the rest of the play urging the others to practice patience, and to contemplate the details of the case. A guilty verdict will result in the electric chair; therefore, Juror #8 wants to discuss the relevance of the witness testimony.

He is convinced that there is reasonable doubt. Eventually he persuades the other jurors to acquit the defendant.

Juror #9:

Described in the stage notes as a “mild, gentle old man, defeated by life and waiting to die.” Despite this bleak description, he is the first to agree with Juror #8, deciding that there is not enough evidence to sentence the young man to death.

Also, during Act One, Juror #9 is the first to openly recognize Juror #10’s racist attitude, stating that, “What this man says is very dangerous.”

Juror #5:

This young man is nervous about expressing his opinion, especially in front of the elder members of the group. He grew up in the slums. He has witnessed knife-fights, an experience that will later help other jurors form an opinion of “not guilty.”

Juror #11:

As a refugee from Europe, Juror #11 has witnessed great injustices. That is why he is intent on administering justice as a jury member. He sometimes feels self-conscious about his foreign accent. He conveys a deep appreciation for democracy and America’s legal system.

Juror #2:

He is the most timid of the group. Juror #2 is easily persuaded by the opinions of others, and cannot explain the roots of his opinions.

Juror #6:

Described as an “honest but dull-witted man”. Juror #6 is a house painter by trade. He is slow to see the good in others, but eventually agrees with Juror #8.

Juror #7:

A slick and sometimes obnoxious salesman, Juror #7 admits during Act One that he would have done anything to miss jury duty. He represents the many real-life individuals who loath the idea of being on a jury.

Juror #12:

He is an arrogant and impatient advertising executive. He is anxious for the trail to be over so that he can get back to his career and his social life.

Juror #1:

Non-confrontational, Juror #1 serves as the foreman of the jury. He is serious about his authoritative role, and wants to be as fair as possible.

Juror #10:

The most abhorrent member of the group, Juror #10 is openly bitter and prejudice. During Act Three he unleashes his bigotry to the others in a speech that disturbs the rest of the jury. Most of the jurors, disgusted by #10’s racism, turn their backs on him.

Juror #4:

A logical, well-spoken stock-broker, Juror #4 urges fellow jurors to avoid emotional arguments and engage in rational discussion. He does not change his vote until a witness’s testimony is discredited (due to the witness’s apparently poor vision).

Juror #3:

In many ways, he is the antagonist to the constantly calm Juror #8. Juror #3 is immediately vocal about the supposed simplicity of the case, and the obvious guilt of the defendant. He is quick to lose his temper, and often infuriated when Juror #8 and other members disagree with his opinions. He believes that the defendant is absolutely guilty, until the very end of the play. During Act Three, Juror #3’s emotional baggage is revealed. His poor relationship with his own son may have biased his views. Only when he comes to terms with this can he finally vote “not guilty.”

Reginald Rose’s drama, Twelve Angry Men ends with the jury agreeing that there is enough reasonable doubt to warrant an acquittal. The defendant is deemed “not guilty” by a jury of his peers. However, the playwright never reveals the truth behind the case. Did they save an innocent man from the electric chair? Did a guilty man go free? The audience is left to decide for themselves.

The Triumph and Fragility of Justice in Twelve Angry Men

The play is, in one sense, a celebration of justice, showing the workings of the American judicial system in a favourable light. Although initially the jury is inclined to wrongly convict a man without any discussion of the case, the persistence of Juror Eight ensures that the right verdict is reached in the end.

The play is also a warning about the fragility of justice and the forces of complacency, prejudice, and lack of civic responsibility that would undermine it. Several jurors show that they are virtually incapable of considering the matter fairly and listening to opposing points of view. Juror #7, whose only desire is to get out of the room quickly, is clearly unfit for jury service. Juror #3 insists that there is nothing personal in his negative comments about the defendant and that he is merely sticking to the facts. He denounces the arguments put forward by Juror #8 as emotional appeals. But there is an irony here, since the truth of Juror #3’s position is the opposite of what he claims. He is dominated by his own emotions arising from his bad relationship with his son. Because of this, he cannot look at the case dispassionately. He harbours an unconscious desire to vicariously punish his son by convicting the defendant, who is of similar age. Juror #8, on the other hand, refuses to let emotions interfere in the case. Unlike Juror #3 and Juror #10, the bigot, he brings no personal agenda to the deliberations and is solely interested in ensuring there is no miscarriage of justice.

Whether the play is regarded as a celebration of justice or a warning about how easily justice can be subverted depends on one’s views about the likelihood of a juror similar to Juror #8 being present in every jury.

 Major Themes to Consider in Twelve Angry Men:

  1. Facts
  2. Justice and the justice system
  3. Compassion
  4. Prejudice and stereotypes
  5. Conflict
  6. Human fallibility and memory
  7. Reason and logic versus emotion
  8. Integrity and courage of conviction

There are 2 sides to an Issue:

There are 2 sides to an issue for and against. In 12 Angry Men social justice could be seen as an issue because of the setting of the play in the 1950’s whether all people in society have equal access to justice.

Values in society to consider:

  1. Honesty
  2. Personal responsibility
  3. Equality
  4. Freedom of expression
  5. Compassion
  6. Tolerance
  7. Justice
  8. Loyalty
  9. Trust
  10. Honour

Each author reveals their own values through the characters in the text. Positive values are often associated with characters that hold a positive viewpoint that is more likely what the author thinks. Whereas characters that hold a negative viewpoint are often rejected by the author.

 

The Prologue in Romeo and Juliet

Image result for pictures of romeo and juliet

The Significance of the Chorus in the Prologue

The Chorus was played by a single actor, whose purpose was to explain and comment on the action of the play.  He is not a character and has no personality.

This opening speech by the Chorus serves as an introduction to Romeo and Juliet.  We are provided with information about where the play takes place, and given some background information about its principal characters.

He simply tells us that we are now in Verona, and that this is a city divided by civil war between 2 noble families.  Their quarrel is an old one, an ‘ancient grudge’.  We never learn its cause, it seems to have become a habit for the Capulets and Montagues to hate each other.  However, if we cannot know the cause of the quarrel, we can be warned of its cure.

The words of the Chorus would be used by Shakespeare to silence the audience and settle them into an appropriate mood for the first scene.

Sonnet = a 14 line poem

Line #

Sonnet Prologue

Explanation

1 Two households, both alike in dignity, 2 families of nobility ie. same social status
2 In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, Where the play is set in Verona
3 From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Old violent quarrel that has been long   standing
4 Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. Civil meaning belonging to fellow citizens where the conflict has been bloody
5 From forth the fatal loins of these two foes Bred from deadly vital organs of both   parents
6 A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Ill-fated lovers appear from these 2   quarrelling families
7 Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Unfortunate disasters are mended by the 2 lovers
8 Do with their death bury their parents’ strife. Their respective children’s death brings each family together
9 The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love, The course of the lovers love for each other is doomed to death
10 And the continuance of their parents’ rage, The parents are enraged at the deaths
11 Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove, But only the deaths of their children can stop the conflict and strife of the families
12 Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage; The business lasting 2 hours
13 The which if you with patient ears attend, The audience must watch with expectation
14 What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. To fulfil the prophecy of this Prologue as Romeo & Juliet will certainly die

 The Obvious Function of the Prologue

The obvious function of the Prologue as introduction to the Verona of Romeo and Juliet can obscure its deeper, more important function.  The Prologue does not merely set the scene of Romeo and Juliet, it tells the audience exactly what is going to happen in the play. The structure of the play itself is the fate from which Romeo and Juliet cannot escape.

“Star-crossed Lovers”

The Prologue refers to an ill-fated couple with its use of the word “star-crossed,” which means, literally, against the stars.  Stars were thought to control people’s destinies.  But the Prologue itself creates this sense of fate by providing the audience with the knowledge that Romeo and Juliet will die even before the play has begun.  The audience therefore watches the play with the expectation that it must fulfill the terms set in the Prologue.

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Writing an Essay on Conflict

Image result for picture of conflict

This information is related to the old VCE English curriculum context Encountering Conflict and is NOT part of the new VCE English curriculum from 2017 onwards.

The Challenge When Writing an Essay on Conflict

The challenge when writing an Essay is to think outside the box when it comes to the IDEAS that the prompt is based on.

Ask Yourself Questions about Conflict

The Context Encountering Conflict asks you to question the types, causes and consequences of conflict.  There are many different types of conflict, ranging from:

1.            Internal conflict: When a person is confronted with a difficult choice to make. It is a mental or emotional struggle that occurs within a character‘s mind.

Think about the movie A Separation by Director Asghar Faradi and the internal conflict of conscience Nader, Simin, Termeh and Razieh encounter searching for truth and justice.  The choice each one takes in order to deal with conflict has an enormous impact on the way they relate to each other and the final resolution.

2.            Conflict of conscience: When a person struggles internally either because they have done something they feel is wrong, or are being asked to overcome their conscience and do something that they feel is wrong.  See notes above on Internal Conflict.  The movie A Separation brings up other issues to consider: Conflict and expectations of society and the family / Conflict and individual’s perspective.  As the movie title suggests, people are literally ‘separated’ from each other and themselves by their different experiences with conflict.

3.            Cultural conflict: When people from different cultural backgrounds disagree, find it difficult to live with one another or even fight because of their inability to understand one another (either literally, in terms of language, or because of different beliefs, traditions and cultural practices)

4.            Interpersonal conflict: When two or more people disagree or fight

5.            Physical conflict: When there is a conflict that leads to physical violence

6.            Familial conflict: When there is conflict between people from the same family

7.            Generational conflict: When there is conflict between people from different generations (this often overlaps with familial conflict)

8.            Class conflict: When there is conflict between people of different social classes

9.            International conflict: Conflict between countries.

Think about the text Every Man in this Village is a Liar by Megan Stack where conflict in the Middle East is on a regional level that involves countries after 9/11.  Think about the complexities and issues of Conflict and nationhood / Conflict and political power / Conflict and cultures / Conflict in paradox / Conflict without hope or despair /Conflict and conscience.

10.          National conflict: Conflict within countries, such as different ethnic groups.  See notes above on International Conflict.

11.          Local community or neighbourhood conflict

12.          Science and Religious conflict: Conflict between science and religion is based on two conflicting ways of knowing, one based on faith and authority and the other on observation, reason and doubt.

Think about the text Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht where the great religious powers of the Catholic Church bring all their ideological firepower to battle against Galileo’s science because he was a threat to their supremacy in the universe.  Think about Conflict and power / Conflict and morality / Conflict and truth / Conflict and the individual.

In terms of more recent conflict with the Catholic Church have a think about writing on the Royal Commission Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse in not only Catholic institutions but also other groups who abused children.  Think of the consequences for the victims of conflict and the emotional stress and trauma taking on the might of the Catholic Church and other authorities long after the physical conflict is over.

Think about How Conflict Arises

What are the causes of a particular conflict, or conflict in general?  The causes of conflict may range from ignorance and prejudice, to self interest and fear, to the struggle for power, justice or truth.  One might even argue that conflict is an essential or inevitable part of human life.

Finally, Think about the Consequences of Conflict

You might like to think about how individuals, or a society as a whole, respond and react to conflict.  The way an individual or a community responds to conflict reveals a lot about them, especially their strengths and their weaknesses.  You might also like to think about the lasting consequences of conflict for individuals, families and communities.  Conflicts rarely end once the war is over, or the fight has been won.  There are winners and losers in every conflict, who remain affected long after the conflict is over.  The consequences may range from trauma and physical and emotional pain to more positive outcomes, such as change, opportunity and growth.

One thing is certain: people are changed by experiences of conflict.  Think about the Syrian refugee crisis and the fact that all these people will be irrevocably changed by their search for freedom from war in their homeland.  Unable to go back to Syria they have to go forward to a new country and a life they never dreamed of encountering.

See also notes above on Science and Religious Conflict and notes on The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse above and The Stolen Generation.

Real Life References of Conflict

I get asked by many students: What are the real life references of conflict that I can use for my own essay writing on the context?  In conjunction with my notes above here are some more of my ideas that may help you to formulate an essay.  Remember to link your text to the prompt given in the SAC or Exam:

1.            Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: A commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past, e.g. in South Africa after apartheid ended.  The purpose of the commissions is not punishment or revenge, but rather to get to the truth of the events that occurred, apportion responsibility and move forward together as a community (often aiming to re-integrate perpetrators into the community).  See notes on The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse above.

2.            Reconciliation for the Stolen Generations. The ‘Stolen Generations’ are the generations of Aboriginal children taken away from their families by governments, churches and welfare bodies to be brought up in institutions or fostered out to white families. Removing children from their families was official government policy in Australia until 1969. A major recommendation of the Bringing them Home Report was that all Australian Parliaments apologise to the Stolen Generations for the actions of their predecessors in forcibly removing children from their families.

All State and Territory Governments have apologised. Many local governments, police forces, government agencies, non-government organisations and church groups have also apologised.  In 1999 the Commonwealth Government passed a ‘statement of regret’ for past practices.

Think about the play Stolen by Jane Harrison which tells of five Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their families, brought up in a repressive children’s home and trained for domestic service and other menial jobs.  Segregated from their community, after their release they begin their journey ‘home’, not all of them successfully.

While Stolen the play is categorised under the Context of Identity and Belonging it is also worth considering the consequences of the physical conflict that the forced removal of the children has had on all generations involved.  Consider the how the play explores the pain, the poignancy and sheer desperation of their lives as seen through the children’s own eyes as they struggle to make sense of a world where they have been told to forget their families, forget their homes and forget their culture.  Look at the internal conflict the stolen generation has dealt with as adults in terms of disadvantage, low self esteem, depression, vulnerability to sexual abuse and lack of links with Aboriginal culture in the future.

3.            War protests: The division in countries participating in unpopular wars, such as the Vietnam war or the more recent wars in the Middle East.

4.            Wars and conflicts that have stemmed from prejudice: Apartheid in South Africa, the conflict in Sudan and the war in Sri Lanka are just some examples.

5.            Any situation in which individuals have to take sides

6.            Cold War witch hunts (of which The Crucible by Arthur Miller is symbolic): Refers to the heightened fears of communism in 1950s America, which led to the creation of the House of Un-American Activities Committee’s hysterical rooting out of suspected communists during this time, including the play’s author Arthur Miller.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give out advice on how to write essays from prompts.  However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

Every Man in this Village is a Liar by Megan Stack

           

What is Every Man in This Village Is a Liar about?

A few weeks after the planes crashed into the World Trade Centre on 9/11, journalist Megan Stack, a 25-year-old national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, was thrust into Afghanistan and Pakistan, dodging gunmen and prodding warlords for information.  From there, she travelled to war-ravaged Iraq and Lebanon and to other countries scarred by violence, including Israel, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, witnessing the changes that swept the Muslim world, and striving to tell its stories.

Every Man in This Village Is a Liar is Megan Stack’s unique and breathtaking account of what she saw in the combat zones and beyond.  It is her memoir about the wars of the 21st century.  She relates her initial wild excitement and her slow disillusionment as the cost of violence outweighs the elusive promise of freedom and democracy.  She reports from under bombardment in Lebanon; documents the growth of unusual friendships; records the raw pain of suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq; and, one by one, marks the deaths and disappearances of those she interviews.

The Prologue in Every Man in this Village is a Liar

The Prologue is Megan’s way of looking back on 10 years of killing and dying.  She says that “… the first thing I knew about war was also the truest, and maybe it’s as true for nations as for individuals: You can survive and not survive, both at the same time” [p.4].  Megan reflects that the US determination in the wake of the September 11 attacks to go out and ‘tame all the wilderness of the world’ was an instinctive response.  With the benefit of retrospect Megan surveyed the damage this folly has done to the US, to the affected nations in the Middle East and to her.  In the end she judged that September 11 was the beginning of a ‘disastrous reaction’.

The Quote “Every man in this village is a liar”

Megan realises that in the new reality of the war on terror, truth is no longer an absolute but the servant of political necessity.  In Pakistan someone said to Megan, “Every man in this village is a liar” [p.9].  She explains it as “… one of the world’s oldest logic problems … If he’s telling the truth, he’s lying.  If he’s lying, he’s telling the truth.  That was Afghanistan after September 11” [p.9].

Encountering Conflict in the Text

The text is primarily concerned with Megan’s encounters with violent military conflicts in the Middle East.  It does also deal with conflict on many levels.  Not only does it examine deadly force used by countries at war it also considers how people subjected to this invasion or assault live with the constant fear of arrest, torture or death.

Megan also contemplates her own survival of what covering these wars has done to her as a person.  In effect she documents the political and also moral price of the war on terror for America.  She speaks about ‘sacrifice’ in chapter 8 [p.96] in countries that have historical conflict that stretches back over centuries.  As a result Megan asserts that “Violence is a reprint of itself, an endless copy” [p.96].

Ways to Look at Conflict

Have a look carefully at this brilliant Conflict Flowchart to see what light it might shed for you on the ideas connected with the Context ‘Encountering Conflict’ and the text Every Man in this Village is a Liar.  [Just for the record I did not create this flowchart but some other incredibly clever person did.] conflict flow chart

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s for them or give advice as to what to write for an essay prompt.  However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

 

Identity and Belonging Theme

Identity and Belonging

Identity and Belonging was part of the old VCE Context curriculum and is NOT included in the 2017 English curriculum from 2017 onwards.  Please use this information on Identity and Belonging as a theme only.

The Main Issues around the Theme of Identity and Belonging are:

  • Nature or nurture – what makes us who we are?
  • Defining ourselves through others – the paradox of belonging
  • The cost of belonging – sacrificing the self
  • Challenging and developing our identity – our identity develops as we grow and change
  • Choosing not to belong –being an outsider in mainstream society can be difficult

Here are my Essay Ideas for Identity and Belonging

Nature or Nurture

Ideas for an essay

Style and Purpose  =          persuasive essay / hybrid imaginative

Form                       =          deliver a speech at the wedding of your brother

Audience                =           guests at the wedding

Language               =           personal tone, descriptive, simple sentences, some humour

Explains speech

Tell the guests about the relationship you share with your brother, what it means to you, what you have learned from your brother and the impact they have on the family.

Defining ourselves through others

Ideas for an essay

Style and Purpose       =       imaginative writing

Form                           =        personal letter of refugee in Australia

Audience                     =        relative back in home country of refugee

Language                   =         personal tone, descriptive words used by family members

Explains letter

Write to an aunty left behind in the homeland about feelings of estrangement and alienation that came from being uprooted and transplanted on foreign soil.  The perilous journey to get to Australia.  Missing the sense of tradition and extended family. Remaining connected to the land and place where they once belonged.

The cost of belonging – sacrificing the self

Ideas for an essay 

Style and Purpose     =         imaginative / reflective piece

Form                           =         reflective piece in a diary entry

Audience                    =         only the author of the diary

Language                   =         personal tone, first person, anecdotes, unspoken feelings

Explains reflective

Masking the true self in order to belong.  Using a stream of unconscious and unspoken feelings never told to the family before.  Pain at having to disguise true feelings so that the family group would not disapprove.  Not wanting to go to university to study medicine like all the other family members.  Having to be always the ‘good’ child but afraid of disappointing parents.  Wanting another career totally different from parent’s expectations.

Some Other Ideas for you to Consider Writing Essays / Expository or Imaginative:

  • Stolen generation children now adults loss of both identity and belonging in society.  Not accepted as white or black and unable to relate to either groups.
  • Being homosexual in mainstream society / multi-cultural society and coming out
  • Realising you are trans-gender as a child or adult born in the wrong body
  • Unemployed youth who are struggling to find employment and they feel that they lack a purpose and a sense of belonging
  • Being subjected to racist principles that are “skin-deep”.  Your feelings when white people cannot see beyond superficial aspects such as your colour or appearance.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on how to answer a prompt.  However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

 

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a Worthy Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1961

It does not matter how many times I teach To Kill a Mockingbird to Year 10 English students, I find a deeper understanding of Harper Lee’s beautiful novel each time I read it.  What’s not to love about this amazing novel?  It’s a story about a man wrongly accused of rape and a lawyer who confronts racial prejudice to defend him in a small Alabama town riddled with the poverty and racial tensions of the American South in 1935.  Yet when you look deeper it also chronicles the journey of its characters to do what is right, no matter what humiliation or consequences plagued them.

The Moral Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird

By observing her father, Scout gradually discovers that moral courage is both more complicated and more difficult to enact than the physical courage most familiar and understandable to children.  To Kill a Mockingbird reveals the heroic nature of acting with moral courage when adhering to social mores would be far less dangerous.  At a time in the South when it was outrageous and practically unthinkable for a white person to look at the world from a minority’s perspective, Harper Lee has Atticus explain to Scout: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”.  For Atticus Finch, climbing into someone’s skin and walking around in it represents true courage.  This would have to be my all time favourite quote.

 Focus on the Trial of Tom Robinson

The novel focuses on the Finch family over the course of two years, lawyer and father Atticus Finch; his ten-year-old son, Jem; and his six-year-old daughter, Scout (whose real name is Jean Louise).  Scout serves as the narrator of the book.  Her narration is based on her memories of the events leading up to, during, and after her father’s defence of a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell.  Through Scout’s inexperienced eyes (she is only eight at the conclusion of the novel), the reader encounters a world where people are judged by their race, inherited ideas of right and wrong dominate, and justice does not always prevail.  However, by observing Atticus Finch’s responses to the threats and gibes of the anti-Tom Robinson faction and his sensitive treatment towards Tom Robinson and his family and friends, the reader, again through Scout’s eyes, discovers what it means to behave morally.  In fact, do the right thing in the face of tremendous social pressure.

 What I Love About To Kill a Mockingbird is the Other Side to Scout

To Kill a Mockingbird also chronicles the journey of a girl who challenges gender stereotypes in her determination to remain a tomboy.  Harper Lee clearly explores Scout’s unconventional female characteristics.  Aunt Alexandra tells Scout Finch to act like a lady and wear a dress so she can “be a ray of sunshine in [her] father’s lonely life.”  Scout does not respond positively: she retorts that she can “be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well”.

In fact, Scout does not respond positively to anything feminine, preferring reading instead of sewing, playing outside instead of inside, and the nickname “Scout” to the girlish “Jean Louise.”

On the other hand, the culture that Harper Lee depicts does not respond positively to Scout’s tomboyish inclinations.  Scout lives in Maycomb, Alabama, a rural Southern town, during the Great Depression.  In this setting, society dictates strict gender stereotypes, and people rarely cross the barrier between masculinity and femininity.  Maycomb is a place where “[l]adies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum”. Scout, however, refuses to be a “soft teacake.”

Through her actions, Scout demonstrates a flexible view of gender.  Scout is not born with an innate predisposition to be a tomboy; rather her behaviours define her as a tomboy.  As she consistently repeats unconventional behaviours, she presents her own conception of what gender means.  Harper Lee depicts gender as a standard that alters according to each individual.

Gender Bending During WWII

The twentieth century brought a shift in attitudes towards tomboys.  During the years in which Harper Lee grew up and wrote her novel, America advocated the home as a woman’s domain.  During WWII views changed as women entered the workforce assuming positions previously considered to be masculine.  Michelle Ann Abate in Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2008 (p.146) refers to Rosie the Riveter as an icon of “tomboyish toughness”.  However, society’s high regard for gender-bending females was temporary, when the war ended, women once again returned to their homes (Abate p.150).

To Kill a Mockingbird also Reflects this Ambivalence Concerning Gender-bending Females

The novel contains characters who both support and disapprove of Scout’s tomboyism.  For instance, Aunt Alexandra wants Scout to wear a dress, while Atticus allows her to wear overalls.  Moreover, other characters paradoxically condemn feminine mannerisms while simultaneously expecting them.  Scout’s brother Jem, for instance, frequently teases her for being a girl, but he also commands, “It’s time you started bein’ a girl and acting right!”.

Scout Stays Resolute

Even though she endures these conflicting principles, Scout stays resolute.  For example, when Jem criticizes her “girlish” fear of the Radley house, she shows masculine bravery and joins him in sneaking into the Radley yard.  On the other hand, when he suggests she “take up sewin’ or something,” Scout replies, “Hell no”.  Reflecting the twentieth-century’s hesitation over the changing roles of women, Jem has shifting expectations for Scout as a female.  Scout, however, remains steadfastly opposed to conventional femininity.

What’s not to love about this amazing book?  I can’t think of anything.

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I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

A Brief Analysis of This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff

This Boy's Life : Bloomsbury Paperbacks Ser. - Tobias Wolff

Tobias Wolff is the Narrator and Protagonist of This Boy’s Life

In This Boy’s Life Tobias Wolff the author, is an adult reflecting back on his rough upbringing.  His narrator and protagonist Toby Wolff recounts his life with three abusive fathers and an impulsive mother.  At a young age Toby decides to call himself Jack which represents a type of alter ego he builds for himself as he invents ways to escape from the grim reality of the life the adults around him have constructed.  His life is filled with domestic violence, alcohol abuse, criminal activity, bullying and emotional neglect.

The Significance of one of the Quotes at the Beginning of the Book

Before we read the memoir This Boy’s Life, the author Tobias Wolff presents us with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “The first duty in life is to assume a pose.  What the second is, no one has yet discovered”.  It is clear from the beginning of the book the author has made the issue of identity and the struggle to attain a certain type of identity a major component in this memoir.

This Boy’s Life is a Story of Two Boys

As we read further into the book, the protagonist Toby Wolff struggles to find an identity by assuming various characteristics he thinks those around him will admire.  In fact This Boy’s Life is really the story about two boys, Toby and Jack.  Toby is an ‘A’ grade student, a boy deeply concerned about the world’s esteem, a loyal support to his mother, destined for Princeton like his brother Geoffrey.  Jack, on the other hand, is a liar, a thief and violent.  Both boys are versions of the same boy, a dreamer constantly searching for his identity, but never belonging to the world he craves.  His alter ego is “the splendid phantom who carries all [his] hopes” of fleeing the harsh environment of his horrific childhood.

Breaking Down an Essay Prompt on This Boy’s Life

Let’s look at breaking down an Essay Prompt on This Boy’s Life using the TEEL structure for Expository Essays.  We begin with a Draft Introduction that contains the Main Contention and Topic Sentences that will form our Body Paragraphs and finish with a Draft Conclusion.  Remember that the body paragraphs are not complete in this draft essay but are simply a starting point to build on for the rest of the essay.

Here’s the Prompt:

“We were ourselves again – restless, scheming, poised for flight” (p.221)  Explain what Toby means by the statement.

Draft Introduction

On the surface, This Boy’s Life seems bleak and pessimistic and the hardships faced by Jack and Rosemary certainly test their resilience.  Yet Jack and Rosemary are dreamers in constant search of changing their circumstances.  Rosemary confidently strives to better her situation and seeks change from a characteristic need to be unconventional.  Jack, however, is forced into an imaginary life to cope with a reality that is too grim to bear.  The quote appears late in “The Amen Corner” when Rosemary has landed a job in Seattle and a woman she knew has offered to put her up instead of renting.  This means Rosemary can leave her abusive marriage to Dwight and look forward to a future based on her capabilities.  For Jack he had just applied and won a scholarship to the elite Hill College, all based on a total fabrication of his talent and suitability to that life.  Together they are ready for a new life using their survival strategies to demonstrate a hope of eventual triumph over adversity.

Draft Body Paragraph 1

Topic Sentence = Jack and Rosemary are dreamers looking for a brighter future which bonds the two of them together.

Evidence = “I was caught up in my mother’s freedom, her delight in freedom, her dream of transformation”.

Explanation = Jack relates the powerful influence of his mother on his character.  Unfortunately, Rosemary’s unconventional search for freedom and fulfilment has had serious consequences for Jack.  Rosemary has moved through three abusive marriages and is not able to support Jack properly.  All her abusive husbands put Jack into vulnerable situations and none of them are responsible enough to stop Jack’s bad behaviour.

Draft Body Paragraph 2

Topic Sentence = Jack believes in his invented world to cope with a reality that is too grim to bear.

Evidence = “I believed that in some sense not factually verifiable I was a straight-A student”. In the same way Jack believed that he was “… an Eagle Scout, and powerful swimmer, and a boy of integrity”.

Explanation = Jack’s imagination helps him construct successful versions of himself which often verge on fantasy.  His application to the elite school Hill is an example of his belief in his fabrication of his true self.  The truth according to Jack was “… known only to me, but I believed it more than I believed the facts arrayed against it”.  Jack’s alter ego carries his hopes of fleeing his horrific childhood and of belonging to a world of stability, capability and convention.

Draft Body Paragraph 3

Topic Sentence = Both Rosemary and Jack are excited and alive at the prospect of change but the truth is both fraught with one disaster after another disaster with them always on the verge of “flight” from the bad situations they find themselves in.

Evidence = After three marriages Rosemary learns that staying away from Jack’s father was sensible not living with him “I’d be a fool if I did”.  Jack sees the Army provides his craved-for stability and regularity.  “It was good to find myself back in the clear life of uniforms and ranks and weapons”.

Explanation = Both Rosemary and Jack learn from their bitter experiences that the optimism and freshness of being “still half-created, being green in life” exacts a high price in terms of comfort, security and integrity.

Draft Conclusion

Although the prospect of change is a necessary aspect of the lives of Rosemary and Jack, its origins are steeped in negativity rather than any true creativity.  For both the need to act on bad circumstances becomes so familiar it fashions the ideas of their own identities.  Yet they continue as dreamers in a constant search of personal freedom and fulfilment.   Together they refuse to be defined by their circumstances despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

Language Analysis Essay Structure Using 3 Media Texts

What is the Language Analysis Essay Structure Using 3 Media Texts?

I am asked this question many times by students.  Firstly, you need to follow my 4 step process to analyse the 3 media texts (see link below). How do you actually structure the essay to include your persuasive language techniques and write about the effectiveness of the articles in persuading readers? (follow my essay structure below)

4 Main Steps to Analysing Persuasive Language

My Essay Structure Uses a Top-Down Process

My essay structure is based on a top-down process ie. following the 3 text articles from the top to bottom and analysing one after the other:-

  1. starting with analysing text 1 (which could be a cartoon)
  2. then analysing text 2 and comparing text 2 with text 1
  3. then analysing text 3 and comparing all texts 1, 2 & 3.

Language Analysis Essay Structure Using 3 Media Texts is a Logical Process

This language analysis essay structure using 3 media texts is a logical process.  My process does not jump around the 3 texts randomly picking out persuasive techniques.  It does logically analyse one text after the other, noting similarities or differences in the persuasive approach to each text.  It culminates in the Conclusion that sums up the overall effectiveness of the 3 articles in persuading / positioning the readers and how the persuasive techniques work best and why.

Remember that Language Analysis is about ‘analysing the arguments’ of the writers and NOT your opinion of the issue.

Note of Warning

If your school follows their own process of language analysis essay structure using 3 media texts for years 11 & 12 Language Analysis, then you must continue with the structure your own school English Teacher recommends.  If your school does not have a specific language analysis essay structure using 3 media texts, you are very welcome to use my structure.

The Sentence Numbers are Minimum Examples Only

The sentences numbers in the paragraphs are minimum examples only.  You may use more sentences in your language analysis essay.  It depends on how detailed the 3 media texts are.  Remember you only have 1 hour to write the essay in the VCE exam so be careful to keep the body paragraphs to the point because you may run out of time to complete the entire essay.

Based on 3 media texts, one of which could be a cartoon, then follow the structure below to write your Language Analysis Essay:-

Essay   Structure

Action

Media Text

Introduction[Total   Intro = around 8-10 sentences minimum]
  1.   Give a   brief background to the main overall issue [1 sentence].
  2.   Introduce the 3 media texts by stating the writer/cartoonist/photographer, the title   and the type (form) of each text, including publication details [1 sentence].
  3.   Briefly outline the perspective, main contention, tone, audience and main persuasive strategies of all three pieces [3-4   sentences].  Do not just list persuasive techniques.  Keep your detailed analysis of why the author has used those techniques for your body paragraphs.
  4.   Briefly compare the 3 pieces, especially if 2   texts are similar and 1 is different [3-4 sentences].
All three pieces
Body Paragraphs 1-2 Text Piece 1[Total   Paragraphs = 2]
  1.   Analyse Text   or Cartoon Piece 1 and how it uses language to persuade.
  2.   Explain the effect on the reader using examples and metalanguage.
  3.   Use linking words to transition smoothly to the next paragraph so the essay follows logically [furthermore, moreover, in addition, equally , likewise, similarly]
Text or   Cartoon**Piece 1   only[**depends   which one you start with]
Body Paragraphs 1-2 Text Piece 2[Total   Paragraphs = 2] 1.  Analyse Text 2 and how it uses language to persuade.2.  Explain the effect on the reader using examples and metalanguage.3.  Briefly note any similarities or differences in the persuasive  approach compared to text piece 1.3.  Use linking words to transition smoothly to   the next paragraph so the essay follows logically [furthermore, moreover, in   addition, equally , likewise, similarly] Text Piece 2 only Text Piece   2 & 1 Comparison
Body Paragraphs 1-2 Text Piece 3[Total   Paragraphs = 2] 1.  Analyse Text 3 and how it uses language to persuade.2.   2.  Explain the effect on   the reader using examples and metalanguage.3.  Briefly note any similarities or differences in the persuasive   approach compared to text pieces 2 & 1.3.  Use linking words to transition smoothly to   the next paragraph so the essay follows logically [furthermore, moreover, in   addition, equally , likewise, similarly] Text Piece 3 onlyText Piece 3, 2 & 1 Comparison
Conclusion[Total 10   sentences]TOTAL  ESSAY= Approx. Minimum 8 PARAGRAPHS Summarise the main similarities and differences between the ways in which language is used to persuade in the 3 media texts without repeating the same words used in the Introduction. Text Pieces 1, 2 &3

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on an essay prompt. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

Analytical & Creative Responses for The Quiet American by Graham Greene

Front Cover

Analytical & Creative Responses for The Quiet American by Graham Greene

You need to show how wide-ranging your thinking and hence your writing can be.  In terms of your specific response for The Quiet American, have a look at some of these ideas for essays:

Expository Essay

  • Put a creative twist on it, remember expository means ‘exploring complex ideas’ this doesn’t mean it has to be an essay
  • What about an article about the war written by Fowler?
  • A telegram?
  • Using an outside quote or scenario to set the scene or introduce an idea to your audience in an interesting way
  • A speech by one of the characters?
  • A beyond the grave reflection from Pyle about his life choices?
  • If you do an expository essay you need to show real depth of thought and strong outside links in order to stand out and show new insights
  • Think about what purpose / moral / lesson you are trying to get across to your audience in the essay

Creative / Imaginative Essay

  • Ground it in the text, write from a minor character’s point of view
  • Re-write a key scene from an alternate perspective to shed new light on the conflict at hand
  • Write one of Fowler’s news articles or telegrams
  • Write about something we hear about in the text but they don’t really explore it close up
  • Start with a purpose, who are you targeting in this narrative?
  • Why? What moral / lesson is there that they need to learn?
  • Use significant, powerful, vivid quotes from the text as a framework for your creative piece
  • Draw on Greene’s writing style, especially if what you are writing needs to be true to the text
  • Embed ideas about the prompt in a subtle manner
  • Draw on themes, key ideas, symbols, imagery to connect your  creative piece to The Quiet American

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro

Image result for pictures of the imaginative landscape

With particular reference to students studying The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro

What is the Imaginative Landscape?

One of the simplest ways to define an Imaginative Landscape is as our perception of the world around us.  Such a perception might be figurative, intellectual, emotional or concrete.  Each of us has our own ideas about the physical, social, conceptual and psychological worlds we inhabit, and we communicate these ideas, in a variety of ways.  They might be conveyed as discussions or in art, or they might be implied through beliefs, values and moral or ethical views.

First of all, break down the terms of the Imaginative Landscape:

What does the literal word ‘landscape’ allude to?

  • views, features, shapes, distinguishing features and characteristics of land
  • scenery, terrain, geography, nature
  • representations, directions and points of view
  • processes and events which might shape physical landscapes (such as erosion)

What does the word ‘imaginative’ connote, broadening possible landscapes to include those which are less literal?

  • creativity, illusions/alternative realities
  • other aspects of the world
  • emotions, memories, subjectivity
  • metaphor, symbolism, artistic representation
  • communication

 Writing The Imaginative Landscape, Context in the Exam, Section B

This is a writing exercise not a text response, but students must use the text in some way.  There is no rule about how much; this will depend on your writing style. You do NOT have to refer to the text in every paragraph — a key word or idea from the text need come up only once in the entire piece or the text may be a thread running right through the writing (for example the retelling of a story from The View from Castle Rock from the viewpoint of a another character).

The Exam says you may write in any style, imaginative, persuasive, expository (or a blend of these).  In reality this means any style.  No one style gives an advantage over the other and you should aim to write to your own strengths.

The bottom line is that the Assessors are looking for good writing:

  1. that incorporates the ideas of Imaginative Landscape
  2. has some relationship to the text The View from Castle Rock
  3. has a reference to all or part of the prompt

A prompt is not a question, it is a springboard for your own writing, so unlike a text question you do not have to deal with every part of the prompt, but you must incorporate some of the perspective on the Imaginative Landscape raised by the particular prompt.

For students studying The View from Castle Rock where is the Imaginative Landscape? 

Munro herself noted that ‘landscape is so important’.  In Castle Rock, landscapes are both literal [factual] and figurative [or metaphorical/symbolic].  The book’s framework is Munro’s imagining of one possible landscape, which she maps through time and space that is of her family history.  It is not just the physical setting of the landscape but also the subjective experience and representation of the settings.  This is important within the Context of The Imaginative Landscape because it is not just landscapes that deserve consideration, but an individual’s experience of landscapes, and the ways in which an individual represents and imaginatively conceives landscapes.

Therefore, literal landscapes are explicit [clear/open] in Castle Rock, while figurative landscapes are more implicit [hidden/unspoken].  This is shown when the characters and most notably the central narrator (who remains unnamed, but is closely aligned with Munro herself) encounters with various landscapes and the communication of those encounters through both speech and writing are significant.

A.    Physical and Geographical Landscapes in Castle Rock

Since Castle Rock is about tracing family connections, recording memories, and committing history and experience to narrative record, the focus on geography in the early parts of the novel suggests that such physical landscapes are vitally important to our own understanding, not only of place, but also of culture, history and family.

  1. ‘No Advantages’, the first story firmly establishes the importance of physical/geographical landscapes, the historical context, meanings of the word ‘Hope’ and personal observations.
  2. The geographical locations are more than simply backdrops or settings for the stories they establish the tone, the intentions and themes of the entire narrative.
  3. The narrator introduces herself into the story, placing herself as a traveller in the geography of Ettrick.

 B.    Domestic Landscapes in Castle Rock

Houses are domestic landscapes with central importance in Castle Rock.  Munro sets various stories and key incidents within these domestic landscapes so the houses become as important as the characters and explore insights into the characters and relationships.  The domestic landscapes are often in harmony with their surroundings (the physical and environmental settings) and sometimes in contrast with what surrounds them.

C.     Historical and Ancestral Landscapes

Castle Rock documents the geographical history of the Laidlaw family, but it is also an historical exploration of the narrator’s family history.  She begins her story in the present, visiting the Ettrick Valley, then takes us back to the early 1700’s to introduce Will O’Phaup.  His story is told in the present tense using a third-person subjective point of view so that we are closely aligned with the character.  He is a vibrant character that Munro wants us to know and care about and he sets the scene for the other characters that will help us gain a sense of the narrator’s historical landscape.

D.    Imagined Landscapes

While Castle Rock is grounded in physical landscapes inhabited by its characters, it also alludes to other landscapes that characters may never see but are able to imagine.  These imagined landscapes contextualise the ‘real settings’, demonstrating the character’s awareness that their own surroundings are small elements of the global landscape.

Consider these imagined landscapes:

  1. America is both a real landscape and for James Laidlaw who dreams of going there, an imagined, wondrous land of opportunity (p.30)
  2. Mary Laidlaw shows curiosity about a fellow passenger’s accent, she wonders what part of the country or the world he could have come from, realising she has led a sheltered life in a small rural community (p.37)
  3. The narrator has a suitcase that smells of imagined landscapes of trains, coal fires and cities of travel (p.252)
  4. The narrator’s father has a fondness for and familiarity with, the world as represented in his Historical Atlas (p.299)
  5. The book’s final image is the narrator’s imagined landscape of the tremendous pounding of the sea (p.349) recalling the sea that the Laidlaws traversed at the beginning of the text
  6. The young narrator’s imagined world of exciting things (sexual things) which have not actually happened for her yet (p.251)

E.     Written Landscapes

A central theme in the text is the idea of re-creating history and physical landscapes through written communications.  ‘No Advantages’ introduces this theme, with Munro offering us a written description of Ettrick, but she also relies on historical documentation which describes the landscape.  She also uses other sources of written landscapes, her father’s memoirs, Walter Laidlaw’s journal entries, Big Rob’s descriptions of Morris Township or oral descriptions of the characters.

F.     Remembered Landscapes

There are times when characters recall landscapes of home of their past, and these can be private recollections not turned into stories or maps.  Memory functions as a kind of informed, backward looking imagination.  Examples of remembered landscapes in the text include:

  • Edinburgh Castle which appears very different to Andrew Laidlaw on his return visit from his recollection of it (p.31)
  • The country store in Grey county where the narrator once had an ice cream (p.140)
  • The farmhouse where the narrator lived (p.288-289)
  • The farmland near the house where the narrator grew up, in which many structures such as barns, and fences have been removed, making the countryside (paradoxically) appear smaller (p.343-344)
  • Jamie Laidlaw’s home which the family had to leave, memories of which prompted his plan to hide his baby sister and blame Becky Johnson so that the whole family would return home (p.95-107)

Locating Ideas in the Imaginative Landscape

These are key points in the structure of any narrative text.  When finding ideas in the text, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Crisis points– major dilemmas characters have to deal with.
    1. Does this crisis alter a character’s perception of the landscape?
    2. Does a crisis or turning point coincide with a change in the landscape?
    3. A personal crisis can bring about a change in an individual’s relationship with the landscape
  2. Turning points– points in the text where a character has to make a decision or when something occurs to cause a change of direction in the character’s life.  The characters then look closely on events and reflect on them, as these give a real sense of the long term impact of crucial events.
    1. Do any reflections consider relationships with the landscape?
    2. Are any landscapes transformed in the character’s mind?
    3. Reflection on the significance of a landscape brings about a reassessment of its value.
  3. Forging and breaking relationships– revealing experiences revolve around the forcing and breaking of relationships.  Consider more than relationships between individuals, but also between groups and even nations that have far reaching consequences.
    1. Does a new or broken relationship cause reconsideration of the value of the landscape?
    2. Do any new relationships introduce new ideas about the value of the landscape?
    3. Our perception of the landscape is often changed when our relationships begin or end.
  4. Journeys and Quests– journeys often represent growth.  A physical journey usually parallels an inner journey from adolescence to maturity, from innocence to experience, from lack of self awareness to self awareness.  Quests involve a search for something valuable and usually require many obstacles to be overcome.  Journeys and quests can reveal and test the emotional and spiritual development of a character.
    1. Journeys to and through new landscapes are often used to represent an awareness of a new inner landscape
    2. Does this occur in View from Castle Rock?  If so, are the changes beneficial?
    3. A journey to a new landscape can bring a sense of renewal.
  5. Settings and Contexts– settings can range from historical period in which the text is set to physical locations and social contexts, urban or rural landscapes, wealthy or poor social contexts.
    1. Is a landscape shown to have a significant impact on an individual’s responses to life?
    2. Is a connection to the landscape shown to be a major factor in a person or group’s belief system or sense of emotional well-being?
    3. Landscape is neutral, it only gains significance because of the ways in which people imagine it.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.