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Author Topic: Literature Essay Compilation Thread  (Read 73996 times)  Share 

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Re: Literature Essay Compilation Thread
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2017, 06:04:25 pm »
I have one on Seamus Heaney's poems. I believe it was 17 or 18 out of 20 by exam standards so it's certainly not perfect, but worth a look if you can read my handwriting. Marking sheet is attached so you can see where I messed up ::)

General things to avoid that appear in the essay are poor handwriting, and unclear meanings (i.e. there's some logic jumps and phrasing issues). Some areas definitely could have been improved by cutting out bits. In case you can't read it - it's my own handwriting and I had trouble - lmk and I have some spare time tonight to type it up. :)

Here, file is too large to attach.

Thank-you so much. I had a quick read over it and it was hard to decipher in some places so if you get a chance to type it up that would be much appreciated :)
2016: Psychology
2017: English [47] | Literature | Drama [42] | Media | Australian History [43]
2018 - 2020: Bachelor of Arts @ the University of Melbourne

VCE English Essay Marking $10 per essay or 3 essays for $20 - DM for details


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Re: Literature Essay Compilation Thread
« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2018, 02:56:54 pm »
Hey, here's a Section A essay example written by me on Heart of Darkness (postcolonialism).

‘In Heart of Darkness, Conrad both challenges and reinforces the views and values of his society’.

Chinua Achebe underpins Joseph Conrad’s ultimate deficiency within his essay, ‘An Image of Africa’, fiercely declaring that “Conrad saw and condemned the evil of imperial exploitation but was strangely unaware of the racism on which it sharpened its iron tooth”. Conrad’s modernist novella, ‘Heart of Darkness’ dismantles the philanthropic ideal of imperialism amidst the ‘Scramble for Africa’ in the late 19th century, exposing the true pursuit of the Europeans: “profit”. However, within this condemnation of colonialism and imperial exploitation, Conrad still exercises the notion of European superiority, juxtaposing the River Thames, an extension of Europe, and the “prehistoric” River Congo, a symbol of Africa, which becomes the notorious antithesis of civilised society. Conrad, vicariously through Marlow, fails to truly acknowledge the “remote kinship” in which the Europeans share with the primitive Congolese, distancing themselves from the “acute angles”. These reductive and dehumanising descriptions perpetuate the othering and systemic oppression of the Congolese, upholding the prejudiced beliefs of Europeans in the Victorian Patriarchy.

Conrad begins the novella with the direct indictment of colonisation itself, referencing the Roman Colonisation of London. Marlow, as an extension of Conrad, blatantly criticises the colonisers, reducing the act to “conquering” coupled with “brute force”. Marlow states that imperialism is just “robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind - as it is very proper for those who tackle a darkness”. This scathing condemnation challenges the general perception of imperialism, exposing that it is not a philanthropic mission to “wean those ignorant millions from their horrid ways” like Marlow’s ingenuous aunt believes. Such subjugation and avarice-driven oppression is illuminated again, “the conquest of the earth , which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than our ourselves”. Here, Marlow directly detests colonialism and lambasts those that exercise the notion of superiority. Hence, Conrad establishes his novella as anti-colonial, a direct attack on Europe, specifically England, at its height of the Victorian Era Imperialist pursuit. Thus, both past and contemporary audiences can comprehend the absolute devastating effects that Western exploitation has on the colonised.

However, the rest of Conrad’s novella does attempt to challenge Eurocentric ideals and the notion of white superiority by representing the Congolese in Victorian Era, Conrad ultimately perpetuates the systematic ignorance of the Congolese through its limited voice, supporting Western hegemony of the 19th century. Conrad’s modernist novella features a frame narrative, which is mediated by two European voices; the narrator and Marlow. The voices and opinions of these men permeate the story, establishing that the titled Europeans are superior to the native Congolese within the Congo Free State through their more humane descriptions. Marlow is depicted by the narrator with his “arms dropped, the palms of his hands outwards, resembl[ing] an idol”, such connotations of “idol” conjures this idea that Marlow is akin to an omnipotent deity, full of wisdom. Moreover, Marlow and his fellow titled Europeans are all described in pronouns like “his” or “he”. Conversely, the native Congolese are often mentioned by the Europeans, using terms like “it”, reducing them to objects. This distinction clearly reinforces racist and prejudiced Victorian Era ideals of white superiority.

Conrad further reinforces the ideals of Western hegemony through his constant reductive descriptions of the Congolese. Once Marlow arrives in the Congo Free State, he comes across the enslaved, dying Congolese in a “grove”. Marlow initially comments that the “hole” was perhaps “connected with the philanthropic desire of giving the criminals something to do”. Despite Marlow rejecting the Congolese’s ‘criminal’ status later on in the novella and illuminating the pure victimisation and exploitation of the Congolese by the Western imperialist pursuit, Conrad continues to perpetuate the othering of the Congolese by dehumanisation.  Conrad refuses to acknowledge the “remote kinship” that he shares with the Congolese, instead exercising the notion of superiority, referring to them as “black shapes”. Such reductive synecdoche dehumanises and objectifies the Congolese,  clearly allowing modern readers to analyse the distinction between Europeans and the “moribund shapes”. Marlow comments on the horrific conditions in which the “black shadows of disease and starvation” contend with “in all the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair”, condemning to both modern and contemporary readers the European’s pure rapacious greed and ignorance. However, Marlow’s commentary on the Congolese and Conrad’s attempt at exposure on the imperialist pursuit quickly leads to the reinforcing of Victorian Era notion of superiority, as Marlow, and thus Conrad, fails to express sympathy, let alone empathy.  “Another mine cliff went off… the work was going on, the work!”, this rapid subject change highlights the sheer lack of human compassion, leading modern audiences to believe that despite Conrad’s commitment to exposing the true imperialist pursuit, he cannot comprehend their “ugly” shared humanity, thus, he cannot show true human emotion to these “[un]earthly” “creatures”. Furthermore, this illuminates Conrad’s, and thus Western Hegemony’s, desire: “ivory rang in the air”.

Eurocentric notions of superiority are further emphasised within Part II of Conrad’s novella, in which Marlow must physically cooperate with the “savage who was fireman”. The fireman is classified as “savage”, these primitive characteristics are emphasised through Conrad’s reductive synecdoche, as noted in the “wool of [fireman’s] pate” and the constant dehumanisation, comparing fireman to a “dog… walking on his hind legs”. Rendering the fireman to an animal suggests that Conrad, and thus all Europeans, believe that the Congolese are more akin to a four-legged beasts than humans and merely mimic human actions. Therefore, Conrad layers on animalistic and primordial behaviours & characteristics, according to Achebe, to separate European’s “vaunted intelligence” from their lingering ‘threat’; “[the] suspicion of [the Congolese] not being inhuman”. This suppression of humanity is evident when Marlow states that the “few months of training had done for that really fine chap”, resulting in the fireman becoming an “improved specimen”, reinforcing western ideals of assimilation and consequent civilisation. The use of the noun “chap”, not a an “acute angle” “stamping his hands”, enables the audience to recognise that Conrad is briefly humanising the Congolese fireman, contesting the Victorian, superiority-fuelled belief that the Congolese are sub-human, as Conrad remotely recognises the humanity within the fireman. However, the ingenuous fireman is continually infantilised and intellectually exploited by Marlow during his training, allowing modern audiences to uncover the fully functioning superiority complex of Conrad. Marlow likens the fireman’s deep concentration to a “thrall of strange witchcraft”, abusing both the Congolese’s culture and intellect, controlling fireman to work endlessly in fear of the “evil spirit inside the boiler”. Through such manipulation, it is implied that the fireman has rudimentary levels of intelligence and limited , animalistic capabilities, however, the entirety of African history before European colonisation is utterly unheeded, demonstrating that the intellect of the Congolese is not primeval, rather a harshly racially stereotyped by the colonisers. It is such ignorance from Marlow that leads contemporary audiences to believe that Conrad was a “thoroughgoing racist”.

However, Conrad’s modernist novella dismantled the Western world’s perception on imperialism and colonialism, thoroughly condemning the act for its rapacious greed, ultimately Conrad undermines and infantilises the humanity of the Congolese people, rejecting their culture. Thus, Conrad’s novella only served to perpetuate xenophobic tendencies of Europeans well into the 21st century.
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Re: Literature Essay Compilation Thread
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2019, 09:54:53 pm »
Hey people doing Lit!  8)

I don't know if this is the correct thread to ask but I was wondering if anyone has any notes (with like summaries, themes) or sample essays on 'The Hamilton Case by Michelle De Kretser' just so I can reference them throughout the course of the year!  :) :)

Your help will be greatly appreciated!  :D :) ;)Please, Please, Please!


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Re: Literature Essay Compilation Thread
« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2019, 11:15:20 am »
Some extracts from sample essays (Postcolonialism/poststructuralism for Heart of Darkness, Close Analysis is 12th Night). Am selling full essays for 12th Night, Heart of Darkness, Browning's Dramatic Monologues! Have around 10 essays each for 12th Night and Heart of Darkness, around 5 for Browning, plus sample sentences/paragraphs which I incorporated into the exam (to get raw 50). Please PM for inquiries or email [email protected]

(Heart of Darkness)

...Conrad presents Marlow as anticipating moral and spiritual enlightenment through the Biblical intertextuality which compares his journey down the river Congo with man’s prehistoric state of prelapsarian innocence: “The snake had charmed me”. Similarly, anticipation is created through the delayed synchronous appearance of Kurtz, being venerated by various European voices as a “prodigy”, and an “emissary of pity, and science, and progress”. Just as “All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz”, the Harlequin, an image of Europe’s credulity of colonialism, becomes Kurtz’s “last disciple”; Conrad parallels the dress of the Harlequin, “bright patches” of “blue, red, and yellow”, with the map of an Africa colonised by Europe, thereby reflecting Conrad’s suggestion that Europe idolised Kurtz as the apogee of its civilisation, a writer, poet, musician, artist. Marlow himself, traumatised by his Congolese experiences, subconsciously alludes to Kurtz in the frame narrative through this religio-mythic semantic field, as the “idea” which he becomes, “something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to…” Thus, for Marlow, and by extension, Europe, Kurtz’s ignominious fall represents a symbolic failure of European ideals, principles, and language, rendered “less than chaff in a breeze” in the utter alterity of the Dantean “Inferno”. The repetition of Kurtz’s primal cry “The horror! The horror!” suggests that meaningful elaboration is impossible, and in this “supreme moment of complete knowledge”, Conrad combines the allegorical nature of the prelapsarian quest for knowledge with the ultimate nihilism of the existential “wilderness” to chillingly evoke an unconquerable darkness, the ultimate darkness of man’s soul. This revelation utterly destroys Marlow’s “belief in mankind”; he is overcome by Nietzschean nihilism, expressible only by the inexpressibility of the repetitive “The horror! The horror!” Thus, the Biblical allegory of cosmogonic knowledge is shattered, with Marlow helplessly captive to the “voice” of the demonic Kurtz, believing that faith itself can only ever be “a great and saving illusion.” ...

(12th Night-Some sample sentences)

Shakespeare presents desire as a fleeting metaphysical dream, as existing in the painless insubstantiality of thought, yet, as being delusive and illusive in its attempt to seek an object which remains perpetually elusive in the abstract psychological world. Yet, through the androgynous character of Viola, these narcissistic, trivial loves of Olivia and Orsino are catalysed into an ardent attraction towards the composite figure Viola-Cesario. Shakespeare comically resolves this romantic dilemma through the heteronormative introduction of Sebastian; Olivia finds the man in Viola, and Orsino obtains the woman in Cesario.

Mellifluous music allows the characters of the low comedy to enter an atemporal trance in which the cares of the quotidian and the hierarchal strictures of society are self-therapeutically forgotten; music is the metaphysical medium through which they enter an illusionary and hedonistic dimension in which they are free to explore the alternate identities of Saturnalia, of “Twelfth Night”.

The musical solos of Feste evoke a romantic paradigm of unrequited and unfulfilled yearnings; through the medium of unaccompanied song, love remains perpetually unanswered, expressed only from the singular perspective of the singer, thereby functioning as suitable emotional stimulation for Count Orsino, wallowing in his self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and self-indulgent narcissism.

(Browning's Dramatic Monologues-Introduction, Paragraphs 2&3, Conclusion)

In order to explore the contemporary issues of religious inadequacy, the truth of our human imperfection, and the artifice covering hedonism within the social milieu of Victorian England, Browning sets many of his poems in mediaeval and Renaissance Europe. The spatio-temporal remoteness allows him to directly address such concerns without seeming didactic and moralising to his readers. Analogous to his proto-modernist views, Browning’s dramatic monologues set out to illustrate human imperfection and limitations, as he demonstrates in Two in the Campagna, where the human speaker’s attempt to express the fullness of his love is ultimately frustrated. Likewise, by listening to the A Toccata of Galuppi’s, the monologist vicariously gazes upon the hedonistic tableau of Venice, only to be confronted with the inevitability of his mortality. In addition, by enclosing the internalised, overflowing envy of the Cloister within the speaker’s own warped psychology, Browning presents the corrupted contempt of the soliloquist without imposing external judgement upon him. Thus, Browning’s authorial intent emerges from dramatic context rather than conventional diegesis, requiring his readers to complete the scene from inference and imagination, as opposed to traditional narrative exposition.

By exploiting the subjective nature of dramatic monologue, Browning is able to present multiple perspectives in Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, thereby demonstrating that the nature of truth and reality fluctuates, while resisting the temptation to deliver moral judgements....

While Browning characteristically celebrates love throughout his poetic oeuvre, such as in its sweetness in Confessions, he powerfully demonstrates human shortcomings in love, such as in Two in the Campagna. The frequent repetition of “such” suggests that the human lover is unable to fully represent his love adequately. Furthermore, Browning not only depicts our inability to describe God’s creations in terms of love, but also our incapacity to perfectly represent God’s world visually, as he explores in Fra Lippo Lippi. As such, at the climax of the speaker’s attempt to express his love: “And love it more than tongue can speak”, he loses it: “Then the good minute goes.” Thus, language and art are portrayed alike as intrinsically insufficient mediums in representing the lives we have been given. Yet, for Browning, this only augments their importance, in following the aesthetic aims of Lippi, the everyday resonates with enriched meaning and becomes epiphanic in its own right. Likewise, through Galuppi’s music, the listener indirectly experiences the world of Venice at carnival. Browning emulates the auditory qualities through many elements of his own prosody; the rhythmic beat of the troche mimics the emphasis of the musical downbeat, the octameter supports the length of the line as a musical phrase, and the catalexis serves as a cadential ending. Thus, the dramatic monologue metapoetically composes itself. As the reader listens to the music in the poem, Browning positions them to reflect upon music, their pleasure-seeking, and death inexorable, paralleling the Venetians listening to Galuppi’s toccatas in the episode preceding the given extract. Therefore, Browning asserts that through art, the human becomes perceptive of his own shortcomings.

By representing humanity with all its limitations and failures, Browning draws the reader’s attention to the hypocrisy of Victorian moral standards, while distancing such transgressive behaviours from his contemporary audience. The metaphor of “Wed the sea with rings” rings of the lavish wealth of the golden days of Venice, where “the merchants were the kings.” Yet, in the midst of such wealth, the imagery of “burning” serves a threefold purpose: literally as the burning torches illuminating the midnight balls, and figuratively to indicate not only the lust of the youthful Venetians, but also their inevitable deaths, paralleled not only by the death of Venice but also by the ending of the music. Therefore, by placing the line “It’s as if I saw it all” in a contemporary setting, in referencing “England”, Browning alludes to the prevalent sexual promiscuity within Victorian society, thereby positioning his reader to question their own behaviours.

Although he portrays humanity as intrinsically flawed, as illustrated in the disturbing interior journey of Soliloquy, Browning observes the world through a lens sympathetic to human imperfection. Though the reader witnesses the human lover succumbing the sensual “pluck the rose”, wealth giving way to hedonism, and spiritual devotion yielding to possessed demonic cries of “Hy, Zy, Hine”, Browning poignantly acknowledges the beauty of the truth by means of a realistic representation, in contrast to the hypocrisy of an idealised illusion.

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Re: Literature Essay Compilation Thread
« Reply #64 on: September 23, 2019, 05:12:22 pm »
Thought I'd post one of my Section A Othello essays since I know there aren't many samples anywhere

Shakespeare’s play Othello demonstrates that society’s views and values play a substantial role in the events that unfold in the play. Discuss

Through Iago’s manipulations of societal values to his own ends, Shakespeare demonstrates the influence of preordained restrictions of a prejudiced milieu on the events of the play. In society’s valuation of some “curled darlings” as more important than other individuals, Shakespeare illustrates Iago’s motivations as the result of classist societal norms. Furthermore the treatment of the “old black ram,” along with the socially accepted “bewhor[ing]” of the women, enables Iago to engineer the events of the play. Indeed, the animalistic portrayal of Othello along with the objectification of the women as males’ possessions perpetuates a view of these individuals as intrinsically inferior to the rest of society, and further contribute to Iago’s machinations. Although the play’s events rely on Iago’s cunning exploitations, they equally depend on the social prejudices of the time.

Through the prejudiced view of “wealthy curled darlings” as inherently superior to “knee-crooking knaves,” Shakespeare exposes the impact of such classist values on individuals, as this hierarchical devaluation of Iago ultimately provokes his desire for revenge. The juxtaposition of the depiction of the “knee-crooking” (subservient) individuals as immoral and unscrupulous (“knaves”) with the fond portrayal of the “darlings” as “wealthy” (and therefore from a Venetian’s perspective; superior) and handsome reveals the inherent inequitable values held by society. In the opening scene of the play, Iago’s bitter account of Cassio’s promotion reveals the classist valuation of an educated “great mathematician” as superior to an experienced soldier to be the cause of Iago’s desire to “serve [his] turn upon” Othello. This class bias is further exposed as Iago is overlooked for promotion even with the support of “three great ones of the city” (three noblemen). In refusing to enable Iago to elevate his standing in society in the face of noblemen’s support, Othello demonstrates the extent of the bigoted class divisions of the time, and therefore in utilising this as Iago’s key motivation, Shakespeare reveals the impact of such prejudices on the events of the play.

As “the Moor” is subjected to callous and racially bigoted treatment, Shakespeare exposes the salient discrimination rampant in the early 17th century, and in turn exposes the extent to which the progression of the play is driven by radical prejudice. In the first mention of Othello as “his Moorship,” a mocking term ridiculing Othello’s position of authority, Shakespeare exposes the overwhelming derisive attitude adopted towards “the Moor” in the play-often overshadowing questions of merit and ambition. In Iago’s constant disparaging treatment of Othello based on his “clime, complexion and degree,” Shakespeare evinces Othello’s doubt of Desdemona as the result of insecurity in regards to his “begrimed and black” face. In the use of alliteration linking “begrimed’ and “black,” Shakespeare couples an image of something unclean and soiled with Othello’s race, revealing a preconceived notion of racial inferiority. This is further demonstrated through Othello’s speculation of “Haply for I am black, / And have not these soft parts of conversation,” as Shakespeare reveals a diffidence resulting from Iago’s partisan devaluation of Othello’s race. Furthermore, Shakespeare conveys that Iago’s ability to manipulate others to view Othello in a negative way is a result of society’s preconceived prejudicial views. The juxtaposition of the respect owed to Othello according to his station, with the doubt Iago and Montano display towards the general demonstrates the influence of racial bigotry on others’ views of Othello. This disrespect, elucidated in the line “I fear the trust Othello puts him in,” conveys the influence of racial prejudice on Venetian society’s perception of Othello, as well as the impact this has on the play’s events. Furthermore, in the depiction of Othello’s trance as “savage madness,” Iago renders Othello as a primordial bestial entity-in part due to his racial difference. Thus, Iago’s ability to manipulate events in the play is inextricably linked to his ability to draw on bigoted societal perceptions of race.

In the depiction of the women in the play as intrinsically inferior to the men, Shakespeare illuminates the sexist society that ultimately allows the events of the play to take place. Through Iago’s defamatory comments towards Emilia, Desdemona and Bianca, (“full of game,” “a simple bawd,” “trash”), reducing women to objects easily discarded, the institutionalised male dominance is exposed. As almost every male character is shown belittling the females, Shakespeare reveals the extent of the feminine subjugation of the society, and demonstrates how it contributes to events of the play. Particularly, the depiction of Cassio as a gentleman, followed by his treatment of Bianca as a “perfumed one” (a prostitute) conveys the habitual oppression furthered by even those seen as unbiased, thereby demonstrating the acceptance of this ingrained misogyny. Similarly, Othello’s patriarchal expectations of Desdemona to be “a most obedient lady” reveal a fundamentally flawed societal construction of equality, and the dependence of the play’s events on this expectation of female submissiveness is therefore demonstrated. In Othello’s sense of “justice” in murdering his wife without “ocular proof” of any betrayal, Shakespeare demonstrates the impact of severely flawed societal values on Iago’s ability to manipulate individuals to his own ends. Indeed, this misogynistic marginalisation of women allowing men in the play to believe themselves justified in their “sacrifice” is elucidated in Othello’s depiction of himself as an “honourable murderer.” In the final scene of the play, Shakespeare further reveals the impact of such patriarchal restrictions through Emilia’s defiance. The juxtaposition of Emilia and Desdemona’s beliefs about gender roles in society earlier in the play reveals Emilia to be distinct from the submissive women of the time, and therefore Shakespeare reveals her actions in the final scene to be extraordinary. Through her defiance in exposing her husband’s manipulations (“he begged of me to steal it”), Shakespeare conveys the reliance of this truth on a sense of feminine agency, and exposes the lack of truth in an inherently sexist society, therefore revealing the dependence of the play’s events on societal devaluation of some individuals.
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Re: Literature Essay Compilation Thread
« Reply #65 on: June 01, 2020, 11:41:48 am »
Has anyone here studied the Miniaturist by Jessie Burton?


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Re: Literature Essay Compilation Thread
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2021, 07:11:17 pm »
Hey, the essays are all so amazing. I was wondering if anyone has any gothic literature short stories that i can used for inspiration. Thanks :)