Sweet Bird of Youth
Questions – Act 2, Scene 1
- Where is this scene set and what does this setting emphasise?
- a) What does Act 2, Scene 1 say about Heavenly’s relationship with her father?
b) Why is Heavenly angry at her father?
c) What does Aunt Nonnie say that supports Heavenly’s view?
3 a) How does Tom Junior describe Heavenly?
b) How does Heavenly describe the effects of the operation?
c) Consider the stage directions later in this scene. How does Williams use water imagery to further the impression of decay?
4) Is Tom Junior more or less despicable than his father? Find evidence to support your case.
5) a) What do we learn of Miss Lucy in this scene?
b) Discuss the symbolic use of the mirror in this scene.
c) How does Boss Finley use religious symbolism to retaliate?
6.a) How has Boss Finley made a name for himself?
b) What was Williams’ attitude towards this character?
c) To what lengths will he go to create the illusion of the perfect happy family?
In well-rehearsed English, prepare a video which includes your answers to the following questions:
What was your favorite part of the OIB experience/community/classes?
How has OIB literature helped you open your mind and to see different perspectives? Have any of the works changed your mind about something? Were you surprised to end up enjoying something (poetry, etc) that you didn’t think you would enjoy?
What was your favorite book/work on the OIB literature syllabus and why?
Even if you will not study literature in the future, how can this experience make you a better person, university student, and/or professional?
What is your advice to someone hesitating about the OIB section? What was the most difficult part of your experience? What was the most rewarding part of your experience?
Read your favorite quote from one of the works and explain why it speaks to you (read the quote in English, try to “translate” into French, and do this analysis part in French)
You will be graded on:
-the quality of your English
-the quality/effort/persuasiveness of your responses
– your “performance” (comfort on the screen, fluidity, expression etc)
Comparative essay practice
Question : Literature often explores “the battle of the sexes”. Paying close attention to the causes and consequences of gender conflict, discuss this theme in two works you have read.
“Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.” said Henry Kissinger. As far as the historians have ever been able to go back in time, men and women have never experienced complete equality. They have always fought an everlasting war — but still, a lot of men tend to endlessly end up in a woman’s arms, and vice-versa. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde uses Lord Henry’s witty epigrams to demonstrate that soulmates do not exist, there are only two different sexes paradoxically destroying each other with their good intentions. On the other hand, in Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams, the playwright uses the impossible and toxic love between Chance Wayne and Heavenly Finley to show how gender expectations imposed by society strongly contribute to the battle of the sexes.
Firstly, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde utilizes irony and cynicism to express how women and men are complementary but incompatible, and are meant to eventually fail having healthy relationships due to gender expectations.
Indeed, through Lord Henry’s affirmations, the writer creates a parallel between men’s idleness and frivolity and women’s excessive seriousness and willingness to take care of their husbands : “Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our intellects.”. This paradox means that at a time when women were only expected to stay at home and be pretty, being a good wife was the best achievement they could make. This is why they were always looking for a husband with many issues in the hope of changing him to make him a better person, so that society could recognize them as good wives. The fact that Wilde is using the terms “even our intellects” suggests that women do not have the same wisdom as men and should be jealous of their husbands for being smart, but if they have enough defects to make a balance they can be forgiven. This is the reason why Lord Henry also says “Women have no appreciation of good looks; at least, good women have not.” : this means that only good-looking women do not care about whether their husband is beautiful or not because they would like him to envy them for their beauty, which to the eyes of society was one of their most valuable possessions.
In addition, in the Victorian society, separation was considered a woman’s failure to take good care of her husband, which is why the fairer sex clung to the idea of an eternal relationship : “Always ! […] women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever. […] The only difference between a caprice and a long-life passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.”. Here Wilde once again uses a paradox with an antithesis by opposing the terms ‘caprice’ and ‘long-life romance’ to explain that if a woman is aware that her relationship is a caprice, she will not spoil it by unnaturally trying too hard to make it last forever, but would rather savour the present moment; on the contrary, if a woman intends to spend the rest of her life with a man, she will become too clingy and eventually lose him.
But the character of Lord Henry also exposes unrealistic expectations for males : “A man can be happy with a woman, as long as he does not love her.”. Through this epigram, Wilde reveals that men during Victorian times could never fall in love with their partner, because they ended up trying to become a better person on their own to please their sweetheart; but women, as stated before, looked for a husband with defects. If a man was able to improve his behavior by himself, then his partner had no longer a purpose in that relationship and started to lose interest.
Here Oscar Wilde tries to demonstrate that heterosexual couples can only last if none of the partners have actual feelings for one another. This paradox represents the quintessential battle of the sexes : in order to keep control over the relationship, one must always remain cold, because love is the beginning of weakness. Falling in love is like giving the enemy the right to break you into pieces : once you give them your heart, you become vulnerable. This is why Sybil Vane eventually commits suicide; she gives too much of her love and becomes clingy and devoted, which disappoints Dorian Gray who does not hesitate to destroy her with his words. In a way, Dorian wins the war of the sexes, because he is the last one standing, the one who resisted the most.
This point of view can be interpreted as a manifestation of Wilde’s homosexuality : indeed, saying men and women cannot be soulmates because of their differences suggests that love can only be healthy when there is no rivalry — which, following this theory, can only be accomplished through a homosexual relationship. That being said, there seems to be an underlying love triangle between Basil Hallward, Dorian Gray and Lord Henry, which can represent the writer’s pulsions and desires despite the Victorian law against queer people, which explains Henry’s epigram : “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”. If a man stops worrying about gender expectations and starts loving other men, his lust is satisfied and he is no longer frustrated. In other words : gender conflicts can only be solved by homosexuality.
On the other hand, in Sweet Bird of Youth, Tennessee Williams uses Boss Finley’s attempts to censor his daughter’s love for Chance Wayne to demonstrate how gender expectations are responsible for the gap between both sexes and is reinforcing gender conflicts.
Indeed, when Chance still had “his girl in St Cloud”, he gave her a sexual disease because of his work as a gigolo and that led her to be operated by Dr. Scudder, her future husband, which made her sterile and took away the one thing that made her a woman to the patriarchal society : her ability to have babies. The rumor of the loss of her innocence soon spread and gave her a bad reputation based on slut shaming. Boss Finley, Heavenly’s conservative and white supremacist father, finds this unacceptable as it ternishes his own reputation — he therefore wants to take complete control of his daughter, from her love to her clothes : “You’re going to be wearing the stainless white of a virgin, with a Youth for Tom Finley button on one shoulder and a corsage of lilies on the other. You’re going to be on the speaker’s platform with me, you on one side of me and Tom Junior on the other, to scotch these rumors about your corruption.” In this quote, the color white symbolizes purity, which is supposed to be the most precious thing a woman can possess; it is immaculate, free from any red blood stain which represents fertility and sensuality. Lilies are also a symbol of purity and youth, especially if they are white, which is implied by Boss Finley. This is extremely representative of the battle of the sexes, as Heavenly’s father does not hesitate to use his daughter and psychologically harm her in order to impose his power as a man. To his eyes — the eyes of a politician, who represents society — women are not to be respected, but to be blamed for men’s mistakes : this is why he qualifies the loss of his daughter’s virginity as her “corruption”, as if making love only involved one person.
This is what Heavenly is trying to protest against, in vain : “Papa, there was a time when you could have saved me, by letting me marry a boy that was still young and clean, but instead you drove him away, drove him out of St. Cloud. And when he came back, you took me out of St. Cloud, and tried to force me to marry a fifty-year-old money bag that you wanted something out of […] and then another, another, all of them ones that you wanted something out of. […] Papa, you married for love, why wouldn’t you let me do it, while I was alive, and the boy still clean, still decent ?”. Here Tennessee uses hyperbole to describe how heavily gender expectations weigh on Heavenly’s shoulders : she refers to her youth as the time when she was “alive”, implying that she is now dead. Several interpretations can be made : either society considers her not worthy of being alive now that she cannot give birth to another living being anymore, or she thinks of herself as dead inside because the flame of love can no longer burn in her heart. In both cases, this increases Heavenly’s resentment, which contributes to her willingness to fight against men to obtain the right to control her own life.
The character of Chance Wayne is also a victim of gender expectations, as he is blamed for being a pervert because of his work as a gigolo. Generally speaking, a man who is able to seduce dozens of girls into sleeping with him is often glorified, and almost never treated like a whore. But in that case, Chance is actually a whore, selling his body to women instead of the opposite; since he is giving himself to the “weaker sex”, as one might say, he becomes vulnerable and less manly — Boss Finley even considers him less worthy of marrying his daughter Heavenly. The fact that Chance is also sincerely and deeply in love with his sweetheart also represents a danger for Boss : indeed, there would be no interest of any kind in that marriage, only sincere affection, which would make it difficult for Heavenly’s father to remain in control of the situation with manipulation. In an arranged marriage, the father often decides everything, but in a true-love marriage, the couple does not care about parents and can even run away if it is necessary to find happiness.
In fact, Chance is even driven mad by love, and is therefore losing the war of the sexes because he is too lost in it. But still, he is not directly fighting the love of his life, but the gender role that has been assigned to her and that keeps her from being happy ever after with him. This is why Tennessee Williams writes : “Princess, the great difference between people in this world is not between the rich and the poor or the good and the evil, the biggest of all differences in this world is between the ones that had or have pleasure in love and those that haven’t and hadn’t any pleasure in love, but just watched it with envy, sick envy.”. Here Chance can be identified to the two categories : he indeed once had pleasure in love, but does not anymore and is therefore the one watching with “sick envy”. The use of this expression shows that he is intoxicated by love, and that it is the reason for his madness, like a disease : this suggests that according to Tennessee Williams, the battle of the sexes might be happening because of toxic gender expectations, with only one deadly weapon : love.
In conclusion, both Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams present heterosexual love as unhealthy because of the resentment that men and women feel towards each other, due to gender expectations. In both The Picture of Dorian Gray and Sweet Bird of Youth, falling in love is pictured as dangerous because it makes people vulnerable and makes them succumb to the other sex. According to both authors, there cannot be a true and sound relationship if there is still a balance of powers. To achieve happiness in a couple, there are only three solutions : either both partners do not feel love for each other, or they are homosexuals — or, society must achieve gender equality, which sadly seems like a difficult task.
QUIZ ON MONDAY, May 17th
“You do assist the storm” (Boatswain, a1; s1)
“O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer.”
(Miranda, Act 1 Scene 2)
“Good wombs have borne bad sons.”
(Miranda, Act 1 Scene 2)
“My library was dukedom large enough.”
(Prospero, Act 1 Scene 2)
“Thou shalt be free
As mountain winds: but then exactly do
All points of my command.”
(Prospero, Act 1, Scene 2)
“a born devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick”
(Prospero, a4 ; s1)
“The red plague rid you
For learning me your language! “
(Caliban, Act 1, Scene 2)
“For I am all the subjects that you have,
Which first was mine own king.”
(Caliban, Act 1 Scene 2)
“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”
(Trinculo, Act 2, Scene 1)
“Hast thou not dropped from heaven?”
(Caliban, Act 2 Scene 2)
The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead
And makes my labours pleasures.”
(Ferdinand, Act 3, Scene 1)
You may deny me, but I’ll be your servant,
Whether you will or no.”
(Miranda, Act 3 Scene 1)
“I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you,
Nor can imagination form a shape,
Besides yourself, to like of.”
(Miranda, Act 3, Scene 1)
“Admired Miranda, Indeed the top of admiration” (Ferdinand, a3; s1)
“The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.”
(Caliban, Act 3, Scene 2)
“Servant monster, drink for me” (Stephano a3; s2)
“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on: and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”
(Prospero, Act 4 Scene 1)
“Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie:
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.”
(Ariel, Act 5 Scene 1)
“ How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.”
(Miranda, Act 5 Scene 1)
“As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.”
This was an intellectual and cultural movement in the 17th and 18th centuries (1600s – 1700s) which emphasized logic and reason over faith and superstition.
(Optional) Crash course episode explaining the Enlightenment:
Power Point summary of the Enlightenment and ideas of some of the philosophers:
Text and worksheet about the Enlightenment for homework complete short definitions to exercise 2 only which we can review at the start of the next lesson (use Britannica Online to help you – see access codes on Google Drive):
The American Revolution
PowerPoint Introduction to the American Revolution:
Chapter to read for Monday 10th May:
Short Video to watch for Monday 10th May:
The European Economic Community began in 1957 with the signing of the Treaty of Rome between the Six (Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the German Federal Republic). It expanded in waves during the 1970s and 1980s to incorporate the UK, Denmark, Greece, Spain and Portugal. The Maastricht Treaty (1992) created the European Union and laid the foundations for the single currency (2002).
The EU was not always as big as it is today. When European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated. Over time, more and more countries decided to join. The union reached its current size of 28 member countries with the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013. It will fall back to 27 member states when the UK left in 2020 (Brexit).
Power Points about the EU (European Union)
The Romans invented myths to explain the foundation of their capital city, Rome. These myths gave Rome a divine origin and linked their history into Greek mythology. These myths were first transmitted orally then from the end of the Republic written down by poets such as Virgil. According to them, Rome was founded in 753 BC.
Originally Rome was a monarchy but in 509 BC a revolt overthrew the last king and Rome became a republic.
Under the Republic, Rome became the capital of a huge empire. When Julius Caesar, victor of the war with the Gauls, was nominated dictator for life in 44BC, a group of senators assassinated him because they feared the return of monarchy. By 27 BC, when Augustus ended the Republic, the Roman Empire extended throughout the whole Mediterranean and the Romans used myths to justify their rule.
Watch first 1m30 for a little introduction to the myth of Romulus and Remus:
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” –Albert Einstein. Discuss the ways in which knowledge may or may not be dangerous in two works you have read in your OIB curriculum.
Words, language, the ability to express our thoughts and to reflect on it, is what differentiate us from animals ; it is what makes us human. This enabled humankind to, over centuries, construct a precise knowledge of their surroundings. Since, individuals have used this ability to differentiate one another and, ultimately, to establish their respective status. The ambiguous nature of knowledge, and the power that it confers, has been explored since ancient times in literature. In the 17th century, Shakespeare, through The Tempest, conveys the polyvalent characteristics of knowledge and how it can be used. Still relevant in today’s society, Atwood, in The Handmaid’s Tale, tackles the importance of awareness and instruction ; the ability to reflect not only change life itself, it can even alter a society. On one hand, Shakespeares approaches the paradoxical role that society gives to knowledge and how dangerous it can be as individuals at the top can use it to achieve their true intention. On the other hand, in her dystopian novel, Atwood focuses on the true nature of knowledge : it is a powerful and dangerous tool that can be reconstructed by a political regime to deeply transform a civilization.
In The Tempest, the playwright clearly establishes the role of knowledge in a community, or, on a larger scale, in a society. Knowledge is ultimately linked with language in the author’s mind. By this very ability to express yourself, an individual unconsciously shows his social status. However, Shakespeare soon deconstructs this belief through his characters and the use of a specific language. Knowledge itself is paradoxical, hence, limiting it to a single judgement is a common mistake. The beauty of speaking and knowing resides in the fact that it doesn’t know limits. To illustrate this point, the author resorts to his monster-like character, Caliban, and to his comic relief characters, Trinculo and Stephano. During their first encounter, it soon became clear who is in power and who isn’t : Caliban has found a new master in the two drunkards that are Trinculo and Stephano. By resorting to a large diction of insults such as « moon calf » or « monster », Shakespeare establishes how language (here knowledge) is used by one to assert their superiority while diminishing someone. This notion is underlined by the many repetition of such words. Yet, the two men have a pitiful way of expressing themselves and clearly dispose of a short sized knowledge whereas Caliban’s words are filled with eloquence and grace. This contrast, highlighted more precisely with the distinct use of prose and verse, enables the author to show that our original perception of knowledge is flawed. Additionally, the play delivers a message on what is true power : it is being in control or being eloquent ? Both can be attained through knowledge but without it, our control is an artifice : it is solely doomed to end. For instance, towards the end of the play, the two drunkards are caught by Prospero and their plan ends up being a complete failure as they did not have any accurate insight of the situation. Prospero, on the other hand, is always in control as he knows every incident on this island, along with his ability to produce mesmerizing speeches.
This brings us to the second aspect of knowledge : it is a tool for manipulation and domination. As language is a part of knowledge, Shakespeare highlights the dangerous nature of words through the character of Prospero. His thirst of knowledge has reached such an extent that the character ultimately lost his dukedom. Before all, the sorcerer’s ability to use language and knowledge is what enables him to be in control throughout the play. Shakespeare’s use of frequent aside and dramatic irony shows how one can rapidly transform the nature of knowledge. Prospero quickly becomes adaptable to anyone and develops the art of acting. This polyvalent nature is explored by the writer when Prospero first confronts Ferdinand. As he accuses him of lying and having ulterior motives, a form of irony can soon be distinguished in his speech : Prospero is the one plotting and having other intentions. As well, a shift in the tone going from protective to a mischievous tone only accentuates the writer’s point. Therefore, that is why Caliban’s only desire is to « burn but his books ». Destroying his books, symbol of Prospero’s unlimited knowledge, means completely annihilating his power and influence. Additionally, the alliteration of the « b » sound pronounced by Caliban only enhances the necessity of stopping Prospero. Thus, Shakespeare conveys through several characters and a specific diction the various forms that knowledge can take ; it is a mean to establish one supremacy, to dominate, to control, but also to evolve.
Even though the playwright draws a dangerous perspective on the use of knowledge, the end of the play concludes that it is also what allows us to grow and to redeem ourselves from our sins. Through a nostalgic tone, Prospero delivers a hypnotizing monologue on the great things knowledge endowed him to perform. After manipulating « the mutinous winds » and much more, the sorcerer chooses to become a mere human and « break [his] staff » or « burn [his] books ». By using such aggressive terms, the writer demonstrates that to abandon such a precious thing as knowledge, one must make it definitive. This belief is strengthened by the consonance of the letter « d ». Through this precise plosive and harsh sound, Shakespeare emphasizes the finality of his character’s decision. Now that he has definitely refused to continue to use knowledge as a mean to obtain control, it can become a tool for progress and evolution. All in all, in his final play, the playwright digs on the power of knowledge and writing. On the surface, it is only a way to differentiate one from another. Quickly, the author deconstructs this shallows belief and issues a strong message. By relativizing its dangerous nature, Shakespeare warns us on the tendency of humankind to use knowledge to gain power when it is in reality a means to elevate ourselves spiritually. Thus, humanity must never abandon its thirst of knowledge to continue to evolve towards a better path.
If Shakespeare explores the importance of knowledge and how men must resist the temptation of evil, Atwood conveys a different perspective of it : she delves into the removal of any form of knowledge and how it deeply affects an individual. By being a stream of consciousness, the dystopian novel immediately drives us in the narrator’s vision and her limited knowledge. The reader is able to exchange places with Offred, the main character, and shares her feeling of frustration, of desperation, of a quest for answers. We could ask ourselves what is life without knowledge ? How can a person construct the purpose and motives erecting his life without answer ? It is simply impossible and, consequently, an individual will have to blindly follow the limited answer that society provides him. Atwood, as a brilliant writer, is more than fully aware of this matter. To demonstrate this growing issue she, as a puppeteer, exploits the character of Offred and the dictatorship that is Gilead.
The complete removal of any way of reflecting is the safest way to submit a population into obedience. Gilead not only deprives his society’s members of knowledge, the regime alters their previous instruction. By reconstructing their perception, the inhabitant’s mind can accept with more ‘ease’ the new reality they are confronted with. To keep her sanity, Offred can only accept what is happening, she even convinces herself that « where I am is not a prison but a privilege, as Aunt Lydia said ». Through the use of a detached and numb tone, the Canadian writer quickly demonstrates how an individual, when deprived of any form of knowledge, has to dissociate themselves from who they truly are. The recurrent shift between the past and the present throughout the novel is the embodiment of her desire to apply her previous knowledge to her new meaningless reality. Furthermore, the fact that she quotes someone else illustrates further that what she is trying to think is not her original thought : it is a new knowledge that a new society is trying to implement.
Gilead, by both removing past knowledge and producing a new one, ensures his place and running. Offred, tattooed on the ankle, is now « a national resource », not an individual. By using an official vocabulary that ignores and warps reality in order to serve the needs of the new society’s elite, Gilead maintains control. To illustrate this, Atwood develops numerous instances of the dangerous aspect of knowledge and language. Thus, Women are defined solely by their gender roles as Wives, Marthas, or Handmaids. Denoted by the terms « unwomen » and « unbabies », feminists and deformed babies are treated as subhuman. The new language is a tool for power. For instance, if the prescribed greetings for personal encounters are not done properly, it appears as a sign of disloyalty. Simply, by modifying common tasks such as small talk, an individual transforms his general perception and knowledge of what life is supposed to be. Similarly, the creation of new terms such as « Salvagings » and « Particicutions » institutionalized further this new knowledge. Thus, Atwood explores the connection between a state’s repression of its subjects and its perversion of language and knowledge.
All in all, Atwood’s work can be subject to many interpretations given that it is a reconstruction. As an unreliable character, Offred is gradually being brainwashed and heading towards the path of submission. Hence, how can the reader’s assumptions be certain ? It simply cannot. Our knowledge is tangible, reconstructed, and dangerous in its own way. Used as a tool by totalitarian regimes to assert their control on a population, Atwood teaches us that knowledge is to always be questioned and re-interpreted.
To conclude, both works approach the theme of knowledge and the danger that can live in its shadow. Submitting different interpretations on the matter, Shakespeare insists on the place that society gives to knowledge as an element of differentiation whereas Atwood delves us into a universe where the reader himself is deprived of any knowledge. She never lets us forget that her work is a construct, and that our interpretation as readers makes us part of that construction. The Handmaid’s Tale’s author mostly explores the terrible power of knowledge when it is manipulated. As the playwright creates a character that uses it as a tool for power, we could argue that the two works display the different actors of knowledge. The dystopian novel both culminates with the actors and subjects of manipulation, with paying special attention to the subjects, whilst The Tempest does the exact opposite. Ultimately, both warn us on knowledge ; if used with ulterior motives, one should not put his full trust on it. This is why it must always be subject to interpretation and question. However, Shakespeare reminds us of the beauty of knowledge, it is not only what makes us human but what makes us grow. Knowledge, as dangerous as it can be, is the light guiding humankind through difficult times.
ASSESSMENT RUBRIC FOR OIB AMERICAN OPTION WRITTEN EXAMINATION: ESSAY
N.B. A short response may require assessment to be lowered.
-0.5 or more at the discretion of the examiner
|Level 0||Level 1
|Knowledge & Understanding||No true understanding or first-hand knowledge shown. Factual inaccuracies void argument.||Some understanding but superficial. Learned response replaces
first-hand knowledge. Factual inaccuracies affect argument.
|Satisfactory understanding and knowledge. Development may be limited with some inadvertent or minor factual inaccuracies.||Good overall understanding.
Knowledge is full and developed.
|Very good and thorough understanding, including some subtlety. Levels of meaning are apparent.||Excellent understanding, including some subtlety. Levels of meaning are apparent. Detailed and pertinent knowledge.|
|Off-subject or no clear response discernible. Observation, commentary or opinion may be present but no attempt to form an argument.||Response is partial or muddled. Argument is directed at the question but may be confused or superficial.||A satisfactory response to the main implications of the question. Some aspects of the question may be ignored.||A good response. Argument addresses the question but may need more development.||A very good response. Argument is complete and well-targeted,
and the question is well-understood.
|An excellent response. Argument demonstrates original thought and addresses the question with clarity and depth.|
(Includes discussion of style at Level 2 and above)
|Plot summary or generalizations dominate. No successful attempt at analysis.||Plot summary or generalizations frequent. Little or unsuccessful analysis.||Inconsistent analysis that does not always address important elements.
Analysis may be uneven or lacking in depth.
|Good analysis that appropriately addresses important elements. Generally appropriate analysis of style illustrated by relevant examples.||Very good analysis. Thoughtful, pertinent analysis of style.||Excellent analysis
and argumentation. Insightful,
coherent analysis of style.
of the Essay
|No logical sequence of ideas. Chronological confusion. Development is so inadequate that clarity is in danger of dissolving completely.||Weak or mechanical structure. Development is barely adequate and examples are either impertinent or lack clear connection to the argument.||Satisfactory structure and development. Sequence of ideas generally logical. Examples not always pertinent and integration may be awkward.||Good structure with some transitions. Sequence of ideas logical. Examples are generally pertinent and most often integrated appropriately.||Very good essay structure with solid transitions. Clear development throughout and good integration of supporting evidence.||Excellent essay structure with clear transitions. Carefully planned, persuasive development throughout. Sophisticated integration of supporting evidence.|
|Expression||Meaning often cannot be surmised. The essay is very difficult to read.||Prose can be read and
its meaning surmised even if hampered by weak control (or French interference).
|Prose conveys the writer’s ideas adequately. Vocabulary is sufficient and notions of good English usage are evident if sometimes inconsistently applied.||Prose shows evidence of good writing skills. Lapses are minor and do not impede understanding. Some care is shown in word choice and register.||Prose is clear and coherent. A rare lapse does not mar ideas or flow. Effective use of vocabulary and register.||Prose is articulate,
fluid, and displays an excellent command of written language. Sophisticated use of vocabulary and register.