Archivo de la etiqueta: IGCSE Literature

Questions on ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ and ‘Nosedive’

Veronica gave us the task of answering the questions she posted in her blog, after seeing ‘Nosedive’ and reading ‘there Will Come Soft Rains’. I’ve worked with Marina Castagnino and Azul Sequeira

  1. Nosedive is set in Port Mary and in the future, and we can realize this because of all the advanced technology that appears in the chapter.
  2. The short story takes place in the year 2026 the 6 of August.
  3. In ‘Nosedive’ Lacie is a superficial character whose life depends on technology, she actually lives for technology and her life is based on it, because at the end of the episode, she instinctively rises her hand as if she was holding her phone to rate the person in front of her. In ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’, we can also see how technology had dominated the human race, before their death. In the story, Technology made things for humans and controlled their lives, like in ‘Nosedive’, where technology established someone’s social status, friends and possessions. “Nine-fifteen, sang the clock”, here we can see how a clock is personified by saying that it sings. Another personification we can find in the story is how the house is personified all throughout the story, for example in the following quote “the house began to die.”. Finally, in this quote “But the fire was clever”, in which the fire that was started in the house is described and personified as ‘clever’. The fact that technology and the house are personified may be suggesting that technology is becoming more and more similar to humans. Personification is when an object is attributed human actions, so the question that the author may be asking is, to what extent is technology a thing and not a living thing?
  4. Both, the episode and the story, are warning us about how technology is dangerous in many ways. One of these ways may be related to the fact that technology may destroy us, because it may dominate us. And the other way, is that technology may turn our society into a superficial one, a society in which people judge you by how look in your social media and not in real life.
  5. We think that the future that the story presents is more likeable to happen because with the passage of time, we are getting more and more things done by technology, like in factories where employees are being replaced by machines, or phones that are making our life easier day after day. So, at the end, we are going to have houses like the one in the story and we will end up destroying ourselves.

Act 1 A View From The Bridge

Here you can find the answers of the questions on pages 40 & 41 of the booklet. I worked with Olivia and Nina.

Secondly, in Literature class, we completed a chart showing 2 quotations each of the 3 characters said, their explanation and effect. I worked with Nina.

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

What do you think the poet means by “the art of losing” and how serious is she about this idea?

We think that by «the art of loosing» she means loosing something and be able to move on from it. She starts with silly things to more complex subjects and so as the poem progresses she gets more serious.

How important is the poem’s form to your reading of it?

It affects you differently depending on who or what you have lost. It affects you differently the fact that Elizabeth Bishop starts talking about less severe things to loose and then she moves to more important ones, as a continent or even a person, this structure shows that one can get over loosing whatever they loose.

What effect does the refrain have upon your understanding of the poem’s tone? How does the meaning of this single line change throughout the piece?

The refrain is «The art of loosing isn’t hard to master», it means that it is not difficult to loose

What are we actually meant to believe about the poet’s reaction to her losses?

That, no matter what we lose, it’s size, shape, significance, we have to get over it, because we need to keep on with life. Because we all lose something, we all remember that one thing that makes us sad every time we remember, and think to ourselves that we should have kept it more safe. So, we have to get over the losses, getting through it and striving through the situation like a champion, in a a way we end up as the bigger person.

How honest is the poet with herself? With her readers?

The writer, Elizabeth Bishop, in our belief, isn’t being completely honest with herself, she is telling herself that it is easier to get over over someone, while it sound that she is trying to convince herself more that us, readers. At the end, she can’t keep on lying to herself, she decides to admit, and says that, indeed, losing something or someone, is hard.

The poem follows a villanelle structure , here you can see how those structures are!

The moving finger!

After reading The moving finger we had the following task, I have worked with Mora .

Here you can read the story !

a) Chapter 3 summary:
Grancy talks about his wife and how he needs women, which explains why he had more than one wife. He goes on talking about Mrs. Grancy’s painting, about how the beauty of his wife was caught by Claydon, and he really appreciated that, but that appreciation had turn into hate with her death. He asks Claydon to make a new painting in which it would age with him.

b) Chapter 4 summary:
In this chapter, Mr. Grancy is really ill and the painting is show as “the only thing keeping him alive”. Now the painting is kept at Claydon’s studio. He decides to paint the portrait one more time without permission, this time, he does it in an uncanny way were the painting “knows” that Mr. Grancy is going to die.
2- Because after his second wife’s death, the painting started looking depressing and lonely for Grancy, so he made Claydon change it to look older during the years and “age” with him. “Don’t you see that I am lonely too?’ And all at once it came over me how she would have hated to be left behind!’’
3- Mr Grancy gets sick again and as the painting had predicted, he dies. After his death, the painting is left to Claydon as he loved it just like Grancy did, and at the end of the story he says ‘… Now she belongs to me’
4- We think that the title is a whole metaphor that gives an anticipation of the plot of the story. “Moving” refers to the passing of time and that when you fall you have to move on and keep going with your life. The other word that appears in the title is finger, why finger? Because YOU write your own story , you choose your own destiny. Another interpretation could be that ‘the moving finger’ is Mrs Grancy’s finger which is pointing at people telling them what to do.
5. Yes, his first wife was Mrs Grancy , then the young and second Mrs Grancy and his third wife was his second wife’s portrait.
‘’She?’ I repeated, perplexed for the moment.
«My wife.»’
(Talking about the painting)

6. The painting is uncanny in the story, because a thing that is supposed to be common, like a portrait of a woman, turns into a paranormal painting that ages.

The Moving Finger by Edith Wharton

Born in 1862 and died in 1937
She was from USA
She used to write novels and short stories
She used to criticise the social and economical differences in society and the conflicts between society and our inner selves , trying to fit in society.
Characteristics of modernism:
-New paradigms
-The unconscious
-Stream of consciousness
-The last generation
-Make it new
-Imagism and vorticism
-The city
-The Jazz age
The uncanny
The uncanny is a psychological concept which refers to something that is strangely familiar, rather than simply mysterious. For example a doll, you seen her as a toy and something without life who is familiar, but then society or a text make you see that object like it has something strange ,close to be alive or human.

The Macabre
The macabre is the quality of having a ghastly atmosphere, it emphasizes the details and symbols of death.

«Elegy for my Father’s Father» by James K. Baxter

In literature we read our second poem on «Songs of Ourselves» . Below the poem you can find the activity we have to do.

He knew in the hour he died
That his heart had never spoken
In eighty years of days.
O for the tall tower broken
Memorial is denied:
And the unchanging cairn
That pipes could set ablaze
An aaronsrod and blossom.
They stood by the graveside
From his bitter veins born
And mourned him in their fashion.
A chain of sods in a day
He could slice and build
High as the head of a man
And a flowering cherry tree
On his walking shoulder held
Under the lion sun.
When he was old and blind
He sat in a curved chair
All day by the kitchen fire.
Many nights he had seen
The stars in their drunken dancing
Through the burning-glass of his mind
And sober knew the green
Boughs of heaven folding
The winter world in their hand.
The pride of his heart was dumb.
He knew in the hour he died
That his heart had never spoken
In song or bridal bed.
And the naked thought fell back
To a house by the waterside
And the leaves the wind had shaken
Then for a child’s sake:
To waves all night awake
With the dark mouths of the dead.
The tongues of water spoke
And his heart was unafraid.

Task: Write an obituary for the dead man- use the details from the poem ( and invent others based on evidence ) 

You should:

-Be formal/ factural/ respectful

-Focus on achievements