The Great Gatsby – Critical Essay

Here’s an example paragraph to help with your essay planning – remember this is an example to guide you; don’t copy it for your own essay.

P (TOPIC SENTENCE): Fitzgerald uses this turning point to reveal how brutal the impact of Gatbsy’s uncovering is, as well as hinting at the dark end to come.
E (EVIDENCE): When Tom reveals Gatsby’s true source of income and reveals him for the criminal he really is, the shock of Gatsby’s undoing is clearly apparent.
“[Gatsby] looked – and this is said in all contempt for the babbled slander of his garden – as if he had ‘killed a man’. For a moment the set of his face could be described in just that fantastic way.
E (EVALUATION): Fitzgerald’s use of the phrase “killed a man” immediately suggests that there has been a death, but it is not a literal one; rather, it is the death of the man Gatsby had created around himself. The word choice of “fantastic” also has dual meanings here – it says that though it is untrue that Gatsby has killed someone, it echoes the fantastical nature of his persona – that he has created a character in his life as Jay Gatsby. The quote effectively shows that at this moment, any front or false persona Gatsby has left has now disappeared – he is revealed for what he truly is. This is the key turning point in the novel – we see how Gatsby has symbolically been “killed”; nothing remains of the charismatic pretender we met early in the novel. Instead, this quotation foreshadows his literal death at the hands of George Wilson, and implies that this is almost unavoidable – that there the most important part of him is already “dead” or destroyed.

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Jekyll and Hyde – Critical Essay

An example paragraph to assist with your own planning – do not use this in your essays; you should write in your own words.

Point (topic sentence): In our first meeting with Mr Hyde, Stevenson immediately explores the theme of addiction through his portrayal of Hyde’s desperate need for isolation.
Evidence (quotation): At Mr Utterson’s first encounter with Hyde, it is clear he is anxious to remain in solitude.
“Mr Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of breath.”
Evaluation (analysis): Stevenson’s description of Hyde and how he “shrank back” suggests that Hyde fears discovery, through its connotations of secrecy and hiding. His use of onomatopoeia in “hissing” explores this further, inferring that he is hissing in pain – as though the thought of discovery is physically painful for him. It is apparent that Hyde does not want to be discovered, especially by Utterson. This first meeting with Hyde effectively emphasises the themes of secrecy and discovery that run throughout the novel, as well as heavily implies classic behaviours of addiction in Hyde’s need to remain hidden. The painful reaction he has to discovery highlights the mysterious nature of his character, and cleverly foreshadows the pain and destruction that this addiction will soon bring about.

Jekyll and Hyde – Critical Essay 1

Here’s the essay question, along with the critical essay structure. Have a look over this and try to think of how you will structure and plan your essay.

Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde is a novella mostly concerned with addiction. How is addiction explored in the text and to what extent do you agree with the previous statement?

PEE Essay Structure

In every paragraph, remember to PEE.

P is for Point: The Point is simply what each paragraph is about- you make a main point in every paragraph you write. This is usually the TOPIC SENTENCE you use.

E is for Evidence: The Evidence is the quotation or description of the scene, shot or technique you are using to back up your point.

E is also for Evaluation: This is the chance for you to explain how the quotation backs up the point you are making, i.e. the 3 steps of analysis. You then need to evaluate it – comment on how successful it is.

The Great Gatsby – Critical Essay 1

Here’s the essay question we voted on in class, along with the critical essay structure. Have a look over this and try to think of how you will structure and plan your essay.

Choose a novel or a short story where there is an incident which is a turning point crucial to the fate of the main character.
Briefly describe what happens at this point and go on to explain why this is crucial to the fate of a main character.

PEE Essay Structure

In every paragraph, remember to PEE.

P is for Point: The Point is simply what each paragraph is about- you make a main point in every paragraph you write. This is usually the TOPIC SENTENCE you use.

E is for Evidence: The Evidence is the quotation or description of the scene, shot or technique you are using to back up your point.

E is also for Evaluation: This is the chance for you to explain how the quotation backs up the point you are making, i.e. the 3 steps of analysis. You then need to evaluate it – comment on how successful it is.

The Great Gatsby – Chapters 8 and 9

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

A sombre end to the novel, where we learn just how fickle celebrity culture and Gatsby’s ideas of the American dream are. Gatsby’s end is tragic, not only for him but for George Wilson, demented by Myrtle’s betrayal and death, and Tom’s not-so-subtle hints.

The final lines are truly beautiful, even more so through their haunting nature – the idea that although we try and try, we cannot recapture the past, or what is lost. This idea is based in much of the context of the novel – the roaring twenties were filled with money and parties and scandal, but perhaps all this noise was simply to fill the emptiness and silence left behind after the brutality of the First World War.

Some questions to ponder:

Chapter 8

  • Gatsby tells his story to Nick.
    “…he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail.” – why does Fitzgerald use the word “grail”?
  • Nick says “They’re a rotten crowd, you’re worth the whole damned bunch put together” – who is he talking about and what does he mean?
  • George Wilson says “God sees everything” – what is he talking about?
  • What does George do? Why?
  • “It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete.”  – why does Fitzgerald use the word “holocaust”?

Chapter 9

  • –What do Tom and Daisy do?
  • How is Tom responsible for Gatbsy’s death?
  • Why did Tom do it?
  • –How does Meyer Wolfsheim respond to Gatsby’s death?
  • How did Gatsby treat his father?
  • Who showed up to the funeral?
  • Was the American dream a failure for Gatsby? For Nick?

Close Reading – Techniques and Guidance

Close Reading for Higher Int 2 EnglishHigher English Close Reading Reading the Passage

Higher Int 2 Close Reading

I know some of you are feeling overwhelmed by the close reading part of the course – don’t panic, it DOES fall into place, I promise.

In the meantime, here’s the PowerPoint with a list of the techniques you need to know, as well as a booklet with hints, tips and practice exercises. You should try to look ovber this a couple of times a week, and refer to it, and the formulae, when completing your homework articles.

If you’re still struggling, don’t be afraid to say or ask questions.