You’re by Plath

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Chapter 3 Key Incident – Inference

1. Look at the opening paragraph. Why might we argue that Michael feels resentful towards the new house?
2. ‘I stood there kicking the heads off a million dandelions’. What does this infer about Michael’s feelings?
3. How does his mum feel? Justify your answer with evidence and explain how you came to this conclusion.
4. Look at the description of Doctor Death (page 6). How does Michael feel towards him? Why might we say the description is sinister or ironic?
5. What can you infer from the description of the garage? Justify your choice by quoting at least 3 times from the text.
6. ‘I thought he was dead.’ Infer why Michael thinks the man is dead.
7. How does Michael feel before he leaves the garage? How does he feel after he’s left the garage?

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S4 Reading Practice

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S5/6 Higher Prose

2014 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel in which loyalty or bravery or trust plays an important part.
Show how the writer explores the idea in a way which adds to your understanding of the central concern(s) of the text.

6. Choose a novel in which the vulnerability of a central character is apparent at one or more than one key point in the text.
Explain the situation(s) in which the character’s vulnerability emerges and discuss the importance of the vulnerability to your understanding of character and/or theme in the text as a whole.

7. Choose a novel in which a character makes a decision which you consider unexpected or unwise or unworthy.
Explain the circumstances surrounding the decision and discuss its importance to your understanding of character and theme in the novel as a whole.
8. Choose a novel or short story in which ideas and/or characters and/or incidents appear to be designed to shock the reader.
Explain what you find shocking about the text and discuss to what extent this enhances your understanding of the text as a whole.

2013 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel in which envy or malice or cruelty plays a significant part.
Explain how the writer makes you aware of this aspect of the text and discuss how the writer’s exploration of it enhances your understanding of the text as a whole.

6. Choose a novel in which a character is influenced by a particular location or setting.
Explain how the character is influenced by the location or setting and discuss how this enhances your understanding of the text as a whole.

7. Choose a novel or short story in which there is an act of kindness or of compassion.
Explain briefly the nature of the act and discuss its importance to your understanding of the text as a whole.

8. Chose a novel in which the death of a character clarifies an important theme in the text.
Show how this theme is explored in the novel as a whole and discuss how the death of the character clarifies the theme.

9. Choose two short stories in which a central character feels threatened or vulnerable.
Compare how this situation is presented in each story and discuss which story is more effective in arousing your sympathy for the central character.

2012 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story which explores loss or futility or failure.
Discuss how the writer explores one of these ideas in a way you find effective.

6. Choose a novel in which a main character refuses to accept advice or to conform to expectations.
Explain the circumstances of the refusal and discuss its importance to your understanding of the character in the novel as a whole.

7. Choose a novel in which a particular mood is dominant.
Explain how the novelist creates this mood and discuss how it contributes to your appreciation of the novel as a whole.

8. Choose a novel or short story in which there is a character who is not only realistic as a person but who has symbolic significance in the text as a whole.
Show how the writer makes you aware of both aspects of the character.

2011 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel in which friendship or love is put to the test.
Explain briefly how this situation arises and go to discuss how the outcome of the test leads you to a greater understanding of the central concern(s) of the text.

6. Choose a novel in which a central character is flawed but remains an admirable figure.
Show how the writer makes you aware of these aspects of personality and discuss how this feature of characterisation enhances your appreciation of the text as a whole.

7. Choose a novel or short story in which the writer explores feelings of rejection or isolation or alienation.
Explain how the writer makes you aware of these feelings and go on to show how this exploration enhances your appreciation of the text as a whole.

8. Choose a novel in which the narrative point of view is a significant feature in your appreciation of the text.
Show how the writer’s use of this feature enhances your understanding on the central concern(s) of the text.

9. Choose two short stories in which setting plays an important role in developing your understanding of character and/or theme.
Which story, in your opinion, is more effective in developing your understanding? Justify your choice by reference to the setting of both stories.

2010 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story which features a relationship between two characters which is confrontational or corrosive.
Describe how the relationship is portrayed and discuss to what extent the nature of the relationship influences your understanding of the text as a whole.

6. Choose a novel in which the novelist makes use of more than one location.
Discuss how the use of different locations allows the novelist to develop the central concern(s) of the text.

7. Choose a novel in which a character experiences a moment of revelation.
Describe briefly what is revealed and discuss its significance to your understanding of character and/or theme.

8. Choose a novel in which a character seeks to escape from the constraints of his or her environment or situation.
Explain why the character feels the need to escape and show how his or her response to the situation illuminates a central concern of the text.

9. Choose two short stories whose openings are crafter to seize the reader’s attention.
Explain in detail how the impact of the openings is created and go on to evaluate which of the stories develops more successfully from its opening.

2009 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story which deals with true love, unrequited love or love betrayed.
Discuss the writer’s exploration of the theme and show to what extent it conveys a powerful message about the nature of love.

6. Choose a novel or short story with a central character you consider to be heroic.
Show how the heroic qualities are revealed and discuss how this portrayal of the character enhances your understanding of the text as a whole.

7. Choose a novel in which the setting in time and/or place is a significant feature.
Show how the writer’s use of setting contributes to your understanding of character and theme.

8. Choose a novel in which there is an incident involving envy or rivalry or distrust.
Explain the nature of the incident and go on to discuss its importance to your understanding of the novel as a whole.

2008 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel which explores the cruelty of human nature.
Show how the writer explores this theme and discuss how its exploration enhances your appreciation of the novel as a whole.

6. Choose a novel in which a confrontation between two characters is of central importance in the text.

7. Choose two short stories which you appreciated because of the surprising nature of their endings.
Compare the techniques used in creating these surprising endings and discuss which ending you feel is more successful as a conclusion.

8. Choose a novel or short story which is set during a period of social or political change.
Discuss how important the writer’s evocation of the period is to your appreciation of the text as a whole.

2007 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel in which a character reaches a crisis point.
Explain briefly how this point is reached and go on to discuss how the character’s response to the situation extends your understanding of him/her.

6. Choose two short stories in which aspects of style contribute significantly to the exploration of theme.

7. Choose a novel with an ending which you found unexpected.
Explain briefly in what way the ending is unexpected and go on to discuss to what extent it is a satisfactory conclusion to the novel.

8. Choose a novel or short story in which one of the main characters is not in harmony with her / his society.
Describe the character’s situation and go on to discuss how it adds to your understanding of a central concern of the text.

2006 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story in which a central character’s failure to understand the reality of his or her situation is an important feature of the text.
Explain how the writer makes you aware of this failure and show how it is important to your appreciation of the text.

6. Choose a novel, set in a time different from your own, with a theme relevant to the world today.
Show how you are led to an appreciation of the theme’s continuing relevance, despite its setting in time.

7. Choose a novel or short story which you feel has a particularly well-chosen title.
Explain why you think the title helps you to appreciate the central idea(s) of the text.

8. Choose a novel in which a key incident involves rejection or disappointment or loss.
Describe briefly the key incident and assess its significance to the text as a whole.

2005 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story in which a family disagreement plays an important part.
Explain the circumstances of the disagreement and show how the writer uses it to
develop theme and/or character.

6. Choose a writer whose short stories often make use of dramatic or shocking or
surprise endings.
By referring to at least two of his/her stories, show how the writer exploits this feature
to give added impact to the stories as a whole.

7. Choose a novel in which the novelist makes effective use of symbolism.
Show how the writer made use of this technique to enhance your appreciation of the
text as a whole.

8. Choose a novel in which an incident reveals a flaw in a central character.
Explain how the incident reveals this flaw and go on to discuss the importance of the flaw in your understanding of the character.

2004 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story in which the writer’s method of narration (such as first person narrative, diary form, journal…) plays a significant part.
Explain briefly the method of narration and then discuss its importance to your appreciation of the text.

6. Choose a novel in which the story’s emotional twists ensure that your interest is held until the end.
Briefly explain how these twists involve you in the story and then discuss how they lead to a deeper appreciation of the text as a whole.

7. Choose a novel or short story in which the fate of a main character is important in conveying the writer’s theme.
Explain what you consider the theme to be and discuss how effectively the fate of the character conveys it.

8. Choose a novel in which your admiration for a particular character grows as the plot unfolds.
Explain briefly why you admiration increases and, in more detail, discuss how the writer achieves this.

2003 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story in which the writer’s use of setting in time and/or place has a significant part to play in your appreciation of the text as a whole.
Give the relevant details of the setting and then discuss fully why it has such significance.

6. Choose a novel which had such an impact on you that you still reflect upon its message.
Explain why the novel has had such an impact on you.

7. Choose a novel or short story which reaches a climax which you find dramatic or moving or disturbing.
Explain how the writer achieves the effect and discuss how it contributes to your appreciation of the text as a whole.

8. Choose a novel which caused you to reconsider your views on an important human issue. Explain what the issue is and go on to discuss how the writer made you reconsider your views.

2002 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel or short story in which a conflict between two of the main characters is central to the story.
Explain how the conflict arises and go on to discuss in detail how the writer uses it to explore an important theme.

6. Choose a novel which you enjoyed because of the effectiveness of its ending.
Explain how the ending satisfies you and adds to your appreciation of the novel.

7. Choose a novel or short story in which a technique (such as symbolism) is used by the author and is, in your view, vital to the success of the text.
Explain how the writer employs this technique and why, in your opinion, it is so important to your appreciation of the text.

8. Choose a novel or short story in which the main character faces a dilemma.
Outline briefly what the dilemma is and go on to discuss how the character’s reaction to it gives you a deeper understanding of the text as a whole.

2001 Exam Paper

5. Choose a novel which explores in an effective way a theme which is important to you.
Explain how the novelist introduces and develops the theme and show to what extent she or he has effectively engaged your interest in it.

6. Choose a novel in which a main character is seen to grow or mature in the course of the story.
Show how the novelist engages your interest in the character and his or her development.

7. Choose a novel which is influenced by the presence of a powerful or overbearing
character.
Show how the novelist creates this impression of the character and discuss to what extent you felt you could sympathise with him or her.

8. Choose a novel or short story in which a central character’s failure to understand the reality of his or her situation is an important feature of the text.
Explain how the writer makes you aware of this failure and show how it is important to your appreciation of the text.

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Higher Drama Questions

Good luck for Monday

2014 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which a central character experiences rejection, isolation or loneliness.
Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the character’s situation and discuss how it adds to your understanding of character and/or theme in the play as a whole.

2. Choose a play which features one of the following conflicts: traditional values versus modern thinking; duty versus self-interest; delusion versus self-awareness.

Show how the dramatist presents this conflict and discuss how it affects your response to the play as a whole.

3. Choose a play in which the opening scene establishes important elements of mood and/or character.
Show in detail how these elements are established in the opening scene and discuss how this contributes to your understanding of the central concern(s) of the play as a whole.

4. Choose a play in which the setting in time and/or place is an important feature.

Show how the dramatist exploits aspects of the setting in a way which enhances your understanding of the central concern(s) of the play as a whole.

2013 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which a central character is slow to understand fully the seriousness of his or her situation.
Explain how this situation has developed and discuss how the character’s behaviour influences your overall assessment of him or her.

2. Choose a play which explores one of the following: the nature of heroism, the impact of self-delusion, the burden of responsibility.
Discuss how the dramatist explores this central concern through her or his presentation of one or more than one character.

3. Choose a play in which the action involves an element of disguise or subterfuge or concealment.
Discuss how the dramatist’s use of this feature adds to your overall appreciation of the play.

4. Choose from a play a scene in which you consider a character makes a significant error of judgement.
Briefly explain the nature of this error of judgement and discuss how this error and its consequences influence your understanding of character and/ or theme in the play as a whole.
2012 Exam Paper

1 Choose a play in which a character shows signs of instability at one or more than one key point in the play.
Explain the reason(s) for the character’s instability and discuss how this feature adds to your understanding of the central concern(s) of the play.

2. Choose a play in which an important part is played by one of the following: crime, punishment, retribution.
Show how the dramatist explores the issue and discuss its importance to your understanding of character and/or theme in the play as a whole.

3. Choose from a play a scene which you found amusing or moving or disturbing.
Explain how the scene provokes this response and discuss how this aspect of the scene contributes to your understanding of the play as a whole.

4. Choose a play in which a central character’s changing view of himself/herself is an important feature.
Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the character’s changing view of himself/herself and discuss how this affects your understanding of the character in the play as a whole.

2011 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which a character feels insecure about his or her position within the society or social group to which he or she belongs.
Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the character’s insecurity and discuss how it influences your appreciation of character and/or theme in the play as a whole.

2. Choose from a play a scene in which manipulation, temptation or humiliation is an important feature.
Explain what happens in the scene and go on to show how the outcome of the manipulation, temptation or humiliation adds to your appreciation of the play as a whole.

3. Choose a play in which the dramatist creates tension at the beginning or the end.
Explain how the tension is created and discuss how it contributes to an effective introduction or conclusion to the play.

4. Choose a play in which a power struggle is central to the action.
Explain briefly the circumstances of the power struggle and discuss the extent to which it contributes to your appreciation of theme and/or character in the play as a whole.

2010 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which a central concern is clarified by contrast between two characters.
Discuss how the dramatist’s presentation of the contrast between the two characters adds to your understanding of this central concern.

2. Choose a play in which a central character experiences not only inner conflict but also conflict with one (or more than one) other character.
Explain the nature of both conflicts and discuss which one you consider to be more important in terms of character development and/or dramatic impact.

3. Choose from a play a scene in which tension builds to a climax.
Explain how the dramatist creates and develops this tensions, and discuss the extent to which the scene has thematic as well as dramatic significance.

4. Choose a play which explores one of the following as a central concern: sacrifice, courage, integrity, steadfastness of purpose.
Show how the dramatist introduces and develops the central concern in a way which you find effective.

2009 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which a central character behaves in an obsessive manner.
Describe the nature of the character’s obsessive behaviour and discuss the influence this behaviour has on your understanding of the character in the play as a whole.

2. Choose a play which you feel is made particularly effective by features of structure such as: dramatic opening, exposition, flashback, contrast, turning-point, climax, anticlimax, denouement…
Show how one or more than one structural feature employed by the dramatist adds to the impact of the play.

3. Choose from a play a scene which significantly changes your view of a character.
Explain how the scene prompts this reappraisal and discuss how important it is to your understanding of the character in the play as a whole.

4. Choose a play set in a society whose values conflict with those of a central character or characters.
Describe this difference in values and discuss how effectively the opposition of values enhances your appreciation of the play as a whole.

2008 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which a central character is heroic yet vulnerable.
Show how the dramatist makes you aware of both qualities and discuss how they affect your response to the character’s fate in the play as a whole.

4. Choose a play which explores the theme of love in difficult circumstances.
Explain how the dramatist introduces the theme and discuss how in the course of the play he/she prepares you for the resolution of the drama.

5. Choose from a play a scene in which an important truth is revealed.
Briefly explain what the important truth is and assess the significance of its revelation to your understanding of theme or character.

6. Choose a play in which a character has to exist in a hostile environment.
Briefly describe the environment and discuss the extent to which it influences your response to the character’s behaviour and to the outcome of the play.

2007 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play which has a theme of revenge or betrayal or sacrifice.
Show how the dramatist explores your chosen theme and discuss how this treatment enhances your appreciation of the play as a whole.

2. Choose from a play an important scene which you found particularly entertaining or particularly shocking.
Explain briefly why the scene is important to the play as a whole and discuss in detail how the dramatist makes the scene so entertaining or shocking.

3. Choose a play in which a character makes a crucial error.
Explain what the error is and discuss to what extent it is important to your understanding of the character’s situation in the play as a whole.

4. Choose a play in which the relationship between a male and a female character changes significantly.
Show how the relationship between the two characters changes and discuss to what extent this illuminates a central idea of the play.

2006 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which the dramatist’s use of contrast between two characters is important to your understanding of one of them.
Discuss how your understanding of this character is strengthened by the contrast.

2. Choose a play in which the conclusion leaves you with mixed emotions but clearly conveys the dramatist’s message.
Briefly explain how the mixed emotions are aroused by the conclusion and then discuss how you are given a clear understanding of the message of the play as a whole.

3. Choose a play which underlines how one person’s flaw(s) can have a significant impact on other people as well as on himself or himself.
Explain briefly the nature of the flaw(s) and then, in detail, assess how much the character and others are affected.

4 Choose a play in which an important theme is effectively highlighted by one specific scene or incident.
Explain how the theme is explored in the play as a whole and then show in detail how the chosen scene or incident effectively highlights it.

2005 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which a character keeps something hidden or pretends to be
something she or he is not.
Explain the reasons(s) for the character’s behaviour and discuss how it affects your attitude to the character.

2. Choose a play whose main theme is made clear early in the action.
Show how the dramatist introduces the theme and discuss how successfully he or she goes on to develop it.

3. Choose a play in which one scene or moment determines the fate of a main character.
Explain fully why you think this is the key moment in the character’s fortunes.

4. Choose a play in which a character is seeking the truth, avoiding the truth or hiding the truth.
Explain to what extent the character achieves this aim and discuss how the dramatist uses the situation to reveal important aspects of the character’s role in the play as a whole.

2004 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play which features one of the following themes: appearance versus reality; good versus evil; dreams versus reality; youth versus age.
Show how the dramatist develops one of these themes and discuss how the exploration of this theme enhances your appreciation of the play as a whole.

2. Choose a play in which the dramatist creates a sense of mystery at or near the beginning of the play.
Show how the dramatist creates the sense of mystery and then discuss to what extent the resolution of the mystery is important to the play as a whole.

3. Choose a play in which the mood is mainly dark or pessimistic.
Show how the dramatist creates this mood and discuss how appropriate it is to the main idea(s) of the play.

4. Choose a play in which your attitude to a central character varies at different stages of the action.
Show how the skill of the dramatist causes your attitude to change.

2003 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which the dramatist explores the idea of rebellion against authority.
Explain briefly the circumstances which give rise to the rebellion and discuss how successfully you think the dramatist explores the idea.

2. Choose a play in which there is a scene involving intense emotion.
Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the intensity of the emotion in the scene and discuss the importance of the scene to the drama as a whole.

3. Choose a play which you have read and watched in performance.
Compare your reading of a key scene with its presentation in performance.

4. Choose a play in which a character feels increasingly isolated from the community in which he or she lives.
Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the conflict and discuss the extent to which you find the resolution of the conflict satisfying.

2002 Exam Paper

1. Choose a play in which there is a scene which provides a turning point in the drama.
Explain why it is a turning point and go on to discuss the importance of the scene to your appreciation of the play as a whole.

2. Choose a play in which there is a breakdown in family relationship(s).
Explain the reason(s) for the breakdown and discuss the extent to which it is important to the play as a whole.

3. Choose a play in which one of the character’s weaknesses were stronger than their strengths.
Explain what happened to this character and then discuss how it affects your view of their situation.

4. Choose a play involving the death of a central character.
Show to what extent the dramatist convinces you that it is an appropriate way to end the play.

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Good Luck New Higher

Good luck for Monday S5 – if you require any help, please email me!
Remember to plan for the different essay types; key scene or turning point, character, theme, relationship/ conflict.
Use your essay questions to work out how these questions are hidden/ masqueraded. Is it a key scene? Is it a character question? Remember it’s not always very obvious!
For prose remember the same – character, theme, conflict, setting, key incident! Know what mind of question it is.

For close reading – practise with good quality news papers! Practise with past papers!

Scot Text – get on BBC Bitesize
for study and revision.

Posted in New Higher 2015 | Leave a comment

Good Luck S4

Good luck for Monday S4 – if you require any help, please email me!
Remember to plan for the different essay types; key scene or turning point, character, theme, relationship/ conflict.
Use your essay questions to work out how these questions are hidden/ masqueraded. Is it a key scene? Is it a character question? Remember it’s not always very obvious!

Only pick drama!

For close reading – practise with good quality news papers! Practise with past papers!

Scot Text – get on BBC Bitesize
for study and revision.
Links to SQA past paper – http://www.sqa.org.uk/pastpapers/papers/papers/2014/N5_English_all_2014.pdf

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