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B Questions (H)

Past Exam Questions (By Category)

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  • 2002, Text 2:  Drawing on the detail in the text, and its accompanying illustration, draft the text of an advertisement that offers the home and its contents for sale.

 

Articles

  • 2013, Text 2: Your class has decided to produce a book about “un-heroic” or ordinary people as a fund-raiser for a local charity. Write the text for the introduction of this book, in which you explain the purpose of the book and why your class thinks it is important to celebrate ordinary people.
  • 2013, Text 3: Write an opinion piece, for inclusion in a series of newspaper articles entitled Must-see Attractions for Tourists, in which you identify one place or public building in Ireland that, in your opinion, tourists should visit and explain your choice.
  • 2012, Text 3: Your school’s Student Council is currently discussing the issue of school outings, educational trips, theatre visits, etc. Write a persuasive article for your school website supporting or opposing such events.
  • 2011, Text 1: Write a feature article for a travel magazine about a place you have never been to but would like to visit. In your article explain what you find fascinating about this place and why you would like to go there.
  • 2008, Text 2: Students in your school have been invited to contribute articles to the school website on issues relevant to young people. This week’s issue is “We are what we wear”. Write an article for the website expressing your views on the topic.
  • 2001, Text 2: In the text, Mary Robinson refers to the importance of “the local community”. Write a short article (150-200 words) about a project or activity in your local community, which you admire or condemn.

 

Diary Entries

  • 2011, Text 3: Imagine you are Sarah, the young girl in Text 3. Based on your reading of this extract, write two diary entries, one shortly before and one shortly after your journey to Dublin.
  • 2008, Text 2: Write two diary entries: one written by Alexander, recalling his encounter with Eva in Tompkins Square Park and the second by Zach, giving his thoughts on hearing that Eva has purchased the violin.
  • 2006, Text 1: Imagine that, in an attempt to control his feelings, the boy in Text 1 writes into his diary an account of the incident and his reactions to it. Write out his diary entry.
  • 2005, Text 1: Write three diary entries that Margaret Ann might have written over a series of Saturday evenings. Your writing should relate to her experience as described in the passage.
  • 2003, Text 3: Write three or four diary entries that record the details of a disastrous holiday (real or imaginary) that you experienced.
  • 2001, Text 4: Choose one of the people pictured in Text 4 and write four short diary entries that your chosen person might write on one important day in his/her life. You should indicate clearly the person you have chosen and you should write the diary entries as though you were that person.

 

Interviews

  • 2010, Text 1: Imagine yourself fifty years from now. You have achieved great success and public recognition in your chosen career. Write the text of an interview (questions and answers) about the experiences and influences in your youth that contributed to your later success.

 

Leaflets

  • 2007, Text 1: Imagine you are running for the position of Student Council President in your school. Compose an informative election leaflet encouraging students to vote for you. It should outline your own leadership qualities and the changes you would like to introduce into your school.

 

Letters

  • 2014, Text 3: Inspired by Seamus Heaney’s essay about the importance of objects from the past, your class has decided to organise an exhibition celebrating the significance of objects from childhood in the lives of well-known people. Write the letter you would send to a well-known person, inviting him or her to contribute an object from his or her childhood and a written explanation regarding its personal significance. In your letter, you should explain the inspiration for the project and include, as an example, a piece you have written about an object from your childhood that is of significance to you.
  • 2012, Text 1: Write a letter to Margaret Laurence, in response to Text 1, commenting on what you find interesting in the extract, and telling her about your home place and its impact on you.
  • 2010, Text 2: Write a letter (dated June 2010), intended to be read by future generations, in which you express your hopes for planet Earth in the year 2050.
  • 2009, Text 3: Imagine your art teacher is compiling a photographic exhibition to reflect the lives of young people today. She has asked students to suggest images they would like included. Write a letter to your art teacher proposing five images that you believe should be included and give reasons for your decision in each case.
  • 2008, Text 1: Imagine your art teacher is compiling a photographic exhibition to reflect the lives of young people today. She has asked students to suggest images they would like included. Write a letter to your art teacher proposing five images that you believe should be included and give reasons for your decision in each case.
  • 2007, Text 3:  Imagine you have a friend in another country which is considering the introduction of a ban on smoking in public places. Write a letter to your friend advising him/her either to support or not to support the proposed ban. In giving your advice you may wish to draw on the recent experience of the smoking ban in Ireland.
  • 2006, Text 2: Write a letter to a famous writer or celebrity or sports personality of your choice offering your services as a ghost writer for a future book. In your letter you should outline the reasons why you believe you would make a successful ghost writer for your chosen author.
  • 2005, Text 2: Write a letter to a photographic magazine in which you propose one of the four images for the award “Best War Photograph of the Year.”
  • 2004, Text 3: Write a letter to one of the people from the collection of visual images in this text, indicating what appeals and/or does not appeal to you about the work which that person does.
  • 2003, Text 1: Imagine that you have discovered a time capsule containing a number of items from the distant or more recent past. Write a letter to a local or national newspaper announcing your find and describing the items contained in the capsule.
  • 2002, Text 1: Choose one of the visual images in this text and, in a letter to Carl Sandburg, write your response to its inclusion in the exhibition of photographs entitled The Family of Man.

 

Memos

  • 2005, Text 3: Imagine that as a reporter for a local newspaper you plan to interview a celebrity of your choice. Write a proposal/memo for the editor of your newspaper in which you explain why you want to interview this celebrity and giving an outline of the areas you hope to explore in the course of the interview.

 

News Reports

  • 2014, Text 1: Imagine that the story of the disappearance of Dell Parsons, outlined in Text 1, has captured the public’s imagination. You are a reporter with a national radio station. Write the text of a news report, on the Dell Parson’s story, to be delivered on the station’s main evening news bulletin. In your report you should communicate the facts of the case as known (based on Text 1) and further speculate as to Dell’s whereabouts and possible developments in the story.

 

Proposals

  • 2012, Text 2: Write a proposal, to be submitted to the relevant authority (e.g. local council or national body), suggesting one event or person you believe should be commemorated. Explain why you feel this person or event should be commemorated and suggest what form this commemoration might take.

 

Reports

  • 2006, Text 3: There is much discussion as to whether or not young people are being exploited by advertisers. Write a short report to the Advertising Standards Authority outlining your views on the matter.
  • 2004, Text 2: Imagine that Mr Pappleworth is asked, on the basis of Paul’s first day at work, to write a report giving his impressions of Paul Morel as an employee. Write the text of his report.

 

Scripts

  • 2009, Text 1: Imagine you are making a cartoon film (featuring animals as characters) either to promote or oppose zoos. Write the script of a scene (in dialogue form) between two of the animal characters.

 

Speeches and Talks

  • 2014, Text 2: The text is based on a series of public lectures delivered by various writers on the topic of influence. Young people today are subject to many influences. Write the text of a talk you would deliver to your class in which you consider some of the positive and negative influences on young people’s lives today and how they respond to these influences.
  • 2013, Text 1: You have been asked to give a talk to your class entitled: Television and radio in the lives of young people today. Write the text of the talk you would deliver to your class in which you consider the role of television and radio in the lives of young people today.
  • 2011, Text 2: Write a talk, to be delivered to your School Book Club, on the enduring appeal of the mysterious in books, films, etc. You might refer to some of the following aspects of the mystery genre in your answer: setting, tension, suspense, dialogue, characterisation, atmosphere, music, special effects, etc.
  • 2010, Text 3: Write the text for a short radio talk where you explain the importance of books in your life and in today’s world.
  • 2009, Text 2: Write a short speech in which you attempt to persuade a group of parents that older teenagers should be trusted to make their own decisions.
  • 2007, Text 2: Imagine your local radio station is producing a series of programmes entitled “Changing Times”, in which teenagers are asked to give their views on the changes they welcome in the world around them. You have been invited to contribute. Write out the text of the presentation you would make.
  • 2004, Text 1: You have been asked to give a short talk to a group of students who are about to start first year in your school. Write out the text of the talk you would give.
  • 2003, Text 2: You have been asked to give a short talk on radio about an interesting journey you have made. Write out the text of the talk you would give.
  • 2002, Text 3: You have been asked to give a short talk on radio or television about a fundamental human right that you would like to see supported more strongly. Write out the text of the talk you would give.
  • 2001, Text 1: Imagine your job is to welcome a group of foreign students to Ireland. Write out the text of a short talk (150-200 words) in which you advise them how best to get along with the Irish people they will meet.
  • 2001, Text 3: Imagine your local radio station is producing a programme entitled Comic Moments in which a person from the community introduces his/her favourite comic moment from the world of radio, television, or live performance. Write the text (150-200 words) of the presentation you would like to make.

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Comparative Study: Past and Sample Exam Questions (H)

Cultural Context

2014

“Various social groups, both large and small, (such as family, friends, organisations or community) reflect the cultural context in texts.”

Compare the extent to which one or more social groups reflect the cultural context of at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“The cultural context within a text often dictates the crises or difficulties faced by characters and their responses to these difficulties.”

(a) Discuss to what extent this statement applies to at least one central character in one of the texts that you have studied as part of your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the extent to which the above statement is applicable to at least one central character in each of two other texts you have studied on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2013

“In any cultural context, deeply embedded values and attitudes can be difficult to change.”

Compare the extent to which the above statement is valid in relation to your understanding of the cultural context of at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“The issue of social class is important in shaping our understanding of the cultural context of a text.”

(a) Discuss the importance of social class in shaping your understanding of the cultural context of one text that you have studied as part of your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the importance of social class in shaping your understanding of the cultural context of two other texts that you have studied as part of your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2011

“A reader can feel uncomfortable with the values and attitudes presented in texts.”

Compare the extent to which the values and attitudes that you encountered, in at least two texts on your comparative course, made you feel uncomfortable.

OR

“The roles and status allocated to males or females can be central to understanding the cultural context of a text.”

(a) Show how this statement might apply to one text on your comparative course. In your answer you may refer to the roles and status allocated to either males or females, or both. (30 marks)

(b) Compare how the roles and status allocated to males or females, or both, aided your understanding of the cultural context in two other texts on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2009

“The main characters in texts are often in conflict with the world or culture they inhabit.”

In the light of the above statement, compare how the main characters interact with the cultural contexts of the texts you have studied for your comparative course.

OR

“Understanding the cultural context of a text allows you to see how values and attitudes are shaped.”

(a) Show how this statement applies to one of the texts on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the way in which values and attitudes are shaped in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

2007

Imagine that you are a journalist sent to investigate the cultural context of the worlds of the three texts from your comparative course.

(a) Write an article on the cultural context that you found most interesting. (30 marks)

(b) In a second article compare the cultural contexts of the other two worlds with each other. (40 marks)

OR

“The cultural context can have a significant influence on the behaviour of the central character/characters in a text.”

Compare the way in which the behaviour of the central characters in at least two of your texts is influenced by the cultural context of those texts.

 

2003

Write an essay in which you compare the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of your understanding of the term, the cultural context.

OR

(a) With reference to one of the texts you have studied in your comparative course, write a note on the way/s in which the cultural context is established by the author. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the ways in which the cultural context is established by the authors of two other texts on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2002

“A narrative text creates its own unique world in which the reader can share.”

Write a response to the above statement in which you compare the texts you have studied as part of your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts

OR

(a) What is your understanding of the term Cultural Context in relation to any one of the texts in your comparative course? Support your view by reference to at least one key moment from your chosen text. (30 marks)

(b) Compare two other texts from your comparative course in the light of your understanding of the term Cultural Context as you have discussed it in part (a) above. Support the comparisons you make by reference to at least one key moment from each of these two texts. (40 marks)

 

 

General Vision and Viewpoint

2014

“Significant events in texts and the impact they have on readers often help to clarify the general vision and viewpoint of those texts.”

With reference to three texts on your comparative course, compare the ways in which at least one significant event in each text, and its impact on you, helped to clarify the general vision and viewpoint of these texts.

OR

“The extent to which a reader can relate an aspect of the text to his or her experience of life, helps to shape an understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of that text.”

(a) Discuss this view in relation to your study of one text on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to the text you referred to in (a) above and at least one other text from your comparative course, compare how two other aspects of the texts (excluding the aspect discussed discussed in (a) above) influenced your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of those texts. (40 marks)

 

2012

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be shaped by the reader’s attitude to a central character.”

Compare the extent to which your attitude to a central character helped shape your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“Various aspects of texts can provoke a range of emotional responses in readers which aid the construction of the general vision and viewpoint.”

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, what aspects of the text shaped your emotional response and helped you to construct the general vision and viewpoint of that text? (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare the aspects of these texts that shaped your emotional response and helped you to construct the general vision and viewpoint of these texts. (40 marks)

 

2010

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be determined by the success or failure of a central character in his/her efforts to achieve fulfilment.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course

OR

(a) How did you come to your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint in any one of the texts you read as part of your comparative course? (30 marks)

(b) Write a comparison between two other texts on your course in the light of your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint in those texts. (40 marks)

 

2007

“A reader’s understanding of the general vision and viewpoint is influenced by key moments in the text.”

(a) Choose a key moment from one of your chosen texts and show how it influenced your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other chosen texts compare the way in which key moments influence your understanding of the general vision and viewpoint of those texts. (40 marks)

OR

“ The general vision and viewpoint is shaped by the reader’s feeling of
optimism or pessimism in reading the text.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course.

 

2005

“Each text we read presents us with an outlook on life that may be bright or dark, or a combination of brightness and darkness.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts you have studied in your comparative course.

OR

(a) With reference to one of the texts you have studied in your comparative course, write a note on the general vision and viewpoint in the text and on how it is communicated to the reader. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the general vision and viewpoint in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

2003

“The general vision and viewpoint of texts can be quite similar or very different.”

In the light of the above statement, compare the general vision and viewpoint in at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

(a) What did you enjoy about the exploration of the general vision and viewpoint in any one of the texts you read as part of your comparative study? Support your answer by reference to the text. (30 marks)

(b) Write a short comparison between two other texts from your course in the light of your answer to part (a) above. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

Sample 1

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be changed or reinforced by the ending of the texts.”

In light of the above statement, compare how the general vision and viewpoint of at least two texts on your comparative course is changed or reinforced by the ending of the texts.

OR

“The general vision and viewpoint of a text can be highlighted by the actions of a character or characters in the text.”

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, how was the general vision and viewpoint of the text highlighted by the actions of a character or characters? (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare how the general vision and viewpoint of the texts were highlighted by the actions of characters in the texts.

 

 

Literary Genre

2012

“Authors make use of a variety of techniques to shape memorable characters.”

Identify and compare the techniques used to shape one or more memorable characters in at least two texts you have encountered on your comparative course.

OR

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, discuss the author’s use of setting (or settings) as an effective feature of good story telling. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare how the authors use settings as an effective feature of good story telling. (40 marks)

 

2010

“The unexpected is essential to the craft of story-telling.”

Compare how the authors of the comparative texts you have studied used the unexpected in their texts. You may confine your answer to key moments in the texts.

OR

“Aspects of narrative contribute to your response to a text.”

(a) With reference to one of your chosen texts, identify at least two aspects of narrative and discuss how those aspects contributed to your response to that text. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts compare how aspects of narrative contributed to your response to these texts.

In answer to question (b) you may use the aspects of narrative discussed in (a) above or any other aspects of narrative. (40 marks)

 

2008

“A good text will have moments of great emotional power.”

(a) With reference to a key moment in one of your texts show how this emotional power was created. (30 marks)

(b) Take key moments from the other two texts from your comparative course and compare the way in which the emotional power of these scenes was created. (40 marks)

OR

“The creation of memorable characters is part of the art of good story-telling.”

Write an essay comparing the ways in which memorable characters were created and contributed to your enjoyment of the stories in the texts you have studied for your comparative course. It will be sufficient to refer to the creation of one character from each of your chosen texts.

 

2005

Write a talk to be given to Leaving Certificate students in which you explain the term Literary Genre and show them how to compare the telling of stories in at least two texts from the comparative course.

OR

“Powerful images and incidents are features of all good story-telling.”

(a) Show how this statement applies to one of the texts on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the way in which powerful images and incidents are features of the story-telling in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

 

2001

Write an essay on one or more of the aspects of literary genre (the way texts tell their stories) which you found most interesting in the texts you studied in your comparative course. Your essay should make clear comparisons between the texts you choose to write about.

OR

“No two texts are exactly the same in the manner in which they tell their stories.”

(a) Compare two of the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

(b) Write a short comparative commentary on a third text from your comparative study in the light of your discussion in part (a) above. (30 marks)

 

 

Theme or Issue

2013

“Studying a theme or issue enables a reader to form both personal and universal reflections on that theme or issue.”

Compare both the personal and universal reflections that you formed on a common theme or issue in two or more texts from your comparative course.

OR

2. “In many texts, a theme or issue may not be resolved to the complete satisfaction of the reader.”

(a) Discuss the extent to which a theme or issue is resolved to your satisfaction in one text on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the extent to which the same theme or issue (as discussed in (a) above) is resolved to your satisfaction, in two other texts on your comparative course. (40 marks)

 

2011

“A reader’s view of a theme or issue can be either changed or reinforced through interaction with texts.”

Compare the extent to which your understanding of a theme or issue was changed or reinforced through your interaction with at least two texts on your comparative course.

OR

“The study of a theme or issue can offer a reader valuable lessons and insights.”

(a) Identify and discuss at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained through the study of a theme or issue in one text on your comparative course. (30 marks)

(b) Compare at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained, from studying the same theme or issue (as discussed in (a) above), in two other texts on your comparative course.

The valuable lesson or insight may be the same, or different, to the one discussed in (a) above. (40 marks)

 

2009

“Important themes are often expressed in key moments in texts.”

Compare how the authors of the comparative texts studied by you used key moments to heighten your awareness of an important theme.

OR

(a) Choose a theme from one text you have studied as part of your comparative course and say how it helped maintain your interest in the text. (30 marks)

(b) Compare how the theme you have dealt with in part (a) is treated by the authors of two other texts from your comparative course to maintain the reader’s interest. (40 marks)

 

2008

“The comparative study of a theme or issue allows the reader/viewer to gain a variety of viewpoints on that theme or issue.”

(a) Describe the viewpoint on your chosen theme or issue that emerges from one of your comparative texts. (30 marks)

(b) Compare the viewpoints on the same theme in the other two texts that you have studied. (40 marks)

OR

“There are key moments in a text when a theme comes sharply into focus.”

Compare how key moments from the texts you have studied brought a theme or issue into sharp focus.

 

2006

“In careful reading/viewing of key moments of texts we often find important themes or issues which are developed in the text as a whole.”

(a) Compare how key moments of two texts you have studied in your
comparative course raised an important theme or issue. (40 marks)

(b) In the case of a third text show how a key moment helped in your
understanding of the same theme or issue discussed in part (a). (30 marks)

OR

“The dramatic presentation of a theme or issue can add greatly to the impact of narrative texts.”

Write an essay comparing how the presentation of a theme or issue, common to the texts you have studied for your comparative course, added to the impact of the texts.

 

2004

“Exploring a theme or issue through different texts allows us to make interesting comparisons.”

Write an essay comparing the treatment of a single theme that is common to the texts you have studied for your comparative course.

OR

“Any moment in a text can express a major theme or issue.”

(a) Choose a moment from each of two texts you have studied for your
comparative course and compare the way these moments express the
same theme or issue. (40 marks)

(b) Show how a third text you have studied expresses the same theme or issue through a key moment. (30 marks)

 

2002

“A theme or issue explored in a group of narrative texts can offer us valuable insights into life.”

Compare the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement.Your discussion must focus on one theme or issue. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts.

OR

(a) Compare the treatment of a theme or issue in two of the texts you have studied as part of your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40 marks)

(b) Discuss the treatment of the same theme or issue in a third text in the light of your answer to part (a) above. (30 marks)

 

2001

“Narratives can broaden our understanding of a theme or issue.”

Compare the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement. Support your comparisons by reference to the texts.

OR

2. “A key moment in a narrative text can illustrate a theme or issue very powerfully.”

(a) Choose one of the texts you studied as part of your comparative course and show how an important moment from it illustrates a theme or issue. (30 marks)

(b) Write a short comparative commentary on one key moment from each of the other texts you have studied in the light of your discussion in part (a) above. (40 marks)

 

Sample 1

“The study of a theme or issue can challenge the reader’s attitudes or opinions.”

Compare how your study of a theme or issue in at least two texts on your comparative course challenged your attitudes or opinions.

OR

“A theme or issue can reveal a character’s strengths or weaknesses.”

(a) With reference to one text on your comparative course, discuss how a theme or issue revealed a character’s strengths or weaknesses. (30 marks)

(b) With reference to two other texts on your comparative course, compare how the same theme or issue revealed characters’ strengths or weaknesses. (40 marks)

Pride and Prejudice: Past and Sample Exam Questions (H)

Past Exam Questions (Reverse Chronological Order)

2014

(i)  “Readers can both admire Elizabeth Bennet’s character and learn a variety of lessons from her experiences.”

To what extent do you agree with this view? Support your answer with suitable reference to the novel, Pride and Prejudice.

OR

(ii)  “Throughout the novel, Pride and Prejudice, Austen uses a variety of techniques to entertain her readers and provide commentary on the society of her day.”

Discuss this view of the novel, supporting your answer with suitable reference to the text.

 

2007

(i)  Jane Austen particularly liked Elizabeth Bennet as a character. Did you?

Write your personal response to the character of Elizabeth outlining the qualities that did or did not appeal to you. Your answer should make use of reference to the text in support of your points.

OR

(ii)  “Marriage rather than love is the central theme of Pride and Prejudice.”

Do you agree with this assessment of the novel? Give reasons for your answer supporting them with the aid of suitable reference to the text.

 

2006

(i)  “What fascinates the reader of Pride and Prejudice is the relationship between the central characters of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy.”

Write a response to this statement, supporting your views by reference to the text.

OR

(ii)  “In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen laughs at the follies of her characters without being cruel to them.”

To what extent would you agree with this view? Support your points by reference to the text.

 

Sample and Past Exam Questions (By Category)

Character

  • 2006: “In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen laughs at the follies of her characters without being cruel to them.”
  • Elizabeth Bennet is a credible heroine due to her faults as well as her strengths.
  • The appearance of characters in society acts as a shield to their true selves.
  • Discuss gender roles in the novel.

Elizabeth Bennet

  • 2014: “Readers can both admire Elizabeth Bennet’s character and learn a variety of lessons from her experiences.”
  • 2007:  Jane Austen particularly liked Elizabeth Bennet as a character. Did you? Write your personal response to the character of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and Mr Darcy

  • 2006: “What fascinates the reader of Pride and Prejudice is the relationship between the central characters of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy.”

Minor Characters

  • “In Pride and Prejudice the sources of mirth lie chiefly in the minor characters…”  (A.C. Bradley)

 

Style

  • 2014: “Throughout the novel, Pride and Prejudice, Austen uses a variety of techniques to entertain her readers and provide commentary on the society of her day.”
  • Austen uses letters in the novel to reveal insights into characters and situations as a narrative device.

 

Theme

  • 2007: “Marriage rather than love is the central theme of Pride and Prejudice.”
  • Prejudice in society and pride amongst its people stand in the way of love.
  • Pride and Prejudice is a novel about courtship. Do you agree with this statement?
  • Austen’s working title for the novel was First Impressions. Do you think this title embodies the theme of prejudice and appearances in the novel?
  • The appearance of characters in society shields their true selves.
  • Society and social class are major themes in the novel. Discuss.

Empire of the Sun: Past and Sample Exam Questions (H)

Past Exam Questions (Reverse Chronological Order)

2014

(i)  “Despite his experiences throughout the story, in many ways Jim’s character remains unchanged.”

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view of the character of Jim Graham? Support your answer with suitable reference to Ballard’s novel, Empire of the Sun.

OR

(ii)  “In the novel, Empire of the Sun, Ballard presents readers with both horror and humanity to create a compelling account of war.”

Discuss this view of the novel, supporting your answer with suitable reference to the text.

 

2012

(i)  Explain how the characteristics that Jim displays, in the course of the novel, enable him to survive in desperate circumstances.

Support your answer with suitable reference to Ballard’s novel, Empire of the Sun.

OR

(ii)  “Ballard uses various literary techniques to create a realistic portrayal of war in his novel, Empire of the Sun.”

Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with suitable reference to the novel.

 

Sample and Past Exam Questions (By Category)

Character

  • 2014: “Despite his experiences throughout the story, in many ways Jim’s character remains unchanged.”
  • 2012: Explain how the characteristics that Jim displays, in the course of the novel, enable him to survive in desperate circumstances.
  • The characters Jim meets during the course of the novel teach him about life and growing up. Discuss the impact at least two of the characters have on Jim.
  • Discuss how Jim changes in the course of the novel.

 

Style

  • 2014: “In the novel, Empire of the Sun, Ballard presents readers with both horror and humanity to create a compelling account of war.”
  • 2012:  “Ballard uses various literary techniques to create a realistic portrayal of war in his novel, Empire of the Sun.”

 

Theme

  • The novel is a coming of age story, tracking Jim’s transformation from child to maturation and loss of innocence. Do you think this is a fair assessment of the novel?
  • Survival, not heroism, is a central theme in Empire of the Sun. Do you agree with this statement?
  • Morality is not black and white in Empire of the Sun, but changes according to circumstances of war. Discuss Ballard’s depiction of morality in the novel.

Translations: Sample Exam Questions (H)

Past Exam Questions (Reverse Chronological Order)

2014

(i)  “Many of the main characters experience conflicting loyalties and learn bitter lessons during the course of the play, Translations.”

Discuss this view, supporting your answer with suitable reference to at least two main characters in the play.

OR

(ii)  “Friel gives language a central role in Translations both as a theme and as a dramatic technique.”

Discuss this view of the novel, supporting your answer with suitable reference to the text.

 

Sample Exam Questions (By Category)

Character

  • 2014: “Many of the main characters experience conflicting loyalties and learn bitter lessons during the course of the play, Translations.”
  • Owen’s character and attitudes change throughout the play.
  • What is the importance of the character of Owen in the play?

 

Style

  • Friel writes out of a sense of a lost past. How is this achieved in the play?
  • How does Friel illuminate the play’s central themes?

 

Theme

  • “Friel gives language a central role in Translations both as a theme and as a dramatic technique.”
  • Friel explores the links between language and identity in Translations.
  • Discuss the importance of language in the play.
  • Translations laments the destruction of an authentic Gaelic culture. Discuss.
  • Brian Friel has said that Translations “has to do with language and only language.” Discuss the themes of language and communication in the play.
  • Translations is a play about language, not history. Do you agree?
  • “Translations is, of course, a play about ‘the meeting of two cultures and specifically of two languages’, as Friel told the Derry People… However Translations is also about a collision between the values of a local community and a centralised state.” (Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama, ed. John Harrington, Norton Critical Editions, p.549.) Do you agree with this statement?
  • “Brian Friel skilfully reveals the far-reaching personal and cultural effects of an action which is at first sight purely administrative.”