Sunday, 22 September 2019

Resource for analysis

Three times a year we test students on their knowledge of literary terms. To do this, we use a range of tasks, including matching definitions and labelling a text. Here are just some of the extracts we have used. Students have to match the term to the number in the text. 

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog[1] down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping[2] into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient[3]  Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly[4] pinching the toes[5] and fingers of his shivering little ’prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping[6] over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon[7], and hanging in the misty clouds.

Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time — as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling [8]look.

The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest[9]  near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart[10] of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.

Extract from Charles Dickens’ ‘Bleak House’.

Terms: Personification, Personification, Adverb, Metaphor, Repetition, Adjectives, Simile, Superlatives, Pair of Adjectives, Verb,  

A big greyish rounded bulk[1], the size, perhaps, of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully[2] out of the cylinder. As it bulged up and caught the light, it glistened like wet leather[3].

Two large dark-coloured eyes were regarding me steadfastly. The mass that framed them, the head of the thing, was rounded, and had, one might say, a face[4]. There was a mouth under the eyes, the lipless brim of which quivered and panted[5], and dropped saliva. The whole creature heaved and pulsated convulsively. A lank tentacular appendage gripped the edge of the cylinder, another swayed in the air.

Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance. The peculiar V-shaped mouth with its pointed upper lip, the absence of brow ridges, the absence of a chin beneath the wedgelike lower lip, the incessant quivering of this mouth, the Gorgon groups of tentacles, the tumultuous breathing of the lungs in a strange atmosphere, the evident heaviness and painfulness of movement due to the greater gravitational[6] energy of the earth--above all, the extraordinary intensity of the immense eyes--were at once vital, intense, inhuman, crippled and monstrous[7]. There was something fungoid in the oily brown skin, something[8] in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty. Even at this first encounter, this first glimpse, I was overcome with disgust and dread.

Suddenly the monster vanished[9]. It had toppled over the brim of the cylinder and fallen into the pit, with a thud like the fall of a great mass of leather[10]. I heard it give a peculiar thick cry, and forthwith another of these creatures appeared darkly in the deep shadow of the aperture.

Extract from ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells 

Terms: Pair of Adverbs, Simile, Simile, Repetition, Noun Phrase, List, Pair of Verbs, Common Noun, Alliteration, Verb 

He was a rich man: banker, merchant, manufacturer [1], and what not. A big, loud man, with a stare, and a metallic[2] laugh. A man[5] made out of a coarse material, which seemed to have been stretched[3] to make so much of him. A man[5] with a great puffed head and forehead[4], swelled veins in his temples, and such a strained skin to his face that it seemed to hold his eyes open, and lift his eyebrows up. A man[5] with a pervading appearance on him of being inflated like a balloon [6], and ready to start. A man who could never sufficiently vaunt himself a self-made man. A man who was always proclaiming, through that brassy speaking-trumpet of a voice[7] of his, his old ignorance and his old poverty. A man who was the Bully of humility[8]. A year or two younger than his eminently practical friend, Mr Bounderby looked older[9]; his seven or eight and forty might have had the seven or eight added to it again, without surprising anybody. He had not much hair. One might have fancied he had talked it off[10]; and that what was left, all standing up in disorder, was in that condition from being constantly blown about by his windy boastfulness.

Extract from ‘Hard Times’ by Charles Dickens

Terms: repetition, simile, list, exaggeration, adjective, exaggeration, verb, metaphor, comparative adjective, sound effects,  

She was dressed in rich[1] materials -- satins, and lace, and silks[2] -- all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white.[3] Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling[4] on the table. Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed trunks, were scattered about. She had not quite finished dressing for she had but[5] one shoe on -- the other was on the table near her hand -- her veil was but half arranged, her watch and chain were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets, and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a prayer-book, all confusedly[6] heaped about the looking-glass.

It was not in the first few moments that I saw all these things, though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be supposed. But, I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow[7]. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes[8]. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded[9] figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung[10] loose, had shrunk to skin and bone.

Extract from ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens

Terms: adjective, adjective, adverb, conjunction, list, lighting effect, noun phrase, pair of adjectives, repetition, verb

In an old house, dismal dark and dusty[1], which seemed to have withered, like himself, and to have grown yellow and shrivelled in hoarding him from the light of day, as he had, in hoarding his money, lived Arthur Grid. Meagre old chairs and tables, of spare and bony make, and hard and cold as misers' hearts[2], were ranged in grim array against the gloomy walls; attenuated presses, grown lank and lantern awed in guarding the treasures [3] they enclosed, and tottering, as though from constant fear and dread of thieves [4], shrunk up in dark corners, whence they cast no shadows on the ground, and seemed to hide and cower from observation[5]. A tall grim clock upon the stairs, with long lean[6] hands and famished face[7], ticked in cautious whispers; and when it struck the time, in thin and piping sounds like an old man's voice[8], it rattled, as if it were pinched with hunger.

No fireside couch was there, to invite repose and comfort. Elbow-chairs there were, but they looked uneasy in their minds, cocked their arms suspiciously and timidly[9], and kept on their guard. Others, were fantastically grim and gaunt, as having drawn themselves up to their utmost height, and put on their fiercest looks to stare all comers out of countenance. Others, again, knocked up against their neighbours, or leaned for support against the wall — somewhat ostentatiously, as if to call all men to witness that they were not worth the taking. The dark square lumbering bedsteads seemed built for restless dreams. The musty hangings seemed to creep in scanty folds together, whispering among themselves, when rustled by the wind[10], their trembling knowledge of the tempting wares that lurked within the dark and tight-locked closets.

Extract from Charles Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby.

Terms: personification, simile, sounds, pair of adjectives, personification, alliteration, simile, personification, alliteration, adverb  

 A slag-heap is at best a hideous[1] thing, because it is so planless and
. It is something just dumped on the earth, like the emptying
of a giant's dust-bin[3]
. On the outskirts of the mining towns there are
frightful[4] landscapes where your horizon is ringed completely round by
jagged grey mountains[5], and underfoot is mud and ashes and over-head the
steel cables where tubs of dirt travel slowly across miles of country.
Often the slag-heaps are on fire, and at night you can see the red rivulets[6]
of fire winding this way and that, and also the slow-moving blue flames of
sulphur, which always seem on the point of expiring and always spring out
again. Even when a slag-heap sinks, as it does ultimately, only an evil
brown grass grows[7] on it, and it retains its hummocky surface. One in the
slums of Wigan, used as a playground, looks like a choppy sea suddenly
'the flock mattress', it is called locally. Even centuries hence
when the plough drives over the places where coal was once mined, the sites
of ancient[9] slag-heaps will still be distinguishable from an aeroplane[10].

Extract from ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ by George Orwell 

Terms: adjective, adjective, alliteration, alliteration, noun, noun phrase,  pair of adjectives, simile, simile

It was market-morning. The ground was covered, nearly ankle-deep, with filth and mire; a thick[1] steam, perpetually rising[2] from the reeking[2] bodies of the cattle, and mingling with the fog[3], which seemed to rest upon the chimney-tops, hung heavily above. All the pens in the centre of the large area, and as many temporary pens as could be crowded into the vacant space, were filled with sheep; tied up to posts by the gutter side were long lines of beasts and oxen, three or four deep. Countrymen, butchers, drovers, hawkers, boys, thieves, idlers, and vagabonds of every low grade[4], were mingled together in a mass; the whistling of drovers, the barking[5] dogs, the bellowing[5] and plunging[5] of the oxen, the bleating[5] of sheep, the grunting[5] and squeaking[5] of pigs, the cries of hawkers, the shouts, oaths, and quarrelling on all sides; the ringing of bells and roar of voices, that issued from every public-house; the crowding, pushing, driving, beating, whooping[6] and yelling; the hideous and discordant[7] dim that resounded from every corner of the market; and the unwashed, unshaven, squalid, and dirty[8] figures constantly running to and fro, and bursting in and out of the throng; rendered it a stunning and bewildering [9] scene, which quite confounded[10] the senses.

Extract from ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens

Terms: adjective, list, list of verbs, list of adjectives, pair of adjectives, pair of adjectives, personification , verb, verbs, verbs relating to sounds 

The room in which the boys were fed, was a large[1] stone hall, with a copper at one end: out of which the master, dressed in an apron for the purpose, and assisted by one or two women, ladled the gruel at mealtimes. Of this festive composition each boy had one porringer, and no more—except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides.

The bowls never wanted washing[2]. The boys polished[3] them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls[4]), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed[5]; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes[6]of gruel that might have been cast thereon. Boys have generally excellent appetites. Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation[7] for three months: at last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age, and hadn't been used to that sort of thing (for his father had kept a small cook-shop), hinted darkly[8] to his companions, that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly[9] youth of tender age. He had a wild, hungry[10] eye; and they implicitly believed him. A council was held; lots were cast who should walk up to the master after supper that evening, and ask for more; and it fell to Oliver Twist.

Extract from ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens

Terms: adjective, adjective, adverb, alliteration, alliteration, alliteration, exaggeration, pair of adjectives, simile, verb,

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