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English Literature ‘Frameworks’ 7: Description, Imagery, Figurative Language

Steph Atkinson | Sunday October 31, 2010

Categories:

Guide Navigation

  1. Close Reading & Textual Analysis
  2. Close Analysis
  3. Openings
  4. Characters and Characterisation
  5. Setting, Places and Scenes
  6. Atmosphere, Mood, Tone and Foreshadowing
  7. Dialogue
  8. Description, Imagery, Figurative Language
  9. Irony
  10. Alternative Interpretations
  11. Narrative
  12. Verisimilitude
  13. Time
  14. Symbolism
  15. Context
  16. Genre

Introduction

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The seventh in the Englishedu series on ‘frameworks’ for A Level English Literature, this guide explores how to analyse an author’s use of description, imagery and figurative language in novels, short stories or prose extracts in order to allow students access to the highest grades.

Description, imagery, figurative language: Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The most straightforward way of demonstrating how to closely analyse a text in terms of the theme above is to exemplify it. The extract below is followed by a series of bullet points which demonstrate how to analyse closely using carefully chosen quotations in a variety of ways. These bullet points also include commentaries which aim to explain how and why such sections have been analysed and what they could highlight within the main text, contextually and thematically.

There are, of course, many more things that could be said about each extract, but it’s hoped that it will prove useful in your initial teaching stages to model it using the examples and then to ask students to find other things that they could analyse themselves as well as to consider ‘alternative’ interpretations and to derive possible contextual aspects.

From Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The village of Marlott lay amid the north-eastern undulations of the beautiful Vale of Blakemore, or Blackmoor, aforesaid, an engirdled and secluded region, for the most part untrodden as yet by tourist or landscape-painter, though within a four hours’ journey from London.

It is a vale whose acquaintance is best made by viewing it from the summits of the hills that...


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