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GCSE English Literature Guide to Robert Cormier’s Heroes

Shirley Bierman | Wednesday June 11, 2014

Categories: KS4, WJEC Eduqas GCSE, Hot Entries, Prose, Heroes, Writing, Essays, Prose Analysis, WJEC GCSE English Literature, Unit 2a Literary Heritage, Drama and Prose

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Exam Board

  • WJEC Unit 2a: Literary heritage drama and contemporary prose
  • Individual Texts in Context
  • External Assessment 40% - 2 hour exam

Students will need to answer two questions on the set text out of a choice of three questions but Part (i) is compulsory with either/ or for Part (ii) or Part(iii). The first part of the question will require a close reading of an extract with the second question offering a choice of tasks labelled (ii) and (iii) relating to the text as a whole. Part (i) will be worth 10 marks and (ii) and (ii) will be worth 20 marks each plus 4 marks for SPaG. There will be a focus on: AO1 and AO2:

AO1 = Respond to texts critically and imaginatively; select and evaluate relevant textual detail to illustrate and support interpretations.

AO2 = Explain how language, structure and form contribute to writers’ presentation of ideas, themes and settings.

Robert Cormier

Robert Cormier was an American writer (1925-2000) who wrote many popular ‘realistic’ novels for a teenage audience. His most well-known novel was called, The Chocolate War. He grew up in Massachusetts in a French-Canadian town called French Hill – a town that seems to be represented in Heroes as ‘Frenchtown’. His work has been considered quite pessimistic as it does not have happy endings and can seem quite bleak in the way that life treats people but this contributes to the realism as life is not always going to be filled with happiness.

Historical background

America entered the Second World War after Pearl Harbour was bombed on the 7th December 1941 by the Japanese. This was an American naval base in Hawaii and the attack came so quickly that it killed 2500 Americans. It made the Americans become extremely pro war now whereas when the war started in 1939 the Americans felt it was more to do with Europe than themselves and that it would not be a good idea to be drawn into this war – Pearl Harbour changed all of...


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