Monday, December 10, 2007

Plath, Morrison, Banks

Before the end of term, we'll be posting some of the fine work done by IV formers in their Transition Year Extended Essay projects. The first of these is an outstanding essay by Fiona Boyd, which has received a (rare) Commendation. She writes :-

The books I have decided to write my Extended Esssay on are And When Did You Last See Your Father? by Blake Morrison, a memoir of his father’s life, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, the semi-autobiographical tale of a young girl's breakdown and Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks, a realistic and intriguing book about one boy's journey
into adulthood.

I chose these books, based on the recommendations of my English teacher, with the intention of basing my essay around the theme of 'Relationships'. However, after reading the books I couldn’t draw together enough material to write solely a
bout relationships so I began to look for other options. First I weighed up the books’ similarities, then their differences, then their strengths and finally their weaknesses and I formed a conclusive decision in my head. All three books were different in terms of social order (class), era and gender. This meant that the themes common in the three books, such as issues with their fathers, were written from three very different angles and so quite difficult to base a whole 3,000-minimum essay on. However all three did have one thing in common - changes. And so this became my theme.

Eventually Fiona found 3000 words too restricting a target : here is her full essay.

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