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Monday, 28 February 2011

Here are some other questions. I can only offer my sincere apologies; I had been unable to locate the document...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Hello Y12

Some excellent work this week. Here is the PowerPoint from the lesson. All My Sons is much easier than King Lear so it'll be easier to discuss the themes, issues and context, as well as the drama, around and within the play rather than have to spend so much time analysing the language (not that I don't love analysing the language in Shakespeare). After writing your Lear essay, this will seem significantly easier.

Miller's ability to establish characters through setting and dialogue is remarkable. He creates rounded developed characters without the narrative detail that an author is able to use. We found this in our analysis of Joe; Joe says 'I don't read the news part anymore. It's more interesting in the want ads'. This seemingly insignificant, flippant comment develops the character. He is closed off from the outside world; his world is the family and the business. Is it significant that he is interested in the 'want ads'?

Your homework is to write a DETAILED plan for your essay. This can be a series of mind maps for each paragraph or a more traditional plan. Many of you would have benefited from using a plan last time, you can tell who hasn't, and it is essential that this is done. Here are some questions. It may be simpler to go with one of these than to make your own, but the choice is yours. If you do want to create a new one look at these questions and the Lear ones to guide you. There are some more questions, but I have to admit to leaving these at school and I don't work on Fridays. I will get them though and the latest they'll be posted is Monday. These are the most recent though and there should be something there for you at least to get you started. Sorry.

I would also like you to look at some Ibsen plays. You can read them read them online here (link are on the left hand side of the page). Look at the structure of them. What are the similarities with Miller's structure? What other influences can you find? They are very readable!

I've only scanned this article, but it does seem really interesting. Seems to have some good links to Shakespeare and the Greek theatre. Perhaps I should add a little caveat such as: the views expressed there, or any links that may be on it, are not my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Ms Caldwell or of any other individual in the school! Let me know what you think of it.

This is awesome! There are some excellent little clips that you can watch, often for no more than three minutes, and there's some good information that relates to performance too. Enjoy!

I've put the photos of your tableaux vivant on the school website. Only joking!

I hope you have a fabulous break. Do let me know if you need any help.

Best wishes,
Ms Caldwell

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Hello Y12

This week our aims were to understand the exposition and Act I of All My Sons and consider the presentation of the characters. We analysed the stage directions and had considered how the inclusion of seemingly unimportant details link to the themes of the play.

The audience become aware of this typical American family being on the brink of change; there are hints at the inevitable tragedy from the outset. The setting is significant and we discussed this extensively in class. The house displays the Keller’s wealth and status, but the outside setting could hint at the fallibility of people in nature. Although money is central to Joe’s life, by setting it outside wealth becomes irrelevant; it may have delayed it, but it cannot prevent his downfall. We discussed the significance of the time of year being specified. It’s the height of summer – harvest time. Harvest is sometimes a euphemism for death (think of the grim reaper) and this also conveys the concept of reaping what you sow signalling a change to this all American setting. The summer has peaked and change is inevitable part of the natural cycle.

The all American setting is important. Socialising outside is a big part of the American family life; it also allows the audience an intimate glimpse into the family’s secrets. The separation from the community is made clear by the ‘tall’ and ‘closely’ planted poplars and this conveys an oppressive atmosphere where secrets are hidden. We also discussed the significance of Larry’s tree being an apple tree. There is much that we interpreted from this, but one of the aspects to consider is the saying ‘American as apple pie’. The play being American is essential as it critiques American society.

It was my plan to give you some links to some pages for your homework, but I think that this is unnecessary. You can do it yourself! It will also ensure there is a greater range of information – do not copy and paste as you need to engage with the information.

Could you also let me know before the lesson if you are going to be out at the History conference on Wednesday please?

Best wishes,


Friday, 11 February 2011

I've added 10 of you to an email list, the limit is ten, so you should now get an email to say when I've put a post on the blog. Please, do let me know if you don't want to be on this list. I have simply gone through and selected people at random - please don't feel left out if you've not got an email!
Hello Y12

For your homework I'd like you to read to the end of the play please. You should also do some research on line of the historical context (as this is obviously an Assessment Objective). I would like you to show me this in class. You are particularly looking at Post War America, the American Dream and McCarthyism (nothing to do with our own prestigious Dr McCarthy!). As a guide, it should be between 300-500 words at the very least.

You can format this however best suits your learning style (mind-map, paragraphs), but it should still include detail.

I will do another post on Saturday; this will be an overview of what we looked at in class as well as some guidance on any research. I haven't quite got enough time to give all the information I would like to at this moment, but it'll be there Saturday lunchtime.

Any problems then give me shout (email or comment).

Best wishes,
Ms Caldwell

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Hello Y12

Firstly, I think your scenes are pretty amazing! I am looking for ward to seeing you use them with your characters. We'll talk in Wednesday's lesson about why Miller might give such specific instructions for the set.

Just a very small homework for you as I realise some of you still have some final amendments to do on your essays. I would like you to put together a small character list, noting key features, so that you know who's who from the outset.

See you on Wednesday.

Ms Caldwell