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A-Level English Literature

After procrastinating for years, I finally got round to starting on A-Level English Literature in autumn 2001.
I did a correspondence course through Oxford Open Learning, and found it very satisfactory.
These are the essays which I wrote at regular intervals during the course.

The set text/topics were as follows:

AS Module One: The Modern Novel
The Handmaid's Tale.. .. .. .. Margaret Atwood

AS Module Two: Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew .. .. William Shakespeare

AS Module Three: Texts in Context
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
Three Victorian Poets (Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

A2 Module Four: Texts In Time
Othello .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. William Shakespeare
Selected Poems .. .. .. .. .. John Keats

A2 Module Five: Literary Connections
Brave New World.. .. .. .. .. Aldous Huxley
1984 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. George Orwell

A2 Module Six: Reading for Meaning
War In Literature: focus on the First World War. No set texts.


I sat the examinations in Summer 2003, taking all six papers at that time. Fascinated to discover that I had achieved 100% in certain of the papers (a thing I did not believe was possible in a literature exam) I requested the papers back. So the exam essays are presented within each module.

There are two ways of viewing the exam papers: you can choose to see the essays in straightforward form, or you can choose to view them with the examiners' comments included. It seemed to me that it might be interesting to fellow-students to see what elicits a comment, and what kind of things are approved (or not). Unfortunately, I have not been able to represent the vast amounts of Significant Underlining throughout the papers.

Yes, I did get an A grade. More importantly, I enjoyed myself. The War in Literature paper was remarkably satisfying.