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A Question Of Courage Textual Analysis Tasks. Understanding Questions 1)Where does the poet think we see courage? (1) 2)Describe the four childhood experiences.

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Presentation on theme: "A Question Of Courage Textual Analysis Tasks. Understanding Questions 1)Where does the poet think we see courage? (1) 2)Describe the four childhood experiences."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Question Of Courage Textual Analysis Tasks

2 Understanding Questions 1)Where does the poet think we see courage? (1) 2)Describe the four childhood experiences from Stanza 1 which she feels demonstrate courage. (4) 3)Using your own words as far as possible, explain the image in Stanza 2, lines 6-7. (2) 4)Quote a word which is used to describe a person who dies out of love for their friend. (1) 5)Who does Sexton address directly in Stanza 3? (1) 6)What word in Stanza 3 connotes a metamorphosis or change? (1) 7)What is the natural conclusion the writer refers to in Stanza 4, line 1? (1) 8)Explain in your own words what you think the writer means in the phrase youll bargain with the calendar. (2) 9)Describe the structure of the poem and explain the role of each stanza. (2)

3 Understanding Answers 1) Lift or gloss of it is in the small things we see it. (1) 2)First step (1); first bike ride (1); first spanking (1); first time being bullied. (1 ) 3) Own words, e.g. You didnt feel sorry for yourself (1) although you had good reason to. (1) 4) Quote: Buddy (1) 5) Quote: My kinsman (1) 6) Quote: transformed (1) 7)Death following old age (1) 8)An elderly person may be grateful of each day they live (1) however Sexton herself may feel each day she continues to live is a compromise. (1) 9)The stanzas each reflect a different stage of life. First stanza: childhood; Second Stanza: young adolescent/adulthood; Third Stanza: middle age; Fourth Stanza: old age/death.

4 Analysis Questions 1)How might a childs first step be described as being as awesome as an earthquake (Stanza 1, lines 2-3)? (2) 2)(a) Identify the figure of speech used in Stanza 1, lines 6-7. (b) What is being described? 3)(a) Explain who you think they are in Stanza 1. (1) (b) What gives you this impression? (1) 4)What does the image of courage as a small coal/that you kept swallowing suggest? (2) 5)How might Sexton see love being as simple as shaving soap? (2) 6)(a) What is the tone of the line each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen? (b) How is this created? 7)Look at Stanza 4, lines (a) Identify the technique used to present death at the end of the poem? (b) What is surprising about the character of death?

5 Analysis Answers 1)For parents and child, a momentous occasion/possibly unexpected/shocking/Sexton views the hopefulness of early life as a disaster as the experiences which follow will disappoint/metaphorically groundbreaking, where an earthquake can literally break ground or any other similar answer.(1 mark for each correct answer) 2)(a) Metaphor. (1) (b) Sense of shame/regret/isolation/loneliness. (1) 3)(a) Other children. (b) Name-calling/sounds like childish taunting. (1) 4)Courage is seen in resilience/ endurance (1) of suffering/ pain (1) 5)Love is a protection against danger/pain, etc (1) yet it can be removed/taken away/disappear quickly. 6)(a) Positive/ forward-looking/ optimistic, etc. (1) (b) Spring is the first month of the year and represents new beginnings/ A sword is a weapon representing strength and the ability to defend oneself/ Sharpen has connotations of clarity and focus, as well as aggression/ Sharpen also refers to a sword having a point, suggesting that if ones life has a point, it is worth living. (Any two – 1 mark each) 7)(a) Personification. (b) Welcoming/ friendly/ unintimidating as opposed to usual perception of death as frightening.


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