Thursday, June 25, 2009

Volleying and thundering


You would think I might get these all right. No, I got 6 / 7. I even got the question on To Kill a Bleeding Mockingbird right. What I got wrong is the question on The Charge of the Light Brigade, where I was invited to declare why Tennyson had used certain verbs. All the answers were reasonable, but only one is right, apparently. My respect for GCSE examiners has increased exponentially, as it is clear they can communicate with long dead poets laureate to ask footling questions about their poems.
"Alf, are you there? Can you tell us why you chose the verbs "volleyed" and "thundered" in that long poem of yours?"
"Certainly: it's to reinforce the danger faced by the soldiers."
"Righto. Sure it's not to reinforce the noise of battle, what with those verbs being vaguely onamatopoeic and all?"
"Nope. Reinforce the danger."
"OK. Thanks Alf. Is Charlotte there by the way? Got a couple of questions for her."

5 comments:

petal47 said...

I did this yesterday and got 4. To be fair. I'd never read the Steinbeck (or, shame on me, Macbeth) but even I thought Tennyson was going for the sound aspect.

Madame DeFarge said...

5 for me. Got the Tennyson one wrong too. And the Steinbeck. Never read him at school and have avoided him ever since. I too am impressed by the Doris Stokes approach to understanding poetry.

Rob Spence said...

Steinbeck grossly overrated in my view. Yes, the Doris Stokes method is a good description.

harriet said...

I too got 6/7 and that was after your comment on Tennyson which I'd probably have got wrong too. I got the Steinbeck wrong and my final mark said "must read more".

Rob Spence said...

"Must read more" Harriet? L, as the young people say, OL. You'll have to give up sleep.