Author Archives

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Prose Study: Broken April by Ismail Kadare

The novel describes the way life is lived in the high mountain plateaus of Albania, where people follow an ancient code of customary law called the Kanun that has been handed down from generation to generation. The code demands men to take the law into their own hands. Insults must be avenged, family honour must be upheld – and blood must be spilt.

Prose Study: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Published in 1979, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories retells classic fairy tales in a disturbing, blood-tinged, explicit way. Angela Carter revises Sleeping Beauty, for example, from an adult, twentieth-century perspective. You might think that fairy tales are the sorts of stories to read to children in bed to lull them to sleep – not these versions! Her renditions are intended not to comfort but to disturb and titillate.

Dramatic Study: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

When George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1925, he was praised for turning “his weapons against everything that he conceives of as prejudice.” This is clearly true of Pygmalion, which was premiered in German in Vienna in 1913. The play is a modern interpretation of an ancient myth, the tale of Pygmalion and Galatea. In Shaw’s rendition, Higgins, a teacher, “creates” Eliza, his pupil, by teaching her to speak like a duchess – a transformation that allows Shaw to attack the superficial class prejudices of his time.

William Wordsworth: Poetry Study

Introduction The principal object, then, which I proposed to myself in these Poems was to choose incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as was possible, in a selection of language really used by men; and, at the same time, […]

Constructing Racial Stereotypes

Racial stereotyping is the act of classifying individuals or putting them into imaginary boxes based on their nationality, ethnicity or skin colour. It is the oversimplification of a person of a particular race. The problem of racial stereotyping occurs when one person’s behaviour is ascribed to a group’s tendencies instead of the causes of an immediate situation.Racial stereotyping is the act of classifying individuals or putting them into imaginary boxes based on their nationality, ethnicity or skin colour. It is the oversimplification of a person of a particular race. The problem of racial stereotyping occurs when one person’s behaviour is ascribed to a group’s tendencies instead of the causes of an immediate situation.

The Future of English

English has become so widespread, and is so frequently used as a method of communication between speakers of different languages (a lingua franca) and for global networking. Some see a future in which English becomes even more dominant – but others suggest a change in the position of English.

Transforming Technologies

Linguistic Economy can be defined as being economical with words/characters/phonemes. It basically means that you can convey meaning using fewer words – so why not do it?! Linguistic economy has become necessary in modern days due to our desire to be more concise and quick in our communications, particularly due to new communication technology.

Proper English?

From the first time we step into an English class, we’re told that the rules matter, that they must be followed, that we must know when it’s appropriate to use a comma and what it means to employ the subjunctive mood. But do these things really matter? Outside of the classroom, what difference does it make if we write “who” instead of “whom” or say “good” instead of “well”? In this section we’ll find out that in the real world it does make a difference.