What is Literature? Well this term embraces a number of issue and topics all covered by your private English lesson. It is “.. a creative and emotional response in written and spoken form and exposes the reader not only to the inner workings of a writer’s imagination but to the world, that writer has created.”
In that world the reader is confronted with a range of experiences and paths, which the characters in the texts embark upon, and all English teachers need to convey, is that the events and experiences which are faced, can have an effect not only upon both the fictitious characters but also upon the readers. Literature covers a range of genres:
During the private English lesson it will be explained that the writer is more than likely conveying a message to the reader and we need to be able to understand and interpret that message. Not only that, but that the message can be universal in nature as many of the issues faced tend to be common to the human condition. In school the necessity to analyse by breaking down the text or de-constructing the play or the poem is common as it is a way of understanding the text and is important for private tuition at GCSE level to get this across to the students.
Furthermore during your private English lesson, other aspects of the play/novel/poem are also taken into account. In private English tuition at GCSE I like my students to have an insight into the writer of the novel, play or poem as well as an understanding of the background and the setting of the text. Certainly for the higher tier students the social, cultural and historical background is expected. I like to explore in one private English lesson reasons why authors write poems as sometimes it is as crucial as the actual work and reflects in the language the passion as an issue close to their heart e.g. John Clare and his love of the countryside and Nature as exemplified in the poem Sonnet. The very form of the poem indicates Clare’s love as sonnets are usually linked to love.
For the novelist it can be a way of understanding the world and is a metaphor or allegory of how people are, or can behave under certain circumstances. Take for example the novel William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”, a story about a group of boys on a beautiful island. The boys without laws or rules deteriorate into savages and kill not only some of their more peaceful yet vulnerable members but destroy the island itself, their Garden of Eden becomes a living hell. This is a wonderful novel to explore and discuss in the private English lesson. It is also a very popular choice with the examining boards as well as in the classroom and for private tuition at GCSE.
Sometimes plays are created not only as a record of important events but an opportunity to please their Queen and patron. Shakespeare was a master of this and he certainly glorified Queen Elisabeth’s ancestor John of Gaunt, in Richard II. This play contains some of the best known and loved patriotic speeches ever to be voiced in the English Language. To my mind I believe many English teachers would concur with me in stating that there is little that can overshadow the rhetoric and power of this “England” speech.
Sometimes the purpose of the writer is as simple as soothing their children to sleep by giving them a story at bedtime. Roald Dahl used his novels in some ways to reminisce about his own childhood. He even used some of his own experiences to create something more tangible an “if only” or a “what if.” scenario as in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Again I know I should not digress but from personal experience of visiting Cadbury’s World with my own children many years ago I remember how very disappointed I felt in not seeing the oumpa-lumpa men or taste the everlasting gob stopper and other delightfully bright sweetie creations which appeared so realistic in the novel. This is in no way a criticism or disparagement of Cadbury’s World but I bet every child who has visited Cadbury’s World and who has read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” without thinking secretly has drawn an analogy.
So novels can have a profound effect upon our perception of things real and unreal, even as adults. As English teachers it is important to ensure pupils are exposed to and have an opportunity to explore the wonders of literature to engage that wonderful God given imagination.
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Private teacher English literature: Contact me now for consultation and prices please call 07944 248917, or drop me an email.