Category Archives: Higher

Animal Farm Chapter 2 Creative writing: Higher HW 2

June came and the hay was almost ready for cutting. On Midsummer’s Eve, which was a Saturday, Mr. Jones went into Willingdon and got so drunk at the Red Lion that he did not come back till midday on Sunday. The men had milked the cows in the early morning and then had gone out rabbiting, without bothering to feed the animals. When Mr. Jones got back he immediately went to sleep on the drawing-room sofa with the News of the World over his face, so that when evening came, the animals were still unfed. At last they could stand it no longer. One of the cows broke in the door of the store-shed with her horn and all the animals began to help themselves from the bins. It was just then that Mr. Jones woke up. The next moment he and his four men were in the store-shed with whips in their hands, lashing out in all directions. This was more than the hungry animals could bear. With one accord, though nothing of the kind had been planned beforehand, they flung themselves upon their tormentors. Jones and his men suddenly found themselves being butted and kicked from all sides. The situation was quite out of their control. They had never seen animals behave like this before, and this sudden uprising of creatures whom they were used to thrashing and maltreating just as they chose, frightened them almost out of their wits. After only a moment or two they gave up trying to defend themselves and took to their heels. A minute later all five of them were in full flight down the cart-track that led to the main road, with the animals pursuing them in triumph.
Mrs. Jones looked out of the bedroom window, saw what was happening, hurriedly flung a few possessions into a carpet bag, and slipped out of the farm by another way. Moses sprang off his perch and flapped after her, croaking loudly. Meanwhile the animals had chased Jones and his men out on to the road and slammed the five-barred gate behind them. And so, almost before they knew what was happening, the Rebellion had been successfully carried through: Jones was expelled, and the Manor Farm was theirs.
For the first few minutes the animals could hardly believe in their good fortune. Their first act was to gallop in a body right round the boundaries of the farm, as though to make quite sure that no human being was hiding anywhere upon it; then they raced back to the farm buildings to wipe out the last traces of Jones’s hated reign. The harness-room at the end of the stables was broken open; the bits, the nose-rings, the dog-chains, the cruel knives with which Mr. Jones had been used to castrate the pigs and lambs, were all flung down the well. The reins, the halters, the blinkers, the degrading nosebags, were thrown on to the rubbish fire which was burning in the yard. So were the whips. All the animals capered with joy when they saw the whips going up in flames. Snowball also threw on to the fire the ribbons with which the horses’ manes and tails had usually been decorated on market days.
Ribbons,' he said,should be considered as clothes, which are the mark of a human being. All animals should go naked.’
When Boxer heard this he fetched the small straw hat which he wore in summer to keep the flies out of his ears, and flung it on to the fire with the rest.
In a very little while the animals had destroyed everything that reminded them of Mr. Jones. Napoleon then led them back to the store-shed and served out a double ration of corn to everybody, with two biscuits for each dog. Then they sang Beasts of England from end to end seven times running, and after that they settled down for the night and slept as they had never slept before.

Imagine you are one of the animals on the farm. Write an account of the animal’s rebellion from their perspective.

Include five examples of imagery, five examples of sound techniques (alliteration, rhyme, onomatopoeia, etc) and five examples of sentence structure techniques (list, repetition, long sentence, short sentence, etc).

Highlight each of them when you are done.

Creative Writing Practice

In class we did some creative writing exercises based around turning a tell sentence into a more show piece of writing. Some of the examples we used were as follows:

Example 1:
1) The cat sat on the chair.
2) The chair was covered in a shabby chintz pattern, stained in parts from years of tea drinking. The seat sagged, no longer springy, but flattened from years of bums sitting deep in it’s depth. A contented fluff ball had positioned itself in the seat. Her whiskers stuck out at odd angles. Above her eyes were two grey patches of fur, that gave her the appearance of being very wise. Her fur was very long, and striped. Brown, grey, black and blue hairs striped her body. Her paws were pure white. And she had a small bib too. Like all happy cats, her tongue poked out of her mouth as she slept. The fire crackled, and in the glowing heat, the small feline chose to stretch out further. She extended her front paws northward, and her back paws south, rolling on to her back and exposing her chubby belly. She began to purr.

Example 2:
1) The castle was a ruin.
2) The stones were a pile now, the bare impression of walls was all that remained. The building had once dominated the edge of the cliff, majestically guarding the coast. Now a thin strip of keep wall jutted into the air, precariously peering over the steep edge. Around this tall totem, gulls wheeled in the cruel wind. They cried out as the gusts tried to smash them into the derelict landmark.

Example 3:
1) The girl was sad.
2) She had taken herself off to a corner off the playground, out of the line of sight of the staffroom. She crumpled to the floor, making a dirty nest in the sodden leaves. Bits of moss and branches clung to her tights and dug into her skin. She didn’t care. She pulled her knees up to her chest, and wrapped her skinny arms around them. She tucked her head into the space that was left. It was then, and only then that she let herself go. Since walking out of the classroom, her throat had been burning. A fiery, nipping sensation of tears pushing to be let out. They had danced on the edge of her eyes. And now here they were in one great big flood. And snot too. She couldn’t control it any more.

Turn these sentences into descriptive pieces. (15 sentences each)
1) The dog barked at the door.
2) The apple was in the tree.
3) The mum did the food shop.
4) The boat was on the sea.
5) she made a cup of coffee.

Scary Revision Time 2019 (Don Paterson and Great Expectations)

Hello darling Higher students. It’s that time of year again, where you all start panicking and stressing out. Fear not, the revision materials are here to help you remain calm and make sure all those lovely quotes and pieces of analysis are secure in your head.

First up, RUAE. You will find past papers on the SQA website. Go check it out now!

Secondly you need to know your quotes for the Critical Reading paper:
revision quotes

Thirdly, some practice questions focused on your Critical Reading:
Don Paterson Practice Questions
Higher essay questions

And lastly, here’s some sample essays for you to think about:
Estella complex character

GE important incident Havisham and Estella

Havisham attitude

Havisham mental health theme

havisham side-by-side

Pip mixed feelings

Pip moral significance

Pip side by side

Great Expectations Complex character essay on Estella

colour-coded PEEL Estella essay

Below is the Estella essay without the colour-coding. The word document option will help you see the structure more clearly.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens features the character Estella whose complexity lies in the fact that she is Miss Havisham’s adopted puppet, created to break men’s hearts as revenge for her mother yet we feel sympathy for her as she does not understand how to behave in any other way. The novel follows Pip as he falls in love with Estella, rises from poverty to riches at the hand of a mysterious benefactor before finding himself and his purpose in life as a young man. We can discuss how Estella’s complexity helps us understand Dicken’s wider point of being a good person in life.

We first meet Estella at Satis House when Pip goes there to ‘play’ with her at Miss Havisham’s invitation – really he is Estella’s first toy to test her emotional manipulation abilities and show us how she influences Pip’s personality. She flexes these manipulation muscles in her first meeting with Pip where he tells us, “her contempt for me was so strong, that it became infectious, and I caught it.” Here the word choice of ‘contempt’ shows that Estella truly hates Pip. The metaphor of it becoming ‘infectious’ eloquently shows that Pip’s own feelings towards himself change. Estella’s actions cause Pip to dislike himself as a person. He ‘catches’ the ‘contempt’ for himself and starts to judge himself and his background cruelly. Estella does this because she has been brought up to think less of those around her. Estella’s meanness to Pip is the trigger for him to change from a pleasant boy into a snob who criticises himself, she is the trigger for Pip to stop being a good person.

This change in Pip’ s personality continues at their next meeting when Pip fights a boy outside Satis House and catches Estella watching. Pip again tells us, “there was a bright flush upon her face, as though something had happened to delight her”. Estella’s reaction here is disturbing as she seems to be excited by the physical violence, the ‘flush’ hints at a sexual excitement too, she is being trained to delight in others pain – a sadist. This is the first clear sign that Estella thrives on seeing others hurt. She is even seen to reward Pip for fighting by granting him a kiss. This shows her manipulating him, by encouraging his affections for her and suggesting that she needs physical protection in some way. This scene adds a complexity to Estella’s character as it shows she is capable of enjoying things rather than keeping herself neutral to everything. It also adds to the whole story as the event further deepens Pip’s feelings for Estella leading him further into a personality that does not always display positive traits.

We start to feel sorry for Estella when it becomes clear that she is a broken person and Pip still tries desperately to make her love him. She tells Pip, “I have a heart to be stabbed or shot in, I have no doubt, and, of course, if it ceased to beat, I would cease to be. But you know what I mean. I have no softness there, no – sympathy – sentiment – nonsense.” Her words here shows she acknowledges her physical heart as something that can hurt or harmed, and she uses alliteration and plosive words to highlight this hurt – ‘stabbed’ and ‘shot’. They add aggression to her tone and make it sound like she is spitting her words at Pip. But then she disregards being able to feel emotions. She refers to these as ‘softness’ suggesting she thinks emotions are something that make you vulnerable. She shows further disdain for them with her list of words ‘sympathy’, ‘sentiment’ and then the final blow, ‘nonsense’. With that word she dismisses Pip’s feelings for her as trivial. In the same speech she also talks of never ‘bestowing her tenderness anywhere’ as she has never had tenderness. With such a statement Estella again refutes any warmth in her personality. There is an irony here though, as in telling Pip such things she is showing him a kindness in trying to warn him away. At this point we feel sorry for Estella, she is a cold-hearted being, because that is what Miss Havisham made her and she attempts to save Pip from her but he will not listen. He is still desperately set on believing the fairytale that Miss Havisham is his secret benefactor and that he is destined for Estella.

As Estella grows into an adult she actually goes against her maker Miss Havisham, much to the old lady’s shock and horror. Miss Havisham is appalled at Estella’s attitude when discussing her engagement to Drummel and Estella responds with “I am what you designed me to be. I am your blade. You cannot now complain if you also feel the hurt.” There is a continued theme here of violence that surrounds Estella. She compares herself to a knife here as both are sharp and can be used to hurt people – a knife physically, Estella emotionally. What Estella exemplifies at this point is how dangerous it is to interfere with people and shape them. She can commit Miss Havisham’s wishes but in doing so she is also hurting Miss Havisham. She does no good for anyone her, not for herself, not for Drummel, not for Pip and certainly not for Miss Havisham. In trying to achieve revenge, Miss Havisham has only hurt herself by cutting short Estella’s love for her.

There is some hope for Estella though, and even she, arguably the most broken character in the book finds redemption. Estella meets Pip at Satis House and reveals Drummel, her abusive husband is dead and she is free to remarry, she tells him, “I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape”. Her word choice here is actually quite sad, although she is speaking metaphorically here about her change of character and says that she is a better person now she is also referencing that part of this change took place as a result of Drummel’s fists – ‘bent’ and ‘broken’. The words are also alliterative and plosive as if mimicking the sound of his raining blows. It is also plausible that Estella actually finds a happy ending after finding herself as we are told by Pip, “I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and… I saw no shadow of another parting from her.” The word choice of ‘ruined’ suggests that both characters accept the imperfections of their past but are prepared to move on from it, the holding of hands shows them finally in partnership and the lack of ‘shadow of another parting’ suggests they intend to be together. This ending shows us our protagonist achieving his happy ending, but it also shows that Estella, as a result of her changes to her life also receiving her happy ending with a man who will care for her and love her properly.

In conclusion, Estella is an immensely complicated character as a result of her upbringing at the hand of Miss Havisham who intends her to be a manipulative heart-breaker. Estella can quickly see that she is inhuman in certain aspects and thrives and gets excited from being able to control the men around her. She feels sorry for Pip though and attempts to protect him from her. This makes us sympathetic towards her as she attempts to protect our protagonist. We also know that her behaviour is not entirely her fault. She exemplifies Dicken’s theme of being a good person as she, like Pip, only gets her happy ending when she changes herself for the better.