A2 English Language and Literature Exam

Below you will find powerpoints for lessons on The Crucible by Arthur Miller:

Lesson 1 – Introduction to the course/play
Lesson 2 – Introduction to Key Terms
Lesson 3 – Introduction to the play
Paragraph writing Skills
Act One: Rebecca Nurse
Act One: Abigail and Proctor
Politeness Theory

Grice’s Maxim
Introduction Pack
Exam Question Structure

Student Presentations:
Act 1
Act 2
Act 2 (2)
Act 3
Act Four

Year 13, please post your example paragraphs about the relationship between Proctor and Elizabeth below:

13 thoughts on “A2 English Language and Literature Exam

  1. Furthermore the audience learns a lot about Proctor’s personality through the stage directions described by Miller which portray to the audience deeper meanings of his persona than dialogue would have perhaps suggested. ‘He lifts out the ladle and tastes. He is not quite pleased’ The declarative sentence presents to the audience a dominant and controlling character as Proctor doesn’t feel ‘quite pleased’ with Elizabeth’s cooking and it doesn’t quite match to his expectations. This concept is further enhanced when ‘Proctor takes a pinch of salt, and drops it into the pot’ indicating he likes to often be in control of things. This also foreshadows the revelation of Proctor having cheated on Elizabeth with Abigail as Miller decides to predominately portray a dishonest and sneaky personality of Proctor as he is shown to do things behind Elizabeth’s back. However after having metaphorically insulted Elizabeth’s cooking “…her footsteps are heard on the stairs. He swings the pot into the fireplace” Proctor’s hiding nature could be seen as positive gesture towards Elizabeth; a successful attempt of avoiding the negative impoliteness theory by condescending Elizabeth’s character and belittling her using her bad cooking. This therefore shows his deep love and affection towards Elizabeth as Proctor doesn’t want to his wife’s feelings.

    Jessica 🙂 xo

    • Well done for using the politeness theory in your paragraph. You might want to consider the positions of Elizabeth and Procter at the beginning of the scene when discussing stage directions.

  2. One way Miller shows the relationship between Proctor and Elizabeth is through the literary device of stage directions. Proctor’s character is already presented to us as quite dominant, and when he is ‘not quite pleased’ with Elizabeth’s cooking it shows how he has high expectations. The declarative sentence suggests to the audience that he is more superior to Elizabeth and he has control. When Proctor ‘gets up, goes to her, kisses her’ it shows that there is love in their relationship, however Elizabeth simply ‘ receives it’ which shows that there is a lack of closeness in their relationship and that she is not feeling happy about something. Their separation is confirmed to the audience when Miller describes that ‘a sense of their separation rises’. Both characters speech is described with the adverb ‘quietly’ suggesting that neither of them want to start an argument but there is something that they must talk about. As the conversation continues, the stage directions describe Proctor to be speaking ‘angrily’ and ‘with a violent undertone’. This highlights Proctors dominance and how he is trying to take control by using his anger. Elizabeth is not affected by Proctors anger and Miller describes her to ‘smile, to keep her dignity’. Therefore the stage directions during the conversation between Proctor and Elizabeth reflect how there is a separation in their relationship and Proctor tries to take control of Elizabeth, but she shows herself to be a strong character who sticks up for herself to her husband.
    In addition, the dialogue between Proctor and Elizabeth also shows their relationship. They start off with the linguistic device of phatic talk, ‘are you well today?’ and ‘I am’. This has no function and suggests that Elizabeth is initially scared to bring up the serious matter that she wants to talk about. As the conversation continues, both Proctor and Elizabeth interrupt each other as they both attempt to hold the floor. When Elizabeth interrupts Proctor ‘“I have forgotten Abigail…” “-and I”’ it shows that she is not inferior to her husband. Also in this time it could be seen as rude for a wife to interrupt her husband but as they are both at home, Elizabeth feels no need to keep quiet, suggesting that even though Proctor tries to be dominant, their relationship is very balanced.

    Sophie 🙂

    • Congratulations!!! This is a great paragraph, you have included an equal balance of linguistic and literary effects. Add more contextual factors 😀

  3. Miller uses the linguistic device of discourse conventions to help show the relationship between Elizabeth and Proctor. Throughout the scene Elizabeth and Proctor equally interrupt each other in an attempt to hold the floor. Proctor says ‘How may that mouse frighten you, Elizabeth? You-‘ which is interrupted by Elizabeth’s reply of ‘It is a mouse no more.’ Elizabeth only tries to hold the floor in this privatised institution, as she never interrupts Proctor in front of people. This is likely to be because it would not be acceptable for a women to do this in the 16th century. At first Proctor allows her to interrupt him, this may reflect his guilty attitude of his relationship with Elizabeth breaking down and allow Elizabeth’s anger to come through. But towards the end we see Proctor clearly holding the floor to assert his authority. Furthermore Proctor also manages to hold the floor through his agenda setting ‘you’re sad again aren’t you?’ This shows proctor using positive impoliteness to invade Elizabeth’s positive face as it is a topic which is sensitive therefore she may not want to talk about it. Overall the discourse conventions are very effective for the audience in demonstrating the tension rising between Elizabeth and Proctor as the relationship breaks down.

  4. One way Miller portrays the relationship between Proctor and his wife Elizabeth is through the use of the literary device of metaphors. Throughout this scene, the audience can clearly feel that there is tension and unspoken thoughts between these two characters. When Elizabeth remarks to Proctor that ‘the magistrate sits in your heart that judges you’, she flouts the maxim of quantity, as she is using a metaphor to say more than needs to be said. The use of the noun ‘magistrate’ suggests to the reader that she feels like she is being judged by her husband when it really should be her that judges him. In 16th century society, it would have been out of the norm for a woman to judge a man and be so dominant in their relationship, but in Proctor and Elizabeth’s case, Salem would have seen him cheating on her as more unacceptable. Proctor retorts with ‘Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer!’ not only does this provide the audience with the literary device of imagery, it also informs them what Proctor think of Elizabeth, the fact that her ‘justice could freeze beer’ infers that she has a cold personality and that there is no fire and passion in her to fight for their marriage. The lexis ‘freeze’ could also be a metaphor for how Proctor feels about their relationship, that it has reached a standstill, where it is slowly withering in the cold. Furthermore, Miller use of stage directions to show the increasing tension and the idea that they both feel like they are being judged is shown when they are both described as behaving ‘quietly’ – ‘Elizabeth: [quietly, fearing to anger him by prodding]’ and ‘Proctor: [quietly, struggling with his thoughts]’- This could be received by the audience that both characters are careful around one another, Elizabeth doesn’t want to anger him, which suggest that perhaps she is afraid of him and Proctor, struggles with what to say, which suggests that he doesn’t want to upset her. These actions tell the audience that they care for each other but that there are underlying issues which are unresolved as they both flout the maxim of quality because they are not being truthful with one another.

    • Well done Afiya, good use of context!
      Try to avoid really long paragraphs as you might miss some other equally important things in the exam!

    • really good Afiya,
      Www- good use of context and literary devices and also good comments on maxims of quantity etc
      Target- maybe write about some rhetorical devices?

    • Well done fefe, you have gone into great detail and included literary terms and relevant context. Soo proud. Next time keep to one point per paragraph xxxxx

    • I agree with the other comments about context. That’s avert important point about fairness between men and women and the hypocrisy of the church. Rather than using lexis, actually look up what type of word you are using.

  5. Lingustic devices are used to show Proctor and Elizabeth’s relationship in The Crucible by Arthur Miller for example the use of phatic talk as the conversation begins such as speaking about the rabbit. This suggests that there is avoidance in speaking about certain topics. This perhaps is shown though that Elizabeth does not want to speak about her feelings as Proctor states ‘I think you’re sad again. Are you?’ displaying positive impoliteness. Other linguistic devices such as discourse conventions are used to show the relationship between Elizabeth and Proctor such as interruptions which displays them both holding the floor to have their voices and opinions heard. An example of this is ‘How may that mouse frighten you, Elizabeth? You-‘. This how’s Elizabeth interrupting Proctor which is seen to be only expressed in a private area such as the home, however in public Elizabeth does not interrupt as it would not be socially acceptable in Salem in 1692, where it would be a convention to show your partner respect. However, Elizabeth does do this in the home, Proctor allows it to a certain amount of time and then the mood shifts as he becomes angered.

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