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GCSE English Literature

Similarly, in ‘Below the Green Carrie’, Norman Magical recalls a time when he was climbing in his beloved Scottish highlands. The surrounding mountainous landscape initially threatened him, however, unlike in ‘Extract from The Prelude’, he realizes that his experience was inspiring and ‘enriched his life’. Both poets use techniques to convey the ways in which these similar events had dramatic and contrasting effects on the voices of the poem that last a lifetime. Firstly, both poets use repetition to explain the positive and negative effects he places describe have on the speakers.

Magical explains that the mountains were ‘full of threats, full of thunders’. The repetition of ‘full’ here exaggerates the menace and potential threat from the mountains. The fact that Magical is intimidated by the mountains in shown further by the use of pathetic fallacy in which the stormy weather conditions described suggest the unpleasant, scared feelings infused within him. Moreover, Magician use of alliteration and repeated the’ sound creates a frightening atmosphere in which the repeated structure suggests that the danger is every”here. In this way,

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Magical highlights that this place makes him feel very intimidated, with the menacing nature of the peaks being a threat he can’t escape from. Akin to this, Wordsmith emphasizes the threat of the mountain, describing ‘a huge peak, black and huge’. The repetition of ‘huge’ increases the intimidating nature of the surrounding landscape and emphases its immense size whilst also suggesting a temporary loss for words. The sudden sight of the mountain brings about such fear and timidity that Wordsmith can’t quite speak. Furthermore, upon seeing this beast, he ‘struck and struck again’.

The verb struck is repeated’ to show the vigorous and intense actions he took to get as far away from the peak as possible. Nearer the end of the poem, after having returned home, Wordsmith feels that ‘no familiar shapes remained, no pleasant images of trees, of sea or sky, no colors of green fields’. The repetition of ‘no’ illustrates his negativity and his lack of inspiration from nature- he views it only as a threat. Nature has had a very oppressing effect on Wordsmith and now he feels that these somber emotions will forever In both change in tone is used to convey the impact place has had on the poet’s lives.

In Below the Green Carrie, there is a negative pessimistic tone, creating a feeling of danger, emphasized by the words ‘bandits’, ‘thunders’ and ‘threats’. However, the first word of the second stanza, ‘but’, is used as a tonal pivot, which changes the mood, creating a contrasting positive tone, of enlightenment and inspiration. The strong contrast between these hyperbolic words show the deeply ingrained impression the highlands leave on him that were at first negative and now give him a clear positive outlook on the area.

Similarly, a shift in tone occurs in the Prelude, signified by the word ‘when’, which Wordsmith uses, unlike Magical, to delineate a confident tone becoming more pessimistic. Contrastingly, rather than becoming inspired by the peak, he is intimidated by their menacing manner. Both poems use imagery to describe the mountains the poets encounter. Throughout Below the Green Carrie, Magical uses an extended metaphor to liken the mountains to highwaymen, as ‘the mountains gathered round like bandits’. The use of personification here gives the mountains human characteristics to exaggerate the danger he feels the mountains present.

The mile also provides the reader with a clear reference to the notorious highwaymen who have an historical significance of intimidation. However, with a neat and unexpected twist, Magical explains to the reader that ‘it was they [the mountains] who stood and delivered/they gave me their money and their lives. ‘ These large, generous gifts illustrate the majestic nature he now feels the mountains possess. Magical finally describes the mountains as ‘wearing a bandoleer of light’. The light imagery provides powerful connotations of hope and happiness; with a religious element suggested to oratory the profound effect they have on him.

Again, the personification, shown by the verb ‘wearing’, serves to exaggerate the enlightening atmosphere of these ‘marvelous prowlers’. In Extract from ‘The Prelude’, Wordsmith describes the ripples created by the oars of his boat, as ‘small circles glittering idly in the moon melted all into one track of sparkling light’. The use of the ‘moon’ and ‘light’ creates a sensual image with the metaphor of the ripples melting, portraying the magical effect the lake has on him. However, later personifying the mountain, which ordered up’ and ‘strode after [him]’, displays the powerful and threatening presence that the mountains instill.

Finally, both poets manipulate structure to highlight the effects the environments have had on them. In ‘Below the Green Carrie’, the first two stanzas have a controlled, ordered structure with similar line lengths to show how Magical feels confined and restricted by the mountains. However, in the final stanza, he adopts a more free and creatively inspired structure, mirroring how he has been inspired by the mountains. In Extract from ‘The Prelude’, Wordsmith adopts a prose like structure, which reads like a arsenal account, to show the clear impression this one event left on him.


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