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A150 Exam revision tutorial

Stephen came out of the hot mill into the damp wind and cold wet
streets, haggard and worn. He turned from his own class and his own
quarter, taking nothing but a little bread as he walked along, towards the
hill on which his principal employer lived, in a red house with black outside
shutters, green inside blinds, a black street door, up two white steps,
BOUNDERBY (in letters very like himself) upon a brazen plate, and a
round brazen door-handle underneath it, like a brazen full-stop.
Mr. Bounderby was at his lunch. So Stephen had expected. Would his
servant say that one of the Hands begged leave to speak to him? Message in
return, requiring name of such Hand. Stephen Blackpool. There was
nothing troublesome against Stephen Blackpool; yes, he might come in.
Stephen Blackpool in the parlour. Mr. Bounderby (whom he just knew
by sight), at lunch on chop and sherry. Mrs. Sparsit netting at the fireside,
in a side-saddle attitude, with one foot in a cotton stirrup. It was a part, at
once of Mrs. Sparsits dignity and service, not to lunch. She supervised the
meal officially, but implied that in her own stately person she considered
lunch a weakness.
Now, Stephen, said Mr. Bounderby, whats the matter with you?
Stephen made a bow. Not a servile one these Hands will never do
that! Lord bless you, sir, youll never catch them at that, if they have been
with you twenty years! and, as a complimentary toilet for Mrs. Sparsit,
tucked his neckerchief ends into his waistcoat.
Now, you know, said Mr. Bounderby, taking some sherry, we have
never had any difficulty with you, and you have never been one of the
unreasonable ones. You dont expect to be set up in a coach and six, and to
be fed on turtle soup and venison, with a gold spoon, as a good many of em
do! Mr. Bounderby always represented this to be the sole, immediate, and
direct object of any Hand who was not entirely satisfied; and therefore I
know already that you have not come here to make a complaint. Now, you
know, I am certain of that, beforehand.
No, sir, sure I ha not coom for nowt o th kind.

A150 Exam revision tutorial

Mr. Bounderby seemed agreeably surprised, notwithstanding his


previous strong conviction. Very well, he returned. Youre a steady Hand,
and I was not mistaken. Now, let me hear what its all about. As its not that,
let me hear what it is. What have you got to say? Out with it, lad!
Stephen happened to glance towards Mrs. Sparsit. I can go, Mr.
Bounderby, if you wish it, said that self-sacrificing lady, making a feint of
taking her foot out of the stirrup.
Mr. Bounderby stayed her, by holding a mouthful of chop in suspension
before swallowing it, and putting out his left hand. Then, withdrawing his
hand and swallowing his mouthful of chop, he said to Stephen:
Now you know, this good lady is a born lady, a high lady. You are not to
suppose because she keeps my house for me, that she hasnt been very high
up the tree ah, up at the top of the tree! Now, if you have got anything to
say that cant be said before a born lady, this lady will leave the room. If
what you have got to say can be said before a born lady, this lady will stay
where she is.
Sir, I hope I never had nowt to say, not fitten for a born lady to year,
sin I were born mysen, was the reply, accompanied with a slight flush.
Very well, said Mr. Bounderby, pushing away his plate, and leaning
back. Fire away!
Charles Dickens, Hard Times, Book 1, Chapter 11, No Way Out
Questions on Hard Times
1. How does this extract relate to the theme of authority?
2. How does Dickens use register to create a comic effect in his description of Mrs Sparsit in
this extract?
3. What does this extract tell us about industry in the north of England in the nineteenth
century?
4. a) From whose perspective do we view this scene? How does the narratorial voice control
our impressions of the scene?
b) How does Dickens use dialogue to indicate character in this extract?

A150 Exam revision tutorial


From Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by John le Carr, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1974

A150 Exam revision tutorial

A150 Exam revision tutorial


Questions on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
1. How does this text relate to the theme of authority?
2. Why and how does le Carr incorporate languages other than English into this text?
3. What can we learn about the British Secret Service in the twentieth century from this text?
4. How does le Carr use Haydons note and Smileys reading of it to give the reader an
impression of Haydons character?
[1] Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered full many ways after he had
sacked the sacred citadel of Troy. Many were the men whose cities he saw and whose mind
he learned, aye, and many the woes he suffered in his heart upon the sea, seeking to win his
own life and the return of his comrades. Yet even so he saved not his comrades, though he
desired it sore, for through their own blind folly they perishedfools, who devoured the
cattle of Helios Hyperion; but he took from them the day of their returning. Of these things,
goddess, daughter of Zeus, beginning where thou wilt, tell thou even unto us.
[11] Now all the rest, as many as had escaped sheer destruction, were at home, safe from both
war and sea, but Odysseus alone, filled with longing for his return and for his wife, did the
queenly nymph Calypso, that bright goddess, keep back in her hollow caves, yearning that he
should be her husband. But when, as the seasons revolved, the year came in which the gods
had ordained that he should return home to Ithaca, not even there was he free from toils, even
among his own folk. And all the gods pitied him save Poseidon; but he continued to rage
unceasingly against godlike Odysseus until at length he reached his own land. Howbeit
Poseidon had gone among the far-off Ethiopiansthe Ethiopians who dwell sundered in
twain, the farthermost of men, some where Hyperion sets and some where he rises, there to
receive a hecatomb of bulls and rams, and there he was taking his joy, sitting at the feast; but
the other gods were gathered together in the halls of Olympian Zeus.
Homer, Odyssey, 1.1-27
Questions on The Odyssey
1. How does this text relate to the theme of authority?
2. With reference to this text, discuss how writers can manipulate language to create a
particular perspective on events.
3. What can we learn about the ancient Greek world from this text?
4. How does Homer establish Odysseus as the hero of this text?