Short Stories for the AS

This year we are starting our preparation for the AS exams. To start with, our teacher, Pato,  divided us into several groups and assigned us two authors who we are going to read stories from, to learn about their lives, so as to be able to understand the movement which they belonged to, and their main themes when writing.


Our literature teacher gave us this assignment. 

Task 1:

1) The story is set in the future, when the world is overcrowded. The protagonist, Ward, was searching for a new place where to live, because he was leaving in a staircase were it was very uncomfortable and very expensive. Then he found a place far away from the city which was empty. He and his friend decided to live there and not to tell anyone. They bought a Victorian wardrobe which symbolized the largess of the room. However, they later on invited friends because they were so used to not having space, they were sick of having so much space. In the end they had to remove the wardrobe because they didn’t have enough space to keep on building cubicles, therefore they removed the only symbol which said that they had a lot of space.

2)The overpopulation caused; crazy amounts of pedestrian traffic, because there were so many people who needed to commute, there wasn’t enough space for everyone to move; people were to live in small places, they couldn’t stand having free space; people continued having many children, because it gave you benefits, bit this was harmful for society because population continued growing. Overpopulation also caused the lack of privacy, since they didn’t have a private room, bathroom, kitchen; cubicles were getting smaller more expensive, leaving people without money to spend on their leisure time and there was unemployment because there weren’t enough jobs for the vast amount of people who needed.

3) The people were used to living in cramped spaces. When Ward was decorating the house, he filled it up with space, as when he lived in the cubicles there was no space, and having free space, was strange for him.


5) Ballard explains the causes which have caused this overpopulation. One cause which groups society, economy and politics is that by having three or more children, you got a bigger cubicle. If there were more people in a family they would need a large room to live in. However, having more than two children makes the population grow.


6) In our opinion, population growth will not be a big issue this century. Population growth has been unequal in different countries. In richer countries population is; slowly growing; not growing; or even decreasing. However, in poorer countries population has been growing at incredible speeds. It will just take years for this countries to developed and stabilize the growth of population.


7) Ward is the protagonist of the story. He is a middle aged man, he works at a library and his roommate is Resister. He hates the way in which the landlords shorten their cubicles in order to make more and earn money. Anyway, at the end of the story he ends up becoming a hated landlord when he starts dividing into cubicles the empty room.


8) Resister is a close friend of Ward. He is the one who brought the two girls into the spare room causing a loss of spare space.


9) The female characters of the story are invited to stay in the spare room Ward had. After moving in they invited their family taking up the free space there had once been. Therefore, the girls are the house tenants.


10) Overpopulation has affected the characters’ lives.


11) The secret room symbolize of freedom, leak to escape from the overcrowded world.


12) Ward and Resister are unable to keep the space because they can’t deal with emptiness because their minds are not used to it.


13) They started making cubicles inside the room and getting less space so their problem didn’t end.


14) Ballard’s style is appropriate for the story because he lived in the Victorian times when Britain was overcrowded so he understands his characters.


Task two: The video is really similar to the situation in the short story that we read. Both talked about little cubicles where people live, coexist. This kind of little apartments were planned to be to young people, singles as the video said. But also there were a lot of families that live there too. In the story this situation was for everyone, because of the overpopulation. Obviously a family had more space and meters than a single but talking seriously, these cubicles were really small. A difference that i found is that in the story, the people lived there for need, obligation because of the overpopulation. In the video, these cubicles give a chance to people who can’t afford something bigger and also these people choose to live there, there are not obligated. Finally i want to said that in both cases, this cubicles are describe as really uncomfortable, very small, cheaper and chokers.


Lion Heart by Amanda Chong

Today, our literature teacher gave us an assignment.



Crest: Highest part of a hill

Ivory: pale

Heralding: a royal messenger

Squall: A sudden, violent gust of wind.

Throb: To palpitate

Bumboats: A boat used in peddling provisions and small wares among vessels liying in port or offshore

Raw: exposed

Vault: arched structure

Unsheathed: To plow from a sheath, sword, knife,etc

3)The writer of the peom is Amanda Chong.


Singapore, Singapore - June 30, 2015: Merilon Statue at Marina Bay with Singapore Skyline in background

Singapore, Singapore – June 30, 2015: Merilon Statue at Marina Bay with Singapore Skyline in background

6)Yes, the peom shows love towards Singapore. Chong wanted to make people love and have pride towards their country.


Today, 12th of August we analysed the poem in class. 

Sredni Vashtar

Element of instaibility: The element of instability is that Conradin has five more years until he dies. And without his imagination he would die before.

Conflict: The conflict is that Conradin lives with his cousin, who hates Conradin, and he hates her back. It’s a mutual feeling.

Climax or Point of no Return: The point of no return is when Conradin’s cousin sells the hen

Falling Action: The falling action is when Conradin prayed to Sredni Vashtar to kill his cousin.

Resolution: The resolution when Conradin’s cousin died.

Analysis guide

1- Analyze the setting. Focus on mood and atmosphere.

As they a shed and a big garden, we can perceive that they a farm. Therefore they lived in the outer of the city.

2-  Describe Conradin´s cousin.

She was the antagonist of the story. She was very controling and harsh with Conradin, and didn´t care about his happines.

3-Describe the role of religion.

The role of religion in the story is very important. Because the Shed reprents Conradin´s church, and the ferret represents Conradin´s god.

4- What is the uncanny of the story.

The uncanny of the story is that Conradin prayed to the ferret, and he thought the ferret actually killed his cousin.

Compare the story we read and the video. Make a brief comment about this.

The video gave a more sad and gloomy atmosphere than the story because the story doesn’t give you a lot of description of the setting and the mood. Also, the video shortens the period of time when the actions occur because in the story Conradin watches the window for a longer time. Finally, the video gives you a foreshadowing of what was going to happen rather than the story, because when the glass breaks in the shed, as the video shows you, later on, the cousin cuts herself with her own glasses.

Do you agree with the analysis?

Yes, we agree with this prezi, because it is similar to ours. For example: religion is a very important feature in the story.

-Can you mention other themes?

Other themes are madness; when Conradin thought that the ferret killed his cousin. And hiding your true feelings.

-Can you find quotations for the themes mentioned in the presentation and those you have added?

-“The boy would not live another five years”
-“Whoever will break it to the poor child?”
Hiding your true feelings:
-“Conradin hated her with a desperate sincerity which he was perfectly able to mask”
Man vs Nature:
-“Sredni Vashtar was personally responsible for the toothache”
-“Sredni Vashtar, the great ferret”
-“It is not good for him to be pottering down there in all weathers”
-“Do one thing for me, Sredni Vashtar”


“An Inspector Calls” by J.B. Priestly

On Friday the 11th we started reading our play for the GCSE examination; An Inspector Calls.

The play has three acts which all take place in a dinning room of a suburban house.

The background.

It was written in 1945, and the time period of the story is 1912. Priestly was against Capitalism and in the story Arthur Birling is shown as a capitalist man. The story is set in the Edwardian Era, were there was prosperity for the middle class and industrialist. But also, the working class was discontent which led to strikes.

The characters are:

  • Mr. Arthur Birling Father: He is very money minded, he thinks the titanic is unsinkable and that war was not coming. As Priestly reflects capitalism in Arthur we can say that he pays poor wages and earns a lot of many.
  • Mrs. Sybil Birling Mother
  • Sheila Birling Daughter
  • Eric Birling Son: Loves drinking. The black ship of the family.
  • Gerald Croft Sheila’s fiancée: He is a liar, he told Sheila that he was very busy with work when he was actually having an affair. He is part of the upper class, and that is why Arthur wants him to marry her daughter, it meant more money.
  • Inspector Goole
  • Eva Smith

Now that we’ve finished reading act one, we answered some question that are the end of book.

I answered from 9 to 14 with: Lucas, Gonzalo and Martin.

Fran and Otto answered questions 24, 25, 26 and 27.


Maria, Margui and Miu answered questions 12,13,14,15,16 and 17.

Ignacio, Benja, Jero, Santi answered questions 19,20,21,22 and 23.

Fefi and Sil answered questions 3,4,5,6 and 7.

Juana, Chivy, Flor and Ele answered questions 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Vicky, Lola and Ine answred questions 6,7,8,9 and 10.

An Inspector Calls

Rochi V, Martu and Rochi S answered questions 1, 2,3,4 and 5.

Act Two:

Now that we finshed reading Act 2, we did an analysis of two steps.

First we did a mindmap relating Mrs. Birling, Gerald, Eric, Sheila and Mr. Birling to Eva Smith.


And the second step was answering question 1;2;6;7;19;20;21 and 22.

  • 1. What is the mood at the dining room at the start of act 2?

The mood at the dining room at the beginning of act 2 is tense. They were talking about Gerald’s affair with Eva Smith, and the Inspector left them alone to discuss this problem. Here the mood started being more tense, since they were going to get married and Sheila discovered that Gerald had been cheating on her with another woman, Daisy Renton.

  • 2. Why do Gerald and Sheila react “bitterly” to each other?

They were disappointed with each other as Sheila discovered that Gerald had cheated on her with Eva.

  • 6. How does Mrs Birling re-enter the dinning-room? Why does Sheila warn her?

Sheila understood how the Inspector thought and she knew he was playing mind games, trying to make everyone curious and trying to get each other to fight. When Mrs. Birling entered she was very assured that Eva had nothing to do with her, although she was wrong. So Sheila, warned her mother for her to know that something bad was coming.

  • 7. What is Mrs Birling’s attitude to Eva Smith?

Mrs. Birling completely ignored the possibility that she was responsible for Eva’s death. When Eva asked for help in her charity she used her power inside the committee to get her request denied, only because Eva made herself be called Mrs. Birling, when she knew that there weren’t other Birlings outside her family. She blamed the father of the baby, since she thought it was his responsibility.



  • 20. What makes Sheila suddenly aware of Eric’s involvement?

Sheila realizes how important was Eric when her mother started describing the father of the baby of Eva Smith; he was young, rich, drunk and jobless. Then when Eva when to the charity, she used the surname Birling. These made Sheila recognize who the father of the baby was, Eric.

  • 21. Why does Mrs Birling react in a “frightened” way?

Mrs. Birling reacts in a frightened way because she still thought that Eric was a child, that he wasn’t capable of doing such things like getting drunk, stealing and getting a girl pregnant. Also she said she denied Eva’s petition because it was the father’s responsibility, therefore it was Eric’s responsibility.

  • 22. What is the mood at the dining-room as Eric re-enters?

When Eric re-enters the dinning room, everyone was shocked, because they discovered his relation with Eva.



Contemporary Literature

This is a presentation which two kids from Senior 2 did on contemporary literature.

This is a video on characteristics of contemporary literature.



1. Uses code switching between elevated literary language and “lower” forms, between high art and low art

2. Deploys metafictional techniques to draw our attention to the work’s relationship (or non-relationship) to “reality”

3. Emphasizes performative nature of our identities; they aren’t “true” or natural but just seem that way because they are consistent and persistent

4. Emphasizes fragmentation in human experience of postmodern culture, and as an artistic strategy

5. Breaks down our faith in the supremacy of the rational, scientific human being (e.g. comparisons between animals and humans and machines)

6. Questions our ability to understand ourselves and our culture

7. Questions omniscience by questioning our ability to accurately see reality

8. Questions the link between language and reality (everything is a biased representation)

9. Depicts border-crossing and migration as fundamental to human experience

10. Emphasizes the permeability of old boundaries: between men and women; between the East and the West; between high and low culture

11. Shows people struggling to find meaning in a world that doesn’t offer us the old assurances (of either faith or science)

The Lost Woman by Patricia Beer

She was born in November 4th 1919. In Devon.

She died in the 15th of August in 1999.  In Devon.

She studied in Oxford University.

She was a poet and a critic.

She started writing poetry after the First World War.

She lived in Italy.

She was married twice.

She edited several significant anthologies.

The poem: 

My mother went with no more warning
than a bright voice and a bad pain.
Home from school on a June morning
And where the brook goes under the lane
I saw the back of a shocking white
Ambulance drawing away from the gate.

She never returned and I never saw
Her buried. So a romance began.
The ivy-mother turned into a tree
That still hops away like a rainbow down
The avenue as I approach.
My tendrils are the ones that clutch.

I made a life for her over the years.
Frustrated no more by a dull marriage
She ran a canteen through several wars.
The wit of a cliché-ridden village
She met her match at an extra-mural
Class and the OU summer school.

Many a hero in his time
And every poet has acquired
A lost woman to haunt the home,
To be compensated and desired,
Who will not alter, who will not grow,
A corpse they need never get to know.

She is nearly always benign. Her habit
Is not to stride at dead of night.
Soft and crepuscular in rabbit-
Light she comes out. Hear how they hate
Themselves for losing her as they did.
Her country is bland and she does not chide.

But my lost woman evermore snaps
From somewhere else: ‘You did not love me.
I sacrificed too much perhaps,
I showed you the way to rise above me
And you took it. You are the ghost
With the bat-voice, my dear. I am not lost.’