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Question: With detailed reference to the poem analyse the theme of love from

the perspective ofThe Clod and the Pebble.


The Clod and the Pebble, like a lot of William Blakes other works, presents the
two different sides and perspectives from which everything can be seen. In this
particular poem, the theme of love is explored through the perspectives of a
clod, and a pebble. The two opposing views are kept well balanced throughout
the poem, with Blake using a similar style of writing for the main
stanzas. (what have you actually said in this introduction? As far as I can make
out you have said just we have two opposing views of love in this poem and
nothing else. Try to attack the question and give an overview of your answer.)

The clods perspective of love is similar to religious love, and the clod itself can
be taken as a symbol to represent selfless, kind and holy love. The clod begins
his song by singing that love seeketh not itself to please (your writing style is
confident so far, but I wouldve liked you to comment on what a clod is and the
significance of that first of all). This emphasizes on (not good English
emphasises on this emphasises love as something selfless) love being selfless,
and how the clod believes that truly loving someone means to aim to please
others, not oneself (good analysis). The clod says love has no care for itself,
and therefore the idea of love being divine and heavenly is further
developed (no, this isnt demonstrated how does it become divine simply for
being selfless? Explain more). The clod sings about how love for another gives
it ease, similar to a lot of teachings in the Bible, which tells people to be selfless
and count others more significant than themselves (okay, now youve answered
my earlier question, but you were a bit decisive before youd demonstrated your
point). In terms of the clod, it is malleable and changes shape easily to bend to
the will of others (you are definitely shifting to a new point here. Begin a new
paragraph to make it clear to your examiner). The clod is being trodden with
the cattles feet and yet it does not complain, eager to provide the cattle with
comfort. The clod ends his little song with the line that love can build a heaven
in hells despair. Despair is considered to be the worst sin in Christianity,
because it is believed that as long as God is present, there is always hope. When
the clod says love can even get rid of despair, it is further developing on the
idea that it views love in a very religious light, thinking of it as divine and
selfless- like God (these last three sentences link more easily with your initial
point but I think youve combined three paragraphs into one here and Id dock
you marks for this. I also think you could do with an anchor sentence here just to
show the examiner exactly what youve just demonstrated as it is, I think youd
need three separate anchors!)

The pebble, in contrast, can be taken a symbol for the selfish, dark and ugly
side of love (confident linking and still fully focused on the question perhaps
room to say that it presents the opposite perspective on love). It counters the
clods perspective by saying that love seeks only self to please, and is not as
selfless as the clod thinks it is (understatement here). Love, as seen by the
pebble, is about seeking pleasure only for oneself. It is a selfish act, one that
binds another to its delight. It goes on to say that love gets joys in another
loss of ease, which presents the idea that love is only happy and comfortable
when people are getting hurt. The pebble seems harsh and cynical, and comes
as across as having no feelings. It clearly does not believe in love, and thinks of
it to be a waste of time. It can be said he said he has a heart of stone- quite
literally (no, not quite literally it doesnt have a heart of stone, it is a stone.
Better here if you explain the significance of being a stone cold, hard, not able
to mould it like the clod). Blake uses a hard pebble to sing out the cold, harsh
truth. It ends with twisting the clods last words around and saying that love
has the power to build a hell in heavens despite, which implies that love is so
cruel and harsh, it can turn the most peaceful of places into a hell. (good, but
another anchor here. This paragraph is pretty awesome though!)

With their respective perspectives, the clod comes across as innocent, young
and naive, still believing in the power of love (excellent, but I would say the clod
represents an innocent). The pebble, however, comes across as someone who
has had a lot of experience, and therefore has hardened over the years(with the
influence of seeing the realities of failed love affairs). The poem can also be seen
as a contrast of not only their conflicting views on love, but also their
innocence and experience. Blake presents both views of love in this poem, but
keeping in mind that a pebble is more attractive, and hence more preferred
than a clod, is it possible that Blake is favouring the pebble? (avoid asking
rhetorical questions as you are supposed to be telling me what the poem means
rather than posing additional questions) The pebble does come across as more
mature, experienced and therefore reliable. Compared with the naivety and
innocence of the clod, the odds seem to be in the pebbles favour. (this is also an
excellent paragraph, but I would suggest rearranging elements of your essay in
order to make this paragraph a bit more focused on the text. Discuss the
qualities of a clod and a pebble here and thus relate it to their view of love.
Youve included these ideas in your earlier paragraph, but theyd make more
sense here.)

Blake presents a balanced argument from both sides, leaving the choice of
which is right to the reader. However, he could also be trying to remind
everyone that while we often view love from a similar perspective like that of
the clods, we often forget that love can be a cruel and destructive force as
well. (excellent conclusion if you just also sum up one last time exactly what the
two perspectives of love presented are).

Q: How does Chitre explore the central theme of Mans estrangement from a man made
world by portraying the character of a father?

The poem Father Returning Home written by Chitre explores the loneliness and the utter alienation
experienced by a common man. The journey is detailed by portraying the journey of a common man
on a metropolitan rush which makes the poem rather simple to connect with the readers (reread this
as youve said journey twice at the beginning of the sentence. Also be a bit bolder add some
judgement, what is this journey like?). The central theme of the poem is Mans estrangement from a
man made world that revolves around this lackluster father to reflect upon the absence of human
companionship in todays society. (this introduction is a bit cobbled together. What you basically want
to do is answer the question by saying: In this poem Chitre explores one mans estrangement from the
modern world through POINT A (body paragraph 1), POINT B (body paragraph 2), POINT C (body
paragraph 3) and so on and so on.)
Dilip Chitre, an Indian poet (fine, but irrelevant context unless you make it significant to our
understanding of the poem/your interpretation), details the hardships of his father through the form of
a poem in order to explore the ideas of familial love and the struggles faced by parents to support the
livelihood of their family. The poem is divided into 2 equal stanzas and with no rhyme scheme. By
narrating the poem in a rather cold and formal language, Chitre is successful in creating a dull and
somber mood. (this paragraph is a bit odd. How have you answered the question? You havent youve
just given an overview of the poem. I want you to get straight on with your answer rather than
explaining how the poem has been constructed)

The ideas of hardships, boredom, alienation and struggle is detailed as the Father is seen traveling on
late evening local trains. The idea of boredom and loneliness is highly evident in the lines (repeating
the same words of your earlier sentence, better if: This dull existence is explore as the father is
quotation) Standing among Silent commuters. (try, wherever possible, to integrate quotations into
the flow of your sentence. This improves the flow dramatically) This simply suggests the lack of
interaction with each other and expounds on the theme of social alienation. (big words, but not saying
a great deal that you havent said in your first sentence: lack of interaction of the father and
demonstrates that he has no connection with those around him. However, the fact they are all silent
further suggests that his feeling is not unique. I also think I would bring in what we see later about the
way he is treated by his sons to make the point that he is similarly irrelevant within his family, despite
working his ass off) The fathers boredom is strengthened by showing how irrelevant the outside
world is for him as they drift across his Unseeing Eyes oxymoron. (integrate your mention of a
technique and you need to explain why his eyes are unseeing, you are leaving the examiner too much
work to do) The idea of hardship and struggles is easily portrayed (I think easily portrayed is an
awkward phrase and means basically nothing. I get what you mean, but I think you should just get
straight to the idea that this image creates sympathy) by using words like eyes dimmed by age
which create sympathy for the working father who is old and seen weak (as a result of his struggle to
provide for his family). Chitres writing is successful in creating an overall mood of dread and somber
with setting this scene under Humid Monsoon Light that even evokes more sympathy for this man
travelling. (you need to actually analyse. Use a quote and then tell me what it means and why it is
significant in relation to the question you are answering) However, with even using an enjambment
(Line 1 to 6) simply explains on his lengthy journey that adds on to his level of tiredness and
alienation.(you really need to use an anchor sentence to readdress and refocus on the question)
The fathers irrelevance to other travelers is implicitly expressed in the simile Like a word. Sentence.
Just like how a word being removed from a very long sentence makes no major change to its meaning
similarly the fathers presence is not significant to the human race. (this is much better quotation +
explanation of its significance) Chitre has even made his journey from the station to his house seem
long with words hurries, length, crosses (explain how as I dont understand) and even shows his
urgency to reach home in order to escape these parameters of isolation. Colour symbolism like
greycreates a dull and isolated impression. (how does this last sentence relate to the rest of the
paragraph? It feels tagged on and disconnected. Also use an anchor as you are drifting away from the
question and havent addressed it since the beginning of the last paragraph)
The theme of mans estrangement from a man made world is even seen to survive at his own house
where he is denied of companionship. (really solidly stated point, well done) Firstly, the writer begins
the paragraph by detailing his ordinary day to day tasks drinking weak teabook. This may hint at
isolation as all these activities are undertaken alone. (explanation a bit unclear: why does drinking tea
hint at isolation? Id say the level of the fathers sacrifice is further demonstrated through his actions
when he reaches home. He drinks weak tea, which suggests that he lives moderately and without
excess, again a sacrifice in order to provide what his children and family need. In addition, he is seen
immediately turning to a book rather than talking with his children, suggesting isolation even here.) It
is at this point where we see the father being affected due to the boredom and loneliness as he is
contemplating upon such an impactful question of mans estrangement from a man made world in the
complete privacy of a toilet. The fear of this subject is seen as he is seen to tremble in the next line.
The idea of mans estrangement is even seen as his own children have refused to converse and show
any attachment to him. This creates a very lonely and lacklustre figure whos both outside and inside
world have refused to share companionship with him. (good joining up of ideas from across the
poem)The effects of time passing fast also shows how much he is used to performing the same tasks-
which is suggested by the caesura in the line jokes and secrets. To sleep. The effect of introducing
the caesura shows how fast time flies through the course of his regular activities. (brilliant, its difficult
to comment on structure confidently, but this sounds really authoritative) Dilip Chitre (drop the first
name, just call him Chitre) even uses allusions to the past dreaming of hisThrough a narrow pass.
The idea of introducing this allusion reflects upon the desires of the past where human
companionship and familial love were essentially present. Nomads entered the country in large
groups which signified a sense of community and togetherness which lacks in todays fast moving
world. In short, the father dreams of the past due to the dissatisfaction he possesses with the present.
(this paragraph is really very good, a bit of a touch up at the beginning and it would be superb)
This poem as whole not only explores the lack of companionship in todays society but even shows the
hardships and struggles experienced by our parents to compliment our livelihood. To a large extent it
talks about mans estrangement and social alienation illustrated through the use of striking imageries
and similes.(blah blah, cope out! All poems use imagery and different techniques, I dont care. Tell me
specifics) The poet reflects on his own experiences as he views the lack of social companionship in
todays major cities.(better than your introduction, but still not really recapping all the key points you

Arnav, youve got a firm understanding of the poem, but the structure of your essay isnt great. I would
recommend treating an introduction as a plan of the three or four main points or ideas you are going
to use to answer the question, and the conclusion to confidently assert what you have demonstrated
through the rest of the essay.
Introduction dont bother telling me about the poet or faffing around giving me an overview of
the poem. Instead, as above, treat it as a plan of what is to come plan three or four points that you
will use to answer the question and briefly introduce them.
Keep focused if you make a clear point at the beginning of a paragraph make sure you stay
focused on it throughout the paragraph. Dont bring in other bits and bobs that are unrelated.
Deal with quotations if you have deemed a quotation important enough to include then you
need to explain what it means and why it is significant in relation to the question you are trying to
Anchor sentences a mini conclusion of how you have answered the question at the end of each
paragraph. This will not only make the points you are trying to explain clearer, but will also reset your
focus on the question and ensure you dont go too far off track.

Question: Explore how Hunt movingly conveys his feelings for and about the
mother in the poem Stabat Mater.


Hunts poem `Stabat Mater is autobiographical. (as a first statement this is pretty dramatic
and doesnt actually address the question directly, therefore not a good place to begin) This
conveys his mothers story through his perspective and hence impactfully tells the reader his
feelings about it. It is impactful because it is directly told to us as if we are having a
conversation with Hunt himself. (I dont think youve addressed the question directly at all in
this introduction. Also, impactful is not a nice word and youve used impactfully earlier in the
paragraph, overkill!)

Hunt feels sorry for his mother. (clear and concise, but use a bit of the question to clearly
focus yourself Hunt conveys his feelings of sympathy for his mother through the title of the
poem)He feels she is sorrowful and a victim of circumstance the game of life. He conveys
this to us by using the allusion of the title Stabat Mater that calls to ones mind the feelings
associated with Marys suffering. (explain briefly what Stabat Mater means and how Mary
suffered and who she is) This contributes largely to conveying the empathetic feeling of
sorrow Hunt feels for his mother and is important for us to view the poem in this
perspective of his as the poem can be open to other interpretations about the mothers
married life. The tense Hunt uses in the poem shifts from past to present to future (called
calls must learn). This elongates her suffering and shows that Hunt feels she would
suffer her entire life. (I think you are making multiple points here that are a bit squashed
together. Focus on the title, explain its significance clearly. You can mention the stuff about
tense later. Also dont mention her married life unless you are going to explain this and
analyse its significance you dont here)

The tense used and the rhythm of the stanzas gives a sense of the irreversible passage of
time. There is enjambment in the first two stanzas Hunt/for, had been/ to call which
imply the fast pace of time flow in the earlier years of ones life and the third stanza shows
the effect of ageing with caesura way, still and a slowed rhythm. (dont worry about
quoting to show enjambment, just tell us where it is and why it has been used) This conveys
to us the regret in Hunts mind of the passage of the mothers youth and fathers ability that
has lapsed into an aimless old age (roams). Hence Hunt feels regretful for his mothers
new position, where she is nostalgic of her husbands former glory. (good effort at
commenting on structural elements, but I think this is in the wrong place in your essay. So far
I dont think youve established why we feel sorry for Hunts mother, deal with the major
points first before bringing in supporting structural elements)

Hunt feels close enough to his mother to ask her about her married life- when I asked her
why. (think about the flow between your paragraphs, at the moment they are disjointed and
unconnected. Also, what do you want to say in this paragraph? If you gave it a subheading,
what would it be? At the moment your ideas are all jumbled up) It seems as if he asked her
directly and without hesitation; yet on the other hand it is possible he feels distanced
because of his mothers hesitation in answering him (But later on explained). He feels she
is embarrassed and slightly uncomfortable with this relationship with her husband. Hunt
tells us he learned this from a book which shows that this is the reason for him to need to
get to know his mother from a book. Clearly, his mother wanted to mask he sadness and felt
uncomfortable in openly sharing it with her son. This could have been because she felt
awkward or possibly because she wanted to protect her son from this sorrow by making it
look like a mere game. The indirect speech used throughout the poem (explained how
hard it had been) highlights her inability to directly express her emotion; even the mix-up
of formal and loving diction in the first stanza dear, loving, Mr, To.. from -portrays
a lack of clarity in the expression of her feelings and suggested that Hunt felt she had mixed
emotions and tried to conceal them from him. (there are some excellent ideas here, but
organisation needs to be worked on. Try to make sure you are not simply relating the overview
of the poem, but are highlighting the impact of phrases, structural features etc)

This ambivalence of feelings is conveyed to us by the contrasts Hunt uses. (good, natural link
here to the end of the previous paragraph) Hunt is confused whether his mother seems
different after a while, or still the same in a different way, still like a girl. (explain this
better and dive into the significance as I dont understand the point you are making) He also
places this against the contrasting image of his father ravaged by time and in his second
childhood (Here we see a reference to Shakespeares thoughts of old age being a second
childhood). There is a contrast between how Hunt feels about their relationship before and
now. Before he felt they were distanced and awkward with the father the more senior and
mature figure (mother seem(s) so small) and now there is a flip, with the mother being the
responsible one guiding him. (this is excellent, but can be taken further. Go back and
address the question clearly at this point) Hunt also uses allusion in the title but no religious
reference in the poem. (this comment seems completely out of place in this paragraph to me,
it is also unsubstantiated) This incongruity is probably meant to help convey the mismatch
of the mother-father relationship.

Hunt feels respect for his mothers good spirit and braveness in handling her game of
life. (think about varying the way you open paragraphs as this is the third Hunt feels so far.
Also, consider links)He feels she is responsible, respectful and dutiful despite the conditions
she is thrown in. The sibilance of seem so small conveys that she `always considered the
father more superior and respected him naturally. The assonance of the M sounds in my
mother called my father Mr Hunt conveys that it was as if in the nature of the mother to
address him respectfully despite the awkwardness. (this is not explained clearly and I dont
understand how the M sound shows awkwardness also assonance?) Also, inspite of her
embarrassment, sorrow and difficulty, she guides him, performing all her duties. She is
brave and she faces up to his miserable reality of deterioration. We dont see her moaning or
wailing like Mary, but instead she tries to be strong and position Hunts fathers old age as
if it were a game. (this is your best paragraph, for me. Just add a final anchoring sentence to
directly address the question)

Hunts poem also suggests that he feels indebted to his mothers sacrifice and teaching for
his betterment. Here we see a similarity to the poem `Father returning home where the
idea of Parents sacrifice for the children and them hiding their sorrows is concerned. (fine,
but you wont get any marks for linking it to another poem) She tries to cover up her sorrows
to protect him and give him important messages about life. The rhyme of the last couplet is
quick and consecutive unlike the alternative rhymes of the other stanzas. This makes it feel
as if it is planned, calculated and organized conveying that this lesson of life is taught to
Hunt so well by his mother. The shortness of this final stanza (the fact that future tense is
attributed the least fraction of the poem) conveys her thoughts about morality and the fact
that life gets over very quickly and we should make the most of it to not repent later on. (not
sure I agree, but well presented and expressed apart from gets over very quickly) We can
also see it as truncated, falling short compared to the other four line stanzas which could
reflect what Hunt feels the mothers life is like. The mothers encouragement to the poet
stand out here as she expects him to stand on his feet (stand up straight) one day not to
repeat her own mistakes. Therefore the mother juggles her responsibilities towards he son,
husband, house and her own sorrows to manage the household alone this makes Hunt feel
proud, respectful and indebted towards her. (better and better, youre now sounding like a
genius! I love the last sentence as it sums up your ideas really well in relation to the question)
Hunt feels curious about his mothers relationship and feelings. This shows he cares for her
and hence, probably finds out that her embarrassment is due to society and its reaction to
her marriage. This adds to his pride in her standing up brave not only to her own relations
but also to the world. The ellipsis he uses at the end of the third stanza show that Hunt feels
her sorrows are endless. It could also imply he is curious to know more about what she feels.
It perhaps implies that Hunt has a very inconclusive perception of his mother.

Therefore, Hunts feelings and thoughts regarding his mother are conveyed movingly and
effectively to the readers through his allusion, contrasts, tense, alliterative phrases and an
autobiographical style. (feels like you have run out of steam here. A decent conclusion can
make the difference, so it is worth reading my advice below)