The Paragraph

The novel paragraph can be a bit trickier - it feels generally less formulaic than the other two essay. However, I think the requirements of a good Excellence paragraph fall into two categories: 1) Having an initial point and proving that point through evidence. 2) Drawing conclusions and judgements from that point that connect to both the question and the author’s wider intentions - going beyond the text. I think what is perhaps most necessary is trying make a more consistent attempt to discuss the author’s intentions and conscious crafting throughout the essay, rather than just at the end.

Setting up the argument (here is what I think)

“The development of Huxley’s idea that utopia comes at a high cost, and is ultimately inhuman is reinforced through his repeated use of animal imagery throughout the text.”

This is the point that you want to prove - here it is as simple as Huxley using animal imagery to show the World State as inhuman.

Proving the point (this is how I know it) “This strategy is obvious from the opening chapter, as Huxley describes the students: “like chickens drinking, the students lifted their eyes towards the distant ceiling.” The choice of animal is significant; being a domesticated farm animal it suggests that the students are little more than farmed animals at the mercy of their owner. Huxley seems to be consciously denying the humanity of these representatives of the World State. This becomes a motif, as Huxley continually returns to animal imagery in his description of World State residents to further develop the idea that his utopia is inhuman. We see a number of examples, from the Gammas and Epsilons being described as “aphids and ants”, to the children who plague John in the hospital being referred to as “maggots”, to the final description of the orgiastic crowd as “locusts” swarming. Again the choice of image is important. Huxley’s chooses animals with increasingly negative connotations – the maggot, with its connotations of death and decay, to the locust with its Biblical connotations of plague destruction.”

Evidence is used to prove the point - there is a lot of evidence here and it is clear at the end of this sequence that Huxley’s animal imagery dehumanises the people who inhabit the World State. But, how that connects to the topic or why this imagery is significant is not yet clear. Also, notice the embedding of author intention/crafting/purpose.

Finding the significance (this is why it’s significant) “More than just undermining the humanity of the people that populate this utopia, he is actively constructing them as vermin or pests. This suggests that Huxley wants to clearly develop the idea that the World State is ultimately an inhuman, plague-ridden, festering nightmare. Huxley seems deeply skeptical of any concept of utopia and seems to see the kind of perfection and stability seen in the World State as something inhuman, positioning the reader in opposition to it through his choices of imagery.” There are only three sentences about author purpose here. This is fine because there has been so much embedded within the rest of the paragraph. What these final two sentences accomplish is a connection back to the topic - making specific use of words from the topic - before making a beyond-the text point about how this shows that Huxley is skeptical of all utopias that offer stability through perfection. There is plenty here to show why the evidence I’ve provided is of significance in relation to the topic justifying my choice of examples and showing that I know can use that evidence insightfully by using it to make judgements about the author’s ideas and attitude towards the reader.

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