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Pre Realse of 2010

  • Date Submitted: 05/06/2010 02:08 PM
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GCSE Examination Revision Guide for Papers 1 and 2:
AQA English B 3701 June 2010


Aunt Julia by Norman MacCaig 2

Memories by Trilokesh Mukherjee 4

After the Deluge by Wole Soyinka 6

Late Winter Months by Jon ur Vor 8

Escape Journey, 1988 by Choman Hardi 10

Beginning in a City, 1948 by James Berry 11

Figures of speech/ imagery/ writer’s use of
words and phrases/ writer’s use of language
plus some other useful terms 13

Definitions of other words and phrases used in
examination questions 14

Essential examination tips 15

The 5 part formula (using PEE) 16

Aunt Julia by Norman MacCaig


Norman MacCaig recollects his child-hood visits to his Aunt Julia’s house in Luskentyre in the Scottish Highlands. He is clearly impressed by her vigour, strength and capability as she performs various rural manual tasks.   He is also clearly impressed by her Gaelic heritage and mentions twice that she spoke Gaelic.   He also seems to take some satisfaction in the fact that he came to learn some Gaelic but, perhaps, he is frustrated by the fact that by the time he had achieved this greater understanding, she had died.  

He clearly liked and admired his Aunt Julia and presents her as a passionate (verse 1), welcoming (verse 5) and comforting person (verse 3) who made him feel safe.   The ending of the poem is ambiguous.   As he recollects Aunt Julia welcoming him, who is it who is getting “angry/ with so many questions unanswered”?   Is he recalling (see verse 1) how his Gaelic was not fluent enough in order to respond to her everyday questions and so she is becoming frustrated with him.   Or is he expressing the frustration that he now feels about the fact that, with his present day greater understanding of Gaelic, he would like to ask her many questions but cannot as she has passed away.

The poem can be read as a lament on the passing away of a beloved aunt but it might also be...


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