Chopin and Kellogg's

Study the following stimulus texts and listen to the student's individual oral. Apply the assessment criteria and discuss the marks that you would award the recording before reading the examiner's marks and comments. How different were your marks and comments from the examiner's marks and comments? What improvements could be made to this student's oral, in order to achieve better results?

She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.

There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.

And yet she had loved him--sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!

"Free! Body and soul free!" she kept whispering.

Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhold, imploring for admission. "Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door--you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven's sake open the door."

"Go away. I am not making myself ill." No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window.

Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.

She arose at length and opened the door to her sister's importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes ...


Global issue: The effect on the individual psyche of living under patriarchal oppression - specifically - the effects on the mental health of an individual and the thoughts and feelings that oppression gives rise to.

  • Kate Chopin: 'The Story of an Hour': "human existence"/ "stripped of the veil" /society/ "draped it"/ The Story of an Hour", "The Storm" and "At the Cadian Ball". Angry cry/ lack of freedom/19th century/pronouns/ narrative/ internal events/structure/ impressionistic events/ form/ content

  • Structure/ short sentence/ "And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome" / personification / "belong"/ "procession" /polysyndeton/ imagery of freedom/ happy/ situational irony, "Storm" and "Cadian Ball" / freedom/ women/ death. Tone/ connotation/ "free"/ "live"/ "feverish triumph".

  • diction/ oxymoronic "monstrous joy"/ terrible pleasure /patriarchal power. "Storm"/ 'charmed"/ "more than willing to forego"/ "intimate conjugal life' . Polysyndeton/ "fixed and gray and dead"/ monosyllabic / grey / plosive/ 'dead' /hands/ "kind and tender". Weep"/ motif / repetition / irony / "Storm"/ "Cadian Ball".

  • "open"/ metaphor/ repetition/ "drinks in the very elixir of life through that open window"/ symboli,/ new found life/ magical/ Metaphor/ images of freedom / "Storm" and "Cadian Ball".

  • Situational Irony/ juxtaposed/ 'shudder' / parallel sentences/ "life might be long". Antithetically/ past and present/ present participle/ static.

  • "The look that makes him look again"/ Indian Campaign/ women/ defiantly, voyeuristic/ objectifies/ "Advertising Space Available"/ "Dare to Wear Red" campaigns. Composition/ visual F red wave /"dare to wear Red "

  • visual foreground focal point/ man/ hair/ direct gaze/ visual image/ colour psychology/ composition/ "Space Available"/ gaze / body positioning

  • Copy/ slogan/ 7 words/ repetition/ white space/ soft sell/ colour psychology/ serif/ font/ Dare directive "dare"/ In the "Space Available"/ copy, “Advertising Space Available,” / ⅙ th of the ad

  • Conclusion: Louise's mental health/ "The Story of an Hour"/ thoughts/feelings/happiness/ patriarchal oppressive rule/ individual psyche/ patriarchal oppression. The look that makes you look again" / thoughts and feelings/ happy/ thin/ advertising conventions/ woman's mental health


Criterion A: Knowledge, understanding and interpretation – 9 out of 10

The global issue is clearly defined as the psychological pressure on women in patriarchal societies. Interpretations of the two texts and the works from which they were taken are made in relation to this global issue. The understanding of the texts is grounded in clear references to the extracts and other texts in the work or body of work. It would have been good to learn more about the contexts of the texts, such as Kellogg's strategy for advertising in India or audience's reviews of Chopin's short stories in the late 19th century.

Criterion B: Analysis and evaluation – 10 out of 10

The oral does a good job analysing the extracts, the work and the BOW in relation to the global issue. In relation to both texts, a broad range of stylistic features are explored, from metaphors in the short story to the two-column composition of the advertisement. Statements, such as "her mental health depends on her weight," relate the advertisement back to the global issue.  

Criterion C: Coherence, balance, focus and organisation - 8 out of 10

A lot of analysis is packed into this 10-minute talk, making it feel rather rushed and 'listy'. There is good balance between the extracts and BOWs, though there is a lack of transitional phrases, 'sign posts' and meta-talk to help the listener know where this talk is going. 

Criterion D: Language - 10 out of 10

The language of this oral is excellent. The student uses very complete, coherent sentences that are characteristic of academic analysis. She has clearly studied the defining features of the text types, as she uses appropriate vocabulary for an analysis of them. 

Last modified: Monday, 23 March 2020, 9:28 AM