More Social and Political Protest past paper questions and answers AQA English Literature B

 Again, forgive me the scruffiness and the broken sentences. this is purely my own planning and way of revision.  

Harrison’s social protest writing is ultimately a beacon of hope for the future To what extent do you agree? Remember to include reference to Harrison’s authorial method.


I hope for jobs for all you…divsions- Harrison explicity shows his wish for full employment once more. Context of thatcher etc. also see “wealth ( h changed to w) for all”…bit of wordplay and reshuffling to again reflect the need for change. However, here, just as in ‘v’ with miners protest price of wales…the reduction of voice to reshuffling signs or letters shows a desperation and pessimism…suggesting protest in ineffective.

Working: Harrison uses the past, to comment on the difference with the brighter future. 1841 comm: patience Kershaw “bald hurryer”…appallaing treatment etc. however, by going back thus far, Harrison appears to be showing the pessimism of contemporary living because of this comparison. See national trust and how the convict is “flayed, grey, mad, dumb”. Still expllited.

Them and uz- the swing in tone indicates some hope and change. From oppressed “that shut my trap” to reaction “so right” “we’ll occupy”. Second half has a much more defiant tone, and although the issue still persists, Harrison is shown to shake himself free of it..a beacon of hope for other non-rp speakers. Standard English? See growth of accents today. Defo achieved.

Marked with D very pessistic…naturally: focusing on death of father. “bakers man no one will see rise” “no heaven to reach”…whilst commenting on death…seems to apply to more working class figures…a kind of allegory. Thus very pessimistic. Or alternatively critical of religion.

Racism issues: “pakis, niggers, even yids” “wobbly on his pins” “tiring ttrek for tins”…Harrison condemns the racial divide here…appears to be little optimism if such divisions persist.

Overall purpose: responding to social issues in time of adversity- sometimes defiant, other times deflated. But by championing these causes: might be setting up becon of hope. Point is Harrison mostly describes social issues, and thus, cannot be too rose tinted, because he wants to enforce change, whether racial, or socio-economic related to miners etc.



Social and political protest writing aims to evoke unease in the reader/audience, to change their ways. Explore the significance of confrontation in two texts.

Blake creates much unease in the oppression and dictatorship of the common people. Marxist: proletariat? “mind-forgd manacles” “marks of weakness, woe” blake cognisant. Perhaps trying to stir a kind of class consciousness here. Especially when contrasted with echoing greens freedom, the “laughter” “laugh away care” etc.

Unease in organised society attacking the ruling classes and organised state. “happy” clothes of deah. “happy and dance and sing” go to pray. In chimney sweeper experienced.

Religion: anticlericalism: holy Thursdays: innocence: unease by direct address in others positive poem flower sof London town etc. other holy Thursday “is this a holy thing to see” “and their son “

Hosseini: sexual predators: those with levers of power. Soldiers in early Afghanistan with “sugary cunt” vs later, with the Russian soldier “thrust” “bark” etc. objectification of women here is confronted by Hosseini and poured scorn upon. Although…also excused in second case because of how soldier is addicted to “drug”. See hassan rape by Assef…”rhythmical grunts” phrase that stays with you…

HOSSEINI: extremist religion: sharia law trial ghazi stadium: real setting. Unease at the time portrayed “oh! Oh! Oh!” then silence etc…tension palpable…rhetorical speech, powerful language cotnrasts with the powerlessness here. Numbers interesting.

Social and political protest writing have the power to change society by winning hearts and minds. Explore the significance of how the audience is affected in two texts

Hosseini purpose: humanising the west, by using fiction and narrative. Blake labours upwards to futurity…liberation of heart and mind to follow ones own direction.

C12 “we took a few steps together” vs “he even took notes” vs “you shall never refer to him as hazara boy in my presence”…development of character..even of the lever of power to devolve some power, winning hearts and minds to encourage this turn in ideology etc. but also the bildungsroman format, how amir eventually mans up…to oppose ethnic issues. This personal example represents the frustrations of Hosseini on a larger scale about race. But also inspiring others to challenge.

Fictional relationship between amir and hassan: “kings of Kabul” “he was the ant, I held the magnifying glass”. Lots of pathos generated by the rape tension b7. Breakdown and racial tension “he’ll never be anything but” and this sense of haunting “if hassan too had married”…then the story of rk etc. fictional moments that win the heart and mind…but at the same time enforce the message against racial divisions and the social class hierarchy present as a result in Afghanistan.

Echoing green wins heart and contrast to London which contrasts and oppresses it. Utopia vs dystopia. “laugh away care” “hill” “echoing green”. Vs the oppression of “mind-forged manacles” or the “in every” or “chartered” oppression and anaphora.

Wins hearts and minds by the language used in worlds created. Subtle oppression in holy Thursday innocence: “flowers of London town” ironic…vs scale “thousands” “companies” etc…winning heart and mind by showing how innocent these children are “Like lambs” raising their hands as one…but at the same time, especially with reference to holy Thursday experience, this innocent appears to be abused and exploited. “and their sons does never shien…and their fields are bleak and bare”. Contrast between the two collections overall in one sense creating these delicate, wonderful human beings, yet showing how they are subjected to much oppression.














‘Tony Harrison’s use of the structure of poetry is key in his social protest writing.’ To what extent do you agree? Remember to include reference to Harrison’s authorial method.





Social protest is best done simply, and with maximum appeal to the masses Explore the significance of simplicity in two texts.



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