Planning your answer

It is always a good idea to plan your answer before you begin writing. Having a plan means you will leave space to make all the points you want to, rather than risk running out of ideas.

Here is a plan you could use for your answer (though you will need to add detailed examination of language for each section):

  1. Introduction - what is the setting in this extract?
  2. Point 1 - how does Kipps describe the mist?
  3. Point 2 - which other aspects of setting are threatening in this story?
  4. Point 3 - how does this relate to Kipps' statement at the start of the novella?
  5. Conclusion - summarise your points

Sample answers

Here are two sample answers that refer to Point 1 of the essay plan.

Sample answer 1

Hill uses the weather in this extract to make it threatening and dangerous. It's when Kipps is waiting on the causeway for Keckwick and she shows that the sea mist has surrounded or 'enveloped' the narrator. This word shows he is wrapped up in the mist and cannot see anything. This is a bit scary. There is a simile that shows the mist is 'like a cobwebby thing' and this adds to the sense of danger and threat. The last sentences show how Kipps is affected deeply by the weather.

Feedback: good, but could be improved

  • This answer shows that the candidate has some understanding of how the setting is used to create atmosphere. There is some sense of how language is used to convey meaning. However, a clearer explanation of the literary techniques used would be useful. For example, exploring the simile in closer detail, considering the effect and the impact.
  • The candidate identifies the role of the extract in the story, but could expand on this by exploring the setting of the causeway and the house as well as the mist.
  • Correct spelling and punctuation is used and the quotations are embedded. For a higher level, more sophisticated language and use of technical language is needed.

Sample answer 2

In this extract we see Arthur Kipps stepping out from Eel Marsh House to meet Keckwick on the causeway. The isolation of the house is emphasised when the sea mist falls and 'enveloped everything.' Hill uses alliteration to highlight how completely the big house has been disguised by the mist. This makes Arthur seem even more alone and at risk. The weather reflects Arthur's mood here - he is anxious and feeling trapped. Using this pathetic fallacy Hill shows how 'confused', 'unnerved' and 'disorientated' the main character is. The mist seems to have 'millions of live fingers', a disturbing image that makes the reader fear for Kipps' safety. In particular the adjective 'live' seems unusual and draws our attention to the deaths that permeate the story.

Feedback: much improved!

  • The expression here is more sophisticated. Sentences are complex and ideas are confidently conveyed.
  • The candidate makes use of literary terminology and explores the effects of language.
  • Quotations are explored closely with individual words picked out for attention.
  • Candidate refers to the wider setting of the extract and contextualises the piece.

Read over the assessment objectives again. Then use the plan and everything you have learned in this revision section to write your own timed answer.