This GCSE English Literature quiz is the second of two extract questions for Animal Farm by George Orwell. In it the animals find themselves taking comfort from one another on the knoll where they have a good view of the entire farm, which looks beautiful in the sunlight. The animals are agitated, as can be seen in Boxer’s swishing tail and fidgeting. This passage occurs not far from the end of the novella, after everything on the farm has taken a very sharp turn for the worse.
Always aim to read the passage through carefully more than once before you begin to answer an extract question for an exam. Each read-through will allow you to notice different aspects and particular details from the passage, so re-reading is never a waste of time.
On the first read-through, aim for a general understanding of the extract, considering how it relates to the question you have chosen to answer. During a second reading, make detailed notes and annotations as you carefully plan how you will answer the question.
Think about any reason why the specific passage might have been chosen. What is its relationship to the rest of the text? Which significant characters or themes does it include? What happens after the extract comes to a close? Are any later events foreshadowed, or earlier events referenced? Does the passage present a turning point? Consider the ending of the extract: why does it ends where it does instead of somewhere else? What significance does the final line hold?
Note the wording of the question you have chosen to answer. Does it require you to write about mood and atmosphere? A particular character? A theme? The question might ask for your personal response to the passage or to a character. Perhaps instead the question focusses on dialogue, behaviour or feelings. Each of these will require a different sort of answer. You should always explain the passage’s immediate context: mention the events which precede the extract, considering their relevance. Detail, setting and characterisation should be mentioned insofar as they relate to the question. You should also analyse and discuss the relationship between the passage and the wider themes of the text. Structure your writing by grouping related ideas together. Ensure that you leave enough time to discuss the entire passage. It would be disappointing to treat one section so thoroughly that you run out of time to do justice to the rest of the extract!
Read the extract below carefully before answering the questions.
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