AQA English Language Paper 1

  • Created by: chandy003
  • Created on: 14-02-19 17:30

English Language - Paper 1

Prose Fiction

  • The main types of fiction are: prose, poetry and drama
  • They have a creative element, and tend to use literary devices, there are different genres
  • Science fiction is a type of prose fiction which relies on the writers imagination
  • Some prose fiction is based on real events - historical fiction, uses historical research and their imagination to bring the story to life
  • Most prose fiction is in the form of a novel, novella or a short story
  • Prose texts are usually defined by length:

   Short Stories

  • Tell a complete story in a few thousand words
  • Limited number of characters
  • Sometimes more about conveying an atmosphere than plot
  • Often leave unanswered questions


  • Mid-way length 
  • Usually have one plot-line
  • Not always divided into chapters


  • Relatively modern form of literature
  • Often have multiple plot lines which support or contrast each other
  • Usually have several characters and their stories
  • Often divided into chapters
  • Normally tie up loose ends by the end of the book


  • May be:
  • Past/Present/Future
  • A time of day
  • A particular time of year
  • A specific geographical location
  • A type of place or event
  • Important part of how a text achieves its effect, can echo the themes of narrative
  • Time of day/year can also add effect
  • May use specific techniques to create an effect (eg pathetic fallacy)
  • Historical context is important in understanding the setting of fiction
  • The writer has choses a particular historical point for a reason, the reader may make certain judgements or assumptions about the setting
  • Setting can be used to establish an atmosphere or a feeling 

Identifying Themes and Ideas

  • Common themes in fiction include:

loss, conflict, power, love, money, death, appearance and reality, heroism, technology in society, friendship

  • It helps to look closely at language choices to work out themes
  • You can make links between themes to the characters, setting and language
  • Look at contrasting themes - eg love and conflict


  • The way writers create characters and make them believable, remember the author is creating characters using language 
  • A character can be shown through the things they do, say, what they look like and what they own
  • It’s important to think about how they change and interact with each other, it could suggest some important themes or ideas
  • The writer may use language to make the reader respond in a certain way
  • Look for contrasts or contradictions - between characters and within each character:

Typical contrasts between characters

  • Characters who think vs characters who feel
  • Characters who talk vs characters who act
  • Sociable characters vs solitary characters
  • Predators who take advantage of people vs characters who are victims
  • Characters who want one thing vs those who want another

Typical contrasts within a character

  • A person who says one thing and does another
  • A character who sacrifices something important to pursue a goal of their own
  • A character who wants two opposing things
  • Examine the language techniques used by the writer to create the


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