IGCSE English Literature Essay Introductions

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‘1984’ is a 1959 novel written by George Orwell is a dystopian depiction of a future society known as Oceania, one of the three ‘super states’ ruling the world. The novel is set in London, which is under the control of a totalitarian government, headed by their elusive leader Big Brother.

‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller is a play of tragedy set during the late 1940s in Brooklyn, USA.  The tragic hero, Willy Loman, is an ageing salesman who, after failing to live the elusive American Dream himself, hopes to install the same fascination in his sons, Happy and Biff.  However Willy commits suicide as accepts that his entire life has been a failure and that the life insurance money could provide his sons enough to start a business.

‘The Great Gatsby’ by Scott Fitzgerald is a novel largely set in Long Island, New York during the 1920s ‘Jazz Age’.  The novel is narrated by a traditional moralistic character ‘Nick Carraway’, which follows his interactions with his wealthy neighbour, Jay Gatsby.










‘The Voice’ is a poem by Thomas Hardy written in response to the death of his estranged wife.  Hardy hears a voice in the trees and believes it to be that of his wife.  Hardy was an avid believer is the supernatural so is not concerned by this.  The poem, written in the second person, attempts to define the relationship when it was at its peak and conveys Hardy’s desire for her to return as she once was.

‘Dover Beach’ is a poem written by Matthew Arnold, considered by many to be the bridge between romanticism and modernism.  The poem was written after a holiday to the beach of Dover with his wife.  Swayed by scientific discoveries at the time, Arnold became to question the presence of a God and the poem deals with


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