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Want to revise your theme evaluation skills in 'Winter Swans'? 


(Hint: yes you do! Double hint: you've come to the right place to do this!)



Thought bubble


In this activity, you'll be able to practise your evaluating skills concerning key themes in 'Winter Swans'. This activity should allow you to practise some key skills in detecting how the writer develops key themes and presents them effectively. This is a mixed activity - some of your answers will need to be manually marked!



An evaluation template:


Identifying the theme i.e: In 'Winter Swans', Sheers presents the theme of nature

Example i.e: The quote "the waterlogged earth gulping for breath at our feet" illustrates this.

Effect i.e: This shows that the earth is desperate for nourishment and is an example of personification. It symbolises the way nature reflects the couple's relationship - clearly, their relationship is lacking in something, just as the earth is lacking oxygen - gasping for breath as if being choked.

Linking the theme to the poem as a whole: i.e: The fact that the earth is symbolic of the couple's relationship conveys the way nature and the couple's relationship are linked. It seems that the couple's natural surroundings influence the way the couple feel about each other. If the earth is "gasping" for breath, it can be inferred that the couple's relationship lacks something vital. It is only after the couple take a step back and witness the swans, that they unify. 



Don't worry about making your evaluations super complex and don't get too intimidated by the example up there. It's more sophisticated, so that you have a super good example to look up to and work towards!



Hopefully, (fingers crossed) this makes evaluating themes easier to understand. If it's still tricky, don't worry, because the activity will be filled with helpful hints and explanations that you can jot down as you do it. 


Remember, take your time, it's not a race!


You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples.  These quotations are for reference only.


10 questions
The quotations/text used in this exercise are from the copyrighted works of Owen Sheers, 'Winter Swans'.