Unit 3 - Texts and Genres

This is an extract of the full specification, which you can download from this page.

The aim of this unit is to develop ideas on the significance of genre which have been established during the AS course. Texts will be grouped within two broad categories: Elements of the Gothic and Elements of the Pastoral. Individual texts will be explored and evaluated against some of the commonly accepted principles of the chosen genre, and three texts (or more) will be compared as representatives of that genre.

Candidates will study a minimum of three texts from the list below. At least one of these texts must be taken from the groups labelled 1300-1800.

Elements of the Gothic
  • William Shakespeare     Macbeth
  • Christopher Marlowe     Dr Faustus
  • John Webster               The White Devil
  • Thomas Middleton and William Rowley     The Changeling
  • Geoffrey Chaucer     The Pardoner's Tale
Post 1800
  • Mary Shelley      Frankenstein
  • Emily Brontë     Wuthering Heights
  • Jane Austen      Northanger Abbey
  • Angela Carter     The Bloody Chamber
Elements of the Pastoral

Various* -Selection of pastoral poetry:

Andrew Marvell:'The Garden'

                        'The Mower, Against Gardens'

                        'The Mower's Song'

                        'The Mower to the Glow Worms'

                        'Damon the Mower'

John Milton: Paradise Lost, Book IX Lines 192-269

Thomas Gray: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

William Collins: Ode to Evening

Oliver Goldsmith: The Deserted Village

William Wordsworth: Tintern Abbey

William Shakespeare     As you Like It

Oliver Goldsmith     She Stoops to Conquer

William Blake     Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Post 1800

Tom Stoppard     Arcadia

Thomas Hardy     Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Evelyn Waugh     Brideshead Revisited

Graham Swift     Waterland

Various* -Pastoral poetry after 1945:

Dylan Thomas              Fern Hill

                                    Poem in October

Philip Larkin                  Show Saturday

                                    Going, Going

                                    Church Going

Elizabeth Jennings         In a Garden


                                     A Chorus

U.A.Fanthorpe              Stanton Drew

                                   Horticultural Show

                                   Canal 1977

Norman MacCaig          Birds all singing

                                   An ordinary day


R.S.Thomas                Welsh Landscape

                                    A Peasant

                                   The Village

                                   Invasion on the Farm

                                   Thirteen Blackbirds looking at a Man

Tony Harrison             A Kumquat for John Keats


All texts marked * above are available in the AQA Anthology which accompanies this specification.

Assessment will be by one written paper of 2 hours' duration. Candidates are not permitted to take their texts into the examination. The two topic areas for study will each have two sections: Section A and Section B. Candidates will be required to answer one question from Section A and one question from Section B. Each section will be marked out of 40, giving an overall maximum mark for the paper of 80 marks.

For each topic, Section A will have one question on each of the set texts. Candidates will answer one question on one text.

For each topic, Section B will have three questions. Each question will require candidates to compare aspects of their chosen topic across at least three texts that they have studied. Candidates will answer one question.