Bring up the bodies by Hilary Mantel


Mantel’s innovation is to make Cromwell not exactly a hero, but a central character who attracts sympathy and admiration despite his ruthlessness.” How does she do this? How does Mantel make Cromwell not just powerful but sympathetic?

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For your essay, draw on Ingrid von Rosenberg’s article, “A Popular Genre Goes Booker Hilary Mantel’s ‘Other’ Royal Novels Wolf and Bring Up the Bodies.”

• Examine Mantel’s choice of language, dialogue, dramatic scene.
Food for thought:
• “The exclusive use of Cromwell’s personal perspective allows Mantel to probe her hero’s thoughts and memories and, at the same time, to take a view of a whole society. … his view .. is, so to speak, the valid judgment on what is going on.” (von Rosenberg, 168)

• “It was noted of him in life that though he was ruthless when he had determined a course of action, he was personally kind, the tone of applications to him suggests a man who goes beyond his remit in helping others. He seemed to have more time for women than most of his contemporaries, and to maintain friendships with women. When some plot against the regime raised its head, he acted (I suggest) as a restraint on the king; sometimes you would expect a bloodbath, and 164 there isn’t one. In politics I think that his natural bent was towards arbitration and conciliation, certainly to peace rather than war. (20l7b)” Mantel in personal email to Ingrid von Rosenberg

• Plan your essay by collecting together points for your argument. In the main body of your essay, you need to thread your developing argument through each paragraph consistently and logically, referring back to the terms established by the prompt, rephrasing and reframing as you go.
• Ensure your essay doesn’t disintegrate into a series of disconnected building blocks. Create a neat and stable bridge between one paragraph and the next.
• Use discourse markers—linking words and phrases like “on the other hand,” “however,” “although,” and “moreover”—to hold the individual paragraphs of your essay together and signpost the connections between different sections of your overarching argument.

Please note that an A-level essay will demonstrate all of the following:
• A clear introduction which orientates the reader and outlines your main argument.
• A coherent and conceptualized argument which relates to the question title.
• A confident movement around the text rather than a chronological picking through it.
• Apt and effective quotations or references adapted to make sense withing the context of your own sentences.
• A range of effective points about Byatt’s narrative methods.
• A strong and personally engaged awareness of how a text can be interpreted by different readers and audiences in different ways at different times.
• A sense that you are prepared to take on a good range of critical and theoretical perspectives.
• A conclusion which effectively summarizes and consolidates your response and relates back to your essay title.
• A good title.

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