LITERARY TERMS THEME =the central idea of the text ; it raises a question about human nature or experience. SUBJECT = the sequence of events the characters are involved in . PLOT = the sequence of conflicts that lead to a climax and resolution that makes sense ; the plot can be chronological when the events are presented in chronological order disrupted –when the events are presented as they come to the mind of the narrator frame story – a story within a story …(ex. ”The Canterbury Tales”) *The parts of the plot are : - The exposition ( the information telling us how and why the characters became involved in the conflict) - The initiating action (the event that brings the opposing forces into conflict ) - The rising action (the gradual advancement of the conflict ;the problems faced by the characters ) - The CLIMAX (The point of highest interest ,in which the protagonist takes – consciously or not- the action that will determine the future course of events ) - The dénouement or resolution = the incidents by which the conflict caused by the initiating action is resolved . CHARACTERS can be : round (complex ) or flat (simple , dominated by one feature ) static (doesn’t change from the beginning to the end ) or dynamic ( it undergoes changes for the better / worse ) A character can be governed by public values (courage ,modesty, faith….) or by private values ( intelligence ,beauty) A character can one of these :

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Page 1: Literary Terms


THEME =the central idea of the text ; it raises a question about human nature or experience.

SUBJECT = the sequence of events the characters are involved in .

PLOT = the sequence of conflicts that lead to a climax and resolution that makes sense ; the plot can be chronological – when the events are presented in chronological order disrupted –when the events are presented as they come to the mind of the narrator frame story – a story within a story …(ex. ”The Canterbury Tales”)*The parts of the plot are : - The exposition ( the information telling us how and why the characters became involved in the conflict)- The initiating action (the event that brings the opposing forces into conflict )- The rising action (the gradual advancement of the conflict ;the problems faced by the characters )- The CLIMAX (The point of highest interest ,in which the protagonist takes – consciously or not- the action that will determine the future course of events )- The dénouement or resolution = the incidents by which the conflict caused by the initiating action is resolved .

CHARACTERS can be : round (complex ) or flat (simple , dominated by one feature ) static (doesn’t change from the beginning to the end ) or dynamic ( it undergoes changes for the better / worse )A character can be governed by public values (courage ,modesty, faith….) or by private values ( intelligence ,beauty)A character can one of these :

- a god (he/she is divine , superior to other beings )=> a myth- a godlike (he/she is a superior human being whose actions are marvellous) => a

legend,afairy-tale or a folk-tale - a hero (he/she is a leader whose actions , either good or bad , are courageous) =>an epic

or a tragedy- a non-hero (one of us , not superior to other people )=> a realistic novel or a comedy- an anti-hero ( he/she is of inferior intelligence to us ; the story is one of bondage ,

frustration , absurdity ) => modernist , postmodernist and absurd literature

SETTING = the background ( time, space ,season, weather elements, physical props, clothing ,cultural elements )against which the conflict and actions occur . It is strictly connected with the plot, atmosphere , characters, the tone and even the message of the work.

POINT OF VIEW = the approach from which the story is told .It determines what information the reader receives and how it is presented .

A first person narrative ( the story is told by one of the characters from a ‘first person’s approach’ )

*a third person narrative ( the story is told by the author or an observer ,from a ’third person’s perspective )

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Omniscient point of view = the narrator ( the author ) pretends to know everything about the characters and the action ; the reader has to take his/her information for granted .(ex. Th. Hardy “Tess..”)(-third person)

Detached autobiography = the story is told by one of the characters tells the story long after the events occurred , in a frame of mind greatly changed since the time of the story ,even due to the lesson learned from the experience .(ex. Ch. Dickens “Great Expectations”)(-1st person)

Subjective narration =(1st pers.) the story is told by one of the characters shortly after the conclusion of the events ,still under their influence, in a subjective manner . He is addressing us ,not the general publicor another character .(ex. Mark Twain”Huckleberry Finn”)

Objective narration = ( 3rd pers.) the narrator reduces his role to that of an eyewitness ,chooses not to present inner life , dealing with the surface of things , the way a camera does .( ex Ernest Hemingway)

Observer narration = (1st pers.+3rd pers.) it is a single character-point of view ,of a subordinate one , indirectly involved in the action ;he assumes several roles : he may be a confident of the main character, or an eye-witness, or he may find out things from other characters .(ex. Nick Carraway in “S. Fitzgerald’s ”Great Gatsby” or Mr. Lockwood in E .Bronte’s” Wuthering Heights ”)

Multiple point of view = the main character is explained by means of the response of the other characters (ex. H. James “ The Portrait of A Lady”)

Interior monologue ( stream of consciousness)= the mental processes rendered:directly as they occur , in the 1st person (direct interior monologue) or indirectly as if explained , in the 3rd person (indirect interior monologue ).

Dramatic monologue = we overhear somebody speaking aloud to another person ,which allows the character to reveal ,explain or betray himself/herself( ex. E.A.Poe ”The Tell-Tale Heart”)

Diary narration = a1st pers. narrative recording responses to events as they occur ( Samuel Pepys )

Tone = the attitude of the author vs. the subject/character(s).It can be sympathetic, critical, ironical, sad , bitter, funny, sarcastic etc.

Message = the lesson learned Allegory = a narrative in verse or prose , in which characters , action and sometimes setting represent abstract concepts apart from the literary sense of the story ; the characters are often personifications of abstract ideas .(ex. Dante’s ‘Inferno’)Archetype = a symbol , story pattern , or character type that recurs frequently in literature evoking associations with the original one ( ex. ‘Cain and Abel’>’Absalom, Absalom’)

Alliteration = the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning or within the word ( ‘the furrow followed free’- S. T .Coleridge)

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Assonance = the repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds in stressed syllables (ex. :‘can hate be bate ?’)

Blank verse = unrhymed iambic pentameter (ex. :Milton- ‘Paradise Lost’:‘I may assert Eternal Providence / And justify the ways of God to men .’ ) Epic = a narrative poem (usually handed down in oral tradition ) dealing with heroes and adventures (ex.: ’The Odyssey’)

Epithet= a descriptive expression mentioning a quality of a person or object being described (ex .: ‘the silent moon’)

Foreshadowing =a clue given to the reader for what is going to happen .

Free verse = a type of poetry , free from conventional verse forms(metre , rhyme) but using rhythm (ex. W .Whitman’s ’Song of Myself’)

Internal rhyme= a type of rhyme that matches stressed syllables or words in the middle and the end of a line .(ex:‘ We were the first that ever burst /Into that silent sea .)

Metaphor = a comparison from which the real term was replaced by the comparing one :’ A precious stone into the silver sea ‘ = England (Shakespeare)

Myth = a traditional story connected to the beliefs of a people (it has less historical background than the legend ex. Prometheus # King Arthur)

Parable = a brief fictional work that illustrates or teaches a lesson of lie (ex: ’The parable of the prodigal son )

Syntactical parallelism= the repetition of the same syntactical structure in two or more subsequent sentences ( ‘ So long as man can breathe and eyes can see/ So long lives this , and this gives life to thee.’- Shakespeare , Sonnet18)

Parody = an imitation of a serious work ( Cervante ’s ‘Don Qixote’= a parody of romances of chivalry)

Personification = attributing an abstract or lifeless thing human qualities (ex:‘Nor shall Death brag thou wonders in HIS shade….’ – Shakespeare, Sonnet18)

Satire = social and political criticism by means of witty ridiculing a character with the intention of self-reform; irony and sarcasm are forms of satire ( irony triggers laughter , sarcasm is more biting and bitter – ex: J. Swift) Soliloqui = a long monologue of a character in which he/she speak their mind (‘Hamlet’ – ‘To be or not to be….’)

Symbol= a concrete image that signifies something bigger / greater / loftier


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ORAL EXAMINATION – Text analysis and writing skills


1.Narrative Essay

Structure , link words, register

Narrative essays may describe real or fictional events and can be rendered in the first person ( I / we)or in the third person (he/she/they). It must be exciting , strange or funny in order to stir the interest of the reader and be successful. Both beginnings and ends are important parts as the former stimulate the interest of the reader and the latter satisfy his curiosity and expectations .Keep in mind that a boring or even too predictable ending can spoil a good story .In narratives we use a wide range of past tenses as well as both direct and reported speech . Descriptions of people and places can also be included in narrative essays .


Introduction *paragraph 1 – You set the scene (describe the time ,place weather, atmosphere , people involved , possible feelings)

Body *paragraph 2 – before the main events >incidents leading to the main event *paragraph 3 – the main event(s): describe the events , the people involved in , give detailsConclusion * final paragraph – end the story referring to the resolution of the conflict , moods , consequences , people’s reactions , feelings etc.

Link words :

to show time :when, then , after , before , during , meanwhile , as soon as , now that, the moment that , as , no sooner…than , hardly…when, immediately , since, while , until , by the time , as long as

to order or list events /points: firstly , first of all , in the first place , to start with , to begin with , secondly , thirdly , finally

to ad more points : what is more , moreover , furthermore , apart from this , in addition to this , besides , not only…but also

to conclude :finally , all in all , on the whole , taking everything into account , all things considered , to sum up , in conclusion

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Examples of narrative essays

Ex 1 ‘ A Dreadful Experience’ – by SanzianaFanica , graduate student of ‘Mihai Vitazul National College’- intensive English class. (Introduction) Mr. Soames woke up with a start and was surprised to find the gallery so quiet and almost dark . Just in front of him , on the wall, there was a forgotten painting by some Old Master . As he looked at it , he suddenly remembered where he was . The dreadful realisation came over him all at once : he had been locked up in the museum !

(Body) With that realisation it also came into his mind the purpose of his being there : the newspaper had sent him to investigate a series of incidents that had been disturbing the peace of the town for some time . He was standing now in the middle of the corridor trying to figure out where the mysterious perpetrator could have been hiding . The painting in front of him represented an old warlockthat was grinning devilishly from behind his crystal globe . Mr. Soames’ attention was drawn to the painting that appeared to come to life , step by step , while a strange whispering sound surrounded the room;’ Thy , thy , deus , baladeus , bring me to life .’ Mr. Soames was very afraid , he had been of the dark and the supernatural all his life , but being a reporter was his way of dealing with this problem . So he pressed the ‘recording’ button of his tape recorder as the incantation grew louder . Come , Master of Dawn , free me from my prison , deus , baladeus .’ The eyes of the painting started to glow as mist was covering it . Cold sweat was running down Mr. Soames’ spine and his pulse starting rising . He screamed :’No!’ just as he felt a hand touching his shoulder , he began to fight it , and…darkness .Soon after , a bucket of water woke him up , down to Earth , in the middle of the main hall of the museum There was a group of tourists staring at him . (Conclusion) It was now morning and Mr. Soames had slept through the night . He gladly left the museum . When he reached the newspaper office he saw that the batteries of his tape recorder were low ; he changed them and played the tape . There was nothing but a continuous ‘whoosh’ . In the end , just as he had given up hope , Mr. Soames could hear a fading background …’ deus , baladeus’…

Ex 2. ‘A Heroic Act’- by Diana Taranu , 12th F Intensive English class

(Introduction) The cool of the August morning gave way to unbearable heat as the sun rose higher and began to beat down relentlessly. David and his older brother, Steven, headed to the kitchen to ask their mother if they could go play by the riverside. She let them go, but not before making them promise they wouldn’t go anywhere near the water. Even if the river didn’t seem wild at the surface, the bottom was stirred by strong currents, which had claimed the lives of many over the years.


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The boys had hardly reached the soothing shadow of the trees along the river when Steven took off his clothes and headed for the river. He had just turned 11, but he seemed older and was stronger than the other children his age. David tried to stop him from going in deeper than up to his knees, but his brother ignored him. Not even being reminded by the promise he had made could stop Steven from distancing himself from shore. But just as he was calling out for his brother to join him, a powerful current swept his feet and began carrying him downstream.

No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t regain his balance and maintain himself afloat, so his head would come out of the water and then disappear again for a matter of seconds. David was now running along the shore, desperately calling for help. No one seemed to hear, until a tall, well-built man suddenly appeared and without a second thought plunged into the fast-moving river. After a few moments of desperate struggle with the unbelievable strength of the current he managed to bring Steven to surface and then to shore.

The man laid the boy’s body on the soft grass and turned him on his side. This made Steven cough and spit out all the water he had swallowed. As he slowly began recovering from the shock of being so close to drowning, his brother found out that the man who had saved his Steven’s life was just strolling along the riverside when he heard the cries for help. He was almost fifty, but it had been only a few months since he had retired from the police and he hadn’t lost his strength and physical shape.

(Conclusion) As soon as he came back to his senses, Steven thanked the man and the three of them made their way back to the boys’ home. After the incident, Steven never found the courage to bathe in the river again although he became a very good swimmer.

Ex 3 . Late night’s story- by Alexandra Baleanu, 11th grade intensive English class

(Introduction)It was a fine, calm winter night, though very cold. While I was enjoying the smell of

burning woods drifting from the chimney, the moon, pale as a cloud, was sending up a blue smoke over the empty streets of our city. Although I tried hard to fight the tiredness, my eyes slowly closed as I was reading a novel, but I was not asleep for a long time.

(Body) When I woke up, apparently not after a long sleep, everything around seemed just a little bit different. At first I was intrigued as I could not find the end of the blanket. I knew it must have been because of my feeblemindedness, but the piece of fabric covering me didn’t look like the blanket I used to put over. It looked more like a pair of trousers… my trousers! I didn’t have much time to understand what was happening because I suddenly found myself slipping through a never-ending channel. When I finally reached the floor, which was not at all warm, I realized I had been travelling through my own pants. And this was just the beginning of my adventure!

No sooner did I land on the cold parquet, I started to feel cold. And the cosy place I had left some moments before was too high for me to climb back to. My problem now was that the clothes I used to wear before had become too large, so I had to find something else to put on. But what could fit a 5 centimetres tall creature? Maybe a handkerchief grasped with a safety pin would make the perfect outfit for me. Luckily for me, I came across my cousin’s dolls, which were lying on the carpet, beautifully dressed. With great difficulties I managed to undress one of

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them, and put on its pink blouse and purple pants. I felt ridiculous in these vivid colours, but there was not time for complaints. I had to find the way to talk to someone who could get me out of this terrible situation.

I headed for my room, which seemed miles away, hoping someone would run into me. As soon as I arrived in the hallway, I heard the key turning noisily and the front door suddenly opened while a harsh, winter draught came from outside almost blowing me. Then, my parents entered the house, but they seemed too absorbed by their conversation and did not notice me. Little things are never important! I couldn’t give up, so I followed them to the kitchen. What before seemed some steps away, now took me a couple of minutes of sustained effort to reach. When I finally arrived at the destination, my parents were unpacking the shopping. I tried to talk to them, but the plastic bag’s rustle was louder than my voice.

Suddenly I felt a great sadness because nobody cared about me. I felt so alone in this enormous world. There was nobody to protect me from the dangers I was facing. Each and single thing in my own house was now a threat. I could easily get stepped on by the cat, or thrown out by mistake. How can a poor little creature face a giant when he is so vulnerable? I had no more energy. I leaned on a piece of furniture, but as I was barefoot and the floor was cold, I started shivering.

(Conclusion)When I woke up, a voice was telling me: ‘Sweetie, why don’t you go to bed? It’s late

and look at you, you must be cold!’ I was still drowsy, but when I saw her, I started to glance around and I could not believe my eyes. It was me again! No more pink clothes, no more dangers, no more never-ending journeys to the kitchen. But that little world definitely exists in our minds. Haven’t you ever felt miserable compared with the outstanding beauty of a mountain or helpless in this enormous world? The secret is to trust your qualities and strength and never give up.

Ex 4. The mysterious gift-by Teodora Beleaga

(Introduction)The morning after, I woke up and there it was: shinning as if the suns rays were reflecting

themselves of the surface of a lake. It was the most precious gift I’ve ever received and it was all mine! It’s still fresh in my mind the felling that I had the other day when I got it.

(Body)My family and I were preparing the celebration of my eighteenth birthday. I was helping

my mother in the kitchen while my father was out shopping for the event that was about to take place that night. Out of the blue, mom rushed out of the kitchen as if she suddenly remembered to check something else. I followed, only to find her secretly hiding something in the drawer. I was very intrigued, thinking that was a present for me. However, when she turned and faced me she gave me that look as if everything was just in my mind.

The party began at 9 o’clock pm. All was perfect! Everything from the music, that everyone enjoyed even though the DJ was a bit young, to the balloons that were in place, with the big jumbo balloon ready to gush out confetti and other little balloons. After the cake, it was the time for opening presents. I was so excited! I got everything a girl could ever dream of, but still there was no gift from my parents which let me to believe that everything was just in my mind. However, I couldn’t be more wrong! My mother took me aside and told me a short fascinating story about this gift I was about to receive on their behalf. I was blown away! After

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the party, it was hard for me to sleep that night, constantly thinking about what a precious gift I have been given.

(Conclusion)And now it’s morning! I find myself looking at it, still mesmerized by both its beauty and

the story behind it. Something priceless, that has been passed down from generation to generation, linking the past with the present and the future, still looking as if it were brand new. It’s the most beautiful ring that I’ve ever seen!

2. Descriptive Essay


Introduction :*paragraph 1- give general information about the person / place saying when , where you saw them for the first time ,reasons for the choice

Body * paragraph 2 – 4 : you describe the physical appearance , qualities , hobbies/interest , character , behaviour; you start a new paragraph for each new topic . When you describe a place , you should mention what you can see and do there ,buildings details , historical facts etc.

Conclusion : *paragraph 5 – includes your comments/feelings about the person / place.

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Examples of descriptive essay :

Ex 1 ’A Spot of Heaven’ – by Alexandra Vlaicu- , intensive English class , ‘Mihai Viteazul National College ‘

(Introduction) This was IT . Her perfect place , where no one ever disturbed her peace , where she could relax and have a good time ever since she discovered it years before while she was still a child going on holidays at her grands’.

(Body) The meadow was sprinkled with beautiful multi-coloured flowers whose petals felt so soft and friendly against the skin . There was white , and red , and yellow, in the trees and on the ground as well . The grass went halfway up to her knees , gently stroking her feet as she walked She could feel the welcoming scent in the air , the smell of flowers and trees and birds and fresh air combined . Further away there were trees full of fruit : apples , plums , cherries . She always smelt the jam that was to be made of the round , luscious , ripe fruit in front of her . The trees were old and strong – she could relax in their big wooden arms , where she she felt safe and loved .

(Conclusion) And finally , the birds – beautifully coloured birds with light wings . Their songs were sweet , enchanting , spell-like , and that was , undoubtedly the best thing about that heavenly place that almost bewitched her and made her float in the world of dreams .

Ex 2 Narrative-descriptive essay: “Deceiving Appearance” (the portrait of the killer in “Tell-Tale Heart” by E,A.Poe) –by Alexandra Ioan 12th grade intensive English class

(Introduction) Thick fog was covering the still town which looked almost frightening in the dim light of the cold moon. It was getting really quiet, as if life had ceased to visit the streets and houses of this place, as if it refused to submit to the deep, cruel night that settled in.

(Body)Suddenly, the ripple of a puddle broke the deaf silence. More confident, loud steps followed and a tall man appeared in the shivering light of a tired street lamp. He was holding a small suitcase in one hand and had a whitish piece of paper in the other. Wearing a long, brown raincoat which matched the beige suit, made his slender figure stand out. His face was covered in darkness, mostly because of the khaki hat on his head. He lifted his round chin looking around and let his angelic face be caressed by the shy light. His short, straight, chestnut hair outlined the round, clean shaven face, contrasting with his fair complexion. A snubby nose unveiled a well-shaped mouth settled in a gentle smile. But maybe his most dominant feature were his big, round eyes. Their strong hazel colour made the depth of his stern look give you chills.

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The young man crossed the street calmly, with no rush, looking carefully around. He was a person built for details, you could see with how much interest he measured everything he encountered. Paying attention, being in a constant state of tension, he was secure and confident. His appearance betrayed his organized style, the order he was used to, maybe even the obsession for it.

He knocked on one of the old wooden doors and an old man let him in. It was obvious from their reactions and gestures they didn’t know each other and surprisingly enough, the old man allowed him to come in quickly. The mystery surrounding the young man was dominant, making you wonder who he was, where he was coming from and most of all what was he planning to do while living in this empty, dull town.

(Conclusion)Still, the whole perfection he was showing was making you wonder if maybe, just maybe, there was more about this person. His certainty was intriguing especially since he was a stranger. Those eyes, that sharp, deep gaze couldn’t have been all pure and innocent, behind the hazel vale there was something more, something that nobody could name precisely…was it possible that his appearance was meant only to hide something, to deceive ?

Ex.3 The toddler and her apprentice- by Oana Andreescu -11th grade intensive English class

(Introduction)In the foggy, damp weather her small onix eyes were like two twinkling coals in the hectic city street. I had only seen her for a second that I already knew that those eyes were there to tell a story.(Body)She was a tiny creature of half a metre lost in the midst of the passing crowd .In her dingy blue clothes she resembled a big unsteady bubble. Coming out of the far too long sleeves ,fingers with a desperate desire to clutch the air held on to the unseen .Surprisingly enough, her eyes were not dim with tears but enlightened by a somehow inexplicable ray of hope: she was hobbling on her own towards the end of the grey alley. Her brown hair with tight curls framed the joyful expression of her face as she hobbled on the grey pavement. She was 2 years old and was now learning how to walk, all on her own in the middle of the street. She knew no helping hand nor relied on anyone’s encouragements: she was all alone and needed no support in tackling life’s first tasks.

After a few seconds of staggering she ,all of a sudden , collapsed ; some man had given her a slight push. Already unsteady, she found herself lying on the pavement. Somewhere in the crowd a husky voice could be heard :”Up! Get up!”.Once again the little girl rose on her 2 feet, in the middle of the city, again ready to make other steps on the same road.

(Conclusion)I have never met her since. But the toddler passed on more than just a simple story of bravery-her attempts of walking gave more advice than any other teacher. One should always be ready to stand against the tempest all on his own. Life itself is harsh and most of the times there is no one there to hold your hand :take charge and lead your own way .And that is the knowledge i gained by being a 2 year old girl’s apprentice. And, trust me, this is one of the most important lessons you should learn in order to survive.

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Ex 4. Fireworks- by Oana Andreescu


The colour bomb exploded .Now the darkened skyline is overpowered by myriads of flashing ,differently hued rays of light. It truly is a holiday in the pitch dark outskirts of the dormant city.


The sky is invaded .It is all about the turmoil of firecrackers, the flabbergasting mix of rackets ,the deafening rattle of the rockets .Light overcomes darkness and it is, once again, day .Day full of blasting colours :scarlet and bright orange ,bloody red and yellow catch fire on the widely spread prairies of the close astrologic universe .Blue and red turn into a wild lily mauve that spreads its tentacles over the twinkling stars .Everywhere some mind boggling crackers ignite every second .Just for a couple of seconds. Then they fade and turn by leaps and bounds towards the ground .The light and sound show turns the stronghold of the aquamarine vault above the rotten, sloping roofs into a fireplace.

The performance is stunning ,mind twisting. Children stare from skylights and dormers, fascinated. Those who were arguing stop. Enchanted ,they turn from their petty arguments and take in the excitement of the night .Lovers’ kiss. Tonight they do not have the moon as a guardian but the plethora of roaring celestial flames.

(Conclusion)As the last fading flames embrace the silent houses, night gives in to time. And so do the fireworks .It ends here. Maybe another time it will carry on but tonight it’s over. Dawn slowly approaches.

Ex 5. Mind’s maze- by Alexandra Baleanu 11th grade intensive English class

(Introduction)One indelible memory of that cold, harsh, winter day still lingers in my mind! I had been

asked, together with another officer, to make a short visit to that house and check whether or not everything was all right. There had been snow some hours before, lying not particularly deep, but frozen. We walked down the tranquil, narrow street in the suburbs of London as the brisk wind was biting at my face. The place we had to reach was the old house in the corner of the street, with gables and lattice-windows. I knocked gently at the door and a slender woman, apparently scarcely past girlhood, opened. We explained to her that what we had come for and she asked us to come in.

(Body)I was impressed by her appearance, which looked even more delicate in the comforting

glow spread around the living room by the wooden lamps. She wore a long green dress and a low, black, silk frock, with short sleeves. She had an admirable form and the most exquisite little face that I had ever had the pleasure of beholding. Moreover, her countenance was absorbing due

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to the permanent smile playing on her lips. On the other hand, what struck me was her small, piercing eyes, and thin, hawk-like nose, which gave her an aura of alertness and decision. Even her chin had a square-like prominence that made her a woman of distinction.

From the moment we entered the house she proved to be a very welcoming, gentle person, with a very considerate way of treating us. She was charming, not only because of her pleasant look, but also because of her soft voice and her polite manners. In the beginning, I was delighted to have had the opportunity to meet such a brave young woman. I even appreciated her for the courageousness she displayed while staying home alone during the old man's absence. After having conversed with her, she also proved to be a sensible person. Only later did I realize that she had started to feel nervous and was no longer relaxed, as if a strong and penetrating imaginary force was haunting her, causing her to burst out and confess her crime.

(Conclusion)I used to think that a person’s character could be known by his conversations, but that

experience made me realize that there is an enormous discrepancy between reality and appearance. The angelic look of that murderer didn’t reveal the true demon she was inside. I was shocked to see so much cruelty hidden behind her immaculate look.

Ex 6 SPAIN- by Ioana Niculescu, 12 grade intensive English class

(Introduction)I went to Spain in the summer of 2005 and since then, all kind of memories come flashing

back, reminding me of the wonderful experience that I, together with my parents, have lived. Like the Arabs wisely said, it was heaven on earth.

(Body)We landed in Barcelona, capital of the region of Catalunia. Here, people always seem to be

in a rush. From old men and women, to little children, everybody has something to do. Nonetheless, its beauty resides in these ever busy streets, with memorable attractions, most of them art of Antonio Gaudi. Both Barcelona and Valencia seem to attract more and more people, mainly because of the ideal position next to the Mediterranean Sea. But the breeze is best in Palma de Mallorca. Here there’s always enough inspiration for everyone, like the artists and writers of the past have all found out.

As we headed south we noticed quite a few changes in temperature and atmosphere. In this area, also known as the province of Andalucia, people tend to be more communicative and polite towards tourists. Moreover, people can find themselves following the same road as Christopher Columbus did in 1492. First comes Granada, another of history’s most successful piece of art. The gardens of Alhambra rise from behind the hills, offering a splendid view, quite similar to the one in “1001 Arabian nights”. Second on my list of favourite places comes the city of Tarifa, in the extreme south of Spain. Situated next to the Gibraltar Strait, the area reunites both Spanish and North-African influences, mainly because of the Moroccan shore only a few kilometres away.

Turning north, Castilla-la Mancha welcomes its viewers with large hills covered in wind-mills, one of the biggest energy resources in this area. Going through Toledo, the religious centre of the country, we finally reached the capital, Madrid. It is famous for its old neighbourhoods and the perfect blue of the sky. It hosts speakers of all languages, so you must not be afraid of not being understood here, even if you speak Chinese or Turkish.

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Once we got out of its lively air, we turned our eyes towards what historians call “the 8th wonder of the world”, the Escorial Palace, 30 km from Madrid. Built by Phillip II, the palace also includes large inner courts, called la lonja, while the east and south wing offer a great panoramic view over Madrid. With over 1600 paintings, it keeps its simplicity and makes you want to stay forever and never fly back home again.

(Conclusion)All in all, it was one great trip I won’t forget in the near future. Be sure there is a person

out there who is willing to share with you his own experience of Spain. And it sure is a place where you want to be 365 days per year.

Ex7 : Describe a character of a book you’ve recently read or a movie you’ve seen.

Jean Valjean (“Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo) - by Ioana Niculae,12th grade intensive English class

(Introduction)One of the most remarkable characters ever to leave a writer’s pen, an impressive person

of great moral virtue and a personality which has marked generations of readers and other writers alike and will continue to do so for a long time still to come, is Jean Valjean, the main character of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”. From the point of view of both an accurate portrayal of the French society of the 19th century, and also a surprisingly detailed recollection of the historical events in the 60-70 years of French history when Valjean lived, ending with the French Student Riot of 1832, this novel is considered by many to be the greatest masterpiece of its time, and Valjean is seen as the symbol of French literature of the 19th century.

(Body)Jean Valjean is the product of the society he lived in, both in terms of the suffering that

led to him stealing the loaf of bread, and the excessive sentence he received as punishment for his "crime". He went into prison a simple and devoted brother and uncle, and left it filled with despair, hopelessness, bitterness and anger at the injustice of his treatment. He had also become accustomed to doing whatever is necessary to survive and had little thought of dignity and principle.

Thus, in reflex acts of desperation, he later steals from the Bishop and the young chimney sweep. These acts, in direct contrast to the kindness shown to him by the Bishop, cause him to focus on what he has become – the very thing he was accused of being all these years before, and which he has resented for so long. This realization combined with the recognition that any man can suffer what he has suffered, as the result of social injustice, inspires him to treat people with tolerance and understanding. He has seen what can become of men as a result of their circumstances and experience, and is determined to help, shocked at what he had almost become, and determined to redeem himself.

There are numerous examples of his heroism and his selfless desire to help others, all tinged with, and emphasized by, tragedy as he is driven by a lack of self-respect and a sense of responsibility towards those whose lives he has touched. We are inspired as Valjean commits acts of heroism, both physical and moral, in pulling a whole community up from the trenches of poverty, misery and moral degradation, in helping Fantine, saving Fauchelevent and Marius, in protecting Javert at the Barricades and offering to fund Thénardier, in bringing up Cosette

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throughout the entire length of the novel and trying to avoid her wedding to protect her, and so many more.

Throughout the book, one notices an interesting item that highlights Valjean’s personality and his moral virtue most prominently, the symbol of his past, but also equally of his present and his sole purpose in life, and that is Cosette. Her happiness is all that is important to him. Her well-being is solely what his life revolves around and from the moment he rescues her from the Thénardiers, till the moment he realizes she no longer needs him when she marries Marius, Valjean lives and breaths for her. The epitome of this incredible love is the moment he heads for the barricades, when, even though he is, at first, enraged by Marius’ interference in his and in Cosette’s life and he even rejoices at the prospect of Marius’s death, he still finds it in himself to look past his personal pain and after a brief period of reflection he heads for the barricades. Perhaps he has recognized is emphasizing Valjean’s shock, and certainly his guilt, at his realization that he had revisited the selfish and reactionary member of the chain gang he had left behind all these years before.

He appears to deny himself any self-centered emotion or thought of danger for himself as he helps those wounded at the barricades. Hugo is careful to point out that Valjean does not participate in the battle, but instead helps those who have fallen, culminating in his rescue of Marius. Valjean does not have the arrogance to participate in a fight, which would involve the imposition of his will upon others. In the end, unknown and soon forgotten, stepping for a brief moment into the light, and then quickly withdrawing back into the shadows from where he came, like a Specter of divine forces, he is the sole hero of the battle at the barricades, controversial, yet sublime, disputed at first, but indebted in the end, one that is beyond being mere human, but still who thinks, feels and suffers just like a mere human.

The tragedy is that Valjean does not appear to recognize the merit of his own actions, or at least that they do not compensate for what he "nearly" became. He is driven by the guilt he felt on stealing from the Bishop and the chimney sweep. He is ashamed not so much of the 19 years he spent in prison, but rather that on his release he was willing to prey upon those who were weaker than him in order to survive. He works endlessly to compensate for his "misdeeds" and shows himself little of the sympathy and understanding he is willing to bestow on others. While he recognizes that the structure of society was partly responsible, he has learned the importance of humility and accepting responsibility for one’s actions, learning from it, and then setting about rectifying the situation.

At the end of his life Valjean tells Cosette and Marius that the only thing that really matters is love. It is tragic, then, that Valjean appears to have found love and forgiveness in his heart for nearly everyone except himself.

More than a tragic romantic hero, Jean Valjean stands throughout the book as a symbol – a symbol of salvation, of one’s ability to liberate one’s soul through the sheer power of one’s will and of the inner strength that is in each man to choose the path that he will walk and overcome all hardship that he is faced with, so that in the end, he can look back on his life and know that he has made the best of himself that he could.

(Conclusion)Jean Valjean was the voice and means of what Victor Hugo once stated: "I condemn

slavery, I banish poverty, I teach ignorance, I treat disease, I lighten the night, and I hate hatred. That is what I am, and that is why I have written Les Miserables."