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Tutor profile: Ellie S.

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Ellie S.
Experienced tutor and teacher in Art History, English, and Humanities writing
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Questions

Subject: European History

TutorMe
Question:

What were the major causes of World War I?

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Ellie S.
Answer:

There are a number of significant reasons why war broke out in Europe in 1914. The most immediate was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28th. Ferdinand was heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary and was killed by a Serbian man who believed Austria should not control Bosnia. Austria-Hungary immediately declared war on Serbia which, under other circumstances, might have led to a more locally-contained war. However, many countries in Europe had alliances with one another, which meant the conflict would not be limited to the two original countries. Russia, allied with Serbia, immediately joined the war, triggering a declaration of war by Germany (allied with Austria-Hungary). When Germany invaded neutral Belgium, Britain declared war on the invaders, honouring an agreement to protect Belgium and France. These mutual defence alliances ultimately caused most of Europe to enter the war. There were further underlying causes of the war that had been building for some time. Each of the major combatants in the war had imperialistic ambitions in Africa and parts of Asia, with many of the major Western powers fighting smaller battles on foreign soil in their ambition to claim land for their empires. These increasing confrontations in other parts of the world heightened the tension between European countries in the years leading up to WWI. Furthermore, as the 20th century dawned, there was increasing militarism and an arms race between Russia, Germany, and Great Britain, with the latter two countries greatly expanding their navies in the first 14 years of the century. Nationalistic pride heightened the combative relations between these countries so that by the time Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, many countries in Europe were ready to prove their dominance and power.

Subject: English

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Question:

In the poem "Anne Hathaway" by Carol Ann Duffy, how does the poet portray the relationship between the speaker and her husband?

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Ellie S.
Answer:

In "Anne Hathaway," the poet uses the bed as a vehicle for describing the power and passion of the relationship between the speaker and her husband. The poet uses metaphors from the first line to create a vision of a fantasy world all encompassed within the bed. The bed becomes a ‘spinning world’ of forests and castles, torchlight (evoking a romantic scene), and seas where her husband finds jewels like pearls. Their relationship is so powerful that it is able to conjure this special world. The poet also uses hyperbole and emotive language throughout the poem to convey how special the relationship is. She describes her husband’s words as ‘shooting stars which fell to earth’, turning his speech into an amazing celestial event. Through such metaphors and hyperbolic language, the poet creates a sense of the magic and passion of their relationship, that it could create these impossible situations and turn words into shooting stars. The entire poem is constructed of impossibilities; later, the poet describes her husband’s touch as ‘a verb dancing in the centre of a noun’. The repeated use of hyperbole, emotive language and metaphors describing fantastical scenarios creates a sense of how singular their relationship is, that it makes the impossible possible.

Subject: Art History

TutorMe
Question:

Describe Kehinde Wiley's artistic style and the meaning of his portraits.

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Ellie S.
Answer:

Kehinde Wiley's paintings are characterised by the Photo Realist style, with his subjects placed against densely patterned, often nature-filled backgrounds. Using the portrait mode, traditionally symbolic of power, wealth and privilege, Wiley depicts young African American men and women in contemporary culture. He replaces the European aristocrats in traditional portraits with black men and women who often wear hoodies, baseball caps, and trainers, clothing associated with hip-hop culture. By doing this, Wiley attempts to subvert and question the conventions of classical portraiture, investigating the viewer's perception of blackness and challenging societal preconceptions and prejudices against black people. In his portraits, Wiley renders black men in poses that convey power and also complicate our understanding of masculinity, particularly by placing men against lush floral backgrounds. Referencing Old Master paintings, French Rococo, Islamic architecture, West Africa textile design, and urban hip-hop, Wiley draws together the traditional and the contemporary to produce a unique style.

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