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Tutor profile: Lauren S.

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Lauren S.
English and History Tutor
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Questions

Subject: Writing

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Question:

What are the advantages of using dialogue in a story to illustrate a relationship between two characters?

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Lauren S.
Answer:

The phrase "Show, don't tell" is used so often in writing, that it has almost become tiresome to hear. However, using dialogue to achieve this effect can be extremely useful. Rather than describing a relationship, effective dialogue can directly show the reader how two characters relate to each other, almost as if the reader was hearing the conversation firsthand rather than hearing a story about what happened.

Subject: Literature

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Question:

In what ways do bias, abandonment, and cruelty shape character development in Wuthering Heights?

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Lauren S.
Answer:

In Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, a toxic web of relationships leads to the downfall of the Earnshaw and Linton households. The Earnshaws, Lintons, and even the narrators unfairly blame Heathcliff for this toxicity. However an examination of the text which resists the bias of the narrator and seeks an alternative version of the truth reveals that the true culprit is the emotional damage and fear of abandonment. This cycle of instability and trauma results from the ostracizing of an innocent and powerful influence of bias. The interplay of toxic relationships transcends the actions of Heathcliff. Not only is Heathcliff undeserving of this blame, but he also falls victim to the very toxicity he is assumed to cause. Wuthering Heights explores the catastrophic damage that loved ones and enemies alike can cause in each other’s lives, but also demonstrates the ability of forgiveness to break the harmful cycle. The constant fear of abandonment transcends the actions of Heathcliff alone, and a deeper examination of his humanity absolves him from the blame of evilness. The culprit of the toxicity is not Heathcliff himself, but the fear of abandonment. A number of harmful relationships lead to the downfall of the Earnshaw household, but in the end the power of forgiveness prevails. Despite Heathcliff’s awareness of Catherine’s role in his pain, he forgives her. Despite Heathcliff’s inexcusable displays of violence, Catherine’s love for him never changes. Importantly, the cycle of toxicity at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange unfortunately does not end with Heathcliff’s forgiveness alone. His cruelty subsides only temporarily, and the continued use of this coping mechanism allows the cycle to continue for years to come. However Hareton’s later forgiveness for Cathy’s rudeness reflects Heathcliff’s earlier forgiveness of Catherine, and Wuthering Heights closes with the breaking of the cycle.

Subject: European History

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Question:

How is the treatment of designated natural in Scotland shaped by historical concepts of wilderness?

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Lauren S.
Answer:

The inseparable links between Scotland’s designated natural land and history are easily seen when considering the role of wilderness or wild land. Throughout Western society, many motivations behind natural heritage management are based directly on the how the idea of wilderness has evolved through history and its value in Western culture. While Scotland is certainly not unique in this situation, Scotland demonstrates an example of how designated natural land is shaped by the history of cultural values surrounding the perception of a “correct” landscape. Scotland’s designated natural land is a direct result of this history because the values surroundings these concepts directly influence the values surrounding the landscapes and the management decisions made as a result. These links can be seen through the differing beliefs of what land should be protected, how wilderness and wild land are valued, ideas of how wilderness and wild land should be defined, and what protecting this type of land entails. These beliefs claim to be be based on natural wildness, but contradict each other due to differing cultural values and the “correct” sense of wild place coming into play. These cultural values differ because they are motivated, perceived, and understood based their contradictory evolution throughout history. This interplay of beliefs on the landscape and on each other creates a cycle where history influences the designation of natural land, and this perception of "correctness" influences culture. This cycle shows how wilderness and wild land are not independent of culture, but change throughout history as cultural values change.

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