How to write an empathic response
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How to write an empathic response. (When you pretend that you are one of the characters.). Example question:. Imagine you are Sheila. At the end of the play you think back over what has happened. Write down your thoughts and feelings (for a B or C)

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How to write an empathic response

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How to write an empathic response

How to write an empathic response

(When you pretend that you are one of the characters.)


Example question

Example question:

Imagine you are Sheila. At the end of the play you think back over what has happened.

Write down your thoughts and feelings (for a B or C)

Remember how Sheila would speak when you write your answer (for an A or A*)


How to do it

How to do it.

  • You will be given a specific moment ‘in’ which to write. Stick to it.

  • If you just tell the story you will get an E grade, if you’re lucky. To get a C, you have to write down ‘your’ thoughts and feelings.

  • To get an A, you also have to sound like the character. The next slides are examples of how the characters speak.


Mr birling

“Me, kill her? Never! I wasn’t wrong in what I did; it kept my family afloat. Paying those workers 25 shillings a week would have sank mine and nearly to be Crofts’ business. It was not an option; I could not consider it. There’s a possiblity that sackin her could have spoilt her chances, but my actions y’know never led to that wretched girl’s suicide. Other obstacles came her way and set her path adrift. I never killed her! I am most definite in that decision.”

Mr Birling

“That filthy swine! How dare he make such a mess of my family! Crank. He thinks he can change my opinion about a scum like her. People like me cannot be associated with people of that class. He has insulted my social status to the core. Damn him. Eva Smith – that Jezebel! – stealing my chances of securing a knighthood! Damn the lot of them! Cranks!”


Mrs birling

“As if a person of my class could possibly be responsible for that girl’s death. Our family is leastl likely to be associated with these petty women who simply work for us. That Inspector’s wasting his time asking me questions, interrogating me as if I am a criminal. Far from it! The father of that child should be ashamed of himself. Whilst he’s off gallivanting around God knows where, with other young tarts, our family is being pulled apart.”

Mrs Birling

“My dear Mr. Birling. You’ll never guess what happened today at the Brumley Women’s Association. Well, you shan’t guess, so I’ll tell you. I mean really, the insolence of the youth of today. Whilst giving up my precious time to interview these young ladies – if you can call them that – (more like young trollops if you ask me) – we came across this young girl; she must have been around our Sheila’s age, but obviously she had nothing on Sheila. Rather dull and plain-looking in my opinion; quite, quite awful.”


Gerald

“I can’t understand why Sheila just didn’t leave it, after all, she is just a woman, what’s she going to do about. Women of this society need to learn their place. If the Inspector hadn’t arrived and ruined the evening, Sheila wouldn’t have found out something she didn’t need to know! I was only trying to help the poor girl. She looked young, fresh and charming. Her eyes were crying for help, and I used my social standing for her benefit…”

Gerald

“What’s a chap like me supposed to do when he’s in love with two entirely different women? When I sat down to dinner my heart belonged to Sheila. But now… who knows? Maybe it still belongs to those hard-faced dough-eyed women who seem so alluring when I’ve had a few g and ts…


How to write an empathic response

Eric

“Fancy being the son of a man who’s know you all his life yet knows nothing about you. I feel as though we are complete strangers. I am the disappointment of a man who has everything but my respect. It’s been a dreadful evening; I can’t quite get my head round it. All I know is that we are not the same people now as those who were celebrating Sheila’s engagement. All these years my father has been absent from my life, to cover me up like an embarrassment. And neither Daisy Renton or the Inspector has changed that. This has all been

too much! I’m off to get

a drink!”

“Mummy! Daddy! Sheila! Gerald! Edna! Well I never! How could you? All of you?! I do feel terrible bad though. In fact, I’m rather ashamed. All this business! Oh dear! Daisy…she was a fine young lass. Lively, and, well I have to say, rather pretty! I’ve got these awful shakes. In fact, it’s rather hard to write this. Don’t suppose I’ll get in ten yards of the port any more though. I really have been a bad boy, haven’t I?”


Sheila

“I did not know that my actions could result in such consequences! It all happened so quickly; the Inspector shed light into the corners of my insecurities and awakened the feelings that have been hidden so well from my subconscious. I’d taken care not to put up any walls between myself and the Inspector: I knew he

would inevitably

break them down…”

Sheila

“I cannot believe we acted in such a thoughless childish manner. I always knew that Eric – squiffy little thing – would get us into hot water, but he’s not the only one to blame! Oh! And poor Gerald! I do hope that some day we can patch things up! I still love him so! Fiddlesticks.”


So you have to get two things right

So you have to get two things right:

  • The content (what the character is thinking / feeling).

  • The narrative‘voice’ (how he or she is explaining / describing those thoughts / feelings.)

  • And whatever you do, don’t tell the story!


Sample response

Sample response

Imagine you are Sheila. Write down your thoughts and feelings at the end of the play.


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