Have you started to write practice essays yet? If not, now would be a great time to give it a go. Take a look at the practice question below, along with an example paragraph.
Remember, you get 30 marks for your essay, plus an extra 4 marks for technical accuracy. We’d advise you spend no more than 45 minutes on planning and writing your essay.
What is the nature of power within the play and how does it affect the gang members?
There are continuous power struggles within the play in order to acquire leadership of the gang. John Tate is the weakest of the leaders and the most short-lived. He only appears in one scene in Act 1. He seems to be incredibly guilty about his involvement in Adam’s ‘death’ and almost amusingly, tries to ban the word ‘dead’ amongst the gang members. When John threatens to hurt Richard for saying it, Richard shows that he is not that intimidated by John and ‘steps forward’ and says ‘You shouldn’t threaten me, John’. John Tate’s weak hold on his leadership role is also emphasised a bit later when he states that he’s finding the whole situation ‘quite stressful’. He is quite vicious, a bully and manipulates the gang members but when it comes to a serious issue such as the death of Adam, he prefers to quietly hand over the reins of power to Phil. We see this when he appeals to Phil and asks ‘So, what do we do?’.