Try writing a Review for the Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) exam. You can send us your answer for correction, a predicted score and tips on improving.
Writing a review for the Cambridge Proficiency exam requires that you employ a variety of language functions. Cambridge specifically refer to describing, narrating and evaluating. You should be sure to consider these functions when preparing your review.
Question – The Review – CPE Part 2 Writing
Write your answer to the following question in 280 – 320 words in an appropriate style.
A literary magazine is running a series of reviews of books that people enjoyed reading as a child and would recommend for children today. You decide to send in a review in which you describe a book you enjoyed and the attractions it had for you as a child. You should also describe why you feel it remains relevant for children today.
Few books since have captivated me the way Oscar Wilde’s “Happy Prince and Other Stories” did when I was a child. One of my fondest childhood memories is my mother reading aloud to me from a beautifully illustrated copy at bedtime and trying her hardest to patiently answer my questions about the stories’ meanings. The book was full of moral messages which Wilde managed to deliver in a way that was infinitely more subtle than anything else I had read or been read until that point.
My favourite story was entitled “The Nightingale and the Rose”. It tells of a student who was in love with a girl from high society. The girl promises the student that she will accompany him to a dance the following day if he brings her a red rose. A nightingale overhears the student declaring his deep love for the girl while lamenting the absence in his garden of the red rose that would win her heart. Moved by the boy’s love for the girl, the nightingale asks all the rosebushes to produce a red rose for him, finally sacrificing his own life to produce one coloured by his own blood. The student picks the rose and presents it to his love, only for her to reject him having been offered jewels by another suitor.
Wilde’s commentary on materialism and the nature of love are complex themes for young minds. Nevertheless, it was through discussing these ideas with my mother that I was able to truly engage with the morality of the story. Until then, most fiction I had been exposed to presented its moral messages in far more obvious terms. I believe that the level of critical thought required to understand Wilde’s work makes books such as “The Happy Prince” so much richer than most other children’s literature and this need is as pressing today as it was when I was a child.[/sociallocker]
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