“After the Bomb” is one of the most widely studied topics for Extension I English, and requires a significant deviation from the techniques and strategies used to excel in Advanced English. However, once you understand the intricacies of what is required from this rather abstract module, attaining high marks will be simply left to practice.
The “After the Bomb” module is essentially a study of how the various events and ways of thinking of the post-WWII/Cold War period influenced society, and how these changes and viewpoints were in turn reflected in composers’ texts. Hence, the most crucial step is to fully immerse and understand the historical context of the period “After the Bomb”, familiarising yourself with the significant drivers of the era and how their effects have bled into the texts that you have chosen to study. As opposed to standard and Advanced English, you will need to place an increased emphasis on abstract concepts and base your essays around ideas and theories, instead of utilising concrete techniques and literary devices. Hence, it can be useful to decrease some emphasis on these (but not to cut them out entirely). Furthermore, to differentiate your arguments in terms of their sophistication and coherence, it will be very useful to do your own research based on the texts you are studying and the ideas or concepts that you want to flesh out in your essay. For example, if you want to focus on the Cold War periods’ heightened movement of existentialism, there is much to research on Friedrich Nietzsche, and his belief that “God is dead.”