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Textproduktion: Comment/Letter: "Beauty" by R. Selbourne


Hinweis: Die Prozentangaben in Klammern zeigt die Gewichtung der einzelnen Aufgaben.

Choose one of the following tasks:

“No one had been patient with her or encouraged her […].” (l. 73)

Explain how the experience described in the quote influences Beauty’s reaction to Mark’s teaching. Comment on the importance of emotional support for personal development. (40 %)


Compare the way Mark helps Beauty with how another character from literature of film supports someone else in a difficult situation. Assess the way Mark and the character of your choice act. (40%)


You as a student of English have been asked by the editors of a reader on Ethnic Diversity to assess the suitability of the excerpt for demonstrating how people from different backgrounds can come together.

Address your letter to: (40%)

Editors of the Education Division
The Random House Group Limited
20 Vauxhall Bridge Road,
London SW 1V 2SA
Great Britain



According to Beauty’s statement Mark is the first person in her life who shows interest in her and supports her emotionally. But is that really important for personal development?

Beauty has experienced only rejection all of her life and thus Mark’s teaching and affection for her causes several reactions. Firstly, she feels comfortable and starts trusting him which is why she tells him of her problem of not being able to put the letters together when trying to read (ll.31f.). Secondly, although being tired, the lesson keeps her awake and she wants to go on learning to read and write (ll46 f.). Thirdly, Beauty does not smoke but still accepts a cigarette to show her gratitude and sympathy towards Mark (ll.55f.). And finally, she feels really happy and wants to inform her family about her newly acquired skills (ll.67f.). All of these positive reactions show the importance of emotional support in Beauty’s life, which she had never experienced before.

As illustrated in the story, emotional feedback by parents or teachers increases motivation and it shows interest in the children’s lives, which can be a positive reinforcer. Children and teenagers need this type of feedback to develop their own personality and to distinguish between positive and negative behaviour. For example, when a pupil gets a good mark in a test, their parents are happy and satisfied, which can be observed by the child. Therefore, they will make a greater effort at school to experience this positive reaction again. Another example for an emotional approach is the choice of contents at school which are taken directly from the pupil’s environment such as drug abuse or obesity. These topics enable an emotional bond which ensures identification and personal analysis.

Taking everything into consideration, emotional support is very important for personal development and every child should experience it in the process of growing up.

(314 words)


Mark from the novel “Beauty” and Frank from the drama “Educating Rita” are very similar characters who assist someone in a difficult situation. But what is the best way to help?

The two protagonists have much in common. Mark smokes (l.55) and has some experience in teaching (l.4). He shows Beauty how to read and write to divert her from the problems with her family. Frank smokes as well and is an experienced lecturer. Rita is uneducated, her language is vulgar and her vocabulary is on a basic level which is why she wants to be introduced into the world of literature.

Both Mark and Frank help their pupils step-by-step. Beauty starts with the alphabet (l.17) going on with three-letter words (l.39) and two letters combined (l.64). Frank, however, tells Rita to rewrite her first essay, which consists only of one line, after which she hands in the modified version consisting of two sentences. Later in the drama, she is able to write coherent essays on several books.

Furthermore, Mark is patient during his teaching and permanently encourages Beauty (l.73). Frank always shows understanding for Rita and persuades her that she must develop a taste for literature.

Although being a stranger, Mark cares more for Beauty than her family has ever done (ll.76f.). In “Educating Rita” Rita’s husband does not share her passion for literature and burns her books. Thus, Frank first being only her tutor, soon becomes like a father for her.

Taking everything into account, both Mark and Frank are willing to help and educate their protégés like a father teaches his child which is an effective method based on trusting each other. Therefore, the teacher and pupil develop a very personal relationship which enables teaching on an emotional level.

On the whole, it can be said that Mark and Frank show patience and understanding, which is the best approach to help someone in a difficult situation.

(333 words)


                                                                                                      Lindenstr. 15
                                                                                                      86150 Augsburg


Editors of the Education Division
The Random House Group Limited
20 Vauxhall Bridge Road
London SW 1V 2SA
Great Britain                                                                                                

17 August 2014


Comment on the excerpt from ”Beauty”

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to comment on the excerpt from “Beauty” by Raphael Selbourne and I would like to discuss if it is a good example to demonstrate how people from different backgrounds can come together.

On the one hand, I think the excerpt can encourage these people to approach each other because it shows that if they have something in common, it is already a solid basis for a first encounter. Mark and Beauty meet because of different strokes of fate and therefore share their difficult past. Mark served time in prison (l.2) and Beauty ran away from her family and was attacked by some youths (see introduction).
Furthermore, the whole story of Mark teaching Beauty can be considered as a good example of a successful approach which illustrates a positive outcome if people from different backgrounds meet.

On the other hand, the circumstances they meet are very specific and cannot act as a role model for others. Both are about 20 years old and Beauty is a Bangladeshi who ran away from her family. She was attacked by some teenagers and then hides at Mark’s home (see introduction). These experiences are usually not present in everyday life and one could wonder why Beauty even followed Mark into his place without even knowing him.
Moreover, nowadays most of the people get to know each other via the Internet because it is much more comfortable and you have access to people from all over the world. On social platforms like Facebook or Myspace and dating websites like FriendScout24 or Parship you are more likely to get to know other people.

In a nutshell, the excerpt is not suited to demonstrate how people from different backgrounds can come together as it is too specific and it does not mention today’s most common means of meeting other people.

Yours faithfully


Max Mustermann

Max Mustermann

(318 words)

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