Task 2: Views and opinions of the world

Task 2 requires you to write a paragraph about a common holiday in which you attempt to convey an attitude similar to that expressed by George Bernard Shaw in Task 1. Then, you are invited to read the poem “Infant Sorrow” by William Blake and focus on the speaker’s views and opinions of the world. For this, you should focus on the linguistic devices and style of the poem.

Task 2A: Similar attitudes

George Bernard Shaw is clearly critical of Christmas, which he views as an “atrocious institution”.

For this task, you should think about a popular holiday or festive event which you can describe in a way similar to that of Shaw. As we cannot choose for you, we will simply limit ourselves to offering you a few ideas about popular holidays and the negative aspects surrounding them.

Besides Christmas, you could think about the popular American holidays of Thanksgiving or Halloween. They are important holidays in the US, but many people – both Americans and outsiders – believe they have become overly-commercial and devoid of meaning, and that they influence children negatively. For example, some say that Halloween teaches children that strangers are always friendly or that being scary and violent is normal. Some also say that Thanksgiving is all about excessive shopping (Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday), greed, and forgetting about the true American history.

No matter what holiday or festive event you choose to discuss, we recommend you pay attention to several linguistic devices you could use. First, you...

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