Marks allocation for the literature component:

Poem 5 marks
Novel 15 marks
Total 20 marks

Note that candidates will only be tested on NOVEL and POEMS.

Complete Guide: QWERTYUIOP

Complete Guide: QWERTYUIOP

Here's an extract:

Write about one of the characters that you like in the short story,


Miss Broome

Miss Broome was old Mr Bannister’s secretary for forty-three years. She typed letter by letter and she hated the young girls who touch-type without having to look at the keyboard. According to Harry Darke, the young girls gave Miss Broome “the push”. When her boss retired her after forty three years, she had no place to go, for the office was her home and the job was “all she lived for” (p25). Thus whenever a new girl came to work, her ghost which haunted the typewriter would scare the girl until she was too frightened to continue. Sure, Miss Broome was angry and vicious at first...

Complete Guide : The Curse

Complete Guide : The Curse

A Comprehensive Guide to The Curse

Here is an example from the Guide:


In this chapter we are introduced to Puan Kamsiah and her daughter, Siti. We are also introduced to Datuk Zulkifli and Datin Sharifah, who are Azreen’s foster parents; they are sponsoring Azreen’s studies in London. We also introduced to Puan Normala and Noor, her daughter. Noor and Siti are classmates.

Siti conveys to her mother what Noor has been telling her classmates that Madhuri has been murdered. Puan Kamsiah feels that the ‘wicked woman’(p12) Puan Normala is spreading ‘malicious lies’ (p12) about Madhuri and ‘the poor girl isn’t even properly laid to ground yet!’ (p12) When Siti quotes her mother’s description of Normala as ‘a slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue’ (p12), it gives us a hint of the character of Normala: She is, in fact, a busybody and the village gossip.

Guide to GULP and GASP

Guide to GULP and GASP


Yes, the most comprehensive guide on Ann Fine's Step by Wicked Step to help you prepare for your SPM English 1119 Exam is out. Chapter by chapter analysis with lots of explanatory notes to explain the plot, theme, and characters of this loving & touching story. Page references are given to save you the trouble of having to locate important texts and quotes.

Complete Guide to Poems

Complete Guide to Poems

Sample Question and Answer

What does it mean when the poet says but on their brows there was not a sign of despair?

It means that despite the difficult situation they were in, they did not show any sign of hopelessness.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

'Docile' Snow Monkeys in Monkey Park, Kyoto

Let me begin with a Monkey Doggerel:

Is it Zen?
Kai Zen?
Or Sake-in-

A couple of weeks ago ma famille and I visited Monkey Park in Kyoto's Arashiyama district. After a short climb, we came to the park, which is the home of snow monkeys. These monkeys live in the wilds but they appear quite docile. I've seen monkeys in the hills of Kuala Selangor and elsewhere where they would come up close to visitors and snatch their plastic bags or food. Why do these snow monkeys behave so well unlike their counterparts in Malaysia and other countries? Does it mean that Malaysian monkeys are less disciplined? Do these snow monkeys also have the discipline that Japanese people are well-known for?

When we arrived at the foot of the hill, we had to purchase our park entrance tickets. We were told to leave our bags there at no charge. Visitors also have to observe some rules or advice such as not to look the monkeys in the eyes and not to feed them in the open. At the park, there's a small shop where you can buy food to feed the monkeys. The shop has an annex with wire netting where visitors go to to feed the monkeys. We didn't go into the shop; so we didn't feed the monkeys. From the outside, looking at the visitors feeding the monkeys from inside the annex, I just couldn't help but feel that the roles had been reversed.

Back to the question of why these snow monkeys appear to be so well-bahaved. Well, the park authorities didn't set out to train or discipline the monkeys. They discipline the visitors by imposing rules before they ascend the hill. When all visitors do not carry bags, there's nothing for them to snatch. Feeding of the monkeys is also confined to a certain spot by having the visitors "caged" in the annex. Over time, these snow monkeys get used to going to the annex for their food. Elementary Pavlovian psychology.

Quite often when I pose this question to people, the common answer is to train the monkeys. In this case, the park authorities "train" or "discipline" the visitors so as to synchronize their behavior with that of the monkeys'.

Note: 'Iie' in Japanese means 'No'.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Joy of Traveling

I was bitten by the travel bug very early in my teens. I remembered the time when I hitch-hiked with my classmates to Penang and Singapore after our exams. Since then, I have traversed this earth to more than a dozen countries, and still I yearn to travel more. I find traveling an enriching experience. It gives me the opportunity not only to see the sights of the places I visit but also to interact with the local people.