Teaching structure – model answer part 2

As the first blog on model answers proved so popular, I thought I’d provide a second, less impressive response to the opening extract from The Spy who Came in From the Cold. Again I’d be interested in your thoughts on what this would get:


By starting the novel at night the writer makes it seem mysterious and dangerous. The phrase ‘Darkness had fallen’ is effective because it makes it seem like it has happened suddenly which makes it seem mysterious. But because Leamas is inside and looking out through the window he seems more safer than the character Karl who is outside and unsafe.

The writer then does a flashback to go back in time. This tells the reader when he first met Karl. When he says ‘that’ll cost us another couple of hundred a year’ it shows that he thought Karl was too expensive right from the start.

Then he goes back to the present day. ‘Herr Thomas! Quick!’ is used to create tension because there is two exclamatory sentences which show shock and surprise building up as the extract develops. ‘Quick!’ speeds the plot up and makes it seem like a race against time. ‘Then, totally unexpected, the searchlights went on’ is when the reader realises that he is going to be shot.

It ends very seriously with the quote ‘Leamas hoped to God he was dead’. This is exposition through thoughts and shows us that Leamas is like all spies because he is cruel and cold. It makes us want to read on to find out if Karl really is dead and why he wants him not to survive.

Thanks for reading,


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