This section of the exam has not been managed well at all. Feedback from the VATE trial examination 2011 is below - stay tuned as more will come if I have the time.


Interesting interpretation of Cosi - but be warned - essays are plagierised etc. You do need to do your OWN thinking

The Age - review of Cosi

VCE Study Guide on Cosi

Cosi Essay an excellent discussion of Cosi and the way it is contructed.

Text response 2011 Trial examination
‘Since events are only seen and judged by Paul, the reader should challenge them.’ Do you agree

1st person narrative – what are the insights? What are the limitations? What else may give us clues? To what extent is Paul selectively reporting other dialogue by other characters? What of the fact he reflects his memory is nostalgic?

Not a good start: Does this introduction answer the question?

PG’s Maestro is about a young aspiring pianist Paul trying to understand his piano teacher the maestro EK. The coming of age novel is written in the perspective of Paul’s older self and therefore the events are only seen and judged by Paul, but in some cases are evident by other characters’ opinions.


In Peter Goldsworthy’s bildungsroman Maestro, the first person narrative on behalf of the central protagonist Paul allows for much bias to be sewn into recollections; however, as Paul’s behaviour and thoughts are the prominent focus of the novel, it is not necessary for the reader to challenge them.
What is the difference?

‘Better a small hurt now than a wasted life’. How true is this for the characters of maestro?

Clumsiness with shades of grey answers:

This concept can be seen as true and untrue to each certain extent for the characters of Maestro.

Why does the Audience ultimately question who is normal and who is not?
What is wrong with this introduction?

No one can be classified as normal, each person is an individual, that has there own faults, as like each character in Cosi by Lewis Nowra. The characters in Cosi the play display to the audience in many types of ways and actions that each one has their own problems and none of them are normal.

The Novel Cosi, authored by Louis Nowra was written to be questioned by the reader. The reader questions normality and who is normal through characters actions, words and their outbursts.

What do you think of this introduction?

The act of institutionalising an individual in a sanctuary of ‘mad people’ as seen in Louis Nowra’s nineteen seventies play Cosi usually determines who is considered normal in society and who is not. This method of ‘sorting’, however, is manipulated by Nowra to make the audience question sane and insane/different from normal. Purposely isolated people in the 1970’s were considered not normal, but the modern day audience of Cosi now questions the idea of normality and who is considered normal and insane due to changes in technology, new medical discoveries, and the idea that we cannot define normality.

What about this one

The play Cosi by Louis Nowra leaves the audience examining who is normal and who is not. But the real true question is who is sane and who is insane as the idea or theory of normality changes and is a result of many factors.

A fab paragraph
Illusion and reality is a common motif within Cosi as many characters struggle to come to terms with the idea of illusions. Ruth is blatantly unable to cope with the concept stating it was ‘doing a fine job of messing’ with her ‘head’. Roy is clearly stuck in the delusion that their performance would ‘reach for the stars’ and become spectacular. Other characters however who appear to be portrayed as normal and living a life of reality are also caught in an illusion. Lewis is caught in the illusion that his relationship is one of ‘love and fidelity’ and seemingly normal, although it becomes obvious to the audience that his relationship is far from normal that hw was caught up in an illusion. Nick and Lucy, who initially appear to be the most normal and realistic of all characters are even caught in an illusion. Attempts to ‘radicalise the nation’ with the moratorium and a belief they could aid the “viet Cong’ in a significant way were illusions. Their obsession with these illusions and delusions created characters anything but normal, thus audiences are left asking the question of who is normal and who isn’t.

‘With someone like you I could be true and faithful.’ Is this the view of most of the characters in Cosi?

Remember to contextualise the quote!!!

Use of AND requires subject or verb agreement
This is incorrect:
Goldsworthy illustrates that young Paul’s feelings towards the ‘steamy hothouse of Darwin’ are sensious and opens up a new pathway to his life.
Throughout Cosi the audience are given reasons to dispute the characteristics of those deemed ‘insane’ and who are suposidly normal.

Correct this sentence
The way young Paul firstly perceives Keller is misleading to how he feels about him in his later years.

Improve this expression
Nick’s view that the patients are a ‘bunch of nutters’ in a ‘funny farm’ show his immaturity and low levels of thinking.

This is OTT
A recurrent theme throughout the playwright, being sanity versus insanity, allows for the protagonists of the play, being mental patients, to reveal to the audience that they are not as crazy as their stereotype implies. The antagonists on the other hand, the able minded Nick and Lucy contradict the assumption that if one is not diagnosed with a mental illness or if one simply knows how to behave according to society’s expectations, one is deemed as ‘normal’.

Be accurate and specific
Cherry is a drug addict?
…and the other guy thought he was the director.

Language Basics:
Apart is different to ‘a part’ of SOMETHING
Cosi is the play, Cosi Fan Tutte is the Opera
Don’t ask questions like ‘Who is the audience to be the judge of ones sanity/normality?’
Using a word/word construction says to the examiner you cannot decide which word is best to use so they must choose for you. This is not good form!
Their - they’re
Play- playwright

Conclusions: these must not be a listing of the points or evidence you have provided – this is repetitive. Focus on providing your interpretation of what the author has achieved in the context of the topic!