Choose a character, persona or speaker from ONE prescribed text that you have studied in Module C. Express the thought processes of this character, persona or speaker by exploring a moment of tension in the text from an alternative point of view.
The mirror cracked from side to side. It had been a cheapie and was no great loss, but Elaine was having the kind of day in which a broken mirror was the last bloody straw.
She generally avoided looking out of the window. There was always something on the road beyond the river that she found annoying. Overworked horses, monocropping barley and rye, ignorant superstitious farmhands, and the inevitable riverbank lovers who rubbed salt in the wound of her singleness. She told herself that this was her choice, that she was taking a sabbatical from dating to focus on textile art, and that if her mother wanted to think that her only daughter was cursed to be a spinster, that was her problem.
Actually, the real problem was Lancelot, whose daily run along the river path was a torment to her hormones and her ears. Very few men could get away with leather, jewels, and a feathered hat. He sang out of tune, he peacocked, he needed a good haircut, and yet somehow his mighty silver bugle made up for all of it. Usually she managed to focus on the weaving, but a couple of times she’d slipped up and there had been a thing….all very tiring and predictable, but you couldn’t be thirty and find all your fun in weaving.
So with the mirror broken she threw down her shuttle and left the house. She got into the boat which had come with the place – ‘four towers and positively imbowered,’ the estate agent had said, omitting to mention the drawbacks of living on an island – and pushed off in the direction of Camelot in search of some fun in the form of Lancelot.
It was harder going than she had thought. There were deep shadows from the willow trees into which she kept getting snared. ‘I am half sick of shadows,’ she muttered through her teeth as she shoved off from the bank for the fourth time.
The boat also kept getting tangled in the gigantic lilies which Guinevere had stupidly seeded in the river, believing they would enhance Camelot’s already hyper-romantic ambience. Exhausted with the struggle of steering around them, Elaine lay down in the boat. But even lilylocked, she could get no peace. The same moronic yokels who tormented her at home rambled past on the river path shouting questions and advice.
‘You’ve got to go with the current, love!’
‘Are you stuck, then?’
‘D’you wanna hand there?’
‘I’m fine!’ she called back, wondering why they ignored her when she stood at the casement waving, but swarmed like flies now that she was stuck in a canoe. She took a deep breath and reminded herself that she was a strong, independent woman and that it was only a bloody boat.
Eventually, the lilies cleared, the river straightened, and the towers of Camelot approached. She lay down in the bottom of the boat and looked at the clouds. It was quite nice, lying there, drifting along on the current, humming to herself. After a bit she dozed off and was carried, sleeping, along the river into the city. It had been a rotten day. She was dead tired, and Camelot was quiet when she came floating in, so she only woke when a hefty male shadow blocked out the sun. She looked up to see Lancelot, who had been conducting a high-intensity interval class on the riverbank. He looked annoyingly attractive. She tried to look sleep-rumpled and winsome but her lips were dry from sleep-drool.
‘She really does have a lovely face,’ he was saying to a troop of glad damsels. ‘God in his mercy send her grace.’
‘Give me strength,’ said the Lady of Shalott.