5.1.2 Question 1 response Type B

In reference specifically to the second reading, almost all participants expressed greater awareness of the physical, sensory and/or extra-sensory elements (such as perception of time) of the story.

'2nd time - The sentence "She felt their eyes upon her". Seems like one of the most important bits to me. It's about the public nature of it and the politics of seeing and being seen.'

'"...contemplating the End" puts the behaviour in the context of the purification of the community in time for Judgement Day, which makes things make sense more.'

'Reading the second time I was much more aware of the physical constraints and discomforts of the branks (scold's bridle) and the sackcloth than before. The squalid nature of the sackcloth which may be stinking and dirty and the idea of the branks generating saliva gives it a more degrading nature.'

'I noticed a few things in the second reading I had not previously paid much attention to: "the stench of sin burned in her nostrils" — the link between the physical odour and uncomfortable nature of the cloth and metaphorical stench of sin. The big part that the sounds, feelings and other senses played in the experience of the punishment — the dread experienced at the sound of voices getting closer etc.'

'I also noticed the creative descriptions — the weather, the emotions etc. more the second time, and focused less on the historical detail.'

'The second time around the story seemed more intense. I was more aware of the senses than the first time: smells, sensations, the ominous sense of the approaching neighbours. There was a feel of impending doom almost.'

'I noted on re-reading that those participating in the shaming were as fearful as those in the position of being shamed. How fearful would the Minister be, knowing of his own sins...'


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