English Mastery SG – Singapore Secondary O Level English Tuition English Mastery SG - Singapore Secondary O Level English Tuition

Get Free Trial Class

Explore Different Lives Through Different Characters

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The idea that books have the intrinsic quality of transporting a person across different worlds is poignantly encapsulated in the above quotation by renowned children’s writer Dr. Seuss. Through creative mediums such as books and films, we are able to put ourselves into the shoes of protagonists who may live lives vastly different from our own. 

Would you like to go on an adventure to explore different worlds or across different timelines? Check out the following exciting books and films where you would be able to!

How To Be Invisible (Kate Bush)


Have you been listening to Running Up That Hill on repeat, thanks to Stranger Things (Season 4)? This book is a curated collection of Kate Bush’s lyrics across her 44 years of musical career. A master of embodying the spirit of compelling protagonists she selects, Bush takes on various characters, and pens their emotional and mental landscape in her lyrics. These  lyrics stylicised as short stories or poems are vivid and thought-provoking. Through Army Dreamers, we hear a mother’s lament about the Vietnam war and politics because her son was forced to give up his dreams. In Deeper Understanding, the foresighted Bush in the mid-80s observes how humans are losing themselves to the digital age. With Breathing (a personal favourite), we imagine through the lens of a foetus growing in their mother’s womb in a post-apocalyptic world. Behind all these elaborate imaginings, there is a simple yet profound depth of how we can understand humanity through various lenses and perspectives. 

Read about it here:
Book Depository

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers)


In a small town in Georgia during WWII, we are introduced to Mr. Singer, a deaf and mute man, who eats at the New York Café every day. Four very different people begin to find solace in talking to Mr. Singer: the café’s owner, a young tomboyish girl, an alcoholic communist, and an African American doctor desperate to effect change. With first-person narration, readers get the opportunity to step into the peculiar shoes of these four characters where we witness how their lives take strange and unexpected turns. As we watch each character fighting in their own battles against racism, sexism, poverty, and prejudice, we may start to wonder how these battles should be fought collectively. In a climate of recent socially upheaval events around the world, this book can inspire readers to appreciate collectivity more.

Read about it here:
Book Depository

When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi)

Paul Kalanithi’s ethos was not only striving to become an excellent neurosurgeon, but to also fully understand his patients to help them and their families to adjust to whatever their new reality would be following a diagnosis. However, at the age of 36, Kalanithi was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, transforming what he had purposed to do as a doctor to his subject of a patient he was striving to understand. This intellectual and deeply emotional memoir acknowledges the inescapable reality of our morality, yet celebrates the inherently deterministic nature of humans to make meaning of our own lives, if we are willing to.

Read about it here:
Book Depository

Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)

Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a linguist who teaches at a College. One day, twelve giant spacecraft appear in random locations across the world overnight. Louise’s linguistic skills and expertise become an asset for the U.S Army who recruit her and mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to attempt to decode and translate the language that the creatures inside the spacecraft are using in order to prevent a global war. Based on Ted Chiang’s novella Story of Your Life, this film is not an action-packed science fiction movie. Instead, through the theme of language, this film invites its viewers and humanity to discover oneself and the choices they make for love. A measured film that handles heavy themes with choice and mortality with tenderness, it trusts the patience of its audience to put all loose ends together in the conclusion of the film. 

As a side note, Ted Chiang will be making a live appearance in this year’s Singapore Writer’s Festival. If you like an opportunity to pick at his brain, you can sign up for his various workshops. Find out more here.

Watch it here:
Apple TV  

Life of Pi (Ang Lee)

Based on Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel (which is also worth a read), this is an extraordinary, life-affirming tale about survival, spirituality, and storytelling. Leaving their home in India, taking with them their vast menagerie, the Patels board a ship bound for Canada. But when a devastating storm strikes, Pi Patel finds himself adrift on a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger for company. The heart of the film is in its sea journey: how should an individual learn to harness nature, yet live harmoniously with it? The visually striking cinematography of this film allows for an immersive and emotional experience for all. Through weathering the difficult circumstances with Pi in this cinematic experience,  we see how Pi searches deep inside to discover his inner strength, courage, and resourcefulness.

Watch it here:
Disney Plus
Apple TV

We hope you will find something that interests you from these recommendations. Be sure to share this post with your friends if you think they will benefit from it. Happy reading!

Get better English grades in the new syllabus

Master O Level English exam strategies that matter for secondary 1 to 4 students. With only 4 to 8 students in each class, students get maximum teacher’s attention.

Sign up for a $20 trial lesson to experience one of our classes.


Dear English Warriors,

We hope this blog post has been helpful to you.

If you don’t want to miss out new English tips, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below.

To your success,
The English Mastery Team

English Mastery helped me improved my grades, transforming my composition from a B4 to an A1. The teacher is kind, encouraging, and understanding, creating a fun and engaging learning environment. Weekly classes are eagerly anticipated, with helpful notes and examples provided. Their focus on positive examples boosts learning, and their dedication to making lessons enjoyable is commendable. Highly recommend attending English Mastery lessons!

Ng Pei Xuan, Parent Certified Google Review

English Mastery’s dedication and in-house worksheets have led to notable improvement in my son’s English results. Their detailed progress reports identify strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement. Easy communication through their WhatsApp account adds to their helpful and friendly approach. Grateful for English Mastery’s support!

A C, Parent Certified Google Review

English Mastery provides valuable guidance for GCE ‘O’ level English. With ample resources and support, my son achieved a three-grade improvement, going from C5 to distinction. Grateful for English Mastery’s impact. Their engaging online lessons and timely feedback enhance skills and overcome challenges.

Isnarte Nordin, Parent Certified Google Review