The novelist & the playwright. Discuss

What does this tell us about the exam factory? David Lister drops in on a talk by Pat Barker at the Bath Literature Festival:

A teenage girl in the audience asked if Ms Barker saw any resemblance between the hero of her book “Regeneration” and Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Ms Barker looked puzzled, shook her head and said “no”. A few minutes later the girl asked again about  the book and the Tennessee Williams play. Again, Pat Barker said she just couldn’t see it. Finally, the girl stood up once more and blurted out: “We have an A-Level essay question which tells us to look at the similarities between “Regeneration” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Pat Barker put her head in her hands, My heart goes out to the poor girl’s teacher, who on Monday will inevitably be confronted by an angry student saying: “I’ve asked the author of “Regeneration” herself, and even she says she is unaware of any similarities…”

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