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November 17, 2012


Texts chosen: Item 1 and 3

Item 3 talks about Mansur carrying “Coke and Fanta” and listening to “Pop from the 80s”. Both of these phrases illustrate the normality of Mansur’s life and allow the audience to relate to him as ‘Pop’, ‘Coke and Fanta’ are common names in our society. This contrasts with the experience had by Bruce Parry in item 1. In the first paragraph he is mentioned to have eaten the ‘innards’ of ‘rats’ or ‘chargrilling their tails for a nice evening snack’. The imagery of a person eating a rat being unnatural is why item 1 gives the effect of a journalist, or ‘expeditionary’ writing for work.

An effect of indulging in different cultures, however, is shown by both items. Item 1 is all about immersing in a different culture as Parry talks about ‘wanting to be a tribal dude’. The structure of this sentence depicts two different cultures. Using the adjective ‘tribal’ next to a colloquial term ‘dude’ represents the contrast of the society he was brought up in to the one he lived in for 12 months. In item 3, Mansur brings with him his ‘treasure’ of a ‘western cassette’. The noun ‘treasure’ describes the rarity and preciousness of things from ‘western’ culture in Afghanistan. This conveys the effect of fascination from experiencing new cultures.

In item 3 there is the effect of an underlying depiction of the condition of society, throughout the text. When ‘a lonely man’ walks around a ‘large tank’ as ‘it is too heavy to move’ I feel as though the author is using symbolism to portray the occupation in Afghanistan. The image of a lone man and a ‘large tank’ reminds me of the famous picture of a man stood in front of a tank in Beijing. Both images suggest that people are unhappy about the military or wars in their countries. The key phrase ‘too heavy to move’ is symbolic as it may be referring to the foreign occupation in Afghanistan that won’t ‘move’ as they are too strong or ‘heavy’.

Item 1 also depicts the condition of society through the structure of the article. After having talked about ‘meals cooked with hot stones’ or having ‘his skin slashed with razor blade’, as part of a ritual, Parry finally ends up in a restaurant in London having ‘a glass of champagne’. These key phrases implies the luxury of life in London or even the wealth of England as a country in contrast to the countries where the tribes resided (for example India, West Papua and Ethiopia).

In conclusion Item 3 evokes a sense of personality, as though you are being told about a normal person’s life whereas in item 1 it seems as though it’s more like journalism or the account of someone who made a documentary.

Texts chosen: Item 2 and Item 3

In item 3, Afghan Journey, Seierstad uses feelings and emotive language to give the reader an impression of what it is like there. We can see this in these quotations: "he feels free", "he wants to scream and shout". This gives the author an impression of what it would be like in Mansur's shoes. However, in Item 2, the author has used more technical and specific language. This is a completely different style of language to in Item 1, we can see this here: "biologically important oceanic habitats". This, combined with the large amounts of facts and figures, gives the reader a lot more information than just a snapshot impression; Tedmanson is giving the reader every single detail.

In Item 2, the author has used long, complex sentences. We can see this in the following quotation: “In icy waters of a Southern Ocean marine park, 100 nautical miles off the coast of Tasmania, scientists found more than 270 new marine species - including fish, crustaceans, molluscs, sponges and corals - and 80 previously unknown seamounts or underwater mountains.” This is in comparison to Item 3, where the majority of the sentences are short, and more simple sentences for example: “They pass areas he has never seen before". These are a lot shorter than the ones in Item 2, this coveys complexity to the reader.

Item 3 is written in the present tense, “Mansur stares” but in the third person, giving a running commentary of Mansur’s journey. Item 2 compares to this by being predominantly in the past, retelling what has already happened, this makes the reader feel more detached.

The audiences and purposes of these texts may help explain the differences in uses of language. Item 2 is a piece of journalism for a newspaper, but would probably not be in the main section, probably in a science part. This means the audience wont be just anyone reading the paper; they will be interested in the topic and want to understand more. The article is there to inform. However, Item 3, is an adventure story (essentially), and is telling the story of someone’s travels.

However, despite these differences, the setting of both these texts are relatively similar; both unexplored, dangerous yet strangely exiting places.

Item 3 and Item 2
p.s sorry for stealing your point about aliens

In item 3, "Afghan Journey," language is used to convey emotion.the author uses phrases like "he feels free" and "everyone is in high spirits" to explore the characterisation of the realistic and 3-dimensional characters of mansur and his friends (as perfectly normal boys in a bizzarre world) and the excitement of their journey. the style of language gives the text a much warmer, informal and story-like feel

Furthermore, Afghan Journey uses dialogue whil item 2 does not, and it is used by the authorto the effect that it adds humility to their sensitive story of war torn Afghanistan. Seirstad is using it to evoke emotion from the reader. Another way the author uses language to this same effect is the juxtaposition of the elation at the begining of the text to the downbeat and poignant second half. The symbolism of the phrase "landscape like skeletons" conveys the effect of the lifeless and isolated setting in which they have to live. The author uses iit to highlight the destruction and perhaps to persuade the reader, and portray the seriousness of the situation in afghanistan.

On the other hand, Item 2 uses language to convey information systematically. For example it uses statistical language (eg."100 nautical miles","2000 years old") which is used to be precise and portrayaccurate information. the author has also used them to sum up the facts into manageable chunks so it is easier for the reader to process the information for the reader - In articles like this the reader is always the main consern.

In addition the author uses interesting verbs like "explored" and "revealed" which are employed to heighten the sense of wonder and almost overhype the discoveries, to entertain the reader. Also, the author continues to emphasise this through the title and the words "new life," which makes me think of aliens from a different planet- this theme is carried on through the description of the underwater "mountains," which i would naturally consider an above ground feature, thus also making it seem like a whole new world.

in summary, item 3 uses language to persuade and portray emotion to the reader (to provoke empathy), while item 2 uses it to inform and amaze readers of the fantastic new "discoveries"

Oh - and I meant to say. GREAT to see you developing your own 'original' response - though the 'Knights Templar' reference is a little disconnected from the subject matter. It is not always an easy thing to do (It really only affects A/A*) but try to keep the original ideas a little closer to the theme of the text.

Ben - This is very useful indeed. Your strength is an ability to use analytical language with precision and you increasingly build your analysis through making connections among the key elements. I would say on track for a definite 10+ / 16 in terms of marks.

To really nail that detailed focus on language I'd like to see more 'zooming' in on key words or key phrases. Use these terms in your answer to encourage you to do this.

Also - I think that you will find this next target quite easy (provided you remember to address it directly).

Explain how the two audience(s) and purpose(s) might explain similarities / differences.

Texts Chosen: Item 1 and Item 3.

The first item features some personal perspective quotes, ‘It’s all about getting in the zone…’ where as item two is an extract written by an author, where the perspective of the character, ‘Mansur’ is indited as a third person diary entry. The article (item 1) reveals characteristics of ‘Bruce Parry’ through its introduction (in bold) and references through quotations such as his intestines are portrayed as ‘ironclad’. This could be interpreted as a reflection upon his stomach’s fortitude, where it is nothing more than metallic, ‘I ate and drank a lot of pretty grim stuff.’
However Seierstad approach to Mansur’s characterisation is composed through a detailed description of the setting in the second paragraph, ‘Here the bombs from American B-52s shook the ground only a few months ago’. This is followed by Mansur loud response to the description of the ‘Hindu Kush Mountains’ where he shouts to his companions ‘How beautiful’ the view is. This compelling response to the somewhat eerie scene conjures Mansur up as a character who loves a ‘beautiful’ atmosphere, this reflects upon his feelings of nostalgia later in the extract, where he is reminded of a family atmosphere.
The effect of Seierstad’s characterization of Mansur where he is conveyed as a loving character juxtaposes the article (item 1) defining Bruce Parry as a man with mental and physical strengths, which could be interpreted that he would match the Knights Templar's when it comes down to brutality.


Ben Gregorio 11BHh

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