Analysis Monday – Cold

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written. Feel free to add your own comments! Thought this one would be approriate for the first post of April!

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“I don’t remember the date, the month. I don’t even remember the time of year. But I know it wasn’t summer. It was cold. Not like the cold of winter, when the gentle frost stings your nose. It was wet and chilly, disagreeable. Like the cold of late autumn, when the birds have already flown away, the trees are bare, the earth is dark yet the sky is too stingy to send a blanket of snow to cover its wretchedness. Or like the cold of early spring, when everything is still tentative, uncertain – when it seems the battle in the sky is not yet over, the sun has been taken prisoner, and the heroes of light could still turn around dolefully and say: “No, we won’t make it; the dark and cold are stronger than us – spring won’t win this time.””

German Sadulaev (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/nov/21/german-sadulaev-chechen-chechnya-war)

This is beautifully layered piece of writing explores his feelings of despair and loss when returning to Chechnya after the first war there.

– Lovely and peaceful (as suggested by word “gentle”) image but the writer has already informed you that this is not the kind of cold he is feeling – foreshadowing what is to come. 

– Rule of three – building up negative images, builds up to a climax of the earth is dark, showing how complete this cold is

– Personfication – showing that the sky, somethingnormally posiutive and beautiful, is now conspiring to create more misery

– Layering up of negative word choice – this all adds to the sense of sadness and hopelessness

– Extended Metaphor – references what the writer will talk about later in the passage but also adds to the mood and atmosphere of this paragraph

– Positive word choice to reinforce again the central images of this paragraph

 

Analysis Mondays – Bus

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written.

Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

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From a newspaper article about kids not being allowed to drive their bikes to school. (http://www.thedailyparker.com/post/2012/05/29/372de670-e5f6-4cdb-a25b-2df3e0f8bb2d)

 

Thus, every weekday morning, scores of idling cars line up behind dozens of buses disgorging waves of kids. Amidst this, Janette and Adam—each of whom was about 5 feet tall—seemed like a pair of diminutive daredevils wading into a tsunami.

– Use of the word “every” which emphasises that it happens all the time.

– “scores” and “Dozens” – layering up of words to reveal just how busy the school is

– disgorging is such a beautiful word and it again suggests the sheer amount of kids and also the chaotic nature of the movement

– Love the metaphor of these intrepid children managing their way through the chaos (tsunami) – again layering up your understanding through use of word choice. The clever use of diminutive reveals just how brave these children are to push their way through

Analysis Monday – Birthdays

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written.

Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

amy lame'

“Birthdays plunge me into a great fog of dissatisfaction. It started on my 19th with a deep trepidation about leaving my teens. You could get away with just about anything by blaming it on teenageness but 20 seemed, like, totally old. Now 20 seems, like, totally a long time ago. A general feeling that I’ve under-achieved my way through life thus far is compounded by another year gone and not much changed. Yet another year where I failed to unpick life’s great mysteries: God, the universe and karaoke.”

Catriona Stewart (http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/13060935.the_birthday_dumps/)

– Great imagery – The imagery of the fog is perfect for describing that feeling that lingers around and makes it difficult to see your way through

– Trepdidation is the perfect word to use here- it implies the dread and fear that is felt as the writer gets a year younger.

– Use of teenage slang (,like, totally) helps to create an informal and humourous tone. It tells the reader that she isn’t taking herself totally seriously.

– Great use of the rule of three to help the self-mocking tone up. She uses an anti-climax (karaoke) to underscore the other two, more serious, points.

 

Analysis Monday – Crisps

Every Monday we will be looking at short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written.

Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

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“The first thing that strikes you about tasting commercially manufactured crisps of any kind is the aroma. And these are no different.

Open either of the packets and it’s like, Pow! Whoosh! and Pong-ee! Foul vapours rise up to the nostrils, like the windy excretions of a cat without a conscience. All crisps stink: as little more than starchy agglomerations of grease and salt, they need to fool us into thinking they’re vehicles for genuine flavour, “real” or otherwise.”

Amol Rajan (link to full article http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/reviews/pong-ee-amol-rajan-tries-the-new-walkers-potato-crisps-8513760.html)

– Short sentence to emphasise the point the writer is making – showing that nothing has changed

– Informal words and use of italics helps emphasise the humourous tone of the words and also reveals how strongly unpleasant the smell is.

– “Foul vapours” – use of word choice to highlight the strength of the smell but this image is also humourous adding to the tone of the extract (see also the word “stink”)

– This image (simile) also has the dual purpose of showing the strength of the smell while developing the humourous tone of the extract

– Use of semi colon is to allow the writer to give an explanation as to why crisps smell

– Is a deeply unpleasant description of crisps, which is unappealing to the reader. This is his central point about why crisps have to have an aroma

– Use of speech marks to show his disbelief that the crisps flavours are real – even if the manufacturers say that they are

 

Poetry Friday; Mirrors – Isobel Thrilling

I love the imagery of the poem – the sense of beauty and expectation that can happen just from the dresses in your wardrobe!

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Mirrors

An aviary of dresses

alive with silk

roosts on

the rail of your wardrobe.

 

Each day you disturb

the flock

shake out a flight

of fabrics.

 

It’s your own rainforest,

mimic plumage

from shops,

your several selves,

crimson, macaw, blue-foot

booby, albatross

 

looping the world

 

Isobel Thrilling

 

I am a major dress-aholic and I love the idea of wearing a colourful dress is like wearing a plumage of a bird and how it would change you and your personality

 

 

Analysis Monday – Avalanche

Each Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the written has written.

Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

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The very thing the 16 skiers and snowboarders had sought — fresh, soft snow — instantly became the enemy. Somewhere above, a pristine meadow cracked in the shape of a lightning bolt, slicing a slab nearly 200 feet across and 3 feet deep. Gravity did the rest.

Snow shattered and spilled down the slope. Within seconds, the avalanche was the size of more than a thousand cars barreling down the mountain and weighed millions of pounds. Moving about 70 miles per hour, it crashed through the sturdy old-growth trees, snapping their limbs and shredding bark from their trunks.

John Branch

– The use of parenthesis is a simple one – to add additional information about the skiers wanted. The use of “fresh” and “soft” emphasis the innocent nature of this snow, it is harmless and pleasant, until it isn’t and becomes dangerous.

– The dangerous nature of this snow is summed up perfectly by the use of the word “enemy”

– The writer layers up details about how large the avalanche is. He uses facts (200 feet across), comparisons (more than a thousand cars) and  huge numbers (millions) to emphasise and keep emphasising just how big, and dangerous, this avalanche is. 

– Beautiful imagery here – we can picture the shape of the crack but it also highlights the danger – just a lightening bolt can be harmful so to can this avalanche.

– In the same way that the writer layers up details about the size of the avalanche he consistently uses words with connotations of damage and danger. They also hint at the idea of speed (Crashed/slice/cracked) – so the idea that this is something that happened quickly and without warning.

– The writer also uses comparison to explain the extent and power of the avalanche. He calls the trees sturdy and old, emphasises how strong and secure these trees were, but he then explains that the avalanche slices and shreds these trees – destroying them easily.

 

To read the article in full : http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

 

 

Analysis Monday – Autobahn

Each Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written. Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

“Lucille was on an Autobahn no turnings off, no roundabouts, no dead ends or traffic lights stuck on amber, no wrong ways or surprises. Whereas I was somewhere in the middle of page 64 in the A-Z, and I was holding it upside down. Deliberately.

Candy Guard

– In this extract the writer describes two very different girls by comparing them to two different ways of travelling. Lucille is someone who is very organised and planned – knows exactly what is coming up ahead and is going exacrly where she wants to, wheras the narrator isn’t!

– Use of the dash lets the writer to expand on the point she is making about Lucille. By listening all the things that the Autobahn isn’t it builds a picture up in the reader’s mind about what exacrly the writer means, which she then sums up at the end of the list. This helps to establish in the reader’s mind exactly what Lucille is like.

– The contrasting image for the narrator is of a jumble – the middle of a map with all the interconnecting roads and images. She then expands on this to say that she is holding upside down, meaning it makes even less sense. This is someone who is not organised, nor knows where she is going.

– The short sentence emphasises the word “Deliberately” and reveals a lot about the character – being disorganised and lost is not a mistake or a character flaw, this is something she chooses to be and something she enjoys being.

Candy Guard is a writer and animator, her website is: http://candyguard.co.uk/

 

Analysis Monday – Apart

Each Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written. Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

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“We had spent ten weeks apart, a stretch of time that for me was like a long, empty road, punctuated every so often by signs of lifethe quick letters he scrawled on Army stationary, the three short phone calls he was allowed to make.”

– Use of a simile to compare her life to a road – it helps to show the effect of this serpation her. Empty shows how much she missed her husband and long helps to show how much of a burden it was for her to be without him.

– Punctuated – Something that occurs at intervals – I think shows clearly how much impact these “signs of life” has on the writer. They interupt the wait for her.

– The use of the dash is to allow the writer to expand on what signs of life she did recieve, allowing readers to develop a deeper understanding of what her life was like.

-“scrawled” makes you think of a letter hastily written which in this context, I think shows how much these scraps of life mean to her – they were written quickly but he still took the time to write them and therefore are important to her.

If you wish to read this article in full you can find it here:  http://velamag.com/there-are-no-goodbyes-in-the-army/5/