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!


“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 (

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 Monday – T-Shirts

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!


I blame the T-shirts. The casual wear favoured by those founding wunderkinds of tech – Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and the rest – lulled us into a false sense of security. Even after they’d begun making serious money, too many of us took the aversion to a collar and tie to mean the likes of Facebook or Google were not really scary capitalist behemoths, but retained the spirit of the upstart startup: quirky, plucky and driven chiefly by a desire to do cool stuff with computers. They certainly saw themselves that way, Google charmingly distilling its mission statement into three words: “Don’t be evil.” It’s amazing how long an initial image of laidback informality can endure: for decades, Britons struggled to see Virgin as a corporate giant because Richard Branson had long hair and a goatee.

Jonathan Freedland (to read article in full –

– Short sentence to open and draw in reader. Creates a slightly humourous tone but also sumarise the point being made

– Emphasises point that we were decieved into believeing them (Word choice) 

– Contrast – showing the difference is what they are and what we think they are.

– Rule of three (after colon) – to emphasise what the spirit of a start up is, this also builds up the contast with the big “capitalist behemoths”

– Word choice – again building up the idea of the cool start-up for a billion dollar company

-Sentence Structure – colon shows that the writer is expanding on the point being made, giving an example which we all know and understand and shows that this is not a new problem.

Analysis Monday – Pawnbroker

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!


What a place of broken promises and lost hopes the pawnbroker proved to be! Every class, every profession, every walk of life was represented in its grubby windows, the detritus of so many lives pinned like butterflies behind the glass. Overhead a wooden sign with three red balls on a blue background hung on rusty chains, refusing to swing in the breeze, as if to assert that nothing here would ever move, that once the owners had lost their possession they would never see them again.

Anthony Horowitz

– Word choice “broken” and “lost” reveals the hopelessness of the pawnbrokers  – developed further by the repetition of “lost”

– Use of a list and repetition of “every” emphasises that anyone and everyone uses a pawnbrokers.

– Description of the exterior helps to develop further that hopeless mood and feeling.

– Transferred Epithet – it is the people who is lacking in energy – drained by the experience of the pawnbrokers.


Analysis Monday – Foreign Correspondent

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

Feel free to add your own analysis in the comments!


“As a kid, I used to think that Foreign Correspondents were the most exciting of people. They were professional seekers of chaos, rushing to the scene of any global disaster, willingly hurling themselves into the fire. It’s what I always wanted to be.

Dom Joly

– Use of contrast to show how unusual these Foreign Correspondents are – they do a job in an area which is in meltdown, and they have to appear to be calm and efficient. Seekers also implies that they hunt for this chaos – that it is a conscious choice.

– Two words, action words, that builds from that idea of them being “Seekers” It shows the speed at which they work and also implies how they choose this life. It also adds to the idea that this is an exciting job.

– Two phrases which highlight the danger of what they are doing

– “Willingly” – builds on the idea of “Seekers” this is something they choose to do. Showing their adventerours, thrill-seeking side

– Simple sentence at the end of the quote and yet it reveals a lot about Dom Joly’s character. It is an effective end to this paragraph.



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 (

– 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!



“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

– 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


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!


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 :