Daily Archives: September 1, 2016

First Impressions:Explain how the writer presents his experience of going to school for the first time. You should support your answer with close reference to the passage, including brief quotations. By Zoraiz Syed



This passage is an autobiography from “Growing up stupid under the Union Jack” written by ‘Austin Clarke.’ In this passage the author describes his first day of going to school from a ‘low class’ life. The theme of this passage is first impressions.

Since this is an autobiography, the audience for this passage is adults. The purpose of this passage is to show the reader how it is like going to school when you are coming from a humble family. This purpose is achieved through the various linguistic techniques used by the author.

The author uses many figures of speech to add emphasis and interest. For example; “wildest dreams” is an idiom, “fortunate friends” is alliteration, “white as snow and ironed like glass” are idioms and more. The writer has used vernacular vocabulary as this is a story from a particular culture and to further engage the reader.

There is also a variety of punctuation used which can be seen from the following example: “There was the shining, gold-painted set of compasses; the Rankin biscuit tin, scrubbed clean and looking like a small silver coffin, with a flying fish sandwich in it: and my bottle of ‘clear’ lemonade.” This example also shows the complexity of the sentence structure, which is suitable for adults. The paragraphing is also formal.

The tone for this passage is conversational as the writer describes his feelings to the audience. Overall, the intended effect of this passage is to show the audience how the writer experienced his first day and this is achieved through the language techniques used by the writer.

First Impressions: How does the writer describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator? You should support your answer with close reference to the passage, including brief quotations. By Zoraiz Syed


This passage is taken from a short story, “Meeting in the Milk market” by ‘John Wickham’. This is a narrative story which tells us about how the author met a boy named ‘George’ and came to be his friend. The theme is first impressions.

The purpose of this passage is to entertain the audience. The writer uses different linguistic techniques, such as punctuation, vocabulary, figures of speech and more, to enage the reader and makes him interested in the story. The audience for this passage is young adults.

The writer has used different forms of punctuation to make the passage more interesting. Examples of this are; “friends”, “that made me angry, I remember”, “(in all my school days I never had a whole pencil)” and such. The vocabulary used in this passage is simple so that the audience can easily understand it.

There is various sentence structure for example there are short sentences as well as long sentences for example, “he was crying from public shame”. The paragraph structure is also formal as they are all almost of the same size. The intended effect for this is to keep the reader engaged and make him read on.

The tone for this passage is conversational as the author is narrating a story to the audience. The most effective way the author describes his feelings is by using emotive language. He puts his thoughts to the paper. This is shown from the following example: “I think now that there was also in me a little envy of his fortune in having a fathers hand to clutch.”

Overall, the intended effect of this passage is to make the audience feel what the writer is experiencing and this is achieved through the various language techniques used.




First Impressions: Compare how the writers of text one and two convey their ideas and experiences. By Raphael Kahlid


A3. Both passages are written in the first person form, and both are about the writer’s first day to a school. One clear difference is the level of complexity and clarity with regards to information which is more prominent in passage B, written by Austin Clarke, whereas; passage A, by John Wickham explores his own feelings and reactions relative to his age; this Is to allow the reader to empathize with the author in his experiences.

The first passage has an audience of young adults or older, similar to the audience of passage B, this is shown by the elements of a certain questioning and philosophy explored through the intricacies, or rather, the simplicity of friendship such as, “…whether the thing that we shared could justify its claim to the title of friendship,” or how the writer became friends with this character George after a simple gesture, as these may only appeal to those already well ahead in life and subsequently their experiences of friendship. Certain features of passage B would restrict its purpose of entertainment and deeper purpose of breaking (explored further) preconceived goals to the previously mentioned audience such as the rituals of entering school like the haircutting, “… sat me down on the throne of a chair… when I got up, my head was clean.” Despite being lower on the descriptive scale, passage A through its unique style and sentence structure, “I think now that there was also in me a little envy…” or “Now, before I use the word, I must, as it were, look behind my back,” along with the use of a named character of relevance to the story, has an effect on the reader to keep him spell-bound and thoroughly curious to discover the drama of the story better. The previously mentioned latter example is also a display of its unique, but not necessarily complex, form of punctuation, which adds to the previous effect of keeping the writer hooked.

Passage B is not lacking in any spell binding features, its usage of humor,” …whether the D inL2D stood for ‘dunce’” and a vernacular respecting the mentioned country of Barbados, “Not on your blasted bottom dollar!” achieves an effect of creating interest. Passage B, through its many descriptive sequences, “Delcina, the tallest, blackest and most beautiful woman…”,”The washing, white as snow and ironed like glass,” and its use of exaggeration, “New but uncertain world,” and similes, “looking like a small silver coffin,” and characterizing of the authors mother all serve the purpose of painting a picture of the authors autobiography.

I believe both these accounts given by the authors achieve their effect successfully, mainly to entertain, both in different ways, while adopting similar tones of frankness as seen by a hint of satire in the first passage and slang in the second. Both authors convey their experiences while allowing the reader to relate with them, seeing as a main content point is of school which has the intention of evoking nostalgia and longing which helps supports the ultimate effect of their individual autobiographies.


First Impressions: Q2. Explain how the writer presents his experience of going to school for the first time. By Raphael Kahlid


A2. Written by Austin Clarke, this passage is an excerpt from “Growing up stupid under the Union Jack”. It is a first person narration that provides us the experience of the narrator in his first day of school. A short sequence of the emphasis on skin color is a reference to the date provided in the passage, 1944 and holds an underlying message.

This passage adopts very conversational and casual tone with much homage to the time period and region (the Caribbean) to allow the reader to relate with the similar atmosphere of schools, that is, a friendly and frank one. This tone is achieved through terms like, “dunce” and phrases like, “Go ‘long, boy…”  and the dialect is seen too through phrases like, “ You is Comberemore boy now!”

The time period and area is important to note as in 1944 under British rule in Barbados (the country where the school is) there was a lack of education and equal rights, so this notion is presented through the excitement of the narrator’s mother and entire village upon his entry into school. This is done to allow the reader to acknowledge the clear differences brought about through the decades. This is further emphasized on by the introduction of an otherwise irrelevant character, Delcina, praised to be “Beautiful…” with emphasis on her being “black” twice, and also done by the following contrast, of her washing being “white as snow”.

The audience is young adult to adult with the theme being first impressions. The audience is held interested through a descriptive touch, “shining, gold-painted…”, “Looking like a small silver coffin,” and perhaps the nostalgia brought about by the uniformity of school through the haircut segment.

The overall intended effect the writer hoped to achieve was to allow his reader to realize how person’s initial goals may be lower than a higher possibly achieved standard. The author wants his reader to know that the goals he set for himself can be raised and that there should be no limit to goals. I believe the writer does this gracefully while keeping in mind the time period and cultural standards by the author having his mother tell him that he can be a doctor; where as the child’s highest expectation was that of a civil servant.

First Impressions: Q1. How does the writer describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator? By Raphael Kahlid


A1. This passage is a first person narration of himself in elementary school, told to be “Thirty-five years ago.” John Wickham, the author, titles the passage “The First time I met George” which gives a blatantly obvious indication of what the passage is about.

Being quite descriptive of his narration by giving the time frame and the full name of George, the author paints a picture of two children in that time for the reader. His elaboration on the use of friends is a reference to how the definitions and ideals of friendship may have changed since his time of writing and the actual event. The writer’s tone to the passage is clearly a subjective one as he describes his reactions to seeing George to be influenced by his past or present situation, an example of which can be seen in the narrator’s “… little envy of his fortune in having a fathers hand to clutch…” referring to his feelings to his own lack of support. His description of George regarding the theme which is “first impressions”, as George was ‘frightened” on his first day, clearly expresses to the reader the situation.

The purpose is to entertain, for the most part, but also holds a simple message, of how small gestures can change a great deal. There is an overall air of frankness in the passage given the personal feel of the narration with references to the writers feelings such as, “That made me angry…” or the use of the term “…us humbler folk” when referring to his grade with a tinge of sarcasm.

The narrator shows his initial dislike towards George due to his then childish feeling of unfairness felt when George was favored by his headmaster, however, to prove the claim of the passage that first impressions shouldn’t let you define a person forever; the writer uses the “simple gesture” that allows a bond of friendship to be formed through that act of generosity. I believe through this and the vernacular like, “They put him to sit next to me,” the narrator allows the reader through his own eyes and experiences change the idea that many people hold about the overrated importance of first impressions.

Which text is more successful is giving an account of someone who survives life-threatening situations? You may choose either Text One or Text Two but you must explain your choice carefully. Give two reasons why you choose this text and one reason for not choosing the other text. You may wish to comment on the writer’s language and technique. You should support your points with evidence from the text. By Faryal Shuja


I believe Text One “Sole Survivor: the woman who fell to earth” is far more successful in giving an account of someone who survives life-threatening situations. I believe this for many reasons, the first being it connects with the reader more, and gives a personal tone, despite it not being written in first person. Examples of this are: “just a girl in a thin cotton mini dress” in line 22 and “didn’t her mother tell her about the birds?” in line 42. The detailed description of Koepcke allows the reader to truly connect to her, as she is wearing very ordinary clothes. This visual of her appearance connects the reader, making them think that they could have been in that very same situation. This makes the reader put themselves in her position, and therefore makes Text One superior at giving an account of a life threatening situation.
The second quote in which the author uses a rhetorical question is also extremely successful, as it humanizes Koepcke, to make it seem as if she truly is a lost girl, still trying to remember her mother’s advice. This once again makes the reader sympathetic towards Koepcke, and gives them a further understanding of her situation. This all makes Text One far superior to Text Two.
The second reason I chose Text One was the extremely well executed literary techniques. The author uses techniques such as a hyperbole, tripilism, emotive language, and much more. An example of a hyperbole is: “danger behind every bush”. This creates a heightened sense of danger, causing the reader to feel anxiety and fear for the life of Koepcke, making them understand just how she felt. There is also tripilism when “there were jaguars, scorpions, and poisonous snakes” is written. This once again begins describing and emphasizes just how dire Koepcke’s situation was to the reader. Finally there is the descriptive and emotive language used, examples are: “lurching”, “catastrophic”, and “vanished”. These are all dramatic and emotion evoking words that illustrate to the reader all that has happened to Koepcke, thus making them aware of all that had happened. All this is why I have chose Text One as the more successful of the Texts, it’s ability to inform the reader while still writing beautifully is commendable.
I did not choose Text Two, “Angels in the Wilderness” as it was not as interesting or captivating. Despite its captivating title, and interesting story it seemed boring, due to the writing, as it was an interview. It was more matter-of-fact, and less engrossing. There was a significant lack of figures of speech and emotive or descriptive language. Instead, there were short, and choppy sentences, and though sometimes it added dramatic effect, most times it didn’t. An example of this is: “I had enough water. I had fallen near a stream”. This sentence adds nothing to the drama of the scene, and it does not captivate the reader. A simple addition of the word thankfully, or instead of writing “enough water”, writing “just enough water” would have changed the sentence completely. These small changes easily could have improved the Text, and made it a more successful account. I believe this because if a reader cannot connect with, or at least be captivated by a text, it is unsuccessful. This all makes Text Two far less successful than Text One.