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.

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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