Zimbabwe Grapples With Hypertension / What’s Money ? (Comparative question) By Asfand Mohiudin


To begin with, the passage “What’s money ? ” is taken from the novel “Dombey and son” that is written by Charles Dickens and the passage “Zimbabwe Grappes with Hypertension” is a news report , the writers name is not stated in this passage . The first passage is about a young boy who asks his father about the importance of money and why money has so much value while the second passage is a report that describes the problems of Zimbabwe and their locals due to the chaos caused by hyperinflation. The themes of both the passages is about money and the genre of the first passage is realistic fiction while it is non fiction for the second one as it is a news report about the current ,ongoing events in Zimbabwe. The main purpose for the first passage is to entertain as it is a story and to inform for the second one. The audience for both the passages is a general audience as the texts can be understood easily.
Firstly, both the passages begin with a sentence that tells the audience about what the content of the passage is going is going to be about – “Papa! what’s money ?” from the first paragraph and “Zimbabwe grappling with hyperinflation ” from the second passage.Both these sentences are about money even though the first one is a question and the second one is a direct statement. There is no use of statistics or factual information in passage one but the second passage has a lot of statistics used – “at around ZW$ 25billion” ,”..more that 80%” , “want 10 million” , “they give you 2.8”. So the second passage is mostly based on facts and information and the first passage is based upon an argument in which just one question keeps on extending -“Papa what’s money?” then “Papa what’s money after all ?” and finally “Papa what can it do?”. These questions intrigue the father and reader alike , it is observed ,the surprise the father has by this sentence -“what is money after all ” and he repeats his sons questions as he is reflecting upon them.

Moreover, the tone is thought provoking and serious for the first passage based upon the questions asked -“Why didn’t money save my mama?” .On the other hand ,the time of the second passage is also serious and semi formal due to its style of writing -“Zimbabwe dollar …legal tender” and “throes of economic crisis” . There was also use of some difficult vocabulary in the first passage- “presumptuous atom … propounded such an inquiry” to compare the young boy to an atom , it was a metaphor used. The second passage doesn’t contain any other figurative language apart from one hyperbole -“people are cannabalizing  each other” to show how the locals of Zimbabwe are treating one other. Furthermore , the first passage does not include a subheading but the second passage has one – “Living with inflation”. After this subheading , there are only quotations that are taken from the witnesses who actually are the locals of Zimbabwe -“hardly look after our families” , “not enough in the bank” , “won’t be able to afford prices” ,”not going to buy much ” . The purpose of these quotations is to make the report authentic There is also repetition of words in both the passages like in passage one -” money” is used six times in the passage whereas the word “worthless” is used to describe the poor conditions of the currency of Zimbabwe .

The first passage concludes itself with a question -” I wonder why it didn’t save my mama”.It tells the about that even though  money can provide you with worldly and luxurious possessions , it won’t provide you with love or bring lives back from the dead. Whereas the second passage doesn’t conclude itself but it gives us information -” many families are unable to afford a square meal” to show how difficult it’s to live in Zimbabwe. The ending is oblivious , nobody knows about the future of Zimbabwe , it is dystopian.

Overall, both the passages have achieved their purpose – the first one to tell the audience that money can’t buy you everything and second one tells us that the residents of Zimbabwe are leading their lives into an uncertain future of economic crisis.

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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