- Q) How does the writer convey his feelings and experiences of his job a the restaurant? You should support your answer with close reference to the passage, including brief quotations. (10 marks)
This passage is taken from the autobiography, “Kitchen Confidential”, written by Anthony Bourdain. This passage is non-fiction piece including various statistics and numbers. This passage contains multiple tones that change throughout the passage including, enthusiasm, praise, annoyed and also some elements of humor. The mood created by the writer is very casual and light, however at one point it was also humorous. Also by closely analyzing the text, it is evident that the author aims to have an audience of people who want to be chefs. The author’s purpose is to inform others about the profession and how it is behind the scenes in a restaurant kitchen. Also, the main theme present in the passage is work as the text talks about the life of a chef and focuses on the experiences of Anthony Bourdain in that profession. The author uses the various tones, moods, and literary devices to convey his feelings and experiences to the audience.
As the passage opens the writer is very excited and shows his enthusiasm for his new job. He uses different techniques to help describe his feelings, for example, “my willingness to work for peanuts”. The writer uses this colloquial expression to show his determination and enthusiasm. It lets the reader know that he is excited about his new job. The writer also says in the text, “I felt as if I was blasting off to the moon”. This simile used by the author shows that he wants to produce the effect that he is extremely jolly and excited about his new job. He describes it as if he is on cloud 9. It also makes the reader feel excited too and urges him/her to keep reading.
The writer not only is excited for his new job but also shows admiration for his post. For example in the passage it states, “biggest busiest and best-known restaurants in the country”. This use of “b” sounds in the alliteration expands on the praise of the restaurant. It highlights how valuable and high-class this restaurant is or as used in the passage, ‘venerable’. It also makes the reader feel quite impressed with the restaurant. The author also describes his fellow workers as, “major league cooks”. This shows is admiration and respect for his fellow workers. This term is usually used for professional baseball players however here it is used by the author to make the reader understand his feelings as praise.
However, the excitement and enthusiasm quickly change as the writer realizes the true nature behind the scenes of the kitchen. It states in the passage, “with no air circulation, with nearly unbearable dry, radiant heat on the other. When I say unbearable, I mean I couldn’t bear it; cooks would regularly pass out and have to be dragged off to recuperate”. This vivid description and imagery used by the writer allow the audience to almost feel the experience themselves. It immerses the reader into the text and makes them understand the horrible situation the author is facing. Additionally, it develops a mood of sympathy as the reader feels bad for the workers of the kitchen. The author uses imagery once again to show what effects the heat have on the cooks. He states in the passage, “Soaked through with sweat, clinging to chest and back. All the cook’s necks and wrists were pink and inflamed with awful heat rashes. It was a madhouse” These sensory details make it evident that there are negative consequences when working under such experiences. The reader can really feel for the writer and his colleagues and understand their misery. The term “madhouse” used by the author also highlights that the restaurant kitchen was a huge mess with lots of heat, hustling, and bustling, as well as chaos.
Although along with these disappointments there was still some element of humor. For example, in the text it says, “a somewhat comical scene as the overweight Italian chef would hurl himself down the narrow line with a fire extinguisher”. This lightens the mood of the passage and allows the reader to have a laugh. It allows the reader to understand the casualness of the time. Additionally, it makes it clear to the reader what the author thinks of the situation. It is evident that the author is enjoying the moment and is having a good time.
Throughout the passage the writer focuses on the chaotic situation in the restaurant kitchen. He also talks about the struggle and endeavor taken up by his fellow chefs to prove themselves. Through his descriptions he is able to convey his experiences and feelings about his new job at the restaurant.