“A Walk in the Woods” By Rayaan Ghous 10M


The passage is an extract from ‘A walk in the woods’ by Bill Bryson and is the form of a narrative. The purpose of the passage is to entertain the audience and provide aesthetic pleasure. The language is easy to read and its sentences have a smooth flow. The audience intended for this passage are young adults and those interested in suspense. The overall tone of the passage is positive and interesting, grabbing the reader’s attention. Lastly the underlying theme of the passage is suspense, nature and adventurous.


The writer structured the passage in a way that the sentences flow fluently, especially through the use of punctuation. This is seen in examples such as, “I was looking for a long night snooze – indeed was enjoying…” and “I slept through everything – through thunderstorms…” The author especially likes the use of hyphen. This affects the reader’s response and is effective in engaging the reader’s response and is effective in engaging the reader. It sustains the readers interest and arouses curiosity.


The writer uses an array of colourful and descriptive words to better portray their surroundings. There are various examples such as “a weighty pushing through low foliage” and “beside a tranquil spring in a small, grassy clearing.” This portrays a visual picture. It introduces certain emotions and engages the reader by taking hold of their attention.


This passage is made in a way that it seems to be an anecdote as it is a short account of an interesting incident but because it is not clear whether it is a novel or an autobiography, we can’t be certain. The examples are mostly to do with the first person point of view, “I had left it in my pack” and also in the dialogue, “‘Stephen, you awake?’ I whispered.” This exposes the reader’s sympathy and makes them receptive. It builds the character in the anecdote and gives the reader a chance to accept or reject the character.


The author is very good at using sensationalism as well. He over dramatizes in some places and tends to slightly exaggerate in other places. Examples are “instantly every neuron in my brain was awake and dashing around frantically” and “once a skunk… sounded like a stegosaurus.” This aids in grabbing the reader’s attention. It invokes extreme response or a sense of a sense of outrage.


The author also tends to use many figures of speech, the first one being simile. He uses it multiple times around the passage as a form of comparison. There are examples such as, “perishables like cheese and bread” and, “around frantically, like ants when you disturb their nest.” This introduces clarity and furthers and idea. It also helps make a point.


The second figure of speech used by the author is alliteration. There are certain phrases where the words have the same sound to begin with. Such a phrase is, “flush for food.” This adds emphasis to the point being made and reinforces the meaning of the point being made.


The next figure of speech used by the author is onomatopoeia. This is a word that sounds like what is being described. Its examples include, “click of breaking branches,” or “snuffling noise.” This is used to better describe the authors surroundings through not only sight but sound.


The last figure of speech used in this passage is hyperbole, where the author over exaggerates or over states a point. An example is, “it had sounded like a stegosaurus.” This adds emphasis and helps the reader remember the point. This also helps the reader better understand what us going on.


Moving on from figures of speech, the author also used a couple of compound words where he has made words from two existing words. Words like, “midge-like” and “no-see-ums” are made by the writer. It is done to add a sort of informal tone to the passage and also gives a colourful and different way of describing the authors view.


There is also the use of dialogue in the passage when the author represents himself talking to his friends such as in the example, “’Stephen are you awake?’ I whispered” or “’what was that?’” This helps create incite on both of the characters and also engages the reader. The author uses this is in unison with a colloquial term, “’yup’” to give a more casual tone.


In conclusion this passage by Bill Bryson is a narrative of suspense and nature with a slight touch of friendship. It has a smooth flow and emotions such as fear were expressed. The writer used multiple techniques including figures of speech to present his experiences

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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