The Passage, “Slumdog Millionaire” is a narrative essay written by Ram, who is a young boy who goes to visit the Taj Mahal in India. The theme of the passage is tourism and it tries to achieve its conative purpose of affecting the reader. To do this the reader writer uses a semi-formal yet still sarcastic tone, to accompany his description. Since the writer does not seek to affect a specific type of reader but rather a mainstream or general audience, he uses several techniques, as listed below, to attract his readers consisting of young adults and adults alike and to achieve his purpose.
First and foremost, jargons and especially vernacular language have been used in excess by the writer. We see multiple examples of the author quoting Indian language spoken by the locals as well as names of new places. For examples he writes, “Arrey, if you don’t know”, “spear-like minarets”, and “What are you doing in Agra?”. These terms from foreign languages are used in order to bring a hint of authenticity in the extract. Those able to understand the language can relate better and understand the reader clearly, and those who do not know the language are left curious and may want to read on to understand this new, unique culture; leaving them in the same position the writer previously was in this situation.
Furthermore, the writer also uses detailed description to keep his readers intrigued and determined to keep on reading. Phrases such as “debris float on its eddying current” or “spear-like minarets”, the writer effectively creates an image of what he is trying to convey into the reader’s mind and adds emphasis on what the writer wishes to imply.
Moreover, the writer lowers the seriousness in the air by using humorous language. This technique is a major one for the author as it ensures that the reader chuckles and therefore remains entertained throughout their reading of the passage. The writer is self-aware of his situation, poking fun at it even when it is absolutely absurd. We see him do this with lines such as, “That’s the Taj Mahal, idiot” or even “Looks like today is my lucky day”. These examples show the author ridiculing himself with sarcastic language so that the reader back home can have a laugh, so that they do not lose interest in the writer’s passage.
Similarly, the writer plays on irony to underline the humorous parts of his essay. However, unlike his humor – which was standing out more – the writer uses irony that is deep embedded into the extract and mostly requires the reader to be aware of the entire situation in order for the irony to be truly effective. We see subtle remarks from the writer such as, “Kasio day-date watch” where the writer sympathizes on how he went from wearing branded watches to low quality knockoffs. Another example is when the writer is asked, “What are you doing in Agra?” where the writer’s transformation from being a tourist travelling the famous monuments of India to a street beggar trying to live past the day. What hurts to this injury even more is the fact that if everything had gone according to plan the writer would have visited this monument either way, being one of the most famous sites in India.
Additionally, the writer has used statistics, figures and factual information in his extract about vising the Taj Mahal. He uses this to engage the reader by offering tidbits about the Taj Mahal in order to intrigue the reader into wanting to find out more about it. The writer does this in the following; where he either uses stats such as “Eight wonder of the World” or uses facts such as “The architecture of the red sandstone courtyard”. The effect of doing so is to accompany the readers imagination when the writer wishes to emphasize on the importance of the event. By stating the Taj Mahal as a great piece of architectural anomaly in history, the writer places importance in the event of visiting it.
Supplementary, the writer uses figures of speech in order to combat his lack of detailed description in his passage. So, in order to add a bit more color to his black and white image the writer makes use of personalization such as “Taj Mahal in all its beauty”, hyperbole and metaphor such as “swarming with tourists”. The effect of this is to intrigue and entertain the reader than leaving the passage boring and bleak, so that the reader doesn’t lose interest.
Finally, the writer also plays on comparison to a certain degree in his passage where he compares his old life to his temporary new one. The writer mentions this while seeing the horde tourists with the words, “prosperous western tourists”, or while he was wondering whether he was still eligible to be counted a tourist, “Rs. 20 for locals, $20 for tourists”. This helps put western readers into perspective by how different their life is, well as making it relatable for them and the local Indians about whom it concerns.
To conclude, the writer of this extract uses Irony, humor and comparison to emphasize his condition in India, yet is able to bring out the beauty and importance of the Taj Mahal with facts and figures of speech in order to keep the reader entertained so that he can achieve hiss purpose of targeting his extract towards Indians and tourists alike.