Q) How has the writer of the text used style and language to convey meanings. By Daim Jafree

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The text is called Getting lost, and it’s been written by Matt Inman. The text is about the author’s weekend getaway, and as such it’s been written with the structure of a first person narrative. The text has an amalgamation of language, with the first half having predominantly very descriptive, and objective language. In the second half the writer uses openly emotive language. This particular use of the writers language was done so that the emotion he displays in the latter half of the passage would be more enhanced due to the sudden switch in the style, and because the first half of the passage is so descriptive it really allows you to see what the writer was seeing so that later on you can understand why he felt a certain way. The audience for this passage is quite general, but you could say that it is of greater interest to travel enthusiasts because of the stark similarities between his account and a travel review. The toe of the passage makes an uncharacteristic twist, the passage starts off with a very monotone style, then when the writer starts talking about the lessons they learnt they suddenly move to a tone of frustration, and hindsight where they also highlight the positives of their trip. This tone switch makes it so the reader feels more engaged when the writer starts talking about the lessons learnt, in a fashion where it seems like the writer purposely made the first half a bit more dreary so that the latter half hits you with a huge metaphorical ‘bang.’

There is a sense of irony in the text, as it starts off with the writers unassuming attitude with them saying,” focusing on the book was difficult…” then moving to a situation that incites panic,for example, “ as the rain began to pick up, i kept wandering the streets, with only a general idea of where i was going.” The transition from the writers privileged and nonchalant attitude where his biggest problem was not being able to read a book, to him being stranded in a foreign country whose language he does not speak is quite the spectacle. Irony creates a sense of amusement and tension for the audience that keeps them engaged.

The writer makes an intriguing style change at the end, where he starts looking back in this introspective, and retrospective manner, for example,” Travel has taught me to relish the times when things don’t go as planned.” He starts being philosophical and he purposely does this because coming into this text you did not expect a life lesson, and because of the very nature of a life lesson it makes the passages ending extremely impactful and unforgettable, to the effect that you would be thinking about it for a substantial while after the first read through

The writer’s use of language is very informal, for example words and phrases like,” And plus, go with the flow, I thanked the universe for cell phones.” This use of informal language makes the reader feel comfortable and relaxed while reading the passage, this technique has its own way of generating interest, if the text is always intense it leads with the reader being exhausted with the length of the tension with no respite, whereas in this case the text ends up being more tranquil while reading. This ultimately ends up giving more impact to the ending as well due to the unexpected shift from informal to introspective.

The text has a combination of short and long sentences. For example, “ i hopped on the bus and tried to relax with a book” and, “when you allow yourself to go……. gone to perfection.” This mixture of sentences is extremely important for this passage specifically, longer sentences allow you to add more detail whereas shorter ones make the message short and concise. This passage has a seemingly purposeful monotone beginning and for that reason keeping the readers engaged solely lies on the structure and length of the sentences so that the reader does not get bored, and the writer uses them immaculately. 

The writer uses alliteration like “fact frustrated.” Alliteration allows for the reader to feel emphasis on a certain point because subconsciously we have a recognition of rhythms and patterns, and alliteration do just that, it also allows for sentences to flow more smoothly on the tongue, and overall enhance the experience of the reader.

In conclusion, this text is about the experience of the writer who got lost in Korea and had to contend with all sorts of things not going his way. Then the writer moves on to how this exact innate spontaneity in travelling is the reason that he loves it so much and that its like a representation of life.

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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