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Analysis of 3 texts on Family

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Introduction

´╗┐Texts A, B and C are linked by the theme of family, with a particular emphasis on parents and their favourite pastimes. However, in terms of context the texts are fundamentally different. While B as a literary extract by Joanne Harris uses the theme of family to establish the characters and the setting of Le Devin in the novel, as seen in the portrayal of the protagonist, Madeleine?s father as quiet and distant in contrast to her loud and expressive mother, texts A and C have a similar autobiographical purpose, with Louise in the speech transcribed in A telling an audience about her multiracial background and Lee, in C, recalling his mother and the contrast between her bouts of confusion and her calm demeanour when she plays the piano. While the emphasis of C is on Lee?s mother, A and B are similar in that there is a focus on both parents. However, while both Madeleine and Louise?s parents come from different backgrounds, a more positive attitude is shown in A, with Louise?s parents having built and maintained a successful relationship, in contrast to B, as Madeleine?s parents are unable to see past their differences and ultimately separate. In A, the relationship established between the speaker, Louise and her family is shown to be close, as seen in her use of the informal nouns ?mum?, ?dad?, ?grandma? and ?grandad? when referring to members of her family. ...read more.

Middle

causes Madeleine?s mother to leave the island, as seen in ?If he had, maybe she would have stayed?. Unlike text A, which shows the positive effects of a mixed background on Louise, B shows how such differences can be detrimental to a household, causing relationships to fail as Madeleine?s mother leaves her husband. Harris? lexical choice also contributes to the purpose of B, that is, to establish the characters in the novel. This is seen in the nouns (?talker?, ?singer?, romantic?) and verbs (?wept?, ?ranted?, ?laughed?, ?externalised?) used to portray Madeleine?s mother as a person who is outgoing and sociable, as opposed to the silent and distant GrosJean, as seen in adjectives such as ?incapable?, ?monosyllabic? and ?bleak?. Harris also highlights GrosJean?s preoccupation with his boats, through the use of verb phrases such as ?shaped the wood?, ?stitching the sails?, and ?turning the graceful lines?, as she presents the meticulous way in which he takes care of his fishing boats. However, such care is not extended to his family, and Madeleine likens his ?conversation? to his ?work?, with the implication that her father is more affectionate towards his boats than his own family. Such affection is also seen in the simile ?his hands on their smooth worm hulls as sure as a lover?s?, with Madeleine using the noun ?ladies? to present her father?s devotion towards his boats. In B, the couple?s differences and GrosJean?s fixation on his boats cause the breakdown of their marriage with the verb phrases ?would have stayed? and ?fell out of love? showing how Madeleine?s mother leaves her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

of ?sounds of peace? as opposed to ?disturbing?, perhaps because he finds his mother to be more at peace in such private moments, despite her lack of skill. Although dynamic verbs such as ?stumbled?, ?trembled? and ?tearing? are used to present the clumsy way in which she plays the piano, Lee?s admiration for his mother?s composure during such times is still seen in laudatory adjectives such as ?golden?, ?moving? and ?beautiful?, as well as the simile ?as soft as water?. Similar to B, C as a crafted text uses more sophisticated lexis to address the topic at hand as compared to A as semi-spontaneous speech. However, A is similar to C in that there is a focus on Lee?s experiences with his mother, while the purpose of B is to establish the characters in the novel. In terms of syntax, test C, like B is a crafted text, and when compared to A, is more organised. Similar to B, Lee uses asyndetic listing to reflect his mother?s excitable personality (?Her flowers and songs, her unshaken fidelities, her attempts at order, her relapses into squalor, her near madness??). However, he also uses periodic sentence structure (?Solitary, eyes closed, in her silks and secrets?that the man should have returned to her?) to emphasise his mother?s tranquillity as she plays the piano. Because Lee wants to describe the way in which his mother plays the piano, he also uses complex sentences (?She did not play?stumbled?trembled?carried?rippling) with several clauses to establish a sense of continuity. ...read more.

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