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Explore the Stylistic Conventions of Both "Notes from a Small Island" and "In Patagonia" and account for their different audiences.

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Explore the Stylistic Conventions of Both "Notes from a Small Island" and "In Patagonia" and account for their different audiences. Bill Bryson and Bruce Chatwin both participate in the ability to Travel write. Travel writing is were one would travel and then list in chronological order what they have experienced. Bill Bryson is able to do this in an entirely different fashion, to Bruce Chatwin. Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. Bryson settled in England in 1977, and lived for numerous years with his British wife and children in Yorkshire. Bryson then went back to America, but has now returned to England. As well as writing 'Notes from a small Island' Bryson has also written 'down Under' 'Notes from a big Country' 'A walk in the Woods' 'Made in America' 'Neither here nor there' and 'The lost Continent'.1 Bruce Chatwin was born in Sheffield in 1940. After attending Marborough School he began work as a Porter at Sotheby's, which is an auctioneer. Chatwin became one of the youngest directors at Sotheby's and then Chatwin abandoned his job to explore the world, as his dedication was travel writing. During 1972 and 1975 Chatwin worked for the Sunday Times and quickly announced his departure for in a telegram; 'Gone to Patagonia for six months'. This journey motivated to write the first of his books which was simply named, In Patagonia. ...read more.


Bryson shows us that he is able to take poke fun at the more fragile and serious issues that were happening at that time in Britain, he remarks upon Margaret Thatcher. The anecdotes that are related to the audience are well-structured and explained in immense detail. Bryson enlightens the booklover and encapsulates the mind. Bryson visits Liverpool, and is able to describe the city using his dry wit. Bryson constructs scene very similar to what Liverpool is like; 'They were having a festival of litter when I arrived' Bryson helps the reader to capture the essence of Liverpool and describes some of the places he has visited, Bryson is able to make Liverpool sound like a stunning, and fascinating place to visit. Bryson must evidently feel this about Liverpool as he has written about it in favour of the city. Bryson visits one of Liverpool's sights and instead of mentioning how breath-taking The Philharmonic Hall is he refers to it as 'the Phil' making it sound a lot less exceptional than many would have thought. Bryson then goes on to talk about the toilets in The Philharmonic and how decorative they are; '...the ornate gents' room of the philharmonic...'7 Bryson then moves on to tell the audience about a pub not as equally as well-known as the Philharmonic, this particular pub was called 'The Vines' this public house obliviously left a mark in Bryson's mind apparent enough for him to talk of it; 'So nice was The Vines that I drank ...read more.


Chatwin also identifies individual episodes of which are to some importance. Chatwin has been accused of delivering his log of accounts incorrectly by those who he has perhaps written about, this maybe because Chatwin has either been too truthful an honest about what he has written and these experiences with these specific people were private; 'In Patagonia has been denounced as unreliable and deceptive, and various residents of Patagonia have charged Chatwin with abusing their hospitality and spreading untruths about them in his book.'11 Chatwin was actually a frequent traveller made his way to places such as Italy, United States, Afghanistan and Benin, Chatwin has been described as a 'compulsive mover'.12 Chatwin confuses his reasons for going to Patagonia, in his book, In Patagonia Chatwin relates a childhood story about a fascination with a scrap skin 'black and leathery, with strands of coarse, reddish hair' and this was meant to of triggered his passion for Patagonia, Whilst elsewhere he stated that he went to Patagonia to 'free himself from the strictures of life in London'13 But many believe that he did not want to discover a location but a theory. Bill Bryson and Bruce Chatwin both have a very different style of writing. From analysing both texts I have come to the conclusion that Bill Bryson is a lot more accessible for the working class as there is a lot of humorous and easily read anecdotes included in the accounts of his travels. Bruce Chatwin is aimed at a more educated audience looking for a challenging read. ...read more.

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