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Commentary on Bad Blood by Lorna Sage This passage by Lorna Sage starts with an effective opening, as the first sentence 'So the playground was hell' grabs the reader's attention instantly and leads one directly into the tone and mood that the passage carries. The immediate and drastic image of the playground being referred to as hell is rather ironic and contradictory since a playground commonly is seen as something innocent and playful. We can therefore already from the beginning suspect a fairly gloomy and miserable text. This feeling is ensured even more by the diction that follows; "Chinese burns, pinches, slaps and kicks" and "face-pulling, hair-pulling, pinching, scratching" which accordingly are not pleasant thus backing up the miserable feeling.
I don't remember" where we can see the persona discussing with herself. This style of narration gives the passage an informal but also agitated mood which goes well the content; a playground described as hell. The relationship between the narrator and Gail is developed throughout the passage in an interesting way. The narrator starts out by describing Gail as superior; "she was so physically confident in charge of her body" and "she made me feel like an unstrung puppet" where the word 'unstrung' hints at ambiguity since it both can mean lacking strings (referring to her posture) and to be upset or nervous (referring to her personality).
that most women forget the pain of childbirth" the word in parenthesis - 'truly' - suggests that the persona herself has given birth and now is a mother. Could this whole passage perhaps all be reminiscence which comes to the narrator when she drops off her child for her first day of school? This could furthermore be backed up by the first line "So the playground was hell" where the word 'so' is meant to refer back to the past. To sum up, Lorna Sage main concern here is to capture and convey the feeling of anxiety and ineptitude that comes with the school life. Through her use of "painful" diction and the frequent use contradictory images help Sage creates a suitable miserable atmosphere. Also her colloquial style of narration contributes to this mood and all these techniques together craft a cunning passage.
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