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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.
The passage tells us about an anxious little girl who goes to school for the first time. This experience of childhood and initiation in school life is described as something horrible and negative; "The playground was hell", "Small people's purgatory" and "the sheer ineptitude". The diction with words such as purgatory (a place for suffering) and ineptitude (uselessness/to not fit in) enhances this negative mood. Sage speaks a lot about not fitting in and she describes the
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