Text Commentary - Text 25 (Food Glorious Food Anthology)

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Text 25 Commentary


The text is an advertisement for Grape-Nuts from the 1920s, which featured in Good Housekeeping Magazine and interests the reader through the narrative of a girl called Pam – the “surprising Craig girl” who wins races due in part to her exemplary diet.


The context of production is that this text would have been created by Post Health Products to advertise their breakfast cereal with an intention to appeal to it’s target audience. It had a focus on the health benefits such as “iron to enrich the blood” due to the contexts of reception. The advertisement would be read by women – likely middle class due to the focus on sport and mentions of “beat the county’s lady’s tennis champion”- who were interested in following the healthiest possible diet and therefore a focus on the health benefits is essential to make the product seem like something beneficial for women and also for their families.     

The primary purpose is to persuade women to buy Grape-Nuts and there is also the secondary purpose to encourage people to follow a healthier lifestyle similar to the one which enabled ‘Pam’ to be in “perfect physical condition.” The text does not follow the discourse conventions that you would expect today if reading an advertisement, as it is in black and white and consists of large sections of the time – however, for the social context and for the time it was written it may have been quite a conventional piece, although it does confront gender stereotypes in a way not all adverts would have. Something that is expected, which would also be in an advertisement today, is the focus on benefits of buying or trying the product today; here found as “two sample packages of Grape-Nuts free.”

The theme of the text is that food is something which can be both enjoyed, Grape-Nuts has a “rich, nutty flavour” but more importantly is something essential – healthy food is required for a better lifestyle, which should be followed. This is put forward to the reader through the story which is in the format of one in a woman’s magazine which may entertain the reader and encourage them to read on, but also through the use of a list which ends with “’and eating proper food – that especially.’ And she’s right”.

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The style of the text is authoritative, with declaratives used to highlight the views and to encourage people to buy. It is also at times more casual, especially during the story, “He was splashing a trifle” is slightly more colloquial language and provides a more chatty tone, which is maintained until the section of highest importance, with the descriptions of what is required for healthy living and the final encouragements to try Grape-Nuts. “It does provide those essential elements in an easily digested form.” You are encouraged to share the writer’s outlook on food, as it worked for the ...

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