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 “surprising Craig girl” in the story but more importantly through the assumption that being “vigorous, healthy and energetic” is achievable through this lifestyle. In order to achieve the lifestyle described, you may share the writer’s view and then try Grape-Nuts. The register is quite high, with some evidence of a mixed register: there are sections of higher formality when important information needs to be provided such as “It contains delightful menus which will help you to form the habits of more healthful breakfasts.”
The text begins with the large image of a woman on a boat, winning against her male counterpart- something which in a time of sexism would have been an encouraging sign, and throughout the text there are mentions that she was the “only girl competitor” showing that although women may have been regarded as the weaker sex they could achieve.
The sequencing of the text allows the advertisement to end with a final discussion of the benefits of Grape-Nuts specifically and the offer of a free sample, something which should encourage people further to try the product. After the image and headline, there was Pam’s story, something which may have been the reason that women began reading, and then a ‘quote’ by Pam stating that food is the most important element of living healthily which enabled her to achieve success – something which then links in to the message about Grape-Nuts which takes up the remaining space. This is linked to the form of the discourse, as an advertisement there has to be an effort to interest the reader from the start before beginning sections which may not be as entertaining, and this has been achieved.
Parts of the texts are linked. The story follows in chronological order, allowing you to picture vividly Pam’s journey down the river to victory. By following this with the quote this allows a smooth transition into the section talking more specifically about Grape-Nuts and this aids cohesion significantly. This allows the text to not bore the reader, but instead follow a natural progression which is more likely to hold their interest. Conjunctions are used to signal the direction of the text, “for” is used showing the social context – now because would more likely to be used. A point is given, such as “Proper food is absolutely essential” and then an explanation, “for it provides those vital elements which the body must have to be vigorous, healthy and energetic.”
The text is set out in columns which enables the text to be easily accessible and also allows room for a small section to the left of the page giving details of what Grape-Nuts provide the body with and also for the coupon to be added at the bottom right without the page becoming cluttered or confusing. Visual methods are used to make clear the moral of the story element (that women can succeed, here with the help of a healthy diet to be in “perfect physical condition”) but the overall theme of the text is not addressed in the headline or image; instead allowing it to be viewed at first glance as a text to entertain which may encourage people to read on.
A variety of sentence structures are used, there are a large amounts of simple sentences in the ‘story’ section which enable tension to be built up easily, “Pam was a couple of feet behind. A foot behind” and will make this section of the text more interesting. Later there are more complex sentences such as “Get a package from your grocer to-day, or post the coupon below and we will send you two sample packages of Grape-Nuts free – enough for two breakfasts and….”. This enables a large amount of detail to be given, without separating any section of the text. Modality is not used, there are no comparisons between the race Pam would have led otherwise, but instead throughout the text it is inferred that the cereal and her diet was instrumental in her success (to a certain degree, something which could be considered mildly sexist – that she could not have won without “plenty of fresh air” etc). A large number of the sentences are in the imperative mood such as “Send it now!” or as declaratives “Pam had done it” – a view is presented to the reader and there is not much opportunity for interrogatives such as “Surprising?” to be used as this may be too aggressive for the wholesome image that they are trying to present of their cereal.
The lexis is relatively formal towards the end of the text as the producer is trying to create a believable sense of authority – that they know what they are talking about, while in the narrative section it is more informal through the use of lexis such as “splashing a trifle”. Nouns are pre-modified to highlight the significance of certain types of food etc, for example to be able to win a race like Pam you must eat “proper food”. Through this it is inferred that Grape-Nuts would be a “proper food” and would be suitable, this is linked to the audience’s likely desire to lead a more healthy lifestyle and the producer’s need to persuade consumers to buy their product.
The text is written is written in a mixture of past and present tense; with the narrative at the start in past tense and then a change to present tense bringing a sense of urgency and the idea that this is a current issue – that it is possible to become more “healthy” quickly, and that you should “get a package from your grocer today.”
Semantics and pragmatics
There is a focus on the qualities women may have such as being “graceful” and also those which may be more masculine that can be gained; for example “strong” or the ability to beat men in races; this adds another meaning to sentences in context – there is the idea that women may be traditionally weaker than men (or due to the fact Pam was “the only girl competitor” that they are not really always able or willing to do all required to reach peak “physical condition) but that this is something which can be overcome, with the mythical Pam challenging the stereotype. The idea that women can be just as good as men is something which would have encouraged women to buy the product. Synonymy is used at times, for example “vigorous” and “energetic” are very similar in meaning, and this is used to highlight what could be gained from an improved lifestyle and Grape-Nuts specifically. There is an assumption of shared knowledge between the producer and receiver that health and healthy eating is important (and just in case anyone was unsure there is a section detailing what Grape-Nuts “supplies the body with” to make it even more appealing).