Write a critical analysis of the text you have read. Isabella Bird female explorer's letter A sense of place

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Frances Ernstzen

Write a critical analysis of the text you have read. – Isabella Bird letter (13) – A sense of place

The is an extract of a letter written by a female explorer, Isabella Bird, in the Victorian era in 1901 to her friend describing a trip she has taken to Morocco. The purpose of the letter is to describe the places she has visited, all the things that she’s seen there and to convey her thoughts and opinions on these things. The addressee of this letter isn’t given or named but we know it is her friend when she uses the second person in ‘You would fail to recognise your infirm friend’ which shows that she is interacting personally with the audience. Due to the letter being addressed to her friend, it allows her to adopt a chatty, informal tone and be honest in her opinions of places whilst also giving as much detail as she likes to inform her friend.

The letter is written throughout her expedition, almost like in journal form which is clear in her changing tense. For example, ‘I left Tangier…’ and then ‘I have a…’, to ‘This is…’ This constant change of tense suggests how busy Bird was whilst on her expedition which meant she had little time to write the whole letter all at once, while also allowing her to be more descriptive when talking about and reflecting on each part of the trip.

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In the letter, Bird talks a lot about the different places that she has travelled to and spent time in, in Morocco. This we know when she uses proper nouns such as ‘Marakesh’, ‘Tangier’, ‘Mazagan’ which are all located within ‘Morocco’. This relates to her being an explorer, someone who is clearly interested in travelling and discovering new places. However, Bird writes a whole paragraph to convey her negative attitude to these places which is quite striking and powerful, especially so without any contrasting, positive comments of the place itself. For example, when Bird uses the superlative in ‘This is ...

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