Game of Polo with a Headless Goat, Emma Levine



'"But will you try to get to the front?"'- Use of direct speech brings characters to life and shows Levine's determination and excitement.

'We waited for eternity'Hyperbole conveys Levine's impatience and also mirrors the rest of the text's extremity/

'Some fifty vehicles roaring up'- Onomatapoeic language- first indication of sound and visual impact of the race.

'It was survival of the fittest'- Hyperbole suggesting a battle to survive.

'with a sharp flick of the steering wheel (no lane discipline here);...for a couple of seconds; nerves of steel, and an effective horn'Semi colons used to seperate items in the list. Series of phrases reflect the quick moves made by the driver.

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'had to dive into the ditch'- Alliteration adds drama to the text

'Yaqoob loved it'- Short sentence. Simplistic joy echoes the simple lifestyle. Contrasts with longer sentences describing the race. Suggests that the action is complex but emotions are straight forward. 

'The race was over'- Short sentence indicates abruptness which race ends with- making it more dramatic and sudden.

'Voices were raised, fists were out and tempers rising'- rule of 3 used to describe change in mood.

'swallowed up by the crowd'- Metaphor indicates how individulas changes to become monstrous when they become a crowd.

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'Wacky Races'- Refers to an old cartoon. Relates to reader. Relates the race to a cartoon and conjures images of anarchy and chaos found in cartoons, foreshadowing the havoc.

'me perched in the boot'- Verb 'perched' builds a comical image.

'Coming, coming'- shows laid back life style. Juxtaposes with the west and definite timings of Formula One races.

'Just as'- Turning point

'The two donkeys were almost dwarfed by their entourage'- Usually used to describe people accompanying very important people. Entourage for 2 donkeys creats humour, but also suggests how important the race is.

'their jockey's perched on top'- 'perched' used again this time for the jockeys.

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'hanging out of taxis and perched on lorries'- 'perched' AGAIN but this time for mass of spectators.

'while the vehicles jostled'- 'jostled' conveys crowded chaos scene.

'But I don't even have my license yet because I'm underage!'- Reflects the unlawfulness and chaos of the race.

'could've caused problems' - ends with an understatement and leaves open suggestion the things that couldve gone wrong during the chaotic race. Levine seems to be acknowledging it as exciting.

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1) Waiting, expectation. Quiet, still.

2) Race approaches- a build up of tension

3) Midst of race- chaos, noise, movement.

4) Climax - end of race.

  • 'Just as I was assuming' - indicates shift in focus from waiting- to race itself.
  • Levine has interwoven 3 races together; the donkey race, the spectator race, and Yaqoob's race to get Levine to the front. Structurally, this combination of stories reflects the complexity of the events being described. The structure is used to create tension and build up to the main event. Also use of the word 'perched' 3 times for each race.
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  • Dialogue to present characters
  • Humour and hyperbole to convey chaos of events and to entertain the reader
  • Use of sensory langauge, onomatatopeia- to convey atmosphere of race
  • Combination of short, long and complex sentences to create contrast and develop tension and drama
  • Verbs to convey movement
  • Rule of 3
  • Metaphors convey intensity of the driving experience.
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