Passage to Africa, George Alagiah


LANGUAGE (specific)

'that simple, frictionless, motionless'rule of 3 graphically conveying how weak and helpless the child is. 'frictionless' suggests no protest or fight to stay alive.

'smell of decaying flesh'- sensory language, graphic.

'It was rottinng; she was rotting'- Repetition emphasises the image. The colon also helps to emphasise the second clause that she herself was decaying.

'And then there was the face i will never forget'- Single sentence, stands on its own. Reminded of face at the beginning.

'What was it about the smile?'- Rhetorical question indicates his confusion about why it struck him and why the face smiled at all.

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LANGUAGE (specific) p.2

'It's just that he was embarrassed to be found in this condition'Direct speech. More vivid. Tragic irony, man feels he is wrong for someone else's actions.

'cut to the heart of the relationship between me and him, between us and them, between the rich world and the poor world' - Rule of 3 emphasises different worlds of journalist and man.

'I resolved there and then that I would write the story of Gufgaduud with all the power and purpose.'- Alliteration of 'P' gives emphasis. The man's smile demands action. Motivated.

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'there is one i will never forget'- Powerful opening sentence- sets the scene picking one face from a thousand shows it will be a very personal story.

'Go another fifteen minutes approx.'- adds personal touching by using little snippets of what people have told him. No maps indicating it is a remote palce.

'like a ghost village'- the word 'ghost' foreshadows death and destruction.

'journalists on the hunt'- predator-like. Negative description of journalists.

'The search for the shocking is like craving a drug' compares his job to being a drug user- unhealthy and corrupt.

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'move people in the comfort of their sitting rooms back home'- mentioning comfortable rooms sets contrast to the shocking images from journalists.

'Amina Abdirahman'- by using names, the stoyr is more vivid, personal and emotive.

'In those brief moments there had been a smile, not from me, but from the face'- Surprising that after all the shocking images, Alagiah is most affected by the smile. Surprises reader as much as him.

'So, my nameless friend, if you are still alive, I owe you one.'- Informal language used at the end brings account back to Alagiah's personal experience. He speaks directly to the man.

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  • Account begins the reference to a thousand faces, and then to a single face. Gets readers engaged as they wonder what made this one face stand out from a thousand.
  • 'And then there was the face I will never forget'- Structurally important as this stands alone as its own paragraph. Emphasises how the face stood out from all others. Reminds us briefly of the start of the text, however Alagiah makes the reader wait again, building tension and suspense as they wonder what the story of the face could be.
  • Account ends with reflection of Alagiah's personal experiences.
  • Focus shifts to explanation of the story at 'I saw that face for only a few seconds'- Brings the reader back to opening.
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  • First person, confessional tone admitting to uncomfortable truths about journalistic methods, his own reactions to suffering people.
  • Use of emotive langauge
  • Use of sensory, graphic language evoking sights and smells.
  • Change in tone from confident to humble
  • Metaphor, similes, alliteration etc.
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