Something Old, Something New

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  • Created by: Harpreet
  • Created on: 15-05-13 19:09

Language Analysis:setting

the description of the setting and the lexicle/language choices of the writer show us that the character despite the outside (western expectations) is embracing this foreign culture that he is marrying into, arranged marriage to a sudanese woman.

actually this relationship is destined to fail because the character is in fact still in a very westernised mindset.

story starts with "Her country disturbed him."

the man is unwilling to accept the beauty of the country.

line 45/46 "look," she said,' "take of your sunglasses and look. There's the Nile." And there was the Nile, a blue he had never seen before, a child's blue, a dream's blue.'

this piece of narrative is from a more accepting, proud view.

the word 'child' has connotations with innocence and playfullness-positive thoughts.

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the word 'dream' suggests the supernatural beauty the Nile has.

the Nile is a river that flows through Africa.

but then when the man looks at the Nile he doesnt see that beauty. line 48-50.

' "yes, it's beautiful," he replied. But as he spoke he noticed that the river's flow was forceful, not innocent, not playful. Crocodiles no doubt lurked beneath the surface, hungry and ruthless. He could picture an accident; blood, death, bones.'

negative lexical/language choices, this part is written from the man's perspective.

the language shows that he rejects the reality of the situation and casts his negative mindset onto it.

the man is subconsciously unwilling to accept the beauty of the country but similarly unwilling to accept the culture, and perhaps even the religion of his wife.

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how and why the writer uses language in setting

we then see these overly positive adverbs the writer uses, to show that the man can never really escape from who he is, a western man even though he is in this foreign environment with his foreign wife and religion.

line 51 ' "And here is your hotel," she said. "I booked you in the Hilton." '

the Hilton is an international hotel, placed in most continents, famous and very western, luxurious.

line 60 'The hotel lobby was impressive, the cool tingling blast of the air-conditioner, music playing, an expanse of marble. He felt soothed somehow, more in control, after the bumpy ride.'

the use of this language makes him seem comforted that there is a little piece of home with him. the language use is very subtly showing that despite the exterior view that this man is embracing culture and religion , the use of language in the description of setting, shows that actually this is all destined to fail, just like it was when he was becoming a doctor.

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how and why the writer uses language in setting

because the negative language with his thoughts about the Nile, which is actually beautiful and the positive language used to describe the hotel lobby and its representation of westernised culture shows that actually deep down, this man is not embracing culture, but is very firmly rooted in his love for westernised culture.

the two ideas are juxtaposed

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