Which text is more successful in showing what it is like to move to a different country? by Faryal Shuja


I believe Text Two, “Ru” by Kim Thuy is far more successful at showing what it is like to move to a different country. I feel this for  number of reasons, the first being the use of various literary techniques. An example of this is: “dazzle us, blind us, intoxicate us”. The use of tripilism highlights the authors point, and allows the reader to feel the emotions of the writer. The writer also uses extremely strong and emotive language, for example: “I felt naked, if not stripped bare”. The use of strong words such as “naked” and “bare” evokes an immediate response within the reader, allowing them to truly feel what the author is feeling, and therefore they know what it is like to move to a different country, therefore making Text Two more successful.
Secondly, the author writes in first person, and shares extremely personal experiences. Throughout, we also know how the writer feels at every moment, so it is as if we, the readers, are also going through the same emotions and hardships. Two prime examples of this are: “I knew this was a place of delights” and “I couldn’t imagine a better place on earth”. The use of first person and “I” creates a closeness between the reader and writer. This makes the reader pictures the all the scenarios, and feel all the emotions present. This ability to provoke emotions, and create imagery makes Text Two superior to Text One, as it successfully shows the reader what it is like, and all the different emotions and events involved in moving to a new, or different country.


I chose Text One, “Refugee Boy” by Benjamin Zephaniah as less successful for one main reason: the disconnect between the author and reader, as well as the lack of imagery. The writing is written in third person, and it does not do much to connect with the reader. There are no strong, or emotive words, no imagery, and the sentences are short, and choppy. Examples of this are: “His father smiled.” and “The taxi pulled up outside the hotel”. The author is simply describing events that take place, and does not show any depth to the main character, Alem at all. The thoughts and feelings of Alem are not fully explored, and instead simple sentences are used such as: “Alem loved the excitement of being out so late”. This does not allow the reader to understand, or feel what it is like to move to a new country, thus making Text One far less successful at conveying what it is like to move to a new country.



About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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