AO3: First Impressions by Misha Ahmad


The title of the first passage is ‘The first time I met George’ from meeting in Milkmarket by John Wickham. As you can see the title is very descriptive, thus describing the main storyline that stretches throughout the passage. The passage is written in first form ( the narrator remains un-named). The writer describes the first time he met George at school and his feelings towards him and then after when they end up as friends.

The title of the second passage is ‘First day at school in Barbados’ from Growing up stupid under the Union Jack by Austin Clarke.The author was brought up in Barbados in the Caribbean when it was under British colonial rule. The passage is about the writers singular journey to a great uncertain world for the first time, referring to school. Line21: ” on my way to a new but uncertain world.”
Both passages have a common theme which is ‘first impressions’. As you can clearly see from their titles. Passage 1:”First time I met George”. Passage 2:”First day at school in Barbados”. The intended audience of both passages is a generalized approach to adults and young adults. The purpose of both passages is to entertain as they are both a mixture of descriptive and narrative writing. In  the first passage the writer moreover describes his first experience and ideas with a new friend, while in the second passage the author explains his feelings.
I believe in the first passage the writer uses a slight judgmental tone as he passes judgments on George on his first day for example line16: “George would be one of those boys who would get special treatment”. In the second passage the writer uses an optimistic and sentimental tone whilst describing his emotions like in line9: ” poor and ambitious mother”.
In the first passage the writer uses figurative language to describe his ideas for example in line22:” This seemed a monstrous piece of favoritism”. This is a hyperbole and metaphor which had an effect on the reader as a point is dramatically reinforced to arouse the feelings of the readers. A hint of vernacular vocabulary is used, line26: ” They put him to sit next to me” engaging the reader to the content.
In the second paragraph, the writer uses simple sentence structures which has an effect on the readers for example line5:” And nobody told me so far”. Also vernacular vocabulary and dialogues are used in the passage emphasizing points. For example line 11: ” Go long,boy, and learn! Learning going to make you into a man”. Line33:” You is a Combermere boy now!” The language also gives us an idea of the status of the black community back in 1944 in the Caribbean. The writer also grasps the effective use of imagery while he imagines the hypothetical future. Line43:” ride about on a horse in the sun, under a khaki helmet, dressed in a khaki suit, to drive some of my less fortunate friends and neighbors to work in the fields”. This adds color to the article and engages the reader.
In the first paragraph, after the forceful assertion of subjectly influencing the reader, by appropriate language and only presenting the writers own side of the story of the favoritism of George, the writer also makes the readers sympathize George, line 27;” he was crying from public shame”. The writer then lends George a lead pencil and teaches him how to use it. In the end of writer is effective in achieving his purpose of first experiences with a new boy, and how they ended up as friends.
In the second paragraph, whilst using effective description such as similies, line17: ” white as snow and ironed like glass” the writer is successful in evoking strong emotional response and in expressing how big of a deal it was for him to go to school and for his mother. Line6: ” that was a day of personal rejoicing for my mother”.
Both authors come effective in achieving their purpose in the end by using different linguistic techniques and presentational devices.

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