AO2: How is the message communicated to the reader in the passage when the Ram sees the Taj Mahal for the first time? By Zara Irfan 11 E.


This passage is an extract from the novel ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, written by the author ‘Vikas Swarup’. The purpose of the author writing it is to entertain the reader, and to be expressive correspondingly while the language used is casual to conversational. Apart from this, it is certain that the audience and its readers are travelers, people interested in exploring and adults/young adults. The tone the author uses is friendly, with flecks of sarcasm. The style being narrative and the theme being ‘travel’, the author has enveloped many literary techniques in his work.

Starting off with the most evident technique used- imagery- the writer has condoned in giving his readers a lot of examples, for instance he says, “plastic debris float on its eddying currents.” In another place this has been mentioned, “It is a gleaming white structure which rises up.” This gives the reader a description to envision the scene unfolding, which in result promotes interest.

Another trait visible in the passage is its uplifting humor. “Craned to catch a glimpse of a dead body floating on its surface.” This very statement provides evidence to my appeal. Henceforth, it is sufficient to say that the writer has worked in providing an interesting narrative as humor sustains the reader’s attention.

Thirdly, personification (a figure of speech) has been used in this extract as the writer uses the words “swelling” for dome and “dancing” for the Taj. This enables the reader to have proficient understanding of every detail as this technique gives human-like characteristics to non-living things. Other than this, it also had description and an oomph to the writer’s work.

Side by side, the writer uses words like ‘spear-like’, ‘passer-by’ and ‘baton-wielding’ which can be identified as compound words and ‘Arrey’ (a vernacular word). This variety of vocabulary adds spice to the passage and a little but of funk. It also shows the comprehensiveness of language of the writer.

Entrancing the reader with exaggeration, the writer says the following statements, “After and eternity, I turn to the first passer-by” and “It glitters in the sunlight.” Exaggeration generally emphasizes a point and reinforces the author’s words, making the entire writing seem much more detailed and believable.

Other than this, the author has enrolled irony in his story. For example, he says, “the loss of my fifty thousand rupees” and at another place says, “baton-wielding policemen try to restore order”. In the first example, the writer loses his most important source; money, while in the second example, the key word is ‘try’, when a policeman’s basic duty is to maintain peace. This makes the story more appealing and the writer’s point more distinctive.

Pun is another technique used by the writer when he says, “the reflecting pool with a glassy image,” in the sixth paragraph. This adds humor and positions the reader to enjoy the author’s writings and grabs substantial attention as well.

Another one of the many figures of speech used is alliteration. ‘Purity of its perfection’ is what the writer says in line 20. Alliteration is catchy, joy able to read and focuses on a healthy flow of words. It also maintains reader’s interest.

Corresponding to the last technique, onomatopoeia can be spotted. For example, the writer says, “babble of voice rises.” This creates a wider image of what is happening and makes the reader live in the moment.

Lastly, statistics have been provided by the author in various parts of the extract, for instance, the writer says, “Indians Rs 20 Foreigners $20.” This backs up the reader’s words and gives them evidence, making everything seem more believable too.

Wrapping everything up, it would be an understatement to say that the writer has endorsed a lot of figures of speech in his work for example ‘alliteration’, ‘personification’ and ‘onomatopoeia’. Along with this, techniques such as exaggeration and humor have also been used, making the narrative seem increasingly eye-catching.


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 or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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