Q. Explain how Happy Bapetsi presents her experience of meeting her father for the first time. (Jan 2013) By Umer Ali Abbasi


This is an extract based on the life story of a girl named happy, who is presumably also the author in this case.The extract is called,”The No.1 ladies detective agency.”From the title one can infer that something dramatic has occurred in the authors life and now she seeks help. This extract is uniquely structured. With a variation in sentence structure and frequent use of short sentences, the author gives her write a dramatic appeal.The purpose of this extract is solely to entertain the reader and that is done so by adding humour,irony and other techniques to keep the reader hooked.
The language used in this extract ranges from hopeful to disappointed and then hopeful again. This extract targets multiple audience groups such as adults, young adults, the elderly, as well as children. This is clear from the fact that the author uses simple language and jokes that can be understood by anyone. In addition to that she uses a simple tone that appeals to all of her audience, a positive, calm and humble one.

Firstly, the author starts off with an anecdote. “Let me tell you a little about myself….”Through this anecdote she explains her life story to the audience. This builds a relationship with the audience right from the beginning as the audience get to know the character and support her. She is developed as a protagonist in the audience’s eye.
Secondly, the theme of this extract mainly revolves around ‘Family’ and ‘loyalty’. This can be seen through the writers use of diction such as, “my daddy”, “after all” and “mother”. She constantly relates back to her family and her time growing up in it. She says ‘after all’ because she knows that after all that man could be her dad and she is bound to help him as she is loyal to her own. This develops Happy’s character in the audience’s eye and makes them feel sympathetic towards her. This also leaves them curious to know how she handles the situation, hooked wanting to read ahead.
Furthermore, the writer maintains a nostalgic attitude since she’s recalling her past. This is evident from, “I was still a little baby”,“Back then” and “I didn’t have to work at all”.Here the author feels nostalgia as she relives the happiest moments of her life .As the story develops the attitude changes from positive to negative, but in the end it changed back to positive as she doesn’t want to leave the reader on a negative note. This is done so to trigger an emotional response from the reader and make them agree to the authors perspective.

Moving on, The author uses significant bias in her extract. This bias is against men , since on many occasions she favors women And undermines men Just because of the actions of one man, her dad. This is clear from the fact that during the discussion she says ,“many men are like that”.By doing so she generalizes the behavior of all men Gaining the sympathy of her female readers And bringing her male readers to the realization of acceptance.
In addition,the author uses irony in the extract. This is done so that the audience feels sorry for Happy, keep them hooked to the extract and add colour to the passages.The irony being that her name is happy, on the contrary her life is far from happy. She goes though a lot in her life with very little exposure happiness herself.

Finally,the author uses humour is her passage.This adds emphasis,and colour to the write.This also keeps the reader entertained and builds her character as a funny one.This can be seen ,”all the men are worried that I’ll make them look stupid”. Here she jokes about how she can’t get a higher position at her office.This also shows the reader where her bias against men is really coming from.

In conclusion, the author completely builds Happy’s character for the reader, then she gains their sympathy and pushes her points through to them.She targets a wide audience by keeping language simple and understandable to anyone.She tries her best to keep the reader hooked and entertained. She uses bias, irony and humour from time to time,only to give the reader her view on the topic.


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!

Comments are closed.