Category Archives: Comparison question

‘Comparison Question: Angels & Falling from the Sky’ by Safa Aman


After taking both texts into account, I strongly believe that Text Two does a more impressive job at giving an account of someone who survives life-threatening situations as compared to Text One. Hence, I choose Text Two.

Firstly, Juanita Watson adds short sentences for a more dramatic effect. These short sentences make her already heart-gripping story even more breath-taking and shocking. This can be noted in the following examples: “And it’s especially great to be alive” and “I suddenly found myself falling. Sixty feet”. Instead of composing it into one, long sentence, the writer breaks it down with exaggeration; therefore, grasping the reader’s attention.

Second of all, Watson gives an account of her feelings at the time of her “adventure”. She narrates about the trauma she almost fell into and the wounds that adorned her body, but how she was sensible enough to take action despite these obstacles. For example, “The odds were stacked against me. But I didn’t let my mind focus too much on that”. The writer describes how she aided to her own wounds and nursed her broken hip. She pushed the thought of death away, prayed and kept going.

I did not choose Text One for the reason that it lacked detail. Sally Williams overlooked several essential details including an account of how she personally felt regarding the life-threatening circumstances. Her story was nerve-wrecking and cringe-worthy; however, she failed to deliver it in an appropriate and suitable manner. One might observe this in the following example: “Koepcke didn’t have any tools for survival such as a machete or plastic boots”. Williams is at a loss when it comes to emotions, hence unable to connect with her readers. As if that was not enough, that statement (along with many others in the passage) were mundane and flat. Where were the expressions? Where was the emotional appeal? The writer truly has a long way to go before she can actually get her readers hooked.

‘Comparison Question: Handwriting is on the wall for a moment & the dying art of handwriting’ by Safa Aman


After taking both texts into account, I strongly believe that Text One does more justice to the relating topic as compared to Text Two.

Text One — ‘The Dying Art of Handwriting’ — not only explains that handwriting is slowly being eradicated, but explains why this ancient practice is being extinct day by day. In the passage, Margaret Rock (the author of the brilliantly composed text) uses logos. She backs her content up with scientific proof which leads readers to believe that it is a hundred percent accurate. This can be seen in the following sentence: “According to brain imaging studies, cursive writing, in particular, activates parts of the nervous system that stay quiet during typing”.

Another reason why Text One trumps over Text Two is because of the chatty tone. Its conversational style keeps boredom at bay and makes something as simple as handwriting less mundane. For example, in “Remember that saying, ‘Write it down so you won’t forget it?'”, the writer questions the reader and tries to connect to her audience. This keeps the readers involved and more interested in whatever is being discussed.

As entertaining as Text Two may seem, it lacks logical reasoning. The writer drones on about how handwriting is becoming obsolete; however, he does not give enough evidence to  support his statement. This can be noted in, “truth is, I am out of practice, and it’s all the fault of the computer” — But, why? The writer fails to provide sufficient information.

Which text is more successful is giving an account of someone who survives life-threatening situations? You may choose either Text One or Text Two but you must explain your choice carefully. Give two reasons why you choose this text and one reason for not choosing the other text. You may wish to comment on the writer’s language and technique. You should support your points with evidence from the text. By Roha Khan


Compared to Text Two, I think Text One does a better job at achieving its purpose, that is, to inform the reader about the feelings of a person moving to a foreign country. To make his point clear, the author describes Allen’s feelings using words and phrases like “a source of wonder for Allen”, “bizarre” and “excitement”. This intends to give the reader a clear idea about the character’s mix of emotion.

The author has used imagery to tell about the changes. Without any direct comparison, the writer tells about the differences, for example, “so smooth, no potholes, no wild bends”. He even writes about how London is quieter, compared to Ethiopia,   especially using the words, “Can you hear the nothing, Father?”  This makes the reader realize the change in the environment better. The writer also addresses the character’s sense of smell−“to the strange smell of English breakfast”−which help the reader understand how different things are.

Text Two, on the other hand, is in first person and gives an impression of being “rescued” rather than “moving”. The author does not understand the language that is being spoken, but rather comments on people’s attitude towards her, for example, “generosity” and “gratitude”. Except for in the first paragraph, the author fails to tell us about the new place or city.


First Impressions:Explain how the writer presents his experience of going to school for the first time. You should support your answer with close reference to the passage, including brief quotations. By Zoraiz Syed



This passage is an autobiography from “Growing up stupid under the Union Jack” written by ‘Austin Clarke.’ In this passage the author describes his first day of going to school from a ‘low class’ life. The theme of this passage is first impressions.

Since this is an autobiography, the audience for this passage is adults. The purpose of this passage is to show the reader how it is like going to school when you are coming from a humble family. This purpose is achieved through the various linguistic techniques used by the author.

The author uses many figures of speech to add emphasis and interest. For example; “wildest dreams” is an idiom, “fortunate friends” is alliteration, “white as snow and ironed like glass” are idioms and more. The writer has used vernacular vocabulary as this is a story from a particular culture and to further engage the reader.

There is also a variety of punctuation used which can be seen from the following example: “There was the shining, gold-painted set of compasses; the Rankin biscuit tin, scrubbed clean and looking like a small silver coffin, with a flying fish sandwich in it: and my bottle of ‘clear’ lemonade.” This example also shows the complexity of the sentence structure, which is suitable for adults. The paragraphing is also formal.

The tone for this passage is conversational as the writer describes his feelings to the audience. Overall, the intended effect of this passage is to show the audience how the writer experienced his first day and this is achieved through the language techniques used by the writer.

First Impressions: How does the writer describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator? You should support your answer with close reference to the passage, including brief quotations. By Zoraiz Syed


This passage is taken from a short story, “Meeting in the Milk market” by ‘John Wickham’. This is a narrative story which tells us about how the author met a boy named ‘George’ and came to be his friend. The theme is first impressions.

The purpose of this passage is to entertain the audience. The writer uses different linguistic techniques, such as punctuation, vocabulary, figures of speech and more, to enage the reader and makes him interested in the story. The audience for this passage is young adults.

The writer has used different forms of punctuation to make the passage more interesting. Examples of this are; “friends”, “that made me angry, I remember”, “(in all my school days I never had a whole pencil)” and such. The vocabulary used in this passage is simple so that the audience can easily understand it.

There is various sentence structure for example there are short sentences as well as long sentences for example, “he was crying from public shame”. The paragraph structure is also formal as they are all almost of the same size. The intended effect for this is to keep the reader engaged and make him read on.

The tone for this passage is conversational as the author is narrating a story to the audience. The most effective way the author describes his feelings is by using emotive language. He puts his thoughts to the paper. This is shown from the following example: “I think now that there was also in me a little envy of his fortune in having a fathers hand to clutch.”

Overall, the intended effect of this passage is to make the audience feel what the writer is experiencing and this is achieved through the various language techniques used.




First Impressions: Compare how the writers of text one and two convey their ideas and experiences. By Raphael Kahlid


A3. Both passages are written in the first person form, and both are about the writer’s first day to a school. One clear difference is the level of complexity and clarity with regards to information which is more prominent in passage B, written by Austin Clarke, whereas; passage A, by John Wickham explores his own feelings and reactions relative to his age; this Is to allow the reader to empathize with the author in his experiences.

The first passage has an audience of young adults or older, similar to the audience of passage B, this is shown by the elements of a certain questioning and philosophy explored through the intricacies, or rather, the simplicity of friendship such as, “…whether the thing that we shared could justify its claim to the title of friendship,” or how the writer became friends with this character George after a simple gesture, as these may only appeal to those already well ahead in life and subsequently their experiences of friendship. Certain features of passage B would restrict its purpose of entertainment and deeper purpose of breaking (explored further) preconceived goals to the previously mentioned audience such as the rituals of entering school like the haircutting, “… sat me down on the throne of a chair… when I got up, my head was clean.” Despite being lower on the descriptive scale, passage A through its unique style and sentence structure, “I think now that there was also in me a little envy…” or “Now, before I use the word, I must, as it were, look behind my back,” along with the use of a named character of relevance to the story, has an effect on the reader to keep him spell-bound and thoroughly curious to discover the drama of the story better. The previously mentioned latter example is also a display of its unique, but not necessarily complex, form of punctuation, which adds to the previous effect of keeping the writer hooked.

Passage B is not lacking in any spell binding features, its usage of humor,” …whether the D inL2D stood for ‘dunce’” and a vernacular respecting the mentioned country of Barbados, “Not on your blasted bottom dollar!” achieves an effect of creating interest. Passage B, through its many descriptive sequences, “Delcina, the tallest, blackest and most beautiful woman…”,”The washing, white as snow and ironed like glass,” and its use of exaggeration, “New but uncertain world,” and similes, “looking like a small silver coffin,” and characterizing of the authors mother all serve the purpose of painting a picture of the authors autobiography.

I believe both these accounts given by the authors achieve their effect successfully, mainly to entertain, both in different ways, while adopting similar tones of frankness as seen by a hint of satire in the first passage and slang in the second. Both authors convey their experiences while allowing the reader to relate with them, seeing as a main content point is of school which has the intention of evoking nostalgia and longing which helps supports the ultimate effect of their individual autobiographies.


First Impressions: Q2. Explain how the writer presents his experience of going to school for the first time. By Raphael Kahlid


A2. Written by Austin Clarke, this passage is an excerpt from “Growing up stupid under the Union Jack”. It is a first person narration that provides us the experience of the narrator in his first day of school. A short sequence of the emphasis on skin color is a reference to the date provided in the passage, 1944 and holds an underlying message.

This passage adopts very conversational and casual tone with much homage to the time period and region (the Caribbean) to allow the reader to relate with the similar atmosphere of schools, that is, a friendly and frank one. This tone is achieved through terms like, “dunce” and phrases like, “Go ‘long, boy…”  and the dialect is seen too through phrases like, “ You is Comberemore boy now!”

The time period and area is important to note as in 1944 under British rule in Barbados (the country where the school is) there was a lack of education and equal rights, so this notion is presented through the excitement of the narrator’s mother and entire village upon his entry into school. This is done to allow the reader to acknowledge the clear differences brought about through the decades. This is further emphasized on by the introduction of an otherwise irrelevant character, Delcina, praised to be “Beautiful…” with emphasis on her being “black” twice, and also done by the following contrast, of her washing being “white as snow”.

The audience is young adult to adult with the theme being first impressions. The audience is held interested through a descriptive touch, “shining, gold-painted…”, “Looking like a small silver coffin,” and perhaps the nostalgia brought about by the uniformity of school through the haircut segment.

The overall intended effect the writer hoped to achieve was to allow his reader to realize how person’s initial goals may be lower than a higher possibly achieved standard. The author wants his reader to know that the goals he set for himself can be raised and that there should be no limit to goals. I believe the writer does this gracefully while keeping in mind the time period and cultural standards by the author having his mother tell him that he can be a doctor; where as the child’s highest expectation was that of a civil servant.