Tag Archives: The First day in Barbados

AO2: First day in school in Barbados: Q2: 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 Afnan Kadir


Ans: The title of the second passage is “First day at school in Barbados” and is written by Austin Clarke. Its tone is informal and tells us about a boy whose mother was a washer woman and had managed to put her son into school which was thought as a great thing achieved in their village.

The theme of the passage is first impressions which means what impressions you have when you meet someone the first time in your life. These impressions always vary and depend on the type of people meeting each other.

The author has used various techniques to achieve his purpose one of them being statistics such as “September 1944” which makes the text authoritative.

Punctuation has also been used such as “And Delcina, the tallest, blackest and …” which makes the text more interesting.

Colloquial language has also been used such as “Go’ long, boy,…” which makes the text attractive. All type of sentences are also used such as: “And nobody so far has told me” which makes the text more attractive and interesting. Simile has also been used such as: “white as snow” which makes the reader want to read more.

I think the writer has fully obtained his purpose by using the various techniques which make a great impact on the reader.


Topic: First Impressions Activity: Literary Analysis Q 1) by Muazzam Tahir


This passage is short story from “Meeting in Milkmarket” written by John Wickham. The title of this story is “The first time I met George”. The title itself is very descriptive in its way as it highlights the theme of the story in one statement, which is “First Impressions”. The passage is about how the author meets and befriends George, and his first impression of him.

The purpose of this passage is Conative or to entertain/delight as it is a story. For example, “I think now that there was also in me a little envy of his fortune in having a fathers hand to clutch”. It is Conative because the reader is being affected, delighted and entertained by this short story. The purpose intends to deliver it to the right audience.

The audience of this passage is primarily Children. It may also be Special Interest Groups as those interested in John Wickham’s’ Novels, would also want to read it. The audience Is determined keeping in mind the theme of the passage, in which Children may only be interested in.

The tone of this passage is very frank and informal. For example, “I am not perhaps claiming too much.” This shows how frankly the writer was expressing the statements and feelings, that is the attitude of the writer, and how informal a tone the writer has adapted. Due to the fact that the tone is chatty, the reader will feel familiar and shall find the passage accessible.

The writer has also developed a narrative style as he is narrating a story, which is about his first impression of George and how they became friends. For example, “I remember very clearly the morning that George came to school for the first time.” This narrates the moment he first saw him. This narrative style helps develop an impression of sequence of events that is in a non-chronological manner, in the readers’ minds.

The vocabulary in the passage varies from simple, colloquial to strong. For example, “clutch”, “angry” and “monstrous”. This shows how simple and strong words were used which helped the readers understand the words and emotions/feelings easily.

There also is a variety of sentence structures that vary from simple to compound-complex. For example, “the headmaster greeted George’s father warmly, and it was clear that they were friends and that George would be one of those boys who would get special treatment, being the son of the heads friend.” This helps to maintain a smooth flow for the reader.

Proper Paragraphing is also done to separate different ideas and perspectives. This will allow a smooth flow for the reader.

I believe that with proper structuring, linguistic features, style, tone, attitude and many other techniques, the writer has successfully delivered the purpose to the desired audience.


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.

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.