I took a look at extracts from:
For each one, I addressed the following questions:
- What kind of text do you think this is?
The AS text is one of autobiographical mourning around the death of a loved one tied in with a kind of a critique of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
The CR text is a selection of comments on various personal experiences of racism directed towards herself and others (mostly others).
- Can you identify different kinds of writing in it?
AS incorporates criticism and autobiography/memoir into her excerpt.
CR has a little journalism, a little memoir and a little bit of social commentary in her piece.
- How would you characterise the voice and tone?
AS is playful with a hint of rebelliousness and a dollop of acceptance of death/loss.
CR is resentful but very restrained. Very, very restrained considering the type of provocation she is exposed to.
- Can you identify any central themes, and how does the text engage with them?
The central theme of AS is acceptance of death and taking ownership of the things that now belong to her. The text engages with this theme very successfully in that the voice and tone convey feelings in a tongue-in-cheek manner that demonstrates the acceptance and the events of the text describe the ownership being taken.
The central theme of CR is racism and her reaction to it. The text engages with this in a subtle way in that the author’s reaction to the events is non-violent and assertive, i.e. it is subtle and understated. The prose uses words and phrases that are similarly subtle. That said, there’s a powerful undercurrent of strong feelings here that the subtlety undercuts in an interesting way.
You could read/listen to the extracts yourself if you like.