12 O'Clock News Elizabeth Bishop Analysis

Topics: Meaning of life, French Revolution, Vietnam Pages: 2 (406 words) Published: December 8, 2012
Read the following extract from a work by Elizabeth Bishop and then indicate the right answers to the questions below:

1.The left-hand word typewriter can be matched to:

D.Both “the escarpment” and “those small, peculiarly shaped terraces”.

2.The text is an example of:

D.A prose poem

3.Comment on the meaning of the lines below. Make sure that you explain what tropes or literary devices are used in the lines and what their meaning is by paying attention to how these lines relate to the word written on the right and also the whole idea or theme of the text (5 lines maximum):

"What endless labor those small, peculiarly shaped terraces represent! And yet, on them the welfare of this tiny principality depends".

The writer is referring to the typewriter, and she uses a metaphor; those terraces represent the land where the rice is harvested. The Vietnamese depends on this kind of food to survive. There is a parallelism: “small” and “tiny”, that intensifies the meaning of the lines. A hyperbaton is also found: “on them…” There is an enumeration of adjectives for the word “terraces”.

4.How many voices are there in the text (both the quotation and the whole text it belongs to)? Explain the effect that this creates in the reader. Is it possible to identify the author's intention in the text because of this? Or is just an effect the text produces independently from the author's intention and political ideas? Is there any irony in these lines? (10 lines maximum). In the text, we can find two voices, the words on the left and the poem itself. The real world is represented by the words on the left. The descriptions on the right give us a metaphorical explanation of those objects, but with the voice of a war journalist. With this strategy, the author helps the readers to understand the main purpose of the text. It is a bit difficult to identify the author’s intention because these lines are full of irony. In the poem, the author describes...
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