From a Passage to Africa

Topics: Emotion, The Reader, Empathy Pages: 4 (1331 words) Published: December 1, 2011
From a Passage to Africa by George Alagiah
How effective is George Alagiah when presenting the suffering of the people of Gufgaduud? In the extract, ‘A Passage to Africa,’ George Alagiah appeals to the readers emotions through his sensitive writing style and insightful presentation of facts. He takes us on a roller coaster of emotions and allowing us to empathize with the difficulties faced by the poor. He uses effective language that creates as impact on the readers mine which portrays the harsh conditions and reality of the ‘famine of quiet suffering and lonely death,’ which affects the village of Gufgaduud in Somalia, Africa. The key feature that appeals to the readers’ when presenting the suffering of the people in Alagiah’s autobiography is the use of first person narrative which gives first hand information and facts. In this extract, he avoids writing in the ‘ghoulish manner’ of journalists, but rather as an individual is search of answers, by revealing the truth the media ‘taboos’. The manner in which the writer writes touches us in an unusual manner. We are made to believe that Alagiah’s underlying attachment with Africa, due to having spent most of his childhood days there, making his writing even more sensitive and emotional. The passage opens with a listing of negative and pathetic images,’hungry, lean, scared and betrayed faces,’ which engages our sympathy and introduces us to the idea of the passage. However Alagiah does not try to present the suffering of the people with simple words or a show of a sad situation, but rather opens the extract with the ‘revulsion’ of the reality, grasping the readers’ emotions at once. He describes the isolated setting by using a simile ‘like a ghost village,’ which signifies the hopelessness and lifelessness, who are nothing more than hollow ghosts just biologically surviving. The ‘aid agencies had yet to reach,’ indicates the backwardness and lack of civilization that still is present in several part of the world...
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