How does Alagiah create emotion in this extract?
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 Somalians.He uses effective language that creates an impact on the reader, which portrays the harsh conditions and reality of the ‘famine of quiet suffering and lonely death.’ The title itself is significant. The noun ‘Passage’ is ambiguous; of course the obvious meaning would be that the following is an extract, a piece of writing. But it could also be interpreted as a path, a way, a journey to Africa. Also the use of the word ‘to’ imply that the passage is not a mere informative work on Africa, but a dedication to the country. Alagiah starts to create emotion in the first line ‘I saw a thousand hungry,lean,scared and betrayed faces’ this suggests suffering, a triad is used for effect, they seem forgotten by the rest of the world. This should make the reader feel sympathy. Also this shows how bigger scale this is, the people are forgotten by the whole world not just one country. This sense of abandonment carries on into lines 6-7 ‘In my notebook I had jotted down instructions on how to get there.’ this evokes pathos through the demonstration of how forgotten these people are, and also how isolated they are. In lines 7’Take the Badale Road for a few kilometres till the end of the tarmac, turn right on to a dirt track, stay on it for about forty-five mintutes-Gufgaduud.’The use of long sentences, consisting of lists, further emphasizes the isolation of these people, leading to pathos. In addition, it is as if the news crew have a morbid hunger to find these people to find the worst images, they are not being treated as humans but more of a story, to shock the people sitting back home, which the reader should take as disgust. In lines 18 ‘Pictures that stun the editors one day are written off as the same old stuff the next.’ this shows how desensitized/numbed these people are, this creates a sense of disgust because how can it be ‘the same old stuff’theres people dying around your cameramen and all you care about is if the picture looks bad enough for the criteria needed in your newspaper, this should also make the reader feel frustrated that they didn’t help these people who were suffering around them. In lines 22 ‘There was Amina Abdirahman,who had gone out that morning in search of wild, edible roots, leaving her two young girls lying on the dirt floor of their hut.’ This is very animalistic, desperation, feeding her children like a pig foraging for food this shows a sense of how dehumanized these people have become. This also makes the reader feel sympathetic towards this desperate mother and also despair for the children who are left on the dirt floor, like animals. In lines 29 ‘No rage, no whimpering, just a passing away-that simple,frictionless,motionless deliverance from a state of half life to death itself.’Death is easy for them, it’s almost better they don’t have to suffer anymore, the ‘half- life’ suggests they were never really alive they never had a childhood good fun memories just simply alive. In some way they were only alive to have pictures taken that probably weren’t even used for their desired purpose because of how numb the editors have become to them. This should make the reader feel utter disgust at the whole team. Also makes the reader feel enraged, something that the people suffering should be very good at is showing how desperate, forgotten and lost they are but even though there dying by the thousand each day they are not adequate enough. In lines 30 ‘You could see it in her sick, yellow eyes and smell it in the putrid air she recycled with every struggling breath she took.’ this shows the reader how slow and painful this process is, dehumanized, suggesting both physical and mental decay-she doesn’t want to live. The reader is not used to such kind of suffering, but for these people it’s an everyday occurrence. The reader feels a sense of despair for this woman but also a sense of despair in the way that they cannot help her. In lines 32 ‘An old woman will cover her shrivelled body with a soiled cloth as you gaze turns towards her.’shes ashamed of herself, hence covers herself up, the reader in turn feels ashamed because it’s not her fault she’s in this state in the first place and also how privileged the life of the reader is in the western world where someone would care more about their bag being ruined by food, then the food which is on it, which someone is dying over. In lines 66 ‘How should I feel to be standing there so strong and confident?’This question makes the reader think about the vast difference between our lives and the lives of the Somalians and evokes guilt that some people can be suffering so much while we live comfortable lives. In the last line (75) ‘So my nameless friend, if you are still alive, I owe you one’ this is a powerful and different/unusual ending with a tone of appreciation, sympathy and gratitude, the name isn’t important but the message is. This makes the reader feel a sense of relief in a way because Alagiah has portrayed along the way in this extract how he’s desensitized/ numbed to the suffering of others, yet a smile has had a bigger effect on him and shows he is a Human and shows compassion. 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 allows us to empathize with the difficulties faced by the Somalians.He uses effective language that has a significant impact on the reader, which shows the harsh conditions and reality of the life of the people suffering in Gufgaduud.