March 25, 2013
Written Commentary 6: Venice by Jan Morris
The author’s purpose is to describe the setting by contrasting her culture to Venice and by using irony to display the people, surroundings and daily life. A mother who just started living in Venice is telling us about the setting and her life in Venice. She uses irony, humor and contrast to build the imagery of the city and people.
Throughout the passage the author uses irony to convey the surroundings and the image that the city is not somewhere you would want to live in. The irony of her arguments is that her reasoning in why Venice isn’t a pleasant city to live in, because it is “inescapably urban,” (line 8) and that there are no gardens for kids to play. A worthy excerpt is “It is not altogether an easy city for children to live in. It has no dangerous traffic and few unspeakable rascals; but Venice is inescapably urban, and only lucky children with gardens, or with parents indulgent enough to take them to the distant park, have somewhere green to play” (Lines 7-9). She uses false dilemma by focusing only on the black and white of Venice. She focuses on that Venice has no garden, so that she still misses her culture and country. She focuses only on the immoral instead of the safety or great things about Venice. She sees Venice being inescapably urban as a gigantic dilemma while she says it is a rigid city to live in; it has no dangerous traffic and rascals. Here the mother uses sarcasm to present humor during the passage.
The protagonist also uses irony when describing actions, people and the setting. Morris uses two words in pair like sickly intensity, unashamed delight, exquisitely ludicrously, inescapably urban, blithe pathetic, lugubriously assure, dauntingly spotless and frighteningly well informed. Using two words that are opposite, Morris creates irony. By juxtaposing these words, Morris also creates imagery. It creates an image of what the mother sees as an outsider....
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