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Thread: Text analysis

  1. #1
    aysegullu is offline Newbie
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    Question Text analysis

    Hello,

    I need to analysise a text for my translation course. The text is from a book that is written by Margaret Visser. As I haven't done this kind of work before, I don't know how to start. What should I be looking for? Style and intention or the lexical complexity? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Many thanks.

    (here is the text, it's a little long but incase if you like to see it)




    Yes, But What Does It Mean ?


    Fresh off the boat from England in August 1964, we went into our first North American restaurant and ordered a hamburger. We had planned this event in advance – it was to be our first direct contact with the reality behind images we had known through movies, through television, through novels, through myth and fantasy, desire and suspicion and dread. We sat at a chrome-legged table with a red vinly top, next to a smeary window. The waiter had come and gone, and had understood every word we said. It was very hot; enormous cars drifted past in the street. So far, so good. We could handle this. We were not surprised to be given glasses of water with ice in them, almost as soon as we sat down. We were delighted; this was what we had been told would happen in New York, and it had happened.
    The hamburger came, and with it a plastic squeeze bottle full of tomato ketchup. Less delightful, but also to be expected. I decided I would prefer mustard, and asked for some. About a minute later, the air moved slightly near my cheek, and there was a light thumb as a packet of mustard hit the tabletop. After a moment’s panic I turned, but the waiter was already gone, out of our ambit. The mustard lay, yellow in its transparent covering, on the table between us. It was an individual serving, just for me and not for Colin, who had not asked for any. The packet was soft and cool; the mustard was ready mixed. You were expected to tear the packet open and squeeze the mustard out with your fingers – but I could not bring myself to do that yet. We sat and looked at the mustard missile, and knew that we had reached a foreign place, an unpredictable and infinitely weird environment, which we had not come from, and into which we would slot ourselves only eventually and with the utmost difficulty. That packet of mustard was my introduction to North America.
    I have been trying to understand what we participate in and what is going on around us ever since. I find, after thirty years of this, that I have fiercely guarded my original puzzled, anxious state, for it sharpens my vision and never lets my curiosity relax. I have also kept trying to understand things (like mustard packets) and behaviour (like flinging the mustard down and hurrying on), because I have found that specificities reveal principles: by focusing on small, humble, taking-for-granted objects and demeanours you can tease out of them philosophies, choices, prejudices, causes, contradictions, tragedies, absurdities. I refuse to accept the ordinary as dull: common things, the ones with history and politics and meaning, the ones with clout.
    In our ‘customer’ culture, we are constantly confronted with crowds of objects and with changing fashions in behaviour. The simultaneity and repetitiousness of the bombardment, the multiplicity of the things and the speed with which they reach their targets, serve to make them inscrutable to us, and exhausting in their apparent self-sufficiency and dynamism. Finally they can come to seem meaningless, and boring. But they are there, and they keep on requiring us to negotiate with them, even if only to find a way to keep out their reach. My project is to grab some of them at a time, hold it still, and look closely to see where it comes from and what it might be hiding. It is important to know how we are all implicated in the existence of these culturally resonant objects, and in their form.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Text analysis

    Hello Aysegullu, welcome to Using English!

    Does the question in your textbook tell you the ways in which you should analyse the text?

    MrP

  3. #3
    aysegullu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Text analysis

    Hello again and thank you.

    This text is not from a textbook, it is in fact my coursework. In general, what does a text analyse include? Style, register, intention of the writer etc or how many phrases there are, what kind of verbs are use, which tenses are used etc. ?

    I just don't know how to start! I also have to include a introduction and a conclusion.

  4. #4
    aysegullu is offline Newbie
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    Question Re: Text analysis

    Hello everyone, please can someone tell me what ''appreciation of the merits of the text in terms of quality'' means.. Thanks in advance.

  5. #5
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Text analysis

    Hello Aysegullu,

    It means you have to say how good it is, in terms of style and content.

    All the best,

    MrP

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