Commentary, Pages 5 (1149 words)
The purpose of my transformation was to turn the Simon Armitage poem ‘Untitled’ into a diary leading up to the classroom event. The piece is for a reading audience for an ranged audience between the ages of 18 to 30. I used Simon Armitage as the main focus in the diary and it shows him going through his day giving his own response to people interacting with him. To give the text an extra dimension I have shown the grown up Simon Armitage looking back at that particular day and school in general showing the difference in attitudes and values as a result of age and maturity.
To show the character changes I have used a different style of lexis for each this makes it more obvious and easier to read. It also gives the piece more structure as it keep it on line and flowing.
The younger Simon Armitage uses a mass of slang language. ‘Man she jus dunt kno wen to giv up and I kno how to look after my dinner money’.
These colloquialisms are a feature of his younger idiolect and are very stereotypical of how younger children and teenagers speak at that age. He does it to be cool and shows that he is quite a lazy person.
Elision is used with words such as ‘gotta’, ‘gimme’ and ‘gunna’. This helps widen Simons’ idiolect and emphasise the point that he is very lazy with his speech and prefers to use colloquial slang language rather than Standard English. This helps heighten his status in conversation with people of similar age.
He uses a very simple and uncomplicated lexis with very few complex verbs or adjectives. His vocabulary is filled with monosyllabic words. ‘ma face is numb and my hands feel as cold as icicles I wish that stupid bus wud hurry up.’ This reiterates the fact that he predominantly uses monosyllabic words and a very simple lexis.
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He uses an abundance of rhetorical questions. ‘How stupid are teachers? Does he need some glasses? Why can’t he see me?’ This shows that he is a very frustrated and intense boy and he uses rhetorical questions to ease his frustration and lets him clam down. He also uses them to reassure himself when talking about Jessica, and in the build up to him putting the scissors on her finger.
Repetition is used to emphasise points made by Simon in particular ‘Jessica’ is used a lot. This states the amount of passion and love Simon has for this young girl, and it reinforces the obsession he has and the amount he thinks about her.
Similes are used to make a clearer picture of how things really are. ‘My hands feel as cold as icicles’. This is used to emphasise how cold it is, and gives the reader a more accurate picture of him standing at the bus stop shivering and trying to keep as warm as possible whilst waiting for the bus. This makes the piece more interesting and compelling to read as it builds up the character and makes the reader continue with the diary.
Alliteration is also used to make the piece more interesting to read. ‘flamin freezin’ this makes the words come of the tongue far more easier and makes the piece read better as it is able to flow more and is less disjointed.
The older Simon Armitage (in italics) uses a far more complex and polysyllabic lexis. ‘I was crazy, I have no explanation for this, it was a ludicrous and mad idea that was very selfish and disrespectful of me.’ He has a wider vocabulary, which makes his contribution more believable and tells us more about him as a younger person. Sections of the base text are added to the mature Simon. ‘I never got to say sorry, but at thirteen, it was my way of asking you to marry me.’ This is used to keep the diary on track with the main features and events. It also fits in with his more mature and modest thoughts when he is reminiscing back to his earlier days. It illustrates that he now regrets what he did to the girl in that eventful lesson, this is down to him having a wiser head and being more mature and experienced with love. He is generally introduced into the piece when a hot, explosive or out of hand situation is about to commence.
This allows the diary to then start again and continue in a more controllable and calm position. This ensures that nothing gets out of hand, just like a parent does when a child being naughty. Simon is now a parent and he demonstrate the skills he has learnt in this piece. He uses quite a lot of nouns such as ‘Moorly High School’, ‘Jessica Armitage’ and ‘Rowley Lane’. This is done to help set the scene and make the reader more background knowledge and it gives more information on the major characters in the diary. This ensures that the reader can understand the text which will make them want to continue reading and make them feel more at ease when doing so.
To make it more obvious when there is a character change from the younger Simon to a teacher or pupil I have used a very different writing style. When a teacher is speaking a directive utterance is used to give a more dominant and commanding presence. ‘Now take your coat off, put your lab jacket and goggles on and start the experiment with Lee’. This very forceful, direct and commanding language is used to put Simon in place when he is late, this is done calmly but this covers the teachers inside frustration that he has not made it on time. This is very stereotypical of what teachers do, as they seem to pick on individuals who attract attention, this is usually the people who are late.
Earlier in the piece adjacency pairs are used to good effect with the teacher taking the morning registration. “Rodger Hilton?” “Yes Sir” “Jane Johnson” “Yes Sir” this is done in a very polite manner and follows Grices Maxims. The students are using upward convergence as they are speaking to a teacher and this shows that they do respect him.
The diary uses a good combination of colloquial and formal language with the introduction of good linguistic features such as similes, adjacency pairs and rhetorical questions to make a very interesting and realistic transformation. To improve the piece would require expanding it and possibly taking it a couple of days later to get the reactions after the incident. This could involve Simon getting bullied and beaten up by Jessicas’ friends. Simons’ reactions to this would then no doubt change and his thoughts about burning her fingers may have changed due to the bullying that he is now getting.