Language features and narrative

Language features, structure and narrative:

  1. Figurative language is used to convey ideas that might otherwise be difficult to express, such as similes. Examples of these are: ‘It was like a tidal wave, tearing past us like a giant train through the bush’ (p. 77) and ‘on top of a boulder as big as a Forestry hut’ (p. 89). Find more examples from the book.
  2. The author uses animal imagery in some similes, for example, ‘like a big piece of an elephant’ (p. 68). Think of ten other animals and create a simile for each.
  3. What figure of speech do the following examples illustrate: ‘pot lids rattling’ (p. 26) and ‘something smoking and spitting’ (p. 26), ‘snarling and whoofing’ (p. 34) and ‘starting to sizzle’ (p. 59). Find another example from the book. Write a poem or descriptive paragraph which includes the words from your example.
  4. The following are examples of which figure of speech: ‘listening to the Apopo river talking away to itself in mangled voices beyond the window’ (p. 28) and ‘Uncle Hec’s fires. They were positive, they were alive, they talked to you’.
  5. ‘Hovering harrier hawk’ (p. 93) and ‘Hookgrass Harry’ (p. 99) are examples of which figure of speech. Find some more examples of this figure of speech.
  6. What are ‘colloquialisms’ and idioms’? Below is a list of sayings taken from the book. Try to find their origins and then draw a cartoon representation of each of them: – ‘skinny old bag of bones’ (p. 27) – ‘got Uncle Hec’s back up’ (p. 41) – ‘stop for a breather’ (p. 55) – ‘let’s have a brew-up’ (p. 58) – ‘play it by ear’ (p. 73) – ‘right in the guts of it’ (p. 87) – ‘getting bushed’ (p. 103) – ‘topping and tailing’ (p. 131) – ‘he’s straight up’ (p. 143) – ‘you’ve had a rough trot’ (p. 172)

Posted by Tracey Hames

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: