Reading Assessment: Michael Morpurgo’s Use of Language and Structure to Create Drama in the Novel – Private Peaceful.

1237 Words Oct 23rd, 2011 5 Pages
Private peaceful is a story which mainly follows the life of a boy named Thomas Peaceful (or Tommo as he is called by his friends and family) in the build up towards WW1. It talks of his family in their ups and downs including his Father’s death. We follow Tommo in the past tense as he reflects upon his time up to the trenches. In the extract of pages between page 153 and 155 (which is in the present tense), we see Tommo attacked by a gas cloud whilst writing to his mother. He is saved of his life by a German attacker (or “Fritz”). He is then given a bill of clear health upon inspection of how seriously he was hurt. He then goes to see all of his comrade’s bodies who were not so lucky and died in the attack. In the extract, Morpurgo uses …show more content…
Morpurgo also uses personification in this extract – “its deadly tendrils are searching ahead..., scenting me, searching for me”. Morpurgo uses the word ‘deadly’ in his description of the gas. From Tommo’s view, the gas is lethal and wishes to be killed. The image which instantly pops to mind is one of the gas being a monster caged which should be confined. Like it is a last resort that when released, wishes to hunt and harm like a ravage beast. Michael also uses the word ‘tendrils’ when describing the gas. This puts forward the image of a slimy beast searching into every nook and cranny. It is searching and not willing to give up. The effect on the reader will be that Tommo cannot escape the tendrils which reach out into every direction and so the tension and speed of the read increase which all adds to the effect of Tommo’s mind being full of thoughts and the speed of his actions. In this chapter, the tense that Morpurgo uses is to add tension, speed and reality to what he writes about. By making it in the present tense, the action seems more real as if you are actually in the action and are doing the things first hand. It’s as if you are straight into the action and with all the knowledge of the character (Tommo) you don’t know what is going to happen next.
The overall effect of the tension that is used in this extract is very clever and in
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