Textual Analysis of Extract from Margeret Visser's "More Than Meets the Eye"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By eiderdown
Words 791
Pages 4
With this analysis of “Yes, but what does it mean?” I am to explain the intention of Margaret Visser. It is an extract from her book “More than meets the eye” and is written in the style of a biography. This is clear from her consistent use of the personal pronoun “I” and the plural pronoun “we”.
It begins with the date August 1964 and uses the past tense in the first two paragraphs; the action being arriving in America for the first time. So we already know that Visser has never been to America before and subsequently a foreigner in this new country. She then goes on to describe her first experience of a North American restaurant with her companion. They “ordered a hamburger” which we discover they had planned to long in advance which they “had known through movies, through television, through novels, through myth and fantasy”. This indicates that the hamburger was an iconic image to them and, quite likely, to a lot of people since it was used frequently, in a time when American influence was breaking through various multimedia as communication redeveloped greatly at the turn of the 20th century across the globe, as a fast food item. America was a foreign land where they still spoke English but was romanticised by such media. The repetition of “through” at the beginning of each clause emphasises just how much and many areas that America lent itself to. The words “myth”, fantasy”, “suspicion” and “dread” support the idea that these impressions of America were strange, foreign, mysterious and therefore scary for all its differences but still seductive in the medium. Visser uses irony in the phrase “the waiter understood every word we said”, since this was an alien country to them, a technique very familiar with British English. Everything thereafter unfolds as they “had been told would happen”, which pleases them as it could’ve been disappointing if their…...

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