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Systematic Discourse Analysis of A text

Introduction

The following is a systematic discourse analysis of the text from the sun goes down.

 

Number of sentence Types of sentence Number of words Number of clause Types of clause
1 Simple 7 1 Independent
2 Simple 5 1 Independent
3 Complex 30 3 Dependent

Independent

Dependent

 

4 Complex 13 2 Independent

Dependent

 

 

5 Compound Complex 22 4 2 Independent

Dependent

Dependent

6 Simple 12 1 Independent
7 Complex 18 2 Independent

dependent

8 Compound 13  

2

Independent

Independent

9 Simple 8 1 Independent
10 Complex 15 2 Dependent

Independent

 

11 Compound 32 2 Independent

Independent

12 Simple 9 1 Independent
13 Simple 10 1 Independent

 

The major theme in this text is Illegal Immigration. There exist sub themes such as Religion and the Unwavering love and care of the mother.

IllegalImmigration. The text deals with illegal immigration. The narrator is one of the participants in this journey. He is going on with this journey and has reached a town called Gao. The appearance of his mother in his dream with a story of a man who died on the way when attempting to go to London through a wheel well of airplane, shows that his mother wanted to warn him on the impending dangers he may meet on the way while attempting to reach abroad.

Religion. A prayer mat has been used in this text to show some aspects of prayer. The fact that the narrator falls asleep on it may reveal that he wanted some solace and spiritual guidance from God in his journey abroad. This comes true when we see him dreaming of his mother who brought him a story of a person who perishes on the way to be abroad.

Unwavering love and care of the mother. The mother is portrayed in the text as loving and caring through the various steps and initiatives she undertake to guide her son on his quest to be abroad.

Graphetic levels of analysis. The whole text has been italicized. This shows that it is dealing with     a complex issue- illegal immigration. Italicization helps the narrator to create emphasis on the whole issue of illegal immigration.

Phonological levels of analysis. The use of alliteration in sentence seven where sound\ w\ has been repeated in the words wheel well. The alliteration helps to lay emphasis on the unorthodox and illegal means which the man in the sentence used to travel abroad- wheel well of an airplane. It shows that the man was using illegal means to travel abroad. It also show the level of desperation which the man was going through in his quest to be abroad. The alliteration mentioned brings the theme of Illegal Immigration.

Graphological levels of analysis. There are the predominant uses of commas. The most striking use of commas is seen in sentences five, ten, eleven and twelve.Sentence five (She can’t move, and yet she is able to hunt me down and find me, wherever I am, even here at Gao ) has four clauses each separated by commas. The first clause, she can’t move. It shows that the mother of the narrator is motionless and immobile. Clause two, and yet she is able to hunt me down and find me. It brings a contrast in the character of the mother. It shows that although the mother is immobile, she is always present in the life of the narrator. The contrast brings out the love and care the mother has for her son. Clause three, wherever I am.It shows that the mother is following the son in all steps he tries to make. This shows her love and care for her son in all steps he makes. Clause four, even here in Gao. The clause reveals that even where the narrator is present in the moment, the mother is also present. This clause depicts the mother of the narrator as always present in life of the narrator.

In sentence ten, By the end of the month, they’d had deported him back to his family for burial, the adverbial clause by the end of the month highlights the magnitude of time it takes for the man who died on a wheel well of airplane to be brought back for burial. It depicts illegal immigration as a complicated issue full with bureaucratic delay. Sentence eleven, she says the lesson to learn is that the world is round, which means that if I run too fast I might end up chasing the very homeland I am running from, shows that the mother of the narrator is showing him that he is undertaking a complex journey which may just take him back to the same homeland he is trying to escape. The mother therefore warns him of the predicaments of illegal immigration.

There is the predominant use of the anaphoric reference of the personal pronouns I and She. The pronoun Irefer back to the narrator. It depicts the narrator as a participant who is giving us first hand information on the issue of illegal immigration. This makes the story believable since we get it from a real person who has experience it. The use of the personal pronoun she refers back to the mother of the narrator. It denotes a feminine gender and the role she plays in the life of the narrator. The role she plays depicts her as loving and caring towards the narrator.

The use of connectors such as and and or. Sentence five employs the use of polysyndetic conjunction and. The use of and brings a contrast in the character of the mother. It shows that the mother has love and care for her son. The use of or in sentence eight, it could have been the low temperature or high altitude that finished him. The use of or brings out the confusion which engulfs what could have caused the death of the man. It is unknown whether low temperature or high altitude led to the death of man. It therefore brings out the challenges met by those who try to reach abroad illegally. They become desperate in the process and uncertainty may befall them.

Lexical levels of analysis. There are instances of word compounding in the text. The following words have been compounded.

Over + seas to form overseas

Air + plane to form airplane

Home +land to form homeland

Overseas refers to the foreign countries the narrator wanted to be. It is compounded in sentence number six, she tells me that, all things considered, to trek overseas is reasonable, to reveal that the narrator was on a journey to the foreign countries. Airplane has been compounded in sentence number seven, A man she knew hid himself in a wheel well of an airplane that flew overnight to London, to show the means of transport used by the man to travel abroad. The fact that he used the wheel well of the airplane show that he was travelling abroad through an illegal means hence this brings out the theme of illegal immigration. Homeland refers to the native country of the narrator. It shows that the narrator was moving away from his country of origin to foreign country.

There are some vocabularies employed in the text which help to reveal the theme. These are deported, hunt and finished. Deported has been used in sentence nine. It reveals that the deceased was travelling to London illegally and was not wanted in that country. That is why when he died he had to be brought back as someone who was in that country illegally- he is deported back to his family for burial. Deported therefore brings the theme of illegal immigration clearly. Hunt has been used in sentence six. It reveals the loving and caring character of the mother of the narrator since she is being depicted as always present in his life. She follows the narrator wherever he goes and brings him vivid stories of the challenges being met by those who try to go abroad illegally. The word hunt therefore brings the theme of love and care of the mother.Finished has been used in sentence eight. It portrays the death of the man who attempted to use a wheel well of an airplane to reach London. The word finished may also tell us that the wishes of the man to be abroad came to an end while attempting to use an illegal mean. It therefore portrays illegal immigration as a journey which could be fatal hence it foregrounds the theme of illegal immigration.

Semantic levels of analysis. The narrator has employed the use of symbolism in the text. The word trek has been used to symbolize the complexity and the difficulty of the journey the narrator is undergoing through. It also symbolizes the last resort the narrator is trying to exploit to reach abroad. Trekking overseas is something which is impossible putting in mind the long distance one has to travel to be abroad. It therefore symbolizes the impossible journey the narrator is going through. Trekking overseas shows that the narrator was using an illegal mean to reach abroad, which to him is the only easy way to reach abroad.

Prayer mat. Prayer mat has been used in sentence two. It symbolizes aspects of religion since it is used to pray. The fact that the narrator falls asleep on it then dreaming of his mother with a story of a man who died while travelling abroad inside a wheel well of an airplane, may reveal that the prayer mat connected the narrator with the spiritual world.. The narrator is therefore able to see what he may meet on his journey abroad through the prayer mat. It therefore shows the role religion plays in the life of the narrator in his quest to be abroad. The theme of religion therefore comes out through it.

Dream. In the text, dream symbolizes the wishes and hopes of the narrator to be in the foreign countries. The appearance of his mother in his dream also symbolizes how the mother was guiding him in his wishes to be abroad.

Irony. Instances of irony are seen in sentence six. She tells me that, all things considered, to trek overseas is reasonable. It is ironic that the narrator considers reaching abroad through trekking despite the long distance to these countries. Trekking to overseas countries is ironic and it reveals the impossibility of the narrator quest to reach these countries. It also portrays the illegal means he is trying to exploit to be abroad.

A Story within a story. The story of a man who attempted to travel to London inside a wheel well of an airplane and died on the way is told by the mother of the narrator. The story is meantto show the narrator the challenges being met by those who try to be abroad through illegal means. The story vividly reveals instances of illegal immigration.