Language

Dialogue is used occasionally in “Same Same but Different” by Anne Hayden, to convey the narrator’s interactions with the man she dates or the former schoolmate she meets. The choice of words is related to music, the differences between Ireland and Australia, and to siblings’ relationships.

Some of the defining traits of the language are the use of idioms, sarcasm, and irony. Idioms help make the language accessible and informal and convey aspects about the narrator’s perspective. Here are some of the most notable ones:  “driving me mad” (l. 24), “gave her the silent treatment” (ll. 25-26), “a throwback to when I had a stammer” (ll. 27- 28), “put the kibosh on” (l. 38), “to go on like a broken record” (l. 127).

Sarcasm and irony convey the narrator’s attitude towards herself and other characters:

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Imagery

Imagery is only used occasionally, when the author describes the characters or their actions, with the purpose of creating mental images of what is happening in the story:

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Metaphors

Luke describes vinyl records as “a dangerous game” (l. 21), a metaphor through which he tries to be funny but fails in the narrator’s eyes, as she associates vinyl records with her dead sister.

The narrator describes her mother’s sadness and longing for Molly using the following figurative description: “I’ll see a shadow flicker across my mother’s face and I’ll know she’s heard a ghost.” (ll. 90-91)

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Rhetorical questions

A series of rhetorical questions help convey the narrator’s thoughts and feelings. To mock her own lack of creativity when she dismisses Luke, the narrator uses the following rhetorical questions: “A toothache? Where did that come out of? I walk down Brunswick Street…” (l. 37)

Another series of rhetorical questions help convey the idea that the narrator and her family never came to terms with Molly’s death:

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Symbols

The most important symbolical elements in the text are the musical references, the narrator’s look, and the place called Same Same But Different.

The story begins with musical references to the band called Bros formed of two twin brothers, as well as to the band Talking Heads. These musical references are symbolic of Molly’s relationship with her sister and of the numerous thoughts the narrator has about Molly: “We’d mock fight over which of us could have Luke Goss, the one we had decided was the better looking of the identical twins in Bros.” (ll. 9-11)

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