This study guide will help you analyse the text “The man who fell to earth” by Esther Addley and Rory McCarthy. The text is found in Worlds of English, p. 74. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the structure, sender, receiver, themes and message, characteristics of the text, and help you put the text in perspective.
Presentation of the text
Title: “The man who fell to earth”
Author: Esther Addley and Rory McCarthy
Published in: The Guardian
Date of Publication: 20o1
Esther Addley and Rory McCarthy are journalists working for the British newspaper The Guardian. Addley is a senior reporter and McCarthy is a correspondent. The article “The man who fell to earth” was published on the ‘Immigration and Asylum’ section of the website of The Guardian.
Topic of the text
The text addresses the topic of immigration and the gap between people in developed countries and those in underdeveloped countries, by conveying the story of a Pakistani man who tried to reach England by hiding in the wheel undercarriage of a plane. The man died on the way, as have a number of other immigrants who have tried to do the same to reach England.
The text recounts how Mohammed Ayaz left his village in Pakistan to work in Dubai, where he was underpaid. The debts he accumulated to reach Dubai and the fact that his employer refused to pay him drove Ayaz to an extreme gesture— he crossed the border to Bahrain and tried to reach England in the wheel carriage of an aeroplane. Because of the lack of oxygen and low temperatures in the undercarriage, Ayaz died on the way. When the plane reached England and the wheel began to descend, his body fell into a car park in Richmond, near London.
Further help and example
For general help on how to analyse non-fiction text, we recommend our guide: