Comprehension Behold The Man

Behold the Man! #

You are asked to comment on the language of the following passage. The question may suggest your answer take certain trends such as an examination of grammar and rhetorical devices, but it implies that you will be expected to look further into many other linguistic aspects of language and the concept of belonging.

“Behold the man - the Australian man of today - on Sunday mornings in the suburbs, when the high-decibel drone of the motor mower is calling the faithful to worship. A block of land, a brick veneer, and the motor-mower beside him in the wilderness - what more does he want to sustain him, except a Holden to polish, a beer with the boys, marital sex on Saturday nights, a few furtive adulteries, an occasional gamble on the horses or the lottery, the tribal rituals of football, the flickering shadows in his lounge room of cops and robbers, goodies and baddies, guys and dolls?”

  1. What is the function (purpose) of the passage? (1)

  2. How appropriate is the language? (2)

a) What is its tone? (2)

b) Is the level of usage appropriate? (2)

c) What is the pattern of organization of ideas in the passage. (4)

d) What rhetorical techniques of sentence construction and style are used? (3)

e) To what extent does the passage use connotative language (overtones/undertones) or figures of speech?

Suggested Answers to the above questions [here]: