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Comparative Commentry of Two Passages

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Winter is the season which is very cold and calm, is the season when we usually have snowfalls all around the city and this is what both of the passages are all about. The first passage is adapted from an article written by Duan Jones in ‘The Observer’ on 21st January, 1996 and what Mr.Jones is trying to tell us is about the exaggeration made by the TV journalist and people’s thoughts about the snowfall in the city of New York. Where as the second passage is written by Pual Theroux in year 1979 in the magazine called ‘London snow’ which is all about people loving, enjoying and praising the environment of snowfall in London.

Though it is similar for the two passages that both of them are something about the snowfalls, there are still so many comparisons between them. Like in the first passage the writer is talking about the snowfall in the city of New York whereas the second passage is all about the snowfall in London. What Mr. Jones has written in his passage is about the repeating exaggeration made by the TV journalist, which makes the passage very boring, just as it is written there in the passage that ”Almost every New York news show was either doubled in length…flakes upon flakes…corner of the city…wasn’t covered by snow-speckled…weather.” from (line 6-8) meaning that though there was a heavy snowfall that people started calling it ”Blizzard of 96” it is still likely that the medias were making it a bigger issue, they kept on criticizing it again and again. But for the second passage it is different, from (line 10-15) which says ”The city had a new shape,…become snowy mountain…simple hills had appeared.”

The writer is talking about the beautiful things about the snowfall, he has expressed people’s good views for snowfall, people enjoying and praising environment caused by the snowfall. But as it is written there in the first passage that ”A blizzard of TV gibberish”(line 3) which means that there is something rubbish going on in the TV reflecting the picture of a disturbed environment in the city. Disturbed in the sense that all the things there in New York has changed drastically due to the snowfall. The snowfall has stopped people working in their offices or institutions and (line 26-28) which says ”people could go back to work through…house with them all day.” Reflecting the same meaning that they were stuck in their houses with their children irritating them all the time and they have got nothing to do except to discuss repeatedly about those silly things like how to tolerate with their kids around them but after the snowfall has stopped they are now free to move anywhere as the road has been cleaned up. In contrast the writer in the second passage has described the environment created by the snowfall so beautifully.

Like in the beginning of the ‘second paragraph’ which says ”It clung quickly …eyebrows above…making beard…what a beautiful street it seemed! Compares the snowfall with the human’s feature. Though it is written in the third paragraph of the second passage from (line21-25) which says, ”the covering of snow…the sky was empty” which is quite awful because the above two paragraphs are about the good things, but still as compare to the first passage, the way Mr.Theroux has written is not in the negative proportion what he means is just to describe that the city is now so calm and quiet.

Apart from the above difference there is a big difference in the structure of the two passages, like the paragraphs in the first passage are quite different from each other. The first two paragraphs are long enough as compare to the later ones. May be the writer wants to express the sudden change in the weather condition of New York, by creating difference in length of the paragraphs. As it is written at the beginning of the third paragraph (line 23) that ‘By the middle of the week the sky seemed to be snowed out” which shows that the snow stopped falling and so there was a change in weather condition. Whereas in the second passage all the paragraphs are quite similar apart from the third paragraph, by which the writer may be telling us about the slight change in the environment or the weather condition of London. Just as the first two paragraphs are only mentioning the good things about the snowfall like (line 11)’It was hardly a city.’ But somehow in the third paragraph (line21-27) it says that the ‘covering of snow…loveliest sword of ice’ which means that the snowfall had changed people’s daily routine, as they can’t move outside now which is also quite awful, but still those changes are not as big as the changes in the first passage.

The language used in both the passages are mostly narrative and the writers have elaborate the whole passages by comparing the two cities with many different things like human features, countryside, places like Bosnia. But in between the first passage there are some direct speeches like, ‘it was…sumpin’ in (line17-18) said by the cashier at white plains. There is a ironical language used in the first passage (line27) which says ”how not to kill their kids” actually meaning how to bare or tolerate with their kids while they are stuck in the house and have to spent their whole day with them.

The writers have used a lot of stylistic devices in the passages, one of them is ‘simile’ which is used in both of the passages, like in passage one (line 22) which says ”This isn’t Bosnia but it sure looks like it” meaning that though New York is not Bosnia, the very cold weather and the heavy snowfall in New York does makes it look like Bosnia. On the other hand, simile used in the second passage is ”It was mounded like white eyebrows above the windows of the houses”(line 2-3) reflecting a very beautiful image of the environment by comparing the thick snow above the window with the white eyebrows of human. Regarding metaphor, it is used only once in the first passage, that is ”Sanitary commissioner John Doherty, whom…the way…to fight war”(line 24-26) which is the comparison between the Sanitary commissioner who removes the snows and the military general who knows how to fight the war. In this passage snowfall is compared with the war because it stopped everything in the city like airports, people and other working institutions and the sanitary commissioner with the military general. Whereas, there are two metaphors in the second passage.

The first one is, ”and it had blown against the brick walls and stuck, making beards hang from the sills.”(line 3-5). This metaphor compares the snow hanging from the sills of the houses with the beard, which also hangs from the chin of men and the other one is ”it was as if, in the night, the city had been removed and in it’s place an empty countryside of simple hills had appeared.” (line 13-15) meaning that the city looks like a countryside because the snow had stopped every single voice and the countrysides are usually very calm and quiet place compare to the cities. The first passage starts with one of the literacy device called personification of word sleep on a non-living things like cities, which is ”One minute The City That never sleeps”(line 1) through this line, the writer wants to tell us that the city of New York is one of the cosmopolitan cities in the world.

While continuing the line, I come across one more stylistic device used in (line 1-2) again which says ”That Never sleeps was struggling to wake up from it’s ongoing New year’s hangover,” this line shows the paradox of words never sleep and trying to wake up in the passage, meaning that the people are very tired and are struggling to wake up the next day after doing a lot of things like party on the new year eve. Whereas there is no paradox and personification used in the second passage, but there is another stylistic device called anamatopia used in (line 29) and that is ”The snow’s stopped the yip-yap,” in which yip yap showing the sounds of people, birds and all other things like automobiles. Mr. Theroux also make used of alliteration like ”feathery from the flakes”(line 25) which reflects the meaning that the snowfall had made the window panes look very soft. The writer also make use of assonance in the second passage, one of which is ”fence was encased” (line 6), meaning that the snow is so thick that the fence is all covered with the snow and it looks like as if there is no fence. The other one is ”city was simplified” meaning that the city now looks very simple like the countryside.

There is one more stylistic device use by the writer in the second passage that is consonant, (line 21) which says, ”snow had shut out every sound” making the sound ‘S’ which usually reflects the sound shh! And which is usually use by the people to say ‘Be quiet’. Imagery is also use by the writer as one of the devices, (line 11-15)”The Chelsea flour…simple hills had appeared.” Leading us to imagine the mill is all covered with the snow and it looks like a mountain now, likewise, the city also looks like a countryside having hills all around. Whereas in the first passage, Mr. Jones make use of repetition, as the word snow-hack is used again and again in lines (16,21 and 29)

While analysing and comparing these two passages which are about the snowfall, but are written in such different ways that, in the first passage, New York city is described very disturbed and busy. Whereas the writer of the second passage has described London as a city which is very calm and still. The first passage seems very boring because Mr. Jones is repeatedly talking about the media’s reaction towards this ‘blizzard of 96’. Whereas the second passage is quite interesting compare to the first one. On the whole the two passages are quite different from each other even though both of them are something about snowfall.

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