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Texual Analysis – the Prince of Tides

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“The Prince of Tides” is an article describing the unexpected yet astronomical rise of Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan to stardom. The article, written by Piyush Roy, was first published in Stardust Icon in 2010. The article written is intended at readers of celebrity magazines. To be more specific, it was written with the fans of Saif Ali Khan in mind. The author of the article was keen to draw the attention of the reader and achieved this by pairing the text with a dashing picture of Saif Ali Khan. The attention of female readers, and in particular teenage subscribers of the magazine, is sure to be caught by the picture and will be drawn to further read the article. Furthermore, the text accomplishes in summarizing the up’s and down’s of Saif Ali Khan’s career. In the second paragraph, the author describes how Saif Ali Khan succeeded in identifying his shortcomings before fulfilling his potential as a “… dependable anchor for contemporary satire…”. The text also summarizes the roles Saif played in the past (lines 20, 21) which helps the reader gain further insight to the career of the actor. Lastly, the author ends his article by denouncing the prejudice that perfection is the key to success.

The author meant to encourage readers of the text to always follow their ambitions and dreams, and never be discouraged by misfortune or disappointment. The message the author tries to bring across is celebrities and the general public have a great deal in common. “In the beginning of my career I was just having fun. Then I got married, had kids and settled.” (Lines 11, 12). Through this quote, the reader is able to relate to Saif, as him or herself has either undergone to process of growing up or is in the process itself. In addition to that, the author also conveys the message that learning is an on-going process, a process that continues beyond the classroom. “It took me a long time to learn… (line 13)” and “constantly experimenting, reinventing and breaking new ground (line 17)” are good examples of this. The theme that the author brings across to the reader is that under all circumstances, it is of upmost importance that we stay true to ourselves. This is summarized in the last sentence of the third paragraph, as the author stresses that in order to achieve greater heights; Saif needs to “remain Saif”.

This will have a significant effect on the reader as the reader might be able to relate closely to the passage. The article is written in a narrative tone. The narrative voice addresses the reader on a very personal note, indirectly providing advice and a sense of comfort to the reader. For example, the first paragraph largely chronicles Saif Ali Khan’s career, with colloquial language such as “superleague of stars” and “the ultimate cool dude”. There is also clearly a shit in the tone of the author in the third paragraph. Saif is first praised for overcoming challenges faced in the past to become one of the most sought after actors in Bollywood before criticizing him in his last two films, A Tashan and Thoda Magic. Throughout the article, the reader indirectly obtains advice as the tone of the author is provides his personal opinion. For example in line 13 “ I was lucky to have been given that chance.” The author explicitly quotes Saif to stress the importance of making the most of the opportunities in life. Lastly, the author also provides a moral to the successes of Saif. “Perfection isn’t always the most cherished attribute for superstardom (line 24)”. This is an opinionated view on Saif’s career, proving that the author not only wants to narrate a story, but also provide a moral to it. The language used in the text is of a very casual nature. Examples of this such as “raring to” (line 3) , “cool dude” (line 4) and “the catch” (line 22) are found abundantly throughout the text.

Furthermore, parallelism can be found in the text as well. “Success story” is found in the both the first and the last line of the article. The author constantly draws comparisons between Saif and other celebrities. Examples in lines 2 “When Khan came into the film industry at the threshold of the 1990s with three other Khans- Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh… Saif’s natural recklessness almost became his nemesis.” and again in line 16, “… today Saif is as good as any other Khan, or for that matter any superstar…” The form of the title is beyond the norm as well. “The Prince of Tides” is typed in a wavy form, by alternating the size and boldness of the font between words. The title is a very good representation of Saif’s character. It is different, yet attractive; successfully overcoming problems that threatened to cut short his acting career. The text is littered with alliterations as well. “Unfettered … unpredictable… undoubtedly… (Line 1)” and “… strive, strife and style (line 3)” are good examples of this. Furthermore, the author uses metaphors such as “in their kitty (line 16)” and “demons of smugness (line 18)” and “trappings of superstardom (line 19)” to represent Saif’s distinctive character. Lastly, the author also uses repetition to stress his opinion.

“The catch is to remain imperfect, remain humane, remain vulnerable, remain unsatisfied, remain unpredictable – remain Saif”. By repeating “remain”, the author emphasizes the importance of Saif being true to himself, instead of failing under the weight and pressure of superstardom. Structurally speaking, the article comprises of 5 paragraphs and a picture of Saif Ali Khan. The article begins with a quote by Saif, and another quote can be found on line 11. These quotes help the author provide a hint of Saif Ali Khan’s personality to the article, which might appeal to fans of Saif.

Moving on, the author adds touches of contradicting details to the article. For example, “the man with the funny face” (line 6) is followed by “serious hero” (line 7) and “Starting a distant last” (line 15) followed by “as good as any other Khan” (line 16). These contradicting elements used by the author helps strengthen the description of Saif’s character as being different and unique. As a conclusion, the article written is suited for its purpose of enlightening readers of Stardust Icon about the career and the character of Saif Ali Khan. It provides the reader with insight to troubles faced by Saif and the methods he applied to overcome those problems. It provides a unique angle to the reader on the up’s and downs, the in’s and out’s not to mention the perks of being Saif Ali Khan.

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