We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

”The Test” written by Njabulo Ndebele

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

Text 1a) is an extract from a short story named “The Test”, written by Njabulo Ndebele (1983). It is about a young boy called Thoba and its passion for playing street football with his friends, before he heads home. Text 1b) is a newspaper article (sports report) from the New York Times (2005) which treats the World Cup, a real event happening every four years.

Both texts share the theme of football, however they approach this sport in a different manner: Text 1a) is about street football on a local scale while text 1b) is about professional football on an international (world cup) scale.

In this commentary we will analyze the global theme of football in the texts using the sub themes of playing football on an international or local scale, and competition.

Text 1a) is a short story and text 1b) is a sports report. Text 1a) is therefore fiction, whereas text 1b) is non fiction. Because of the differences in genre, the tone and structure of the texts are also different.

When it comes to the structure, 1b) is split into very short paragraphs (giving information on each team), which is a sign that it is a newspaper article. In 1a), there are three longer paragraphs, because the paragraphs follow the events of the narration: L.1 to 9, Thoba’s feelings are described. L.9 to 19, the game is described in a very intense tone and L.19 to 26, the game is over and the boys go home.

The narrative tone of text 1a) is quite emotional, since it follows the character’s feelings. L.2″He shivered briefly, and his teeth chattered for a moment as a cold breeze blew and then stopped.” Using sensory images such as “shivered” and “teeth chattered” makes the narration more authentic and the situation more real, by telling how cold Thoba was. It helps us get into the story by making it sound exciting and vivid. It leaves the reader the impression that he is part of the game. It is not the same tone in text 1b), which is detached and less intense. In text 1b), feelings are not described. However the uses of the following nouns and adjectives to describe the teams show that the tone is quite enthusiastic: “leading candidates”, “best team”, “strongest Brazilian national team” “best chance”, “most talented roster in decades”, “mighty Brazilians”. Therefore although their tones are different both texts give a cheerful idea of football.

Text 1a) is from a third point of view, although it follows the emotions of the Thoba character. The author is omniscient. Text 1b) also is from a third point of view, the point of view of a journalist. The journalist’s point of view is supposed to be objective. He has to report the situation without showing his preferences. In text 1a), the author is free of putting himself in the character’s mind, and so it is not objective.

Text 1a) seems more “human”: the reader can relate to the character’s feelings because it is a narrative text. Text 1b) is informative, it is meant to be fair to all of the football teams.

Text 1a) and 1b) are different when it comes to on what scale football is played at.

Text 1a), L.6 “That was how they spent most days of their school vacations: playing soccer on the street.”Text 1b), L1 “the 32 contenders for the World Cup title all dream of winning the game’s biggest prize.”These quotes suggest that football is not an event as huge in text 1a) than it is in text 1b). In text 1a) football is a sport played by teenagers during the holidays in their free time, whereas in text 1b) it is more of a job. However, the tone (mentioned in the first paragraph) of 1a), and 1b) remind us that football has a great importance in both texts.

Text 1a) is about street football, as opposed to text 1b) which describes professional football.

Text 1a), L.5 “The boys of Mayaba street had divided themselves into two soccer teams.”This shows that the characters in the extract (Thoba, Vusi) are young boys. They are beginners and football is not a career for them.

Text 1b), Line 1: “From Argentina to Angola, England to Ecuador…”In this quote the same vowel “A” and “E” is being used: this is assonance. This gives a cheerful, lively tone to the article, it grabs the reader’s attention, which makes it easier to read. The text is an article from a newspaper: the countries and teams mentioned really exist, it is not a text of fiction. Naming those countries with “from” and ‘to’ show the globality of the world cup. In text 1b) the footballers are professionals: they play football for a living. The teams are from different countries and fighting for the World Champion title.

Football is taken very seriously in both texts. In text 1a), Njabulo Ndebele makes a detailed description of the boys playing football that makes this sport seem like a huge part of their lives. As opposed to text 1b), there is a use of very vivid, descriptive nouns:Text 1a), Lines 16-17: “But he stopped, and looked at the swarm of boys chasing after the tennis ball in a swift chaotic movement away from him, like a whirlwind.”The use of the word “swarm” makes us picture the boys as an enormous, dense mass of bodies (they are no longer individuals.) In this quote, we can see that a spectator (someone that is not playing the game) would see the teams chasing the ball as a whirlwind, which gives a great sense of speed. This comparison makes the football game seem like bigger and more chaotic, almost destructive and therefore insists on how much energy the boys put into this sport that they play wildly. The comparison of the boys with a whirlwind emphasizes the importance of football in their lives.

A way in which text 1a) and text 1b) are similar is that they both treat the theme of competition. In text 1a) it is friendly competition between friends while in text 1b) it is more serious competition between countries. In text 1a), Vusi, the scorer, is raised into the air. The author chose to mention this because it makes Vusi look superior, and reminds us of the competition spirit between the teams. He is then compared to a “mole reversing into its hole” (L.24). This comparison of Vusi to a mole changes the image he had of being superior. Moles are small, and vulnerable, which suits the image of a young boy under the tropical rain.

The hole suggest dark, and alludes to the sudden rain and dark sky. The use of the word “disappear” suggets a quick action, as moles goes back into hole when they are afraid. It then reminds us that in 1a), the players are young boys and that the competition between them isn’t going to change their careers. This is not the case in 1b). The whole article 1b) is about rivalry between the teams. This is not the case in 1a) where only a part of the story gives a feeling of competition.

Text 1a), L.4 “They felt no rain, and no cold” and line 15 “He had felt no rain, no cold”In text 1a), the boys are so absorbed by the game that they don’t think about their environment anymore. The rain and the cold seem to be easy to stand and almost absent, because they want to help their team in winning. When the boys are playing football, nothing else matter they forget about everything else around them. The score and wining the game is therefore very important and we can sense a very strong impression of competition.

Text 1b), L.15: “has its best chance”, line 17 “have the talent”, line 20 “has the ability”This makes the teams look like they all have qualities and that the games are going to be really close. It is more effective as it gives a sense of great competition to the world cup. There is a certain variety of vocabulary, (“talent”, “ability”, “best chance”) which portrays the teams positively (although it is a little exaggerated). It also puts suspense into the text since it keeps us guessing about who is the favorite. The hyperbole “All of them are chasing the mighty Brazilians” is very effective because it increases the impression of great competition between the teams. They are all in competition against each other, but most of all they are all in competition against the Brazilians.

Text 1a) and 1b) both treat the theme of football, but 1a) talks about football on a smaller scale than 1b), since it concerns friendly competition between amateurs, while 1b) is about the world cup and international competition at professional level. In my opinion, text 1a) was more effective because the tone is loaded with emotions making the story very vivid. Football is seen as more passionate in text 1a) than in 1b).

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59