Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Literature, Poem, Poetry, Politics, Nation, Fire, Teenagers, Youth

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/05

The two genres chosen are a short story and a poem. The short story is “By Fire” by Tahar Ben Jelloun, and the poem is “Building the Nation” by Henry Barlow. Both genres focus on political opportunism and the disfranchisement of citizens by those in the leadership of a country.
“By Fire,” tells the story of Mohamed, a young man who has earned a diploma but who is unable to secure a job to support his extremely poor family. He lives in a society where jobs are only available to the highest bidder. His father passes on, and being the first born child he is left with the responsibility of taking care of his ailing mother and siblings. To achieve that, he starts hawking fruits on the streets using his dead father’s handcart. Things do not turn out to be smooth for him; he is harassed by the police who demand bribes and help themselves freely to his fruits without paying a cent.
Moreover, he is a victim of police brutality because they occasionally beat him and discredit his business. As time progressed, it turned out that the brutality and unfairness that is meted at him are caused by the political class who are hell-bent on disfranchising the citizens and enriching themselves.
On the other hand, the poem “Building the Nation” outlines the evil lifestyles of those in power and how their idea of growing and developing their countries is out of touch with the needs of the citizens. The persona in the poem is a driver who drives a Permanent Secretary to a luncheon. The persona is disfranchised by the powerful Permanent Secretary because as he enjoys sumptuous meals during the luncheon, the driver starves outside the luncheon premises. The issue of disfranchisement of citizens by those in power is an important one because it leads to their impoverishment, and it should not be encouraged to persist. Those in the political class are given the mandate to take up leadership roles in a nation by the people, and what is expected of them is working around the clock to better people's lives and not to disfranchise them.
The intended audience for the short story “By Fire” is young people who are extolled to take the responsibility of bettering their lives and that of their families as their own. Moreover, the young people are expected to stand up against political opportunists and demand accountability of the political class. Elsewhere, the intended audience of the poem “Building the Nation” is the civil servants. They are imbued to demand better-working conditions and reject instances of being abused by their seniors. The driver should have rejected to drive the Permanent Secretary back and demanded to get food first.
About discourse community these intended audiences are in, the young people that the short story “By Fire” is aimed at belong to the discourse community of the youth. The civil servants that the poem “Building the Nation” is aimed at belong to low cadres of the civil service. Moreover, the young people who are the intended audience of the short story would want to know how their political leaders apportion and spend the national resources. To them, national resources should be distributed fairly among all segments of the population and their issues should be given a priority by leaders since they need guidance and financial support to grow and develop their lives. For the civil servants, they would like to know their contribution to the progress of a country. They are the ones tasked with implementing government policies, and directives, and their contribution to nation building should be recognized. In addition, they would want to know if their bosses in the civil service value their contribution to the civil service. The young people that the short story is targeted at would want to spend the information presented in the short story forever. The revolution that emerged after Mohamed had set himself on fire is something that will stay with them for long; it will challenge them to always stand up for their rights and refuse to be coerced into puppets of the political class. For the low cadre of civil servants who is the target audience of the poem, they will want to stay with the information presented for a short while only. The treatment that is meted at the driver is demeaning and should be admonished. It should not be propagated anymore since it is disrespectful of their role in the civil service. The information contained in the genres is meant to jolt the population into action by rejecting political opportunists and disfranchisement.
Furthermore, the short story is a story about a young Tunisian fruit seller who was instrumental in triggering the revolution and consequently, this makes the information credible. The poem is a depiction of the evil lifestyles of leaders in poor or developing nations which is a prevalent phenomenon rendering the information credible and effective, the short story is explicit in depiction of sufferings and circumstances of Mohamed. This evokes an emotional response from the audience, and these emotions include anger and pity. In the poem, the painful stomach pains that the driver experiences elicit emotions of pity and empathy from the audience. Moreover, the eruption of the demonstrations and the leaving of the president from the country is evidence that supports the information’s claim. It shows that the young rose against disfranchisement and brought down the brutal government.
On structure, the short story is long, has many characters, and talks about several events. The events that caused the revolution to emerge are all included in the story. Moreover, the events occur over an extended period of time hence shaping the information. Moreover, the events are progressive documenting all the struggles and challenges Mohamed is faced with. On the hand, the poem is short, talks about a single event only, and has two characters only: the persona and the Permanent Secretary. The single event of the Permanent Secretary enjoying a sumptuous lunch while his aide starves is used as an example of misplaced priorities in nation building. The extreme hunger pangs the driver experiences sum up the disfranchisement of the low cadre civil servants by their seniors.
The styles and the language the two genres employ are entirely different. The poem uses informal language by adding Kiswahili word, mwananchi, in the poem. Mwananchi means citizen. An example of specialized vocabulary used is Cold bell beer. Moreover, the poem employs irony to show the disillusionment of the driver; after a sumptuous lunch the Permanent Secretary complains of stomach pains caused by hunger. On the hand, the short story “By Fire” uses formal language all through the story without inclusion of any foreign word. Conversation is a language feature that is extensively used in the story. There are extensive conversations between various characters all through.
In conclusion, the short story “By Fire” was more effective in conveying the message because it narrates the evolution of the Tunisian revolution extensively with many characters shaping the story. Essentially, the two examples add to their broader conversation on their topics. This is because issues of political opportunism and disfranchisement are prevalent, and so there are numerous writings about them. These two are mere additions to this body of literature. Otherwise, genres like poems and short stories are effective in addressing political issues of the day because they are short lengthwise and can be read in one sitting or on the go.

Works Cited

Barlow, Henry. "Building the Nation." Http://www.gannz.com. 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Barton, David. Literacy: An introduction to the ecology of written language. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.
Jelloun, Tahar Ben. "By Fire - The New Yorker." The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 05) Free Genre Analysis Essay Example. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-genre-analysis-essay-example/
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"Free Genre Analysis Essay Example." WePapers, Jan 05, 2021. Accessed September 25, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-genre-analysis-essay-example/
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Free Genre Analysis Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-genre-analysis-essay-example/. Published Jan 05, 2021. Accessed September 25, 2022.

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