Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson Essay

The main function of the text is expressive - Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson Essay introduction. The text is an extract from the novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. The author is a writer, journalist and poet, whose breadth of experience comes across in this text. The field of discourse is the narrative genre of the novel. The mode of discourse is “written to express views and feelings in an artistic way”, which Katarina Reiss refers to as “creative composition” where the sender is at the forefront (Hatim, B. and Munday, J. p 183). To this extent, the writer’s emotions represent a medium through which she expresses her own feelings towards her parents.

The subject of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is the bizarre relationship of the author’s parents, although most of the narrative concentrates on the description of the writer’s mother thus highlighting certain traits of their relationship. The writer’s mother is portrayed as a dominant figure in the life of the author; she is a rebel and anti-conformist, a concept that comes across in the narrative. The references to religion also contribute to portraying the rebellious spirit of her mother. The reader gets the impression that the author was in a better rapport with her mother than her father.

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The use of emotive language is present throughout the text which contributes to the expression of affection towards the author’s mother. The text is written to be read. There is a clear paragraph structure where, however, the author chooses to defy norms and conventions of grammar and punctuation (ex: starting with “And” after full stops or at beginning of paragraphs; unusual employment of indent and bullet points, or lack thereof). There is also a large use of figurative speech; the writer uses alliteration to evoke emotion in the reader (http://www. ypes-of-poetry. org. uk/46-alliteration. htm). For instance, in the sentence “she hung out the largest sheets on the windiest days” we can see the repetition of the “s” sound. This same sentence also represents a metaphor, a figure of speech that is largely used when describing her mother’s rebellious behaviour. Furthermore, we can argue that there is an element of circumlocution in that the word “rebellious” or “weird” is never used; however, all the metaphors used to describe the author’s mother point to this conclusion.

This concept is not in contrast to the affectionate theme of the extract; in fact, the writer clearly expresses her feelings towards her mother when stating “I cannot recall a time when I did not know that I was special”; here the repetition of the word “I” also contributes, as alliteration, to the creation of the emotive narrative. The social status of the writer’s family is reflected in the type of register employed, characterised by a choice of words belonging to an informal register. This perhaps highlights the social class of the writer’s family and makes the narrative accessible to a larger audience.

The characters live in a labour town, which quite likely implies them belonging to the working class. Also, they hang sheets out of the window, which again implies they were living in a block of flats. In addition, the use of colloquialisms such as “it didn’t matter” and “and that was that” reiterates the social status of the family. This becomes clear when we read about Jeanette’s life story. Jeanette was born in Manchester and was brought up in a poor household by Pentecostal parents; the bible was the only read allowed which explains the writer’s constant reference to religion as explained above.

We also know from her biography that she fell in love with another girl after leaving her parents’ house at the age of 16. The dominant mother figure (as portrayed in the text) might have influenced the course of Jeanette’s life events to this decision. The tenor of discourse reveals an informal relationship between the reader and the writer. This is a symmetrical relationship of equality, since the author’s intention is purely that of expressing her feelings about her mother. In the translation of expressive texts, the artistic form of the conceptual content has to be transferred (Hatim, B. nd Munday, J. 2004). To this extent, we will have to maintain the reference to the Bible and religion. Also, we will have to maintain the same paragraph structure and start sentences with “e”. There are, however, elements in the ST which will have to be subject to cultural substitution when rendering the narrative in the TT. For instance, the “Mormons” might be translated as “Testimoni di Jeova” and “Labour mill town” might be rendered as “un piccolo paesino di sinistra” and conservative candidate could be “Umberto Bossi” or “Berlusconi”.

References:

Hatim, B. and Munday, J. (2004) Translation: An advanced resource book, Abingdon: Routledge Applied Linguistics.

http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/index.asp
http://thesaurus.com/
http://www.types-of-poetry.org.uk/46-alliteration.htm

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