Pink Bow Tie by Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings understood this statement very well and based on age and youth, created this brilliant prose, Pink Bow Tie, set in Australia. The title doesn’t seem to link to what this story is based on at all but it has a big part in the plot. We haven’t even began reading the actual prose, yet Paul Jennings has already used a technique in the title. He has made use of juxtaposition. You see a Bow Tie is a very masculine piece of clothing whilst Pink is a very feminine colour so putting these two together, as you would imagine, would sound very strange indeed.

Talking of strange, Jennings wrote this prose in the Sci-Fi genre. The happenings of this story are quite odd if you imagined them being carried out at the present time. This prose is written in a back and forth manner, switching and mixing the past and the present tenses, linking to what the story is actually based on; Age and Youth. My objective, in writing this essay, is to show you how Jennings used different techniques and methods to convey his message successfully in this piece of prose.

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This prose is about a 14-year-old boy who finds himself in trouble with the school principal, again, who wears a pink bow tie. This time however, he has an extraordinary excuse but he isn’t likely to be believed unless he makes the principal see for himself… This prose is written in first person; the first person being the boy. Paul Jennings has used the ‘Everyman’ technique so the boy is unnamed. Jennings wrote in first-person because the thoughts of the character are expressed more openly and it gives us a detailed insight of the characters opinions.

When the character expresses what he feels, we start to share his feelings sympathetically… “… I got punished for nothing. Nothing at all. ” That is what most of us would think. you think that you were being blamed on for nothing If this prose was written in third person, we wouldn’t have empathized with him but as we are trying to feel what the boy is feeling we are following his thoughts and with the boy speaking, the whole mood of the story becomes light hearted and amusing even the message is more sinister. “It is the silliest bow-tie I have ever seen… it s so funny that I laughed my head off. If this pros. was not written in this happy mood it would have changed the mood to a sombre one and as Jennings wrote this story in the genre of sci-fi it is meant to make the reader wish that the events in the story could happen to them. So the boy starts to tell us what is happening in the present. He is sitting outside the Principal’s office and then flashes back to when he got into trouble the day previously and then explains why he is feeling that he had done nothing wrong. Then he comes back to the present again and repeats that he is sitting outside the Heads’ office again.

The writer is changing tenses to link his story with the essence of age and youth. His word choice is also cleverly linked to the message as he used lots of oxymorons. “…he is a grumpy old boy…” “…‘easy’ says the kid-man…” Everything is the opposite. You would think that a typical 14 year old boy would want to be tough and act brave, but that is not the case. He didn’t want to act like the big boy as he was telling the Principal openly how scared he was. “…I am very nervous…sensitive…get scared… I am scare of the dark…scared of ghost stories…. even the cookie monster! ”

This boy seemed very believable at first but once he explained his excuse he became more and more unrealistic. Well that is what I thought… “…And that it is how my hair gets white. I have to sit in that carriage with dead skeleton…I am frightened into being blonde…” Now we wouldn’t hear that excuse much often. But then again it is a sci-fi story. In this story, there was a special gadget. A gadget that nearly everyone would want. It makes you wish that it really existed in reality. An Age Rager… “…the box looking thing…it has a sliding knob on it…it says OLDER…and YOUNGER…and on the top is a label saying Age Rager…”

So right at the end of this story we now know why the writer, Paul Jennings, used so many of those techniques that involved oxymoron and the mixing of tenses. Now, at the beginning of this essay I wrote that the pink bow tie had an important role to play in the story I said this because the reason for the boy getting in trouble in the first place was because the old grumpy principal, who was wearing a huge pink bow tie, looked so funny that it had got the boy laughing at him and after the age rager was mentioned we see a new character; who in fact is a young boy, who is wearing the same pink bow tie as the old principal wore.

The writer leaves us lingering over how two different people can have the same unique pink bow tie? Overall, I think that the Colloquial Language and different techniques used, made a serious issue seem very funny and told us that ageing was nothing to worry about.

This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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Pink Bow Tie by Paul Jennings. (2017, Mar 23). Retrieved from