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A Consumers Report

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1. Who is being addressed? What pronoun is being used? Is this appropriate? The ‘manufacturer’ (i.e. God, Allah) but not parents. You is the pronoun, second person. It takes a lot for granted to be addressing God in such a manner.

2. Who is the narrator? What pronoun is being used? What is the effect? The symbolic everyman or woman. First person singular is used. The effect is to ask genuine questions and make personalized statements, yet with ironic humour given the ultimate vulnerability of the voice.

3. What age is the narrator? Gender? Ethnicity? Does it matter? The narrator is middle aged ‘I have about half left’, non specific gender and ethnicity so that applicability to every reader is high, ruling out no-one, including all.

4. Why is s/he asking questions and making statements?

S/he is asking questions of her/his maker because the time has come ‘I don’t know which to follow’ and ‘things are piling up so fast’ to make sense of his/her existence on earth. It also mocks the sometimes banal questions on consumer reports.

5. Give some reasons for the gap between stanza one and two. Change of idea from filling out a formal report/testimonial to a more casual, informal chat-like internal dialogue, although the structure continues to reflect a form. Stanza one introduces the topic, prepares the reader for the speaker’s address to ‘God’. It signifies the pause in our lives where we take stock and ponder our future.

6. Why

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