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Atmosphere and setting


Explicit meaning

Something that is explicit is out in the open, clear and obvious. Explicit meaning is the easiest to pick out from a text. Sometimes a writer wants it to be obvious that the atmosphere or setting of a text is good, bad, dangerous, happy, sad, and so on.

Look at the extract from Floella Benjamin's autobiography, 'Coming to England'. She is describing the family home in Trinidad, in the Caribbean.

While you are reading the extract, think about what impression you get of the room and how the writer creates this. Some phrases have been put in bold to help you.

This room was my mother's pride and joy. Its brilliant white curtains always smelt fresh and the mahogany furniture was always highly polished, as was the wooden floor. My sister and I spent many hours polishing that room from as far back as I can remember. We had to do the polishing before we left for school each day. The comfortable wooden chairs in the room were draped with crisp white headrests and the round table, which we ate from on Sundays and other special occasions, had a doiley in its centre, on which sat a glass of glorious fresh flowers.

'Coming to England' - Floella Benjamin

We can tell straight away that this is a special room. It is described as her mother's "pride and joy". It sounds clean and smart, with "crisp white headrests" on the chairs and a "doily" on the table.

The room is also pleasant and attractive to be in, with its "comfortable wooden chairs" and "glass of glorious fresh flowers".


Atmosphere and setting activity

What does it all mean? Find out with this activity.



Can you conquer the elements?

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