The article describing a day in the life of Connie Fisher has many purposes. One of the main purposes of the article is to give an insight into Connie Fisher’s life and help us to learn more about her as a person. From the article we are able to learn about her daily routine and what a typical day is like for the competition winner, Connie Fisher.
We are also able to see what type of person Connie Fisher is as her personality is shown through many aspects of the article. I think that the article is aimed at quite an intelligent audience as it comes from The Sunday Times magazine. I think that she expects her audience to be reasonably knowledgeable about the topics she is discussing as she makes allusions to musicals e.g. ‘Mamma Mia’ and expects her audience to know about them without an explanation.
When the reader first looks at the article there are two main things that stand out Graphologically. One of these is the large speech marks. The use of the speech marks help to make Connie’s story seem more alive and they back up the fact that it is Connie who has said this and this is really her. The other graphological feature is the picture at the top of the article. The image shows Connie Fisher lying across a piano. Connie is laying down in a relaxed way and it suggests to the reader that she is quite a laid back person; because it is a piano that she is laying on it also indicates that music is very important in Connie Fishers life. There is also some text that is in bigger type. This perhaps was the writer’s opinion on which phrase acts as a summing up of Connie’s personality, as it is one of the first things we see.
In the structure, the first paragraph in bold is a summary and an overview of who Connie Fisher is and what she does. This is written in third person and therefore gives us a different angle with which to view her life. We go through her day quite chronologically, as it starts “…the alarm goes off.” and ends with “I’m such a night bird…” There are brief interludes however, where she includes anecdotes using the past tense. This gives a sense of history and explanation for the things she does now, “…she taught me to sing ‘Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam’ at home.”
Connie Fisher forms quite an intimate relationship with the reader. She does this through the information she includes. Connie talks to the reader about her size ‘most actresses are a size 10 or 12 – I’m not!’ size is an issue most women don’t feel comfortable talking about but Connie’s seems comfortable in doing this, indicating to the reader that she is an open person.
Connie mostly uses the personal pronoun “I” and this makes what she is saying a lot more personal to us because she says things like “I think” thus showing us her opinions on life. The allusions she uses focus mainly around musicals. When Connie talks ‘A few of my favourite things’ this creates tone because the reader would immediately recognise the allusion from the musical ‘The Sound of Music’ Also things like ‘spit spot’ are phrases you would only be aware of if you had watched the musical ‘Mary Poppins’.
The effect of Connie’s selection of details is that it shows us what is important to her and what interests her. The concrete noun ‘hairstraightner’ show Connie takes care of her appearance by using them, and enables us to see her as just an ordinary human being. It also allows other women to relate to her. Connie also gives the reader a list of her favourite things. These extra pieces of information that she adds in allow us to see what type of person she is and allows a relationship to be built up. Connie lets the reader know that chocolate is one of her favourite things ‘chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.’ The repetition of the word reiterates the importance of it in her life and that it is something she obviously enjoys.
There are many spoken features in the mode of the piece. There are sentences within the article that begin with ‘but or ‘and’ and this is a very conversational feature. It helps us to think of Connie as down to earth and so we relate to her more. Many actual examples of speech are actually included, “hi, I’m Connie” this helps to make things come more alive. Connie also uses slang within the article ‘guttered’ helps to make the piece informal and gives it a colloquial tone. Contractions such as ‘I’ve’ and ‘I’m’ also help to achieve a chatty style. The phrases “it’s my first job Gretl” adds humour because she is talking to the child through her character as Maria and referring to the little girl by her stage name in the ‘Sound of Music’, Gretl. This helps to show she doesn’t take herself too seriously. Grammatically, the use of the conjunction ‘but’ to tell us something that we are not expecting e.g. ‘but I never do anything about it’, makes it funny and creates a jokey tone because we are not being told the conventional answers and therefore we know she can’t be serious.
Grammar plays a big part in us learning what Connie Fisher is like. Proper nouns like ‘Juicy Tube’ and ‘Coco Pops’ help to re-iterate her interest in life. Psyche verbs such as ‘I love my flat’ helps to add emotion to things Connie finds important. Modal verbs of obligation show the things in her routine that she feels she has to do, it ‘had’ become necessary, for example Connie tells the reader ‘I can’t sleep if I haven’t…’
There are many adverbial phrases of time “At 7.30am”, “20 minutes”, and “We get an hour’s lunch break at “1.30”, this shows the fixety of her routine and gives us specific information about her life. It also reiterates what her life centre is. Simple sentence structures are often used as Topic Sentences. These introduce what Connie is going to talk about next ‘I love my job’, ‘I’m a chocoholic’. The simple sentences are easy to follow, they convey a simple message and make the article seem conversation like. There are many subordinate clauses such as ‘because’ (nothing too spicy because I’m worried about acid reflux). Clauses like this give explanations and reasons for the things she does and so we get an idea of why she does things. Clauses such as ‘if I don’t get my clothes out, I will be late’ show that Connie’s routine would change due to this.
Many semantic fields are present throughout the article. A semantic field of food features very strongly; ‘lasagne and salad’, ‘spaghetti’, ‘coco pops’, ‘chocolate’, ‘chocolate muffin’, ‘lunch’, and ‘takeaway’. This is also a semantic field of image. Words such as ‘hair straightners’, ‘big woolly jumpers, ‘make-up’ and ‘face cream’. These semantic fields show that food and image are very important parts of her life and they help us to learn what is important to her. There is also another semantic field about her role as ‘Maria’. ‘Dance’, ‘sing’, ‘acting’, ‘script’ and ‘rehearsals’. This shows us just how important performing is to her and the semantic fields running through the text allow us to see the important aspects of her life and help us to understand her daily routine.
Towards the end of the article the phrase ‘spit spot’ gives the connotation to the actress Julie Andrews. This also creates a link in the readers mind that Connie Fisher plays the role of Maria, a role also played by Julie Andrews.
The linguistic features of vocabulary and meaning and grammar help us to delve into Connie Fisher’s lifestyle, opinions and past. Through the tone created by these features and from what they imply to us we get a relatively rounded impression of this woman through the description of just one day in her life.