The first extract is from a novel called “Chocolat” by Joanne Harris which was published in 1999, whereas the second extract is from a website of the “From Bean to Bar” chocolate company which was published in 2006. Both extracts concern themselves with chocolate and the way it is manufactured, although they both have different intentions. The first extract is from a novel and describes the delightful pleasure of creating chocolate, whereas the second extract is used to promote and advertise the chocolate and make it more appealing to the reader, and also focuses on the importing and the cocoa plant itself.
The first extract is from a novel, which can be seen by a variety of techniques which are common for novels. The text is written from a first person narrative (“As I work I clear my mind”) and therefore shows a very personal view of the narrator. This can be seen by statements such as “Oh” which express an emotion or personal viewpoints such as the comment “copper and cinnamon are intoxicating”. One can also see that is an extract from a novel since there is neither introduction nor a conclusion, showing that there must have been a previous and a continuing plot. On the other hand, the second extract is supposed to persuade the reader that the company “From Bean to Bar” has delicious chocolate and its aim is to sell, which is contrasting to the first extract which is to entertain and maybe also educate.
The first extract contains 4 paragraphs and uses solemnly prose. The author uses a combination of short and simple sentences (“It is safe”), as well as more complex sentence structures such as “And I do not have to look into their hearts and take what I need; there are wishes that can be granted simple for the asking”. This creates a more interesting writing style and keeps the reader’s attention due to the entertainment. Due to the point of view the narrators’ comment are included such as “- I never use electrical mixers-
“. The extract can be split up into 4 different thematic paragraphs: chocolate itself and how it used to be, the narrators past with chocolate, the ingredients of chocolate and the process of creating chocolate. Therefore, the text shows a thematic development, which are split up into the different paragraphs.
On the other hand, the second extract uses a larger variety of structures throughout the text. In the first paragraph the company is introduced and the beliefs which the company has (“We believe that every step from ban to bar is equally important”). Further, under a heading “with care” the history of the chocolate beans and how they reach the factory is described and then bullet points are used to describe how chocolate is created from the beans. Therefore, this text also has a thematic development, but in this text it is supposed to familiarize the reader with product and the process to allow the reader to trust the brand, due to the “traditional” way of producing chocolate. The register of the first extract is rather informal, since it explains the story of the narrator and her/his passion creating a very personal relationship between the narrator and the reader.
A very important part of the extract is to show the fascination and the passion about chocolate, therefore, the diction is customized to transfer these emotions. Diction such as “raw dullish blocks” and “powerfully suggestive” shows that chocolate is connected to emotions due to the descriptive adjectives used to describe the chocolate, its history and its process. This informal register allows the reader to be captured by the atmosphere and metaphorically take part in the process which the narrator produces. Similar to the first extract, the second extract is also not very formal. Also, descriptive adjectives such as “slowly roast”, the “snap” and the “bloom” are used to make the chocolate more enticing to the reader as one can imagine the taste better when it is described to objects/experiences one has experienced before.
Therefore, the texts both appeal to the senses. Furthermore, both texts use professional diction such as ”tempered” in the firsts text and “conche” in the second text. In the first text, this adds to the atmosphere, just as the reference to a French word “patisserie-chocolatierie” which creates a certain flair for the reader. In the second text, these words are used to impress the reader and create a trust as the reader expects a professional result. In first extract has a very personal, even anecdotal tone is present. This can be seen by the quote “Guy, my confectioner, has known me for a long time”, which shows personal references and experiences of the narrator. Also, references to magic such as “there is a kind of alchemy” and “The bitter elixir of life” create a mystic tone and atmosphere are help the reader to understand the narrators’ fascination with chocolate and its process.
References to the tastes the reader might know such as “vanilla” and “cinnamon” creates a very personal connection to the reader, since these references maybe remind the reader of a similar experience and therefore the reader can further understand the narrator, increasing pleasure of reading. The tone of the second extract creates a sense of trust since the reader is supplied with “extra” information such as “cocoa pods (there are around 45 beans in every pod)”, which may interest the reader and give them a sense that the company is not hiding any information from them. The process of the creation of chocolate also reminds the reader of a very traditional process, making the reader think of good quality of chocolate. This links back to its aim, since the text is supposed to be persuasive. Since the point of view of the first extract is a first person narrator, the reader can relate better due to the personal connection and prose directed solemnly at the reader, on the other hand, there may be a bias which is often the case in this type of narration since the reader only receives one opinion , therefore, only one side of a story.
In this case though, the narrator may only exaggerate the experiences due to his fascination, but there is no attempt to bias the reader. The reader can therefore trust the narrator, which is enhanced due to his experiences with chocolate (“This is how I travel now, as the Aztecs did […] Mexico Venezuela, Columbia”), and the reader therefore assumes that the narrator is knowledgeable about this topic. This point of view in the second extract is from a “we” point of view. This point of view is a persuasive technique which is used in connection to giving the reader much information about the company, which allows the reader to see that the company is not hiding any information, therefore, enhancing the trust relationship and creating brand loyalty. As the first extract is prose, it also has figurative language, which is also very common for a novel.
The text uses personal interjections from the narrator (“oh”) and descriptive adjectives (“lightness of touch, speed, a patience…”). Apart from these techniques, lists are frequently used to describe processes: “the dark, the milk and the white” or “heat of the stoves, the copper pans, rising vapour from the melting coverture”. This relates to the thematic development of the extract, since the lists explain the process step after step. There is also a metaphor at the end of the extract: “The bitter elixir of life”. This refers back to an old medical belief of the Aztecs that chocolate was a cure or able to maintain life infidelity. This relates to the comparison to “alchemy” previously mentioned which also refers to the healing power of chocolate. These references enhance and give reason for the fascination of chocolate because healing power is attributed to it.
The second extract uses onomatopoeia (“snap”) is used to persuade the reader of the taste and quality of the chocolate. For further persuasion, phrases like “and the best of all” creating a higher temptation for the reader to resists the delicious chocolate which has been described. Although the layout of the first extract is normal, the second layout appears to be more eye-catching for the reader increasing the likelihood that one will want to read the text. Due to the different margins of the paragraphs and the bullet points, the reader is now over-whelmed with one block of writing. Due to this variety in techniques the page appears more enticing and interesting.
This layout is not necessary for the novel extract since the reader will buy the novel to read, and in the case of the novel, the figurative language attracts the reader. Overall, both texts concern themselves with chocolate but both have different aim and purposes. Although some techniques are similar, most are different since both texts attempt to fulfill their purpose. The authors precisely choose the techniques to match the purpose and make the texts as successful as possible.