The Explorer’s Daughter is less focused on the story, it describes the narwhal hunt, but without
focusing on the usual elements of storytelling, such as suspense and plot development. Rather, it
explores the moral and environmental issues around hunting by indigenous peoples. So you could
say it is ‘about’ the issues raised by hunting in the Arctic.
A theme in a text is an idea explored by the author, consciously or otherwise. In a sense, this is a
deeper level of what the text is ‘about’. In some cases, the author is very deliberately exploring a
theme – as in the extract from The Explorer’s Daughter, which looks at the questions surrounding
narwhal hunting in the Arctic and concludes that it is necessary to the survival of inhabitants.
The author is writing about their own experience although the context of it is not focused on them.
"...spectral play of colour." This sentence shows a sense of immediate
aroma. It is an imagery so give a strong sense of place and setting.
"..butter-gold.." This text shows a sense of wealth "..shifting light." is
"dead of winter" This is a metaphor - weaker setting the tone is ominous and there is the sense
of place and danger
“dead of winter” is a metaphor to show a weaker setting. The whole of paragraph 3 has an ominous
tone. It shows a sense of place and danger.
The whole of paragraph 4 has a shift in tone from paragraph 3; it is more factual, informative and for
example shows this by using technical words. It is also the biggest paragraph. In the context you find
out that the community really relies on the hunting and how dangerous it is.
“..clustered..” The word clustered is a powerful connotation, it means that the women are scared so
they huddle together and try to comfort each other. “It was like watching a cast, waterborne game
with the hunters spread like a net around the sound”. This sentence is imagery. It has added adverbs
to show how scared the women were and how much their husbands are important in their life.
"... gently picked up his harpoon" thought and care, focus on the actual hunt and the text also
switches back to the hunters. "... two heads and one bladder" not high-tech technology, limited, she
respects them because they are using a harpoon, she is sympathetic to the narwhal and the hunters,
dramatic. "..urge..." to show how strongly she wanted the narwhal to survive "...to dive, to leave, to
survive" - triad
"The dilemma stayed..." This shows that she's not that sure who to be sympathetic for, the narwhal
or the hunters but her sympathy gets switched back to the hunters un this paragraph. "How can you
possibly eat seal?" is a view point of society this shows that the modern person thinks that this is a
crime. -she builds up her argument, these are the points of her argument "use every part of the
animal" - so theres no waste/leftover "imported goods can only ever account for..." "do not kill for