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An Analysis of Galeano’s Writing

The article “Upside down: A primer for the looking-glass world” by Galeano (2001) represents an immensely honest and even, to some extent, brutal overview of the present world. The work is comprised of metaphors, exaggerations, irony, and contrast. Galeano (2001) attempts to open the readers eyes to the reality in which they live and to make them more consciously think about their choices, environment, and society. The current paper provides an analysis of Galeano’s writing.

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Concerning the structure of the article, it could be noted that all sentences are rather short and deprived of parenthesis, inferences, conclusions. With rare exceptions, in the sentences, there is only one grammatical basis. Therefore, the writing reflects the essence of Galeano’s ideas, and the absence of hot air makes it easier to catch the message of the work. The paragraphs are also short and consist of one to three sentences. The spacing between the sections looks like if a book is divided into chapters. These so-called “chapters” are also short and illustrate or discuss a single thought.

In the second set of paragraphs, almost all the initial sentences of each paragraph begin with the word “the”. Considering that the author invites the readers to attend the upside-down world, it seems that the author becomes a tour guide in his world. During the excursion, Galeano (2001) uses “the” instead of a pointer to draw the attention of the auditorium to some details and peculiarities of this world that should be criticized.

While reading the indicated work, one could suppose that it resembles an instruction. A large part of the text denounces the flaws of contemporary society, and in the end, Galeano (2001) claims that people can escape the upside-down world that he described above. This could be done through the implementation of the given advice. To understand the essence of this advice, the reader should comprehend the comparison with reality. Galeano (2001) depicts people as if they could easily be manipulated by capitalist strive for glory and possessions and pay no attention to the issue of equality, liberty, and kindness. Apart from that, it could be noticed that advice includes only one sentence that ends up with ellipsis. This technique reveals that the author names just a few out of numerous examples of flaws of individuals and society. It seems that the writer suggests the reader continue these ranges.

Talking about the techniques used in the article, it is essential to note that it steeped in irony, exaggerations, and contrasts. For example, the author addresses the issue of inequality based on income through the discussion of rich and poor kids. According to Galeano (2001), children from their birth are treated depending on their parents’ wealth. The writer claims that poor children are taught to be trash, while rich kids are treated as money. In this case, it is essential to remember that Eduardo Galeano is not only the author and the journalist but also the left-wing political figure. For the representatives of the left dimension of politics, the question of inequality is of particular significance. Galeano (2001) addresses this issue through the concept of children instilled with the belief that people are not equal and that possession of goods defines the personality and his of her opportunities.

The article also incorporates rather acute comparisons about which people used not to think. For example, Galeano (2001) compares the world economy with a form of organized crime; defense budget he calls as a “war” one (p. 4). The gross national product, which signifies the monetary value of the goods produced within the borders of a state, as a “gross criminal product” (Galeano, 2001, p.4). These comparisons reveal what governments are trying to hide from the citizens. It is interesting that the author does not explain why he uses such comparisons. For him, it seems rather evident that the current situation could be described using these words.

In the final section of the article, Galeano (2001) uses inversion to show that people lost their will, critical thinking, and independence. This is inferred from the notion that in the upside-down world, not people control their cars, purchases, and the television but vice versa. Since the world is inverted, all the relationships between objects and people became also overturned. Such a vision is ironic since the author describes how people become enslaved by the inventions created by humanity.

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To sum up, it should be mentioned that the writing creates a desire to compare the world, described by Galeano (2001), with the world we live in. Such comparison would indicate that these two worlds have a lot of common features, including inequality, corruption, crimes, strive for glory. Nevertheless, Galeano (2001) frequently reminds the audience that they are reading a description of an imaginary upside-down world. The author also states that present society has a chance for perfectibility if people would start thinking about their behavior, preferences, and values. Finally, the more Galeano (2001) mentions that action takes place in another looking-glass world, the more vividly a reader feels that this is done to make him believe that the present world is much better. Thus, the article’s name contains sarcasm and mockery over people who do not notice the forgery.


Galeano, E. (2001). Upside down: A primer for the looking-glass world. Macmillan.

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