How Does the Writers Attempt to Influence the Reader and why do you think they do this - Assignment Example

In class we read two extracts involving the rainforest. One is an advertisement by Friends of the Earth and the other is taken from an information leaflet for schools, produced with the aid of the Brazilian Government. The first article I read was the advertisement by Friends of the Earth. The purpose of this article was to inform and raise awareness about illegal timber trade. They did this by trying to persuade the readers to stop buying mahogany and to join their campaign in trying to persuade the government and MP’s to act against illegal timber cutters.

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The article communicates the idea of how the reader should be feeling for the villagers who live in the forest. It talks about their desperate situation and in effect persuades the reader to therefore join their campaign in helping. To do this they used emotive language when talking about the timber cutters and their bad behaviour towards the Indian’s settlement.

It makes us feel shocked and angry to hear how the timber cutters came to their village with, “16 hired gunmen” who told them they were going to kill everyone. 4 Indians, including children were killed and yet, no one has been prosecuted. It also tells of how they where tricked into paying for there own demise which really brings pity upon them. They wrote the advertisement as if the Indians were telling the story of their terrible life, making it a first person perspective. This made it seem very much like a story so it kept it very interesting and the reader would then want to read on. At the start of the advertisement it informs the reader about their terrible life the Indians had to suffer.

It then tells the reader that they are to blame and then finally it asks for your help in joining the FOE’s campaign. This at first makes you very sympathetic towards the Indians and then towards the end it makes you feel responsible and guilty that they have suffered. So at this stage, as you are feeling responsible, they ask you for your help, which you cannot really deny and feel that is the least you can do. In this advertisement they grab your attention by, for example asking you to ‘Look! That deep red glow in your mahogany dinner table is the blood of murdered Indians’ and ‘Listen!

The clatter of your mahogany luxuries is the gunfire that killed Indian children’ This is a metaphor as the mahogany is said to be like as if it has been murdered but when in actual fact it’s the character of the mahogany. As well as that it really gets you involved in the article by actually talking to you and asking you questions. In the advertisement it emphasises the word ‘you’, this implies that it is your job to read the advertisement to see what they want to state, bringing it to a very personal level and to make it appeal to you.

This takes me on to the title, which is directly involving the reader. It is as though they are accusing you of a very serious crime and asking you to stop. This would, of course, make the reader want to read on in order to find out how. The title is ‘Please will you stop paying to have my people murdered? ‘ which is a rhetorical question but at the same time using the word ‘you’ to involve the reader. There is an image of a young Indian lady in the middle of the page. This is putting a face to the people that are being harmed and making you feel closer.

They have used a young lady to make you feel worse and that young people are the future this is a good example of emotive language. The picture is in black and white to make the picture darker and sombre. This additionally adds to the overall solemn tone, which conveys the sad feeling. All together I feel that this advertisement has made me feel very involved, sympathetic and that it would be wrong of me to buy mahogany again. This tells me that they have been very successful in writing this advertisement even though they have not written much about the timber cutters views.

This makes me unsure about the information they have supplied, as there is no evidence to back it up. I feel this has been well structured and done to good effect, as it makes you feel so sympathetic and guilty before it actually asks for your help. The next article I read was from an information leaflet for schools, produced on the behalf of the Brazilian Government. The purpose of this article is to persuade the reader that it is ok to use the rainforests as a resource and for us not to worry. It informs us about the moves that are being taken by the Brazilian Government and justifies its position.

The information that it supplies is meant to set people’s mind at ease about the issue of the rainforest being cut down. The amount of information that is given is meant to give reassurance that actions are being taken towards the demolition of the rainforest. Furthermore the accuracy of the data is meant to convince the reader that investigations have been made and there is no serious harm being done to the forest. Also they state that they have taken actions to stop demolition. The article has been written in a text book style to make it more understandable and clear to the reader.

The tone of it is authoritative and has been written on behalf of the government. This is also a reassurance that the data is correct. However they have supplied a table of information, which show the statistics for the average amount of clearance, which looks less problematic. The results that have been given are manipulated and misleading as, at a first glance it appears that the amount of clearance is being reduced continually, where in actual fact, if you analyze the figures very closely it is increasing at a dramatic rate.

The article is informative and well structured as it tell you about the problems they face for example ‘How quickly is the Amazon rainforest being cleared? ‘ then gives you figures and explanations. It then goes on to say that if the rainforest is used for its resources it could stop problems but they are aware of effects to the wildlife and weather. At the end of the article it justifies their actions and finishes it off with their achievements. All important steps that have been taken are stated clearly with bullet points to make it appeal to the reader.

The language they have used is very plain and factual. This makes it authoritative, which gives a trustworthy and credible feeling but not as persuasive to the reader. It conveys how the rainforest can be used for life necessities such as medicines and food. The title is ‘What is happening to the rain forest resources’ this is a question which can appeal to the reader as it is straight to the point of what the article is going to be about. They have produced four images that all relate to the rainforest and stand as evidence in their article.

They are a big part to the article as it makes the article more interesting and again most certainly trustworthy. Evaluating this article I did not feel that this was as interesting and as catching as the first article. I do not feel that it would catch the attention of the reader, but it could reassure you about the rainforest. I felt cheated by the fact that they had manipulated the average rate of clearance. I think that this made me turn against this article before I had read though it all.

It did inform you with a lot of information but I did not feel that it had been well structured. Overall I think that it is quite clear that I found the first article which was an advertisement by friend of the earth much more likeable. I thought that a lot more persuasion had been put into the friends of the earth article even though there was not much evidence to back it up. I felt more interested in this article and that it drew my attention to the article straight away. When reading the second article from an information leaflet I bored and angry.

I felt bored due to the fact that it was not griping or intense and angry due to the fact that it tried to cheat the reader. The tone of the first article was very sombre which made me feel sorry and more attached to this article. The tone of the second article was very authoritative which does not make me feel close to the article as the first one did. I felt much closer to the first article as the picture helped me know what kind of people lived there. So in addition to everything I feel that the first article which was an advertisement by friends of the earth was the most successful in persuading me.