The issue of space travel has been widely debated in recent times, with opinions ranging from total support to a waste of money. In his opinion piece in ‘Daily newspaper’, entitled ‘Exploring our dreams’, Yvette Yergon uses a humble tone in contending that the government should provide more funds available for space travel.
In contrast, Dr Peter Laikis’s sarcastic letter to the editor, ‘Off the planet’ appeals to all the people who have an interest in current world dilemmas, suggesting that our governments focus and attention should be spent here on Earth rather than space travel. Yvette opens with statistics. The claim space is only ‘160km away’, ‘while Canberra to victoria is further away’ appeals to the readers logical side. Allowing them to believe, ‘space isn’t that far away’.
It allows the reader to put in perspective how far space is really away. In addition by using a distance like ‘Victoria to Canberra’ it appears to be a very achievable distance, therefore making Yvette’s ‘dream’ a very possible ‘dream’ with which the reader can identify. The statistics give Yvette credibility. Credibility, which is extended by the inclusion of personal background information.
This allows Yvette’s views accepted as believable. Referring to the new possibilities that space exploration could lead to or fortunes that lie above, like ‘10,00 tones of gold’ inclines the reader share his ‘dream’. Leaning the reader to believe that space may hold the key or play a part in the future of earth. Yvette invokes hope by inviting the reader into a story.
He records the observations of a young guide who starts, ‘it might only be a dream now’ using a personal tone pulls the reader to his side. Going on to say ‘but one day it might come true’ showing the reader that his dream might be out of reach at the moment, but in the future may be very possible. The guides youth and enthusiasm is apparent and the reader is encouraged. The visuals assist with Yvette’s arguments. The first visual is an image of Kolombus’s ship. This picture represents how that ship was once the equivalent of a spacecraft discovering new continents, when it was thought to be impossible.
Byincluding this it highlights, fin ding new continents was once impossible, showing the reading that there may possible be other world that just haven’t been discovered yet. The second visual shows all the befits that come from space travel. These include solar cells, global positioning system, safe food processing, radial tyres and medical imaging. All items that are very prevalent in society today, that we would not have without space travel.
This positions the reader to believe that not only will space travel help us with mapping the solar system, but it will also help us to discover or create new resources that would be beneficial for today’s society. Yvette ends by appealing to the readers’ emotions. Yvette tells how ‘we must recharge our scientific batteries’, ‘invest in the technology of tomorrow’. By using these example pushes the readers to look past their daily lives and in to the future.
Pushing the readers to believe that we can grow as a society, through the funding space travel ‘Wake-up, Yvette’ by Dr Laikis, opens with a pun on Yvette’s title , suggesting that he must literally wake up from his dream, as it will only be a dream. By using this humorous tone, draws his reader to believe that Yvette’s ‘dream’ absorbed and childish. He follows with ‘when did governments ever fund… for peaceful purposes’, showing that his idea is also absurd.
Dr Laikis points to a major flaw in Yvette’s argument. Even if countries wanted to explore space, it is very unlikely for every country to agree on the politics. This criticism, allows the reader to see how unlikely Yvette’s ‘dream’ may be. Dr Laikis finishes with an alternant ‘dream’; his dream is much closer to home.
By doing this he reveals to the reader that we don’t need to look out in space to grow, but fix the problems on earth. Both Yvette and Dr Laikis were both persuasive, as they each positioned the reader to assume both were correct. Yvette persuaded by using a neutral tone, with many stories of what ‘could be’ if the government decided to fund the government.
While Dr Laikis persuaded by using a sarcastic tone and mocking Yvette’s points while still pointing out their flaws. Yvette’s opinion piece was overall more persuasive as it had statistics and facts, while Dr Laikis was only his opinion.
Courtney from Study Moose
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