An Analysis of an Article in the Big Issue called Sun Vampires Essay
An Analysis of an Article in the Big Issue called Sun Vampires
The Big Issue is published to aid the homeless, seeking to raise money for people who are in this situation. The Big Issue is only sold by vendors, homeless themselves, on the streets of all our major cities and towns. The ‘target group’ for sales is seen to those who might be sympathetic to the dilemma of the homeless, to those who are fortunate themselves to have homes and jobs, who take an interest in society as a whole rather than just themselves as individuals, who are also aware of the current issues. The readers are to be relatively prosperous, also young rather than middle-aged. The young readers have most probably heard of the Bros (a teen pop duo of the late 80’s) and also Peter Andre (popular at the time of publication, but hardly an enduring household name). The reader might be in the position of being able to spend 399 a year on a suntanning course. The reader is more likely to respond to the style of writing that uses current colloquial or jargon expressions “And let’s face it”, “one hell of a habit” and “fork out” than a style that they regard as being posh and old-fashioned. The message is though a horrific one but by using the generally speaking, light-hearted tone. Then there is no worry in frightening the reader, but if the your to frighten the casual reader and the reader were to associate this emotion with The Big Issue. For then the reader might never but another a copy again, therefore defeating the whole purpose of what is published for.
The writer exclaims to the reader that sunbeds are dangerous and those who uses them are stupid and vain. The suppliers of the habit are abusive.
The message is serious but the tone is generally light-hearted. The mood does change though, the evidence supplied by Jane Horwood is unwelcoming, and that provided by a medical expert is inflexible. The purpose of a headline is to attract the attention of a casual browser. Here the writer uses paradox. The reader is attracted firstly by the use of the word “vampires”, because our enjoyment of horror stories. The idea of the vampires being associated with sun, which is means death to them. The reader becomes eye-catchingly incongruous; curiosity is aroused so the reader wants to read on. “Desperate for a sun fix” straight away makes us think of a drug addiction, the gravity which is reinforced by the sinister implications of “coffins”, both images are very different but are powerful images. Then by a newly-coined image, “tanorexics”, this is a pun. However a pun is usually used humorously, as a joke, which associates two images.
In this case this pun might make the reader have mixed emotions. By using the really amusing though, to associate what is usually regarded as a pastime with the desperately psychological problem of anorexia. The illustration is made to seen very unprofessional, but it does catch the browsers attention. The simultaneous associations with the coffins and cooked meat work. The writer forces the readers to place themselves in the situation, by using the repletion of “you” and “you’re”. The article seeks to mock the sunbed. The opening uses ridiculous pictures “plastic cocoon”, “weird blue light”. The idea of the users being profoundly stupid, by mad suggestions. “Have you been abducted by aliens for experimental tests?” In the second paragraph the tone is unbreakable by another equally ridiculous picture. “Walking raisins” implying that the sun has similar effects on human skin as it has on grapes. The writer soon does become rather serous, after making sure that our interests has been attracted by other means. Suddenly suntanning become dangerous. Most people are aware of the dangers of smoking, so the bluntness of “It’s like smoking” hits hard. The scenario of losing an infant as a result of suntanning is distressing.
There are no jokes in this section. “Religiously” and “Confesses” which underlines the importance of the issue for the writer. We all know the adverts on television in which ‘scientists’ in white coats are used to impress upon us the wonderful properties of toothpastes or headache cures. We naturally believe what we are told by experts. So Doctor Bishop is brought into the argument and a consultant dermatologist. We do not comprehend the jargon doctor’s use, but we always impressed by their specific language. We may not know what a UVB or UVA rays are and what they do not us.
However most of us are inclined to believe what those who do know tell us about them. It is interesting that the writer is afraid perhaps of loosing their audience by using too many expressions that the general public do not understand, but the writer does give us some layman’s explanation, as in the case of collagen and of elastin. Industries are commercial enterprises by mean of which people make money. We tend to see them in a big scale like ‘the music industry’. Where the profit motive is of the smallest significance, aren’t referred to as industries. The obvious implication of describing sun-tanning as industry is that its practitioners are only interested in profiting from their clients’ gullibility. Earlier we asked to feel sympathetic towards Jane Horwood suffering and were asked to understand that for her taking that wise decision, to end her habit. On the other hand Victoria Williams seems childish and selfish “I wanted that heat and warmth on my body”. In the final paragraph the writer completely ridicules the ideas of suntanning.
“Who says tanning isn’t trendy?” is, perhaps, another dig aimed at the people of the media, especially those who are advertising the industry. “Secretive” implies that those who carry on suntanning are aware of the dangers. “It seemed his rugged outdoor tan was indoor variety” accusing the ex political leader of using sunbeds to give a false impression of his life to the public. “It make you look wealthier, like you can afford regular holidays” seems false and unfashionably materialistic set against own background. “Essex Man” is a term of abuse- it reminds us of sub-human species associated with a particular 1980’s stereotype, the selfish individual concerned only with himself and what he can get his hands on.
This is a very cleverly written piece, in which the writer has matched their tone to their readership without compromising the sincerity and, ultimately, the intensity of their feeling. This however can’t be coincidence. “Barking,” Echoes the phrase, “barking mad” and leave s in doubt how the writer feels about “tanorexics”. It can refer back to the “Essex Man”
There no attempt at fairness in this piece, there is no balance of opinions, so asking the reader to draw their conclusions. The writer does have a point to make and scarcely attempts that there might be together points of view. Counter argument, when they appear, tend to be ridiculed, We probably haven’t learned anything new about suntanning, perhaps little in those who indulger in it, but the pieces might be considered as being amusing.