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The articles that I am going to analyse are on the issue of a group of hippies wanting to celebrate the Summer Solstice Festival in June 1986 in Hampshire and how determined police officers were trying to stop them from doing so. Whilst both articles are based on the same issue, their use of language presents two very different viewpoints. Article 3 has a very negative bias against the hippies, describing them as ‘harpies’ and giving biased examples of their attitude towards the police and other people’s property.
In the article they are portrayed as ‘harpies’ that spit at policemen.
The reader is given the view that the hippies are not civilised and behave like wild animals. Article 4 shows great support towards the hippies and sympathises with them. This is done by using emotive language to create an image of the hippies as victims in society and they are treated badly by an uncaring police force. Both articles use persuasive language to draw the reader’s attention.
The clever use of personal pronouns: ‘our’ and ‘we’ in article 3 gives the reader no option but to involve himself in the issue, therefore taking the side of the journalist.
In contrast, article 4 does not use negative bias towards the hippies and regards them as poor and lonely people who should be given a chance in human society. The journalist writes his opening word: ‘HUNCHED’ in capital letters and starts the article off with a very strong word, which creates a strong dramatic effect, implying that the hippies are a lower creed of human society who deserve pity and understanding.
In article 3 the journalist uses words such as ‘spoiled,’ ‘layabouts’ to produce a very negative bias against the hippies, who, as the sarcastic journalist believes, use and abuse other people’s property.
The phrase ‘all at our expense, of course’ is also used to imply that the readers and writer are law-abiding citizens who pay the bill for the situation created. The sympathetic descriptive language used in article 4 such as, ‘child stumbled’ and ‘burrowed deeper into the blanket’ immediately draws the reader into a sympathetic frame of mind. The powerful use of the rhetorical question and the even more moving sub-heading, ‘confusion’ start the article and shows how the writer has opted to persuade the reader’s views to give the hippies a chance.
Emotive language in the last sentence reinforces the journalist’s argument that the hippies are on a ‘road of rejection’ because no one has a care in the world towards them. The use of capital letters in the phrase ‘the Child and The Man With Nowhere to Go’ emphasizes the course that the hippies are forced to take and draws the reader’s attention to the fact that these people are nameless makes us aware that they don’t even have the same sense of identity that a name offers to a reader. Article 3 is full of opinions that include the reader, eg.
‘We continue to dole out state benefits to lawbreakers’. The use of ‘dole out’ makes the reader aware of how much money is actually used, or in the view of the writer: wasted on ‘lawbreakers’ these hippies who continue to go against the law but still receive benefits. This creates an image of people who don’t work and still can live, because of their money. This persuades the readers to agree with the journalist’s comments. The article is a follow-on article; it follows an article written earlier on in the week on the same issue.
It goes as far as to refer to a newspaper report that social security employs special staff to wander around the country servicing these vagabonds (trampy style robbers who are homeless). This reinforces the opinion that people are needed just to look after these hippies because of their uncertain behaviour. In the fifth paragraph the journalist takes it into his own hands to reply for the policeman, but he does this unfairly (in my opinion) and uses a lot of opinion rather than being fair and using facts.
The writers use of ‘resisted the provocation’ implies that the policeman would have intentionally chosen to provoke the hippies but had to resist the temptation to do so. His use of the rhetorical question to end his article invites the reader to give his/her opinion on the issue. Article 4 uses extremely descriptive words to create a vivid image in the mind of the reader. The story about the hippie and the boy only being able to find a dog to generate some form of love and care, immediately implies the saying ‘a dog is a man’s best friend’ the writer intends for the reader to feel guilty.
The emotive language draws the reader into the article. The use of the phrase ‘hunched against the wind’ implies not only that the hippies are vulnerable and homeless, but even a natural source like the wind is against them. The involvement of a child in the article immediately produces a sympathetic response from the readers. ‘Land that had briefly been his home’ informs us that they’re homeless and live wherever they can survive. The journalist of article 4 doesn’t give any evidence or use any media sources, as article 3 did.
This is probably because of the sympathetic view he has opted to take. Use of ‘confusion’ and ’empty pockets’ tells us that poverty does occur and people around us do struggle to survive the harsh real world. The policeman’s image is defined as ‘impassive’ and implies that he does not care. The use of the word ‘towering’ says that the policeman is of more importance than the hippie and has authority. This is a very sharp contrast to the ‘HUNCHED’ image of the child at the start of the article and shows there is a massive leap from a hippie to a policeman.
In paragraph five the repetition of ‘the only’ implies that the hippies value any sort of affection or care shown towards them. A Labrador, a dog, which is regarded as a man’s best friend, insults the adults of society because adults who are supposed to be a mature and sensible group within society can’t help each other and a pet can be better than people sometimes. ‘A confused child, a ragged, hope-crushed man and a friendly old dog,’ the poor and scared descriptions given to the hippies in this sentence reinforces the lifestyles they lead.
The final statement ‘All on the Road of Rejection’ reinforces the whole article. These two articles differ and take opposing, but valid views on the issue at stake. Both journalists have used persuasive techniques to manipulate and influence their readers. Both their techniques vary and both journalists write to get a point across. I would like to end my analysis by giving my opinion on this issue. In general I feel both journalists have given valid views on the issue.
The journalists make it clear that they have different attitudes and feelings towards the hippies. They are two very well thought-out and clever articles that involve the reader. I thought the techniques used by the journalists are quite clever. I think one of the reasons that the articles were written was to get the readers involved in this particular argument. This was the aim, and I think that both the journalists succeeded in doing so.
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