The Reader and Writer
In the newsletter, ‘Getting our future back on the rails- slowly’, that was received by households in the local area; the writer emphasizes the need for change and promotes the idea of sustainable living through community action. The direct, persistent tone serves to assert the notion that the community would greatly benefit by a shared garden. The proposal contains 3 images of which all support the writer’s philosophy. Commonly, all are directed to the reader through techniques of fear tactics and consistent use of hyperbole.
The newsletter aims to persuade readers through tactics of: appealing to sense of security, use of evidence and involvement of readers through inclusive language. The writer begins with the second word ‘our’ to immediately create a sense of belonging. This benevolent attitude is evident throughout the article by the simple repetition of ‘we’, ‘our’, and ‘us’- targeting to appeal to our sense of community. The writer’s aim is to involve the reader directly in the debate by assuming that they agree with the proposal: putting them in a position of not becoming innocent bystanders.
It even strategically involves those not knowing there was a situation to begin with and subliminally creating divisions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in minds. By repeatedly using the word ‘our’, the writer is positioning the reader to feel included in the sense of duty required of themselves and their fellow residents. The use of inclusive language reinforces the need for solidarity amongst the townspeople in order to achieve the shared desire of harvesting a communal garden. The writer further outlines the duty required of the readers and the possible future harms that could arise from not having a community garden.
It suggests that gardens could potentially save lives; teaching the ways of growing food and feeding one another. The writer works on undermining the reader’s sense of security by claiming that the modern time is vulnerable to independence. The technique of appealing to ones sense of security sparks fear thus persuading them in agreeing with the proposal. The key paragraph “ people suddenly understood how vulnerable a society is if we have forgotten or never learned how to produce our own food” would elicit a response from readers.
It plays on their need to feel safe and free from an unexpected attack. The image within the newsletter depicts an androgynous leg shoveling soil. This image is then contrasted to a background of young children innocently staring back. Titles intersect the obscure scene, labeling “ For their sake- GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLE”. It is quite obvious that the main intention here is to illicit fear. Regardless of its initial use during the Second World War, it seems to have some relevance to this situation (to a degree).
These appeals the writer has used are powerful because people obviously value sufficient and continual protection from future attacks that may disrupt their lifestyle. In persuading readers, the writer on several occasions uses evidence as a technique to agree. The evidence was presented as information, facts and statements, which all support the belief that having a community garden would be more economical and beneficial. The image of statistics showing the costing of processed foods ultimately seems objective and accurate. Unarguably these results cannot be disregarded, thus positioning the reader to more likely agree.
When presented with statistics it makes the writer seem more “knowledgeable” of the situation, thus putting more faith in what they’re saying. Throughout the article, the writer makes remarks such as “hundreds of millions across the globe” and “adding to environmental damage”. These may not be accurate but do work in the same way as of evidence. Overall the newsletter “Getting our future back on the rails- slowly “ is an effective piece which would most likely persuade a majority of the community to agree in the establishment of a community garden.