This commentary will examine an article written by Andrew Bolton, titled ‘Doomed to a fatal delusion over climate change’ which was published in the Herald Sun on the July 09, 2008. The author’s point of view in this text is that a ‘delusional man’ (our Prime Minister) is running the country and will make Australia bankrupt with his drastic plans for cutting carbon emissions. The author has made extensive use in his article of a range of literary devices including statistics, hyperbole, emotive language and repetition.
This article is a good example of the use of these literary devices to persuade a reader to believe and adopt his point of view. Readers would benefit from being able to recognise these techniques and the effect they can have on the audience. Bolton’s use of statistics is effective in positioning the audience to accept his word as the truth. Statistics are seen to be hard facts that are quantifiable and verifiable and provide proof for the author’s argument.
This can be seen in Bolton’s article on line 34, paragraph 9, where he stated “The truth is Australia on its own emits less than 1.5 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide. ” The author has used statistics to lend credibility to his argument by implying that he is supported by official factual research. The reader is therefore likely to accept his words as fact rather than opinion. Another good example of his use of statistics used in his text is when he stated “Indeed, so fast are the world’s emissions growing — by 3. 1 per cent a year thanks mostly to these two giants (China and India) — that the 20 per cent cuts Rudd demands of Australians by 2020 would be swallowed up in just 28 days.
” Here, the author is making the point that it would make no difference if Australia cuts it carbon emissions. The reader is encouraged to associate statistics with scientific fact. Another technique Bolton used is repetition. Repetition is a word or phrase that keeps recurring throughout the text. Repetition helps drive the message home in the reader’s mind. “Climate change delusion” is one of the phrases the author repeats frequently. Climate change delusion is the belief that climate change will be the doom of our planet as we now know it.
The reason why the author chooses to continuously reiterate this phrase is because he is trying to convince his audience that Kevin Rudd suffers from this delusion, which affects decision making. The author makes a point of restating Rudd’s incompetence. “But you’ll have already spotted the big flaw in Rudd’s mad plan” This quote on line 32 is another example of repetition but it displays another technique known as hyperbole. One of the most common literary devices, hyperbole, is used frequently throughout the text.
One of the many examples of hyperbole used in this editorial; this is an example of a hyperbole extracted from the text, “pay more food or die. Is this Kevin Rudd’s new campaign slogan? ” The author is telling the audience that the delusional Kevin Rudd is threatening us with dire consequences If we fail to accept his position. This of course is an exaggeration of the language used in Kevin Rudd’s climate change arguments. Hyperbole’s is used effectively by Bolton to make the subject seem more important than any other subject.
Hyperbole is often accompanied by another technique, emotive language. He also uses emotive language. This technique is used to connect with the reader and create feelings such as empathy and outrage. Using emotive language encourages the audience to identify with the feelings of the author and place themselves in the author’s shoes. In paragraph 4 sentence 13 “Here is Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday, with his own apocalyptic vision. ” By using words like apocalyptic, the author makes the reader feel fear and anger.
By constantly using emotive language the author has a certain amount of control over the reader’s emotions and perceptions. This editorial is important because it highlights the fact that our government is delusional and is putting our country, Australia, at risk of bankruptcy. The text is trying to make us aware of the man who has our country in his hands may have made the wrong choice in the view of the Australian public. The author uses many different types of persuasive techniques in his text, including: emotional language, statistics, hyperbole, and repetition.
All of these literary devices help the author persuade his audience to accept his point of view. He repeats sentences to drive the message home, emotive language to put the audience into his shoes and to see his point of view from his perspective, statistics to imply the support of factual scientific data, and lastly he uses hyperbole’s to exaggerate a point to make it seem more important than it really is. In conclusion this article should make readers aware of the techniques writers often use to encourage reader to accept their point of view.