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Audience, arguments and Literary language Text 30, 22, 9

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1 Audience, arguments and Literary language Text 30, 22, 9
Lesson Objectives: Examine a themed group of texts from the Anthology Examine how an effective argument is constructed Explore changes in language, culture and attitudes over time Consider contrasts between literary and non-literary language Compare the language used texts for different audiences and purposes

2 Key Terms Dynamic Verbs – verbs which describe physical action
Intensifiers – a word that is placed before an adjective or adverb to give it more impact (eg, very) Monosyllabic words – words with one syllable Polysyllabic words – words with more than one syllable Discursive writing – exploring and discussing a topic or issue Argument – a connected series of ideas, backed up by relevant facts, that tries to make a case and convince us if its truth and validity Satire – a literary device to highlight human folly through sarcasm /ridicule or irony

3 Children’s literature – Text 30
Little grey rabbit’s Pancake Day by Alison Uttley Written in 1967 Protagonist is a female rabbit so audience would be predominantly young girls Through the actions of Grey Rabbit young girls will learn that cooking brings people together, makes people happy and can be used to celebrate – in this case pancake day!

4 Critical response activity
This is clearly a text for a much younger audience. How does it accommodate the needs of its young readers in terms of its graphology/typography and lexical choices? Can you find any examples of repetition – highlight them and comment on their use Note any evidence from the text that suggests whether the text is to be read by or to the child. You might consider: the visual appeal how easy the vocabulary is to recognise whether the text addresses the implied reader Studying the pragmatics of texts means looking a little beneath the surface. a. What sort of values does the text imply, for example in terms of gender stereotypes or ‘good’ behaviour?

5 Analysis Blue font and capitalisation of the first three words in each section – creates a pattern that will become familiar to the child. And drawn illustrations which depict the characters which are involved in the story and events specific to the story – the child could identify the event in the picture as the parent reads it to them Vocabulary is simple, although formal (lack of any personal pronouns directed towards the reader) – as is typical of 1960s children’s literature – to help teach them standard English Repetition throughout – again to help the child learn words and to learn the names of the characters Rhyme used to make it memorable and to help the reader / listener learn Lots of dynamic verbs and intensifiers used to create enthusiasm within the reader and listener Values being instilled: waste is not acceptable ‘the last pancake with the last egg and the last scraping...’ Grey Rabbit demonstrates to young girls the perfect Mother figure – running a tight ship, with all the animals catered for and helping with the tidying up!

6 Discursive Writing – Text 22
Today we have many different types of food from all over the world readily available in restaurants and supermarkets.... But there was a time, in Britain, when food wasn’t quite so readily available. There was a time when people in the UK would not have heard of bananas or hummus or Kebabs!

7 Contextual Factors – Context of Production
Jonathan Swift – an Irish writer in the 18th Century (wrote this piece in 1729) 18th Century Ireland was ruled by Protestants from England and Ireland. Religious beliefs between Catholics and Protestants differed to an extent to which the Protestant rulers inflicted starvation upon their Catholic-Irish counterparts. Under the Protestant English/Irish rule, Irish Catholics were forbidden to practise law or to buy property – and in 1627 they were denied the right to vote. Much of the Irish economy was built upon exporting livestock, wool and food to England and other countries, however this was put to an end when the English restricted the Irish exportation laws. This led to thousands of Irish people emigrating or simply being put out of work and starving. Put this together with three years of bad harvest and you have famine on a massive scale. There had been documented cases of Catholic – Irish people turning to cannibalism

8 A Modest Proposal A satirical essay which criticises the political policies of 18th Century English government A mature, educated readership Politically minded readership Critical Response Activity: Which of the following options do you consider to be the main purpose of the essay? To inform the readers about the political and religious disputes happening To persuade the readers to get involved in political reform To inform the government about how to deal with famine To entertain the readers by mocking the government

9 Commentary The essay is essentially a satire – but as with all satires it addresses a serious issue and not only informs the reader of the political situation but additionally persuades them to be active in changing the way things are. Swift’s model of satire is used by modern writers today. The piece is discursive and follows the conventions of discursive non-fiction writing. Glossary: Papists: Supporters of the Pope, an insulting name for Catholics. Repine: be low-spirited Solar year: A year in the ordinary sense (as measured by the earth's going once round the sun).

10 Constructing an Argument
One of the most important parts of constructing an argument is presenting evidence to beck up your points and presenting your points in a cohesive manner. Listed in the table are the main points that the writer makes in the order that they are presented and some of the supporting evidence used, but not necessarily in the right order. Allocate each piece of evidence to the point: Statement Evidence 1. There are plentiful reserves of women who can bear children in the Kingdom a. I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London that a healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food. 2. There is no use for the children that are born in the Kingdom b. Because the number of Popish infants is at least three to one in this kingdom, and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of Papists among us. 3. Children can be used in more productive ways. c. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither build houses nor cultivate land. 4. The practise of eating children will reduce the numbers of Catholics d. I calculate that there may be about two hundred thousand couples whose wives are breeders.

11 Analysis The table below gives a list of all the secondary sources that the writer relies upon for a strong argument. Write a comment about how this use of ‘expert’ advice strengthens the argument. Example Comment I have been informed by a principle gentleman in the County of Cavan... (line 16) I am assured by our merchants... (line 19) I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London... (line 26) For we are told by a grave author, an eminent French Physician... (line 46)

12 The language of authority
In discursive writing (an even more so in a satirical context) the author needs to make the reader take notice; the reader needs to truly believe that the author knows what they are talking about – that they have authority. As we have already seen this has been done by Swift by the way he structures the argument, the supporting evidence he provides, and the additional ‘expert’ opinion. Now we will look at the LANGUAGE he uses to create an authoritative and sophisticated argument Take note – there may be some tips for how you can become convincing, authoritative essay writers in your exam to show the examiner that you know what you are talking about!

13 Critical Response Activity:
How personal or impersonal is the style? How often does the writer use the first person singular (I, me) ? What about the first person plural (we, our) – who does this include? The third person plural is used (they, them) – who does this refer to? 2. What use does the author make of strong declaratives? For much of the text, the writer provides direct, assertive statements that imply he is making judgements on the basis of considerable knowledge. Here are a couple of examples: I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration I must confess... I am assured... Find other examples of such sentences that have the same effect. 3. The writer uses a formal register throughout – and makes use of Standard English grammar. Sentence types and lexical choices adds to the formal register and enforces the argument. Find examples of where the writer has used sentences and language to create a strong, assertive argument: a. Complex sentences b. Repetition of phrases c. Discourse markers to make the argument ‘flow’

14 Changes in attitudes over time
Look again at the discursive text 9 Much more modern – no ‘satire’ Look at the main differences in the concerns that people have: 18th Century = how to rid the world of famine 21st Century = how to make sure you eat a balanced diet Write an imitation essay in the style of Jonathan Swift but on the same subject as John Torode ‘the myths of eating babies and how to eat a balanced diet’ ‘We all need to eat babies!’

15 Compare the two texts intended for different audiences / purpose and style
Questions for discussion TEXT 30 TEXT 22 Who is the intended audience and how do we know (Quotes)? (Language and grammar, presentation and layout) Is the text literary or non literary – find features and quotes which support your answer. How formal or informal is the register of the text? What is the primary purpose of the text and how do you know (QUOTES/ Techniques used by the writer)

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