The issue of alcohol fuelled violence due to Australia’s alcoholic ‘culture’ and the number of one-punch deaths caused by the consumption of Alcohol is an issue that many people in the community have sought to comment upon. This apprehensive issue shares many similar views, and the wellbeing and safety of the individuals, their families and the community is a common theme through all three texts, as well as severe consequences such as 10-year or longer jail times for the ‘thugs’ out there. However, the style and strategy of each writer is different in all three articles, which contributes to the different styles of arguments and persuasive techniques used.
On the 23rd of January, The Age published Jonne Herbert’s (Kew East, Australia) letter addressing his point of view on the alcohol and violence penalties in Australia. The article was headlined with a very bold and unequivocal message, “No excuses, introduce harsh penalties” which clearly states Herberts contention before the readership even get a chance to read the first line. However, this headline can strike curiosity in the reader, therefore contribute to them wanting to read the whole of Herberts letter to see what he has to say about the issue mentioned earlier. Herbett’s overall tone in the letter was very forthright, satirical, slightly bias and attacking towards the current laws from the
Herbert begins his argument in a sarcastic manner beginning with “Oh dear..” and calling the government’s meetings and evalutations on alcohol consumption a “talk fest”. He continues his letter by informing his readership with a quote, for evidence and to later rebut against, from the Acting Prime Minsiter Warren Truss. She mentions “governements can’t legislate for people to be on good behaviour” which he backfires and attacks their statement by declaring “Yes they can. If people were punished harshly for violence, they would get the message that it is not tolerated.” The use of the adjective ‘harshly’ adds detail and provides the readers with a better description of how he feels the consequences on alcohol-related violence should be handled.
The last paragraph of Herberts letter, begins with a fact quoted from the Public Health association of Australias spokesman on alcohol, and informs readers that “We’ve got plenty of evidence – it must be about deciding what to do, not about setting up more reviews” which can help lend argument weight and author credibility. He also uses inclusive language by declaring that “We want action now” which can create a ‘us and them’ mentality in the reader, and create a sense of solidarity. However, the ‘we’ can be perceived as a generalised statement, and that he is talking on behalf of the community as a whole, which can evoke positive or negative feelings.
The editorial “This sodden, angry culture has to change” (The Age 24/1/14) is writeen quite opposite, in terms of tone, persuasive techniques and style, than Herbert’s letter. The article if presented in a more formal style, and allures with logic with the use of justifiable and valid arguments to sway the audience and appeal to reason rather than emotion. It offer’s more proof than Herbert’s letter, with the use of policies and facts, however has a similar theme to Herbert’s, and contends that the Australian irresponsible dirnking culture has to change, but approaches the topic in a more sensible and calmer manner.
The writer seems to justify the laws in Ausralia and begins with the advising his audience about the streets of Sydney and the plan to include “..mandatory 10pm closing times for all NSW bottle shops and take-away liquor stores”. The placement of evidence is precise in every paragraph in order to persuade and educate the audience, which can encourage support for the ideas, and give a sense of authority to the writer.
Imagery is also used multiple times by the writer, when stating that “it might tick the boxes for people who believe stiff penalties will solve a