language analysis - solar sellout

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Language Analysis – Solar Sellout The writer of the opinion piece Solar Sellout, Bob Walsh, uses an arsenal of persuasive techniques in his attempt to convince his audience that the government’s proposal for the “Greenhouse levy” is not consistent with the financial and environmental interests of the Greenville community. The accompanying cartoon reinforces Walsh’s argument and the continual reference to statistics creates a factual basis to his claims. From the beginning, Walsh’s use of inclusive language “residents of Greenville (including me)” elevates his understanding of the issue and strengthens his argument as he positions himself to be speaking on behalf of the community. In a cynical tone, Walsh loads his opening paragraphs with highly emotive language “captive”, “blatant abuse” and “nasty”. In creating a distrustful image of the council, this not only serves to sensationalise the issue and capture the engagement of the audience but additionally it arouses sympathy for the Greenville residents in its appeal to “abuse of residents’ rights” and financial burdens. The editor’s further reference to “innocent citizens” and the Mayor’s “cronies” creates an unlawful image of the government and suggests that the council are stealing from the Greenville citizens in addition to their removal of “residents’ freedom to make individual choices”. In a didactic shift in tone, Walsh develops his argument as he goes on to list the numerous advantages and alternatives to the “greenhouse levy” and advocates that converting to solar hot water panels will have an insignificant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. His persistent attacks on the council throughout “riff-raff hippies” and “radical environmentalists” forge a bond between the council and the audience, as Walsh positions them to question the true motives of the government. These attacks, when permeated

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