Being advertised is Amnesty International: a charity organisation, which is working worldwide for the release of prisoners of conscience, fair trials for political prisoners and an end to torture, extra-judicial executions, disappearances and the death penalty. By publishing the advert in a Sunday supplement, it is insured to have a very wide circulation. Furthermore, people will have leisure time on a Sunday to be able to sit down and read the whole article, which gives them a chance to become active.
If it were printed on a weekday, people would not have had the leisure time to be able read the article and become an active member of Amnesty International. Prudently, this advert has been structured in such a way that it guides the emotional response of the reader as they read through the text. The article has been subdivided into four main sections: Sallays story; the story of Mary; Britains view of refugees; and how the reader can become active and help refugees. The separation of the material into clearly defined blocks of text is very effective, in that it aids the ease and speed of access.
Also, by implicating the reader in blame, they are increasingly forced to get involved. The first thing you see when you look at the article is the picture of the woman. This picture draws the reader to the article by the various attributes. Immediately, you are drawn by the shock factor: a picture of a woman who has no hands. In addition, this is an extremely powerful picture, as it is visually emotive, which means that it plays on the readers emotions and generates the readers sympathy for the woman.
After looking at the picture, you read the quote beside it, which personalises the article by giving Sallay an identity this makes the reader feel closer to Sallay, and maybe as if they even know her. The large caption reads DONT LOOK THE OTHER WAY. This is imperative, as it is a command to the reader not to turn away from people like Sallay. It forces them to read the article and take an interest. In the leading paragraph the shock factor is used again to inform the reader of the shocking statistic that, Every twenty seconds¦ a refugee is created.
This shows the reader how big the refugee problem is, causing the reader to want to read on, as they want to know how Amnesty International will help so many people. Towards the end of the paragraph, the first person plural pronoun us is used. This is very inclusive and involves us all, symbolising how it is everyones responsibility to help refugees. This is then emphasised by the final sentence in the paragraph: Yes, all of us. Sallays story starts off with the phrase, Sallay Goba is a grandmother. This personalises her, as one can I identify with her, as a grandmother.
This is because weve all got or had grandmother, so by being a grandmother, we know that Sallays just an ordinary woman. It then goes on to tell of how her life was turned upside down, with a graphic description of the horrific events: the murders of her grandchildren, husband, and son-in-law, her attacking, when her hands were brutally severed. The sheer extent of tragedy suffered by Sallay, persuades the reader to take in interest in the people Amnesty International helps, as the reader feels compassion for Sallay.
Also, the phrase, It would have been nice to think that if she had managed to reach Britain, we would have helped her, makes us question whether we would have helped her or not, with the impression given that we probably wouldnt have. This is because of the words, It would be nice to think, as they emphasise the fact that she would have probably been rejected by the British government, as the chance of us helping her is quite slim. Furthermore, once again the first person plural pronoun we is used, in order to make us feel that we are responsible to help people like Sallay.
In addition, the negative attitude of the West towards refugees increases the readers level of sympathy, making them feel that if the government is not going to help them, it is up to us. Political buzz words, such as economic migrants and bogus asylum seekers are also used to show the typical British view of refugees, making them seem to be people who only come to England, in order to make some more money. Again, the imperative is used with the word listen, in order to force the reader to read on, so that Sallay being a victim can be stressed again.
The paragraph ends with two very powerful rhetorical questions: Do you imagine that she enjoyed being driven from her home, alone, penniless and terrified? Did she ask for her hands to be hacked off? These stress the fact that what the government thinks of refugees is completely wrong, as it outlines the fact that refugees do not intentionally bring hardship and suffering upon themselves and that they honestly need our help. Hence, the reader feels that they have a responsibility to help them. The next section in the article is The Story of Marie, an Ordinary Woman.
A second story of an individual refugee is used, in order to emphasise how many different ways different refugees suffer. Also, the second story acts as a comparison to the first story, as it shows what happened even when a refugee who suffered such hardship made it to England. The word ordinary is used to stress the fact that she is just like any of us, so we can relate with her. The first sentence is, Marie was a chemist. This illustrates the fact that she used to be normal, as she used to have a professional career, which most people in this country already do, or aspire to do.
In addition, the word was outlines the point that Maries life is no longer what it used to be. As she was a chemist, the reader is told that she is an educated woman, who went to University, thus outlining how many of us can identify with her. This fact also breaks down the stereotype that all refugees are poor and uneducated. When describing her story extremely graphic and horrific language and imagery is used: When they assaulted Marie, her brothers-in-law intervened and were shot dead. Five or six soldiers took it in turns to rape Marie. She lost consciousness. This illustrates the sheer brutality of her experience.
This is another example of the shock factor, which not only intensifies the readers compassion for the refugees, but also increases their desire to become an active member of Amnesty International. Furthermore, Marie is shown as a victim of the Home Office, who refused her asylum. This proved the point made earlier in Sallays story: that we wouldnt have helped her even if she had reached Britain, as we did to Marie, despite all her hardship and suffering. This gives the reader a reason for joining Amnesty International. They can make a change and help refugees like Marie gain asylum in this country.
The war on refugees section focuses more on refugees in general rather than just on individuals. This is effective, in that it shows the suffering of refugees as a whole. A lot of emotive language, such as people who have lost everything and suffered unimaginable griefs is used, in order to keep the reader interested in becoming active. In addition, a quote from the public is used; Its really tragic, but its nothing to do with us. This shows how people in Great Britain reject refugees, as they feel refugees are not their responsibility. Immediately after the quote comes the phrase, So sorry, but it is.
This symbolises how it is our responsibility to help these suffering people. This is then followed by facts, such as, People like Marie have a guaranteed right under the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees to seek refuge in a safe country, if they have a well-founded fear of persecution, which support the fact that refugees should be given asylum in this country. This reassures the reader that if they do join, they are truly fighting for a cause, which is backed up. Rhetorical questions, which are linked to these facts are then used: Was Maries fear well-founded, Should the British Government honour this commitment?
This further stresses the points that refugees are the victims and they are justified in seeking asylum. The section ends with the syntactic repetition You decide. This is powerful, in that it is giving the reader a choice of whether it a cause worth fighting for or not. Also the word you stresses that its the readers responsibility. This last section leaves the reader with a strong message, creating a powerful impact. This ultimately persuades the reader to become active in terms of giving money to Amnesty International.
A very powerful technique used is that of comparing the reader to the refugees, explaining how neither want hardship or suffering: Nobody wants to be a refugee, People dont want to be homeless any more than you do they dont want to be tortured, murdered or raped any more than you do. Throughout the final section, the pronoun you is used, which outlines that it is aimed directly at the reader, telling them that they are needed to help Amnesty International, explaining how they can join, and describing what they can achieve with their help.
Imperatives are used again, in order to encourage the reader to act, such as the phrase, For heavens sake wake up and help them. In addition, emotive language is used again throughout the final section. The article ends with a personal appeal, which seems to be more of a plead for help. This is very personal and acts on both, the readers emotions and the readers wealth, in order to persuade even the reluctant readers to get involved. The subscription coupon is very conveniently placed at the end of the article.
This aids the ease and speed of access for the reader, and as a result they will probably become active, as theirs is no hassle involved if it is placed just placed on the page. To conclude, I personally believe that if I had come across this advert in a Sunday supplement, I would have read it and if I had the means to, I would have become involved. I feel that this article is very effective in persuading the reader to take an active interest in Amnesty International, mainly because of the way that it plays on the emotions of the readers, in order to strongly get across the message of the suffering of refugees.