Immediately, the article is suggesting an insignificance. The phrase implys that whatever the article deals with, it is not an isolated case. And to think this, the reader would be correct, but the real reason such a sentence is used to open the article is to enforce the idea of being laid-back. Laziness, even. The opening is so relaxed to prove – or attempt to – that this could happen to any youngster, without them realising before its too late. The theme is continued with words such as ‘wander’. This almost suggests an idyllic lifestyle.
Mark steals sweets with ease and effortlessly, just as he easily becomes a case for the detention centre. The other reason this opening is decided upon is to shock the reader when they finally hear of Mark’s sentence. There had been no malice in Mark’s actions. He casually stole sweets – which of course, deserves a form of punishment – but there had been no criminal intent. Surely the idea of punishment and being locked away should be dependant upon the scenario. A child who steals sweets certainly deserves punishment, but not three months in a detention centre.
‘The Children’s Society’ obviously feels the same and so they set the reader up to be shocked with the two very short opening paragraphs. it is becoming increasingly obvious that each article is following the same pattern of negativity, followed by a sudden burst of positive, hopeful langue. In the second article, statistics are used just as they are in the first and to equally great effect. This time though, they are intended and required to evoke sympathy, rather than to shock the reader and encourage them to follow their argument: ” ‘Over 80 applications for employment eventually brought success.
‘These powerful statistics certainly do evoke sympathy for Karen and also gives the reader an insight into her character. She is extremely determined to better herself, showing huge resilience along the way. Karen is definitely not lazy though. She wants to work and undoubtedly does not give up trying. Whereas this use of statistics and figures creates a feeling of sympathy, the same technique used in the first article is intended to gain support and convince the reader that locking youngsters away is extremely detrimental to their future.
Both achieve their target successfully though. Once ‘The Children’s Society’ has been mentioned in the first article, the language becomes increasingly more positive. Their statement of believe has become clear and such adverbs as, ‘successfully’ and, significantly’ are used. They convey and emphasise just how well the organisation is in helping youngsters. In the second article, there is no contrast between the headline and the photograph, as there is in the first and third. In fact, the image enforces the point that the headline makes, rather than being equivocal.
The opening also continues along the same lines: ” ‘Karen has spent years in and out of various homes and institutions. ‘ ” This – as do many circumstances in the other articles – evokes sympathy towards Karen. Although she would always be safe and looked after in these such homes, nothing can compare to the love and support of a real family in a real home. We also soon learn that despite being so young, Karen herself has already experienced a tragedy and is now facing the harsh consequences. Her character warrants respect though as she battles bravely to find a job – and indeed; money.
Even after eventually finding work, Karen – try as she might – just could not cope. She suffered from depression and was forced to move back home. Because she quit her job, she was now living on a very small amount of money a week. More sympathy is felt towards her when we hear of her independence: ” ‘After paying rent and bills, she was left with just i?? 2. 78 a week. ‘ ” Karen’s independence and will to be a good person is portrayed in the way that she lives. She pays her way in life, ensuring all her bills are paid off, despite being left with such a miniscule amount afterwards.
It is for this reason that when Karen is eventually forced to live on handouts, we feel our most compassionate. This decent, independent young lady has suffered so much, yet is being forced to live such a dehumanising life. But all of a sudden, the mood changes: ” ‘She could then make ends meet and was able to make a fresh start. ‘ ” This positive language is brought about all of a sudden by the mention of ‘The children’s Society’. They are trying to prove that when they become involved in a case, they are able to help and support people such as Karen, or Mark, or Richard.
In this article too, there is a statement made by the charity: ” ‘Tackling poverty is just one of the ways in which The Children’s Society speaks out for children and young people. ‘Once again, they outline their aims and prove that they meet them by speaking of Karen’s good-fortune and aid due to their involvement. The short phrase, ‘is just one of the ways’, conveys that the ‘The Children’s Society’ are always willing to help, no matter what the instance. The third article uses the same technique as the first. The photograph belies the headline.
Whereas the headline conveys the dream, the photograph brings us back down to Earth with the harsh reality of what such a life style would bring. Once again, the opening creates a strong sense of sympathy: ” ‘Richard left care after years spent in a local authority home. ‘ ” His situation was very similar to Karen’s; although he was safe and well, no youngster would like to live like this. There would be no real feeling of love, security, unity. And there would be even less of this in Richard’s life when he had to leave because, ‘in the eyes of the authorities, he was no longer a child. ‘