"Abolish This Vce Insanity" by Susie O'Brien - Language Analysis

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Article Analysis – ‘Abolish this VCE insanity’

In the article ‘Abolish this VCE insanity’ by Susie O’Brien, she contends that VCE is an unfair and inadequate measure of a student’s potential, and it is ruining their lives and mental well being due to its harsh and unforgiving nature. The writer deals with this issue in a very passionate and emphatic tone, in order to present her arguments in a very bold and attacking manner.

The author uses a variety of different persuasive techniques to support her arguments, the first of which is inclusive language. Inclusive language is not the most powerful technique, but it draws the reader into the article and makes them feel as though they are directly affected by the issue. In the beginning of the article, the writer states that VCE is doing “harm to our teenagers”. This early use of inclusive language involves the reader in the issue and makes them want to read more, and it also instantly positions the reader to view the VCE system as harmful and dangerous. Hyperbole is also used very well throughout the article, particularly when the writer declares that “VCE is the great lie that destroys adolescence,” in order to exaggerate the scale of the problem and create a sense of alarm in the reader.

The article also addresses the unfairness of the VCE system, mainly pointing out its inability to accurately evaluate a student’s potential. Provocative in language and dismissive in tone, the writer bluntly refers to VCE as “a total beat up”, and asks a rhetorical question: “who’d want years of hard work reflected in just one set of numbers on a bit of paper?”, convincing the reader to recognize the harsh and unjust reality of the VCE system. The writer also emphasizes the fact that “doing well at high school is no measure of future success, and refers to some very famous people, “Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Paul Simon, and Russel Crowe,” who didn’t do well in school, yet managed to achieve many great things in life, as...
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