Analysis of Bronwyn T. Williams

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08 Feb 2011
English 101

The Perpetual Literacy Crisis Analysis
Our society is under a severe threat, and if we do not fix it immediately, then our future as a country is a very grim one. In author Bronwyn T. Williams’ Why Johnny can never, ever read: The perpetual literacy crisis and student identity, Bronwyn explains how each generation seems to claim that the upcoming generation is illiterate and how this assumption is indeed a product of changing times and standards. Throughout the years each generation has looked down upon their upcoming peers and declared that there is a literacy crisis in the making, and something must be done immediately. Bronwyn explains how and why this assumption is false, and what we can do as a society to encourage, not scare, the next generation “to write in any context , [and] make their language choices with knowledge and power” (Bronwyn par. 17). Essentially, Bronwyn uses a cause, effect, and solution method to get the idea that this crisis is all in our heads and what we as a society can do to end this perpetual literacy crisis across to the reader.

Bronwyn does not explicitly state what the cause of this so called crisis is. Instead he offers several answers for the reader to form their own as to “why?” this crisis may be happening. Bronwyn also suggests that this new idea of a literacy crisis amongst our youth is in fact not a crisis at all; just a hysteria that every generation seems to repeat. He puts part of the blame on “media commentators, who know there are always ratings to be had in attacking public education” (par. 4). Through the use of quotes during the opening paragraph Bronwyn is able to prove that concern about the literacy of the youth is not a cutting edge idea at all, and that “it’s not difficult to look back over the past 150 years and find a constant and consistent level of concern about the abilities of young people to read and write” (par. 2). Bronwyn Williams brings his readers away from the...
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