Consumerism by Catherine Deveny- an Analysis

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Expository texts are created to manipulate the audience to accept a certain point of view. In the article “Consumerism”, author Catherine Deveny presents a satirical picture of modern Australia as a greedy and unhappy nation in the grips of a dangerous epidemic of consumerism where citizens excessively spend money to try and alleviate their pain. She suggests that although this behaviour may help the economy, it is detrimental to our spiritual economy. She encourages the audience to support her view through the use of extended metaphors, language devices and appeal to commonly held values.

Extended metaphors are used to draw parallels between two things. In the text, an extended metaphor of disease is used as a parallel to our materialism. Words such as Veruca Salt syndrome, affluenza, luxury fever and conspicuous consumption all draw parallels between commonly known diseases and terms that are related to greed and consumerism. What this does is that it gives the audience the impression that unnecessary consumption and indulgence is like a disease, it is dangerous and harmful and that we should avoid it. Also, another extended metaphor of drugs is used in the text. The phrase “take two transactions and call me in the morning” is a joke that refers to a common phrase used by doctors which is “take two pills and call me in the morning”. This metaphor relates consumerism to drugs that we are dependant on. The use of these two metaphors supports Deveny’s view because it relates consumerism to drugs and diseases, two things which society likes to stay away from.

Language techniques have been used throughout the text. The most evident language technique used is the use of short punchy sentences. Using short sentences makes the author sound confident in what she is talking about. Because we acknowledge her as confident and in the know, we will be more likely to believe her. Tri-colons have been used throughout the text to emphasise certain points. For example,...
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