Drug and Alcohol Culture

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Language Analysis - Alcohol and drug culture in Australia
Following the death of Leigh Clark after the circumstances which occurred after he was supplied alcohol by another parent, writer Bruce Guthrie argues in an opinion piece that the law requiring parental approval to supply alcohol could save lives. The second article which supports Guthrie’s contention is a cartoon by Mark Knight, published in the Herald Sun which highlights the public outcry against the call to legalise drugs, where both articles are in favour of changing the law to alter the alcohol and drug culture in Australia. Guthrie employs an anecdote to begin the article which evokes compassion in the reader who responds emotionally to the plight of Bruce Clark who lost his son to an alcohol related event after a party where he was supplied drinks without his parent’s permission. The phrase ‘fatal binge drinking episode’ effectively positions the reader to respond negatively to the event as the terms have negative associations and are intended to evoke a strong emotional response in the reader. Guthrie personalises the issue for the reader when he places the matter into his own experience, ‘as a parent of two teenagers, one of drinking age’ which persuades the reader as it suggests that the contention comes from a personal involvement in the issue, rather than merely from readings. The successful rebuttal of the shadow minister for consumer protection further persuades the reader, “Nothing could be simpler”, as it is stated in an assertive fashion and appears conclusive. The image which accompanies the article effectively supports the contention by providing visuals that reinforce the notion of irresponsibility, which Guthrie has concluded in the article. The idea is shown graphically in the image through the positioning of the parents lying drunk underneath a table and their child who uses a parent for leverage to reach a bottle of alcohol on the table. The focus of the image is on the bottle,...
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