Language Analysis Gay Marriage

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Agreeing with Tuohy, Newton’s letter to the editor, “It is nonsense to cling to the past” (The Age 16/11/11) responds to a statement by Julia Gillard, that as marriage has come to “have a particular standing” in our culture it should “continue unchanged”. Newton begins in a mocking tone, replying with “fine words”, inferring that Gillard doesn’t know what she is talking about and swaying the reader to feel that Newton has a more informed argument than Gillard. He continues to attack her, describing her beliefs as a “logical fallacy” and demonstrating that she has fallen a victim to the cliché of “traditional wisdom”. Newton shifts to a matter of fact and admonishing tone to discuss Gillard’s mistakes, “the error lies”, this compels the reader to feel that Newton is not bias and is stating the facts and to agree with his contention that laws need to reflect changing times. He further persuades the reader by referring to colossal mistakes in history, appealing to the reader’s reason & logic and fear, as he states that “if we applied this logic we would still have slavery, child labour and pre-Copernican astronomy.” This invites the reader to feel it is sometimes necessary to change legal practices for the benefit and protection of the community. He then involves the reader directly by exclaiming that Gillard’s wrong decisions are “made on behalf of the nation”, causing them to feel personally victimised by her mistakes. A cartoon image published in The Age (22/11/11) by John Spooner reflects the contention of Newton, portraying the view of moving forwards as some practices can become out-dated. The image satirically mocks the idea of traditional and religious marriage practices through his biblical reference to the infamous Garden of Eden where God created the first humans, Adam & Eve. It features two “Eves”, which are clearly a couple whose grasp on each other symbolises that they are inseparable and not interested in Adam. The tattoo on one of the...
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