Dreaming of a better day

In a letter to the Age, (26,1,09) titled “Dreaming of a better day” the writer conveys his point of view in a patriotic and discouraged tone that Australians should feel sympathy and sorrow towards Indigenous Australians on Australia Day.

The writer opens the piece with the headline which appeals to justice, which shows how important the issue is to the writer and also allows the readers to agree with him. The argument begins with an emotive anecdote about how Australia has changed since the original owners of the land were here. Using emotive words such as “nightmare”, “beautiful”, “blissful and “heart-breaking” the writer shows just how passionate he is about Australia and Indigenous people and this encourages the readers feel the same way.

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Additionally, the writer uses imagery and sarcasm in the piece as he describes his “deep sorrow and anger” when he strolled along the Yarra river and the drove along the Great Ocean Read. The writer uses rich imagery as he describes the “Yarra” as a river surrounded by a built-up and populated city whilst also describing “The Great Ocean Road” as “smeared with tarmac and splattered with houses” on “sacred land”. This use of imagery evokes feelings of sympathy and empathy towards the “first owners” of this land as we have changed it completely. The writer then uses sarcasm “how damn lucky for the rest of us”, this ridicules Australians and furthermore evokes sorrow towards the “original owners” of this land.

Finally, the editorial concludes with a solution by the writer stating what he is doing on Australia Day which is “mourning”, using emotive and negative words such as “genocide”, “wiping out”, “destruction”. The emotive and negative words furthermore develop the writer’s point of view that the act of celebrating the landing of the First Fleet is ignorant and “heart-breaking”.

In contrast to the editorial’s point of view that Australia Day is celebrated for all the wrong reasons, the Blog (The Age, 26/1/09) highlights the issue and argues that Australia Day is a day that average Australians can celebrate what it is to be “Aussie[s]” and the fact that we are living in the “lucky country”. The writer argues in a reasonable and patriotic tone.

The Blob begins with a rhetorical question, “Raise your hand if you were alive 221 years ago. Nobody?” this logical technique is used to emphasis how this generation has nothing to do with the events that happened century’s ago. Coupled with a generalisation “99.9999% of Australians don’t celebrate the so-called ‘racist aspects of Australia Day'”, this encourages readers to dismiss that any other point of view on the issue.

The argument then moves forward to all the things it is to be an Australian, by appealing to national identity and tapping into the reader’s values and beliefs. Stating that the average Australian sees Australia day as a “day off from work” and a “chance to watch the cricket or tennis interrupted” and a excuse to have a plate of “BBQ’d meat products”. The intention of this is to convince the readers and furthermore show Australia Day as a day of celebration to be in the “lucky country”.

Additionally, the writer uses a personal anecdote about his grandfather and how he came to Australia with nothing and managed to live a successful life in this “land of opportunity”. This is used to show the writers point of view of Australia which he feels grateful and thankful that he lives here.