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In the article, ‘A Tragic Gamble’ (Sunday Herald Sun, 9/2/03) the writer firmly states that gambling is detrimental and therefore the government should act to curb the problem. Juxtaposition is employed to draw parallels in the issues. colloquialism is also employed. The use of familiar language ensures that readers clearly understand the arguments raised. The writer also uses imagery to evoke vivid images in the reader’s minds. Through the demanding yet accusing tone of the article, the writer aims to create uneasiness in the reader’s mind in order for the proposition to curtail the gambling industry is accepted.

The clever use of juxtaposition creates tension in the reader’s mind. Repetition that contrasts between the circumstances of the wealthy and the poor causes an uneasiness and a receptivity to resolution. The writer states that gambling is the most ‘efficient means for transferring wealth from the poor to the rich’. Another contrast raised is the advantages the gambling industry offers and the disadvantages that result. Gambling offers some benefits, such as hospitality jobs, foreign earnings and entertainment spin-offs, but ‘a multitude of ugly consequences’ such as crime, family breakdown and personal debt.

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By stating this, the reader is invited to feel uneasy because no one wants such displeasing outcomes to occur to themselves. Other examples of contrasts used throughout by the writer include: ‘keeping promises’ and ‘breaking them’; ‘winners’ and ‘losers’; ‘loss’ and ‘gain’; and ‘doing the right thing’. Through juxtaposition between conflicting ideas, the writer has positioned the reader to feel uneasy and see that curtailment is necessary. Through the use of colloquialism, the writer positions the reader to understand the article more easily, since it is familiar, friendly accessible language.

The description of Australia’s first casino as the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ shows the use of down-to-earth language. A wedge can be described as an isosceles triangle, where the angle gradually increases in size. The writer relates the gambling industry to this, because when the first casino was opened at Wrest Point in Hobart nobody thought anything of it. But as time progressed, the problem has increased dramatically the image being shorthand for a lengthy description. Another example of colloquialism is the phrase ‘stop the rot’, which means to prevent the problem from expanding any further.

The organic idiom is powerful – the increasing putridity of the industry not being lost on the reader. Such uses of colloquialism invite the reader to understand what the writer states in familiar and common language. Throughout the article, the writer makes use of imagery. The description of the many Australians who are addicted to gambling is described as ‘realising there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow’. By stating this, the writer positions the reader to realise that gambling is hoping for the impossible – to win.

These images painted by the writer intend to produce pictures in the reader’s imagination to reinforce the writer’s contention that gambling is a blight and the government should act to curtail it. Through the production of word paintings, the writer positions the reader to visualise the By creating word paintings, the reader has a better understanding of the idea if they can visualise it. Through the use of several techniques such as juxtaposition, colloquialism and imagery the writer has argued a convincing debate.

The writer employs juxtaposition to draw the reader’s attention to contrasting ideas. This invites the reader to feel unsettled. The use of commonly known language and phrases, such as ‘stop the rot’, engage readers because they are able understand the language, which is recognisable. If the reader is able to visualise the images the writer is presenting, then it is more likely that the reader will support the notion that government should act to limit gambling. The writer of ‘A Tragic Gamble’ (Sunday Herald Sun, 9/2/03) contends that gambling is a blight and the government should curtail it.

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