Analysis Of Expository Text Essay, Research Paper
Analysis of Expository Text
?Anna?s Story? is a non-fiction expository text written by Bronwyn Donaghy. Donaghy?s deliberate use of language and selection of detail have combined to convey specific attitudes about teenagers and drugs. The way these are conveyed is also aided by the use of structure, point of view, quotes and bias. In this text we are given facts about drugs as well as the story of Anna?s life and what caused the early end to it. Donaghy is trying to convince us that it was not Anna?s fault she died, but that it was the drugs.
The book starts with forward which is by David Bennett; he is the head of Adolescent Medicine at a hospital in New South Wales. He talks about how he is moved by the story. This is included because he is a doctor and because he sees so much suffering and bad things in his line off work. It talks about how he is moved by what has happened, this is supposed to make us think that we too should feel some sort of sorrow for Anna Wood because he would not be moved by something that wasn?t very sad. The letter from Kate Ceberano is put in so that we see that someone popular (a teen idol) is giving up her time to include a message about drugs being bad. We are supposed to look up to her and listen to what she is saying, but to us she is not very popular and this tends to bore us. Therefore in these first few pages, Donaghy has already bored us with information that is uninteresting.
The book then goes on to part one, which is accounts of Annas life from her family and friends point of view. People included in this are her mum, dad, Alice, Julie, Kathie, Eddie, Toby, Gayle, Ian, Chloe, Alexia, George and Sarine. They all talk about how good she was to them and how they can’t believe that she died from a drug overdose. The selection of detail in these accounts tries to make us believe that Anna was an angel and it wasn?t her fault that she died. Donaghy has selectively put in mainly good things about Anna, but if we read closely we see that she was not like the picture that is painted of her. We pick up on this in Chloe?s story:
?The first time I tried dope I was at Anna?s house.? pg 60.
This shows us that Anna was not really as innocent as she is made out to be. Even though it is not stated whether or not Anna was smoking it too we assume that she was due to the fact that it was her house. This makes Donaghy less credible to us and we start to question what the book is selectively leaving out.
In the middle is the information that turns the book into a non-fiction expository text. We get a big chunk of facts about drugs and alcohol. It gives us long explanations about the drugs and this information is repeated over and over just using different words. This is trying to show us the dangers of these different things thought it just bores us. The inclusion of these facts is supposed to inform us and scare us into not experimenting with drugs.
Part Two of the book is gives us information about what went on around Anna?s death. This part of the book is really involving. It uses emotive language and dramatic descriptions of what happened to Anna, which gets us involved in the story. It is quite sad and interesting. It is probably about the most informative and interesting part of the book. There is a quote that talks about George and it not being his fault that Anna died:
?It wasn?t his fault. It wasn?t anyone?s fault.? pg 176.
One of the main aims of the book is to try to get us to believe that it wasn?t Anna?s fault that she died, that it was the drugs fault. This quote is yet another attempt to try to make us believe that it was not her fault, when in fact she was the one who wanted to take the ecstasy and did.
The inclusion of the letters and poems written by Anna is to remind us that she was a real person, she was still just a kid. They show her feelings towards her life and the people in it. All the quotes from Lewis Carroll are also trying to convince us that Anna was still a child.
?Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end??
This is what your life is like if you constantly take drugs. Your life is in a downward spiral, and you can’t really stop it. This is probably not what Anna?s life was like, or it wasn?t from what we are told in the story, but it is for some other people addicted to drugs.
??for it might end you know? in my going out all together, like a candle.?
This IS what happened to Anna. She did end her own life by taking drugs and she did go out like a candle in the end.
The whole stories aim is to scare us into not taking drugs. The book tries to convince us that drugs are bad and we should stay away from them. Another idea is that today?s parents indulge their children to compensate for the attention that they are not providing. Through selection of information Donaghy tries to make us think that the Wood family was very close and open. One thing that slipped through was in Tony?s story:
?I didn?t realise that Anna was ever unhappy until after she died and I read her letters. She was apparently angry that her mum was working long hours and weekends and I was away a lot in the last 3 months before she died.?
This indicates that they didn?t have quite the family life that they want to portray to us that they had. This is another possible excuse in the reasons of why Anna needed to take drugs.
The combination of selection of information, language, point of view, structure and bias help to show us the attitudes but do not make them believable. The way that Anna was portrayed as a victim of drugs and not placing any of the responsibility of her death on anyone else makes the text unbelievable for me. Donaghy could not convince me that only the drugs were to blame and to prevent more deaths drugs should be kept right away from. The problem is much deeper than that, and trying to make us believe that it isn?t is just treating us as thought we are ignorant. The book had many flaws and by using only certain details and information and expecting us to feel sad and moved by it is insulting.