A Sorry State? – Article Anaylsis

In the opinion piece, A sorry state? Written on 2nd of august 2007, Professor Janice Stevens opposes in an alarmed and critical tone that the treatment of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay is a violation of human rights and that Australia’s response only shows that other citizens should be scared of themselves being held in such a state. In a sophisticated style the article addresses at an educated adult audience, or to those who are concerned about the treatment of their fellow citizens. Placed effectively on the page the image by Bentley, positions the reader to grasp a greater understanding of the point put across in the article. As the image already looks like David Hicks, the frowned, angry and confused expression on his face convinces the reader to feel sympathy towards Hicks.

The Australian flag that is tight over hicks mouth and the stubble beard can suggest two things one that Hicks has suffered through so much that he could of died, and that Australians don’t speak for themselves they just follow with leaders such as united states, hence the American flag being above the Australian flag this suggests America has higher power. Both hicks eyes and mouth covered can propose that the American and Australians shut hicks up not letting him speak for himself to anyone it also suggest that he was hardly aloud to see anyone. The use of pun, a play on words in the headline A sorry state? Represents a number of things such as the remorseful of the situation, the treatment of Hicks or the state of which the Australian government found them in.

The impact of phrasing the headline as a question is the use of a persuasive technique which positions the reader to agree by assuming their answer will be same as the writers. Stevens shows a feeling of concern of hick’s treatment by the US military by using the emotive language ‘barbaric’ to alarm us that he is an Australian citizen and his mistreatment should be unacceptable. She also tells us the reason why Hicks is placed by the Americans in Guantanamo Bay but allows the reader to make up their own mind of whether he is guilty or innocent by stating the word ‘accused’.

Stevens’ states evidence that for someone to allow any human to live in ‘solitary confinement for up twenty-two or twenty three hours a day and restrict their access to others is in clear violation of the Geneva Convention Keeping her concern Stevens appeals to patriotism by signifying that ‘Australia’s response to Hicks plight was no less than shameful…and given that the man is an Australian citizen makes the situation more appalling.

This can arouse in more so Australian readers, strong emotions of guilt. Inclusive language such as ‘we’ has been included to involve the reader and make them feel their view counts or to encourage the reader to agree since the view is apparently shared by the whole group. Stevens also appeals to a sense of justice by restating her point, that as Australians we should have taken every precaution to ensure fair treatment of an Australian citizen as everyone deserves to be treated fairly. Stevens make reference to other recent situations such as Dr Haneef’s debacle as a generalisation persuasive technique to evoke fear onto how much¬ liberty was at risk. It can position the reader to consider their own fear of limited liberty and become aware of what would happen if we found ourselves in a similar situation. The core of the article, A sorry state? Was to present evidence to persuade the intended audience of Professor Stevens point of view on the unfair treatment against David Hicks by both united states and Australian citizens.