Writers of the British Red Cross: Literary Analysis
Both adverts, the British Red Cross appeal and the Amnesty International appeal are written for the same reason… to get sympathy from the readers and to persuade them to financially support the charity.The reader needs to be convinced there is a strong reason to commit to the charity if they are to hand over part of their income.
Although the two appeals are both very, very affective, they are both laid out in totally different ways.
The writer’s of both appeals have created highly persuasive appeals using emotive and intensely personal language.It is very carefully and cleverly constructed and a logical reason to donate to the charity is developed throughout both.
The Amnesty International appeal is set out in columns which makes it look like a newspaper advertisement, it is very attention grabbing and this style really breaks up the content, this makes the readers want to read it as it’s not just a bunch of words all together.
The British Red Cross appeal is set out in a letter format which makes the plea more personal to the reader, this makes the reader want to read it as it’s addressing them.
In the British Red Cross appeal, they contain a logo in the top corner which makes the appeal creditable, the readers know it’s an official company and the money will be going to a good cause.
Both the British Red Cross and the Amnesty International appeals contain images which give a sense of reality.
The British Red Cross appeal has an image of an old woman who the case study is based upon. She looks very fragile and vulnerable, and is wearing rag type clothing and it looks like she has most of her belongings in a little sack which is thrown over her shoulder, this tells the reader that she doesn’t own many belongings and shows her poor status in life. The Amnesty International appeal has two boxes, one filled with black and one filled with white, these colours totally contrast each other. This appeal also has a cartoon drawing of a man hanging from the word “you’ll” , this suggests that it will be you hanging unless you agree.
In the British Red Cross appeal the paragraphs are nice and short, therefore easy to read. This means that people won’t get bored of reading it, and will probably read the whole letter, rather than the first couple of lines. The first thing the writer does is try to earn the reader’s trust. From the very start the letter opens an intensely direct and personal contact, the writer uses direct appeal quite a lot through-out the appeal. In the opening paragraph the writer instantly mentions the vulnerable old lady, he tries to create a sympathetic mood from the reader instantly. We see this in the quote “But few of us, thankfully, will never have to endure what 74-year-old Slana Djujic is going through.” this quote tries to get the reader to think what she could be going through, it tempts us to read on to find out what she’s having to endure.
In the next paragraph he says “Slana lives with her disabled son in Javdranj” the fact that her son is disabled makes us think that although she is old an vulnerable she has her son to look after as well. The quote “they are the only ones left in this once bustling village” tells us that they are the sole survivors of the village, no one else has been able to cope with the situation.
“When 200,000 people left the Krajina in 1995, fleeing the ethnic fighting, Slana and her son were too weak to join the exodus. She said goodbye to her daughter, Nadia, knowing she might never see her again.” this quote shows the massive scale of people that left the Krajina, it also shows us that Slana is having to make sacrifices by saying goodbye to her daughter because she along with her son are too weak to leave with the crowd.
They are now stuck in a wooden shack which has probably been thrown together, it has no electricity or gas. This shows the lack of money and the poor state of life.
The quote “Slana’s story shows only too well that, in winter, people depend on the Red Cross even more.” shows us that people are desperate for help and are completely dependant on charities for help.
“With a gift of ï¿½15, a mobile Red Cross team could ensure that someone like Slana has fuel for cooking and heating. Could you give that ï¿½15?” the writer has made this quote bold so it really stands out, the writer uses a rhetorical question here to make us think ‘can we give that 15?’ , the fact that this isn’t a huge amount of money to us, but can do so much for the people like Slana makes us feel that its worth giving it to them so they can change someone’s life.
“Let me tell you about 77-year-old Percy Jones. Percy was admitted to hospital…” this quote starts off in a very conversational way, ‘let me tell you’, it sounds like the writer is having a one on one talk with you, the fact he’s 77 and has been admitted to hospital makes us feel sympathy for him. “he couldn’t even bend to light the fires in his house.” this tells us that he is too old and too un-able to do basic every day things. “with no heat in the dead of winter, this frail, elderly man could have succumbed to hypothermia” the writer uses a technical term here to show the extent of the situation.
“Thankfully, the local branch of the British Red Cross was alerted, and a volunteer was assigned to help. He made sure that the fires were kept alight and that Percy was kept warm.” this quote tells us basically exactly what the people at the British Red Cross do. We instantly feel that what their doing is great and we think back to the rhetorical question of whether or not we could give that ï¿½15 to change their lives.
“Separated by thousands of miles and two different cultures, Slana and Percy are united in one thing: their need for the Red Cross to be there in winter.” this shows us that this is a world wide problem, and that they need the Red Cross. “Just as we need you to be there for us.” this is very direct to the reader and makes us think that the Red Cross can’t help the people like Slana and Percy without us helping the Red Cross and donating some money.
“Whatever you can give today will help us deliver the extra supplies of fuel, food or blankets that people urgently need at this time of year.” this tells us that any donations at all are appreciated and welcomed.
“For the sake of people like Slana and Percy, please be as generous as you can.” this makes us feel that the Red Cross just want to help people like them out and make their lives better.
In the Amnesty International appeal the writer says “what matters is that you conform, and to make you conform the State had only one weapon. Fear.” in this quote the word ‘conform’ is repeated to make sure you hear it. The word ‘fear’ is isolated at the end to give it great impact.
“You are one of the few prepared to speak out against the State” this is direct appeal, it makes us feel as though the writers talking about us.
In the quote “Initially it’s just harassment, threats and phone calls.” the key word is ‘just’ this makes it seem like nothing, and the situation seems calm.
“To continue to speak out against the State at this stage takes enormous courage.” this quote uses emotive language and tells us that the State is very strong and it will take something with a lot of guts to stand up to the State and speak their mind.
“You’re simply ‘lifted’ from the street in full public view” this suggests that you are just an object, humiliated in front of the public. “It serves as a useful warning to anyone else who may be thinking the same dangerous thoughts.” this quote suggests that it’s showing others what happens if you talk you mind and stand up against the State.
Overall both of the charities are very effective, however I think that the British Red Cross appeal is more persuasive and shows how genuine the charity actually is, where as the Amnesty International appeal is more like a law book and doesn’t look very good. If I was to choose a charity to donate to I would choose the British Red Cross advert because you’ve seen two different examples of people it’s helping.