I am writing an essay on how Cayte Williams influences the audience by using language techniques in an article from the Big Issue of May 1997, on the harm that sun beds can cause.
Cayte Williams’s attitude towards sun beds is mostly negative. She says that essentially, they are “Big plastic cocoons filled up with high tech lights that beam down on you with a mellow hum.” Throughout this article she emphasizes the negative points of sun beds, the only praise for them coming from the interviewed members of the public who use them each week. This creates quite a biased view.
The overall tone of this piece is sombre as it is quite serious when drawing the reader to the side of the argument Williams has chosen. This is highlighted mostly in the first half of the piece where the author is emphasizing the negative points of sun beds. But as the piece moves on to the second half of the presentation takes on a lighter, more appealing tone I think this makes the article easier to read and not such a chore to take in.
The articles title, “SUN VAMPIRES,” is an oxymoron; because vampires can’t actually go out in the sunlight as if they do they will die. This gives the reader an image that the user becomes dependent on the sunlight and being without out it will damage them. This language technique can draw attention to a reader that is just flicking through the pages. This get a lot more people to read the article.
The sub headings bombard the reader with three main images, the first of which is the quote “they’re desperate for a sun fix” witch puts an image of a drug addict in you head, doing what they can for any money then immediately spending it on the drug.
The second is “They spend hours incinerating in hi-tech coffins.” This makes it seem like a day to day task that people go through quite comfortably. Particularly the use of the verb incinerating is shocking as the is what happens in cremation.
The third image is that she uses is that she is going to meet the “Tannorexic” Giving the idea that these people are so self obsessed with their image and beauty that they would put them selves through pain to achieve it.
The article also includes pictures. The purpose of including an illustration is to act as a visual back up to the descriptions that the author is providing. Also it can draw people attention to the page whilst flicking through the magazine if there is a bright illustration on the page.
The author opens the piece with using a first person narrative which immediately gets the reader involved. She also places them into an unknown environment, as she asks the reader rhetorical questions such as “Have you been abducted by aliens for scientific experiments?” Then the author brings in the reality that you are actually inside a sun bed. This technique makes the
reader feel like they are in control of the course of the article, encouraging them to read it further.
The author has used a different approach when describing the experiences of Jane Horwood. She appears to have edited the piece to only include Jane’s answers. Quotes such as “It’s like smoking” and
“When I got pregnant my doctor told me I couldn’t go on the sun bed”
Quotes like this pull the tone of the piece towards a negative side hinting that Jane knows that its doing her harm but something inside her is telling her to carry on lying under the sun bed.
Other phrases that suggest this are
“I used to go on it rigorously” this tells me that she wasn’t shy with the amount of time that she spent baking her self.
Another interesting quote that was included was “If I hadn’t gotten pregnant then I would never have stopped.
This quote shows us that her self control isn’t the best as something has to physically stop her from being able to use the sun bed.
In the 5th paragraph the author introduces the opinion of Doctor Julia Newton bishop to back up her claims by listing the consequences of using tanning beds frequently.
“Apart from premature skin ageing, people who use sun beds for more than 20 sessions of 30 minutes per year run the risk of developing skin fragility.”
The author also makes clear that Julia is a consultant dermatologist at St James’ University Hospital in Leeds. This backs up the fact that this woman is a trained professional and knows what sort of damage sun beds can inflict on people that over use them. It also shows that she has experience with skin damage patients and what they go through as a result of over use of a sun bed.
The author now introduces us to Victoria Williams, who is a “Tannorexic”.
She had been using sun beds to clear up a skin complaint. And as she was using them once every week, it soon turned into two to three times a week and she became hooked. In this interview she tells us how as soon as she stopped using them it had a dramatic affect on her moral and self esteem.
“So I didn’t go on the sun bed for a month, but I started to get miserable when I got pasty. I wanted that heat and warmth on my body.”
The author insures in this piece that she creates a much more negative attitude towards Victoria Williams than Julia Bishop, as she sees Victoria as just a sun bed user were as Julia is a trained professional. This technique could be used to get the reader to take a side in the arguments and favour the author’s opinion.
So after reading this piece I have viewed all of the techniques that Cayte Williams has used to manipulate her audience with language techniques such as, lists, oxymoron’s, metaphors, similes just to list a few.
By introducing characters such as Doctor Julia Newton Bishop it adds a professional view and provides accurate information.
She then introduces a lot of sun bed users, this helps to provide a first person view to give there pros and cons of using a sin bed. This also provides a good source of information as the doctor may not have used a sun bed before.
But Cayte Williams uses quotes such as:
“It seemed his rugged outdoor tan was of the indoor variety”;
“It makes you look wealthier, like you can afford regular holidays”;
“Essex Man with his perennial tandoori tan.”
These are very negative things compared to the praise that the author has been giving the trained professionals that she was earlier interviewing.
It is displayed very early on in the piece that she feels strongly against the use of sun beds. So she uses the language techniques to heavily influence the audience. And in my eyes she has pulled it off as I started to read the article with no real view on sun beds, but the information she has provided and all of the quotes from the sun bed users as well as the doctors has led me to the conclusion that sun beds are not worth all of the hassle.