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Journalist Stuart Wavell wrote an article for the Sunday Times about a pre-battle speech made by Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins.

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Introduction

In March 2003, journalist Stuart Wavell wrote an article for the Sunday Times about a pre-battle speech made by Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins. The headline was: 'Words that Make Troops Walk Above the Ground' with a subtitle of: 'The Power of Oratory'. The purpose of this article was to entertain and inform readers, and to convince them that Collins is a good orator. Wavell uses various techniques to do this. When looking at this or any newspaper article, the first things you will notice are the presentational devices. These include the headline, any pictures and their captions. The main picture is of Collins telling his men to: "fight bravely, and show compassion in victory". You can see several of Collins' men standing around Collins, presumably in a circle formation, in this picture. This suggests that Collins is a good orator in the sense that his is not afraid to speak in front of large crowds. ...read more.

Middle

The metaphor element comes from the fact that the speech doesn't literally make the troops levitate into battle. This also links to a quote from Professor John Potter in the article. Also in this article, Wavell spoke to Professor John Potter, a former lecturer on military psychology. The purpose of this was so that readers didn't only have the opinion of Wavell, but the added views of a professional in the area of the article's content. Potter's first sentence is: "Occasionally we come across a transcendent leader who inspires people to walk 3ft above the ground". The "walk 3ft above the ground" is basically an alternatively worded version of the headline. This may have been chosen for the headline because it is very emotive. The last sentence of John's contribution is: " In an age of high technology we look even more to the human touch." ...read more.

Conclusion

There are also other persuasive techniques in this piece. For instance, Wavell describes Collins and his speech with powerful words like 'hero'. This convinces the readers because people don't usually disagree with people who are described as heroes. When Wavell says: "it did not merely stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood", this is a reference to Shakespeare's Henry V. Wavell is trying to make readers think that this speech is as good as, or to an extent better, than Shakespeare's. Later on in the article, Wavell inserts a joke about the Irish St. Patrick's Day ban on alcohol. This is to show readers Collins' comedic side, and to amuse readers. Wavell uses the metaphor 'rang around the world'. This elicits the image that the speech instantly went all the way over the world as Collins was saying it. And that convinces readers because it makes them think that Collins must have made a powerful speech if this happened. ...read more.

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