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Help the aged letter - A critical analysis.

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Introduction

Help The Aged Letter- A Critical Analysis In this essay I intend to thoroughly analyse all aspects of the first page of the letter. I am going to work my way through the letter, firstly commenting on the graphology, and then language, although in some places these will obviously overlap. In the top right hand corner, we see the logo. It shows a sun setting and is a bright image. It is eye catching and uses connotations to represent happiness, and the sun itself represents life. The logo is saying that although the sun is setting and that the end may be near, there is still happiness and brightness, and prosperity. The logo is very basic and clear and I think this has been done to make it instantly recognisable and distinguishable. In the other corner, there is what is designed to look like a part of a letter or note that has been torn out, with rough edges. Because it looks like lined paper and the font is designed to make it look handwritten, the reader gets the impression that it is a genuine part of a letter that has been torn out. ...read more.

Middle

I think it is answered instantly for you in the next line so that the reader does not have time to think of the bad or negative images of Christmas, such as Christmas shopping and the dispersed families. In the next line, the use of the 1st person plural pro-noun "us" is used to give solidarity between the reader and sender- as if the sender is talking to you directly, as previously in "Dear Friend". With the examples, they are literally piling up positive mental images for the reader, 3 nouns of which are plural and one of which is abstract. "Family and friends" has been put in because it is a collocated set phrase, and one compliments the other. It makes the reader think of their family and friends, adding to the positive images. There is then a gap of one line before the next paragraph begins. "But" is a contrastive conjunction, it is preparing the reader for something that will totally destroy all the positive images that have built up in their head in the previous line. The word "tragic", in the next sentence is a very dramatic adjective, again they are trying to emphasise the emotions and emote the reader. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the use of the word "gift" is an interesting one. It is both positive and sympathetic, something given out of generosity, selfless and voluntary. The figure of 400,000 is included to shock the reader and make them think that "Maud" is not the only one who will spend Christmas like this. "Struggle" has been included to again emote the reader, along with "tragedy". In the last sentence, the modal auxiliary "could" is fairly general, it is not saying that your "gift" will definitely stop this "tragedy", but it "could". The last paragraph is the first mention of Help the Aged. It is very much made up of statement sentence's, explaining why they need the money. It has changed the tone of the letter- until now it has been a sob story, nagging at the reader's conscience and emotions. However now it is explaining why and how they need to help people like Maud. Overall the letter is very technical with a wide use of semantics to persuade the reader to part with their money. It uses both visual and textual techniques to draw the reader in and once it has gained their attention, it tries to keep them interested. ...read more.

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