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Tell Me I'm Here

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Introduction

TELL ME I'm HERE The expository text Tell Me I'm Here by Anne Deveson is an emotional text which both informs and persuades the reader on the issue of mental illness. Responding that mental illness is often portrayed as scary, the author has effectively used techniques, particularly point of view, to change popular misconceptions surrounding the illness. Both the structure and selection of detail strongly influence the readers to share Anne Deveson's attitudes toward the issue with many different sources included to add both an emotional impact and credibility to her views. The documentary Spinning Out also directed by Anne Deveson is effectively a non-print expository text which deals with the same issues as her book and also acts to change the attitudes society has on mental illness. Tell Me I'm Here begins with the prologue which defines the purpose of the text. Deveson says, "so I write this book for Jonathon who was graceful and funny and lovely." This immediately positions readers to see the mentally ill positively which greatly challenges existing views of those with mental illness. Readers are persuaded from the very first pages of this book to change their views on mentally ill people and see them as normal people with an illness which is not their fault. ...read more.

Middle

One mother who is shown crying pleads, " They are our loved ones and we don't want to lose any more of them...Please listen to us!" This is a powerfully emotional statement and strongly persuades the viewer to be aware of the extent of the situation which ignorance has caused and as a result are led to change their own views on the issue and remove their own ignorance and prejudice attitudes. The point of view Deveson uses in Tell Me I'm Here is very unusual for an expository text. She uses first person point of view which allows her to share her thoughts and feelings directly to the reader. This first person narration can be split into three different types, auto biographical, factual reporting and social commentary. The autobiographical aspect of the text deals mainly with her won thoughts and emotions at different situations. Her use of emotive and descriptive language is very effective in persuading readers to share her values and attitudes presented. For example at one stage she says, "I feel pain howling through every part of me". This, the reader is aware of is caused by the lack of help available to her and her son Jonathon. Her family also is described as suffering tremendously when she says, "Our whole family was like a ship engulfed in a terrible storm". ...read more.

Conclusion

This angers the reader who once may have believed it was these people's job to help and yet they refuse. The ignorance which has caused such suffering needs to be removed and the readers understand this and also feel this need. Other sources Deveson uses are from experts and other sufferers- one example is when the expert R.D. Laing sadly asked "Why can't our hospitals be more hospitable?". This conveys to the reader the lack of help available and encourages them to believe what Deveson says is true since this credible expert also shares her views. Tell Me I'm Here is a very successful expository text in persuading the reader to share the attitudes presented. Readers are encouraged to change their own attitudes from fear to compassion and remove any ignorance they have held. This is largely done through Deveson's use of point of view and other evidence she provides which convince the reader about the suffering endured due to the ignorance of society. The documentary Spinning Out also conveys these ideas strongly through the use of film language and interviews. Both texts shape the viewers/ readers response so that they may understand the urgency of the situation and the need for change to prevent further unnecessary suffering. ...read more.

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