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Turning Point is an expository novel by Hugh Mackay

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Introduction

YEAR 12 ENGLISH ASSESSMENT 5 EXPOSITORY TEXT TURNING POINT by HUGH MACKAY Turning Point is an expository novel by Hugh Mackay, a 'social commentator'. It was written to reinforce his series of 'Mackay reports' and concentrates on Australia's changing attitudes and values in, and as a result of the 90's. Each of his chapters pertains to a separate issue and all of them begin with a personal analogy that helps the reader understand what the chapter will discuss. It would be true to say it is not the quality of the texts arguments that makes the text effective, but also the power of its underlying values and assumptions. Because most arguments are not merely intellectual but have strong emotional overtones and spring from heart-felt convictions, underlying values and assumptions are the driving force behind intellectual and well-reasoned arguments. The values of Mackay presents in Turning Point are those of the majority of Australians. Attitudes are the symptoms of a society's state of mind. They reveal our responses to the things that have happened to us and, occasionally, they offer a glimpse of the kind of future we are hoping for. One of the dominant themes of Turning Point is that Australians are now in the midst of a culture shift so radical that it amounts to the discovery of a new way of thinking about Australia. ...read more.

Middle

By alternating these perspectives he lulls the reader into a false sense of security that he text is completely free of bias. However his use of tone and language changes almost imperceptively when he explains the male's point of view. He justifies what he terms the 'slow, slow male response' and points out that it is hard for a male to accept this radical change in gender attitudes and roles. Mackay also puts across his opinion and directs the reader's response towards it by detailing the many disadvantages of the women's movements in terms of the uncertainties it has placed on both the male and the females involved and the potentially disastrous effects of these uncertainties. Housework suffers, as does child rearing. He uses jargon such as 'quality time' and blames the need for these concepts indirectly on the women's lib movement. Most effectively, he sympathetically points to the massive pressures that have been placed on the female. At one point he mentions that there are 'pressure falling on the woman from all sides, from the personal to the social'. These pressures are the expectations of women that have not replaced those of the past, but added to them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Referring directly to the question statement that suggests that expository writers use techniques to change the reader's attitudes towards an issue, I think I can safely disagree on only one aspect of the statement. As I have displayed, expository text writers such as Hugh Mackay certainly use techniques to persuade the readers to agree with their point of view. This may not always be the case. An example of ineffectiveness of underlying values and assumption is the Turning Point at the beginning of every chapter. By assuming that the reader is looking for a simple, all encompassing, to all the problems he is identified, Mackay completely changes his tone and only succeeds in alienating his readers. The Turning Point incorporates an array of useless and obvious suggestions as how to overcome the problems he puts forward. Mackay's assumptions that all the problems can be simply fixed contrast starkly with the reader's knowledge that this cannot happen easily. In conclusion, the effectiveness of a text is dependent not only on its arguments, but also the values and assumptions it carries, and the values and beliefs that the reader brings to the texts. Turning Point has good strong arguments about the changes in Australian society, and the values and assumptions it carries are acceptable to the reader and reinforce the argument being made. ...read more.

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