Sun Vampires

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SUN VAMPIRES - Possible Answers Who is this piece written for? The Big Issue is published on behalf of the homeless, seeking to raise funds for those who find themselves in this situation. It is not available through the usual outlets but is sold by vendors, homeless themselves, on the streets of our major cities. The 'target group' for sales is, broadly speaking, seen as those who might be sympathetic to the plight of the homeless: people who are fortunate enough to have homes and jobs, who take an interest in society as a whole rather than in themselves as individuals and who are aware of current issues. Readers are likely to be young, rather than middle-aged, and relatively affluent. Such readers are likely to have heard of Bros (a teen pop duo of the late 80's) and Peter Andre (popular at the time of publication, but hardly an enduring household name) and might be in the position of being able to spend £399 a year on a suntanning course. They are more likely to respond to the style of writing that uses current colloquial or slang expressions such as "And let's face it", "fork out" and "one hell of a habit" than to a style which they might regard as stuffy and old- fashioned. Although the message is a serious one, the tone is, generally speaking, quite light-hearted - you must never frighten the casual reader because, if the reader were to associate this emotion with The Big Issue, he or she might never buy a copy again, thus defeating the whole purpose of the publication.


We all recognise anorexia as a very real and devastating psychological disease, and this reinforces the gravity of Williams' message. There are no jokes in this section. "Religiously" and "confesses" underline the importance the issue has for both Williams and Horwood. 8. We have all seen the television advertisements in which 'scientists' in white coats are used to impress upon us the wonderful properties of certain toothpastes or headache cures. We are naturally inclined to believe what we are told by acknowledged experts. Williams uses a similar device here. Doctor Bishop is brought into the argument. She is not just a doctor, but a consultant dermatologist. Although we do not understand the jargon doctors use, we are always impressed by their use of subject-specific language. We may, for example, have no idea what UVB and UVA rays actually do to us; we may have no idea what melanocyte cells are; but most of us are inclined to believe what those who do know tell us about them. It is very interesting to note that Williams, afraid perhaps of losing her audience by using too many expressions we do not understand, eventually gives us one or two layman's explanations - as in the case of elastin and of collagen. 9. Industries are commercial enterprises by means of which people make money - or, at least, hope to. We tend to see them as very large-scale, too, as in `the motor industry' or `the film industry'.


associated with a particular 1980s stereotype - the selfish individual concerned only with himself and what he can get his hands on. The sunbed tan, as a symbol of affluence, is so overdone that the skin takes on the appearance of "tandoori" - a highly spiced Eastern dish partly famous for its vivid red colouring - especially when it, too, is overdone! It is noticeable that by the end of her piece Williams has become more confidently abusive. If you've read this far, she seems to be suggesting, you must agree with me, so I can begin to take a few liberties. 12. This is a very cleverly written piece, in which Cayte Williams has expertly matched her tone to her readership without compromising the sincerity and, ultimately, the intensity of her feelings. This cannot be a coincidence. "Barking" echoes the phrase, "barking mad", and leaves us in no doubt how she feels about "tanorexics". It may also refer back to "Essex Man". So what? There is no attempt at fairness in this piece - no balance of opinions; asking the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. The writer has a point to make and scarcely accepts that there might be other points of view. Counter- arguments, when they appear, tend to be ridiculed. We probably haven't learned anything new about suntanning - perhaps a little bit about those who indulge in it - but the piece might be considered amusing. This work unit by Philip White was found free at (c) 2000 English Resources, all rights reserved. The FREE resources website.

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