Representation of Australia

Essay by nikitamsmitHigh School, 11th grade October 2014

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Journal Entry

Nikita Smit

The feature article 'At Sea with the America's Cup' written by American author; P.J. Rourke and the expository text 'Down Under' by other American author; Bill Bryson both focuses on the representation of Australia and Australians; in different ways. P.J. Rourke positions his readers to see Australia as over the top; and Australians as unsophisticated. Bill Bryson on the other hand positions his readers to see Australia as insignificant and isolated; and Australians as relaxed, risk taking individuals. This is done through the use of conventions such as selection of detail, selection of language, and rhetorical devices (such as repetition) to promote the authors attitudes and opinions about the topic.

In the feature article 'At Sea with the America's Cup', Rourke includes a majority of negative details about Australia and Australians rather than including the positive details as well. He does this to position his readers to respond to Australia and Australians with a negative attitude.

For example, "On the visa application they still ask if you've been convicted of a felony - although they are willing to give you a visa even if you haven't been." By reinforcing the history of Australia and its convicts in the opening sentence, automatically positions the reader to see the article as sarcastic and judgemental of the country. Rourke uses much less facts than Bryson but he is much more critical of Australians in his feature article. For example, "…nobody else in Western Australia owns a tuxedo… every guy there was wearing a rented one exactly like mine" and "… dressed in the way they (Australians) usually were… kangaroo t-shirts, khaki shorts, work boots and black mid-calf socks." He is extremely critical of the way Australian men dress; thus reinforcing his attitudes and opinions about Australians being unsophisticated due...