“Abolish This Vce Insanity” by Susie O’Brien

May 9, 2018 General Studies

Inclusive language is not the most powerful technique, but it draws the reader into the article and makes them feel as though they are directly affected by the issue. In the beginning of the article, the writer states that VICE is doing “harm to our teenagers”. This early use of inclusive language involves the reader in the issue and makes them want to read more, and it also instantly positions the reader to view the VICE system as harmful and dangerous.

Hyperbole is also used very well throughout the article, particularly when the writer declares hat “VICE is the great lie that destroys adolescence,” in order to exaggerate the scale of the problem and create a sense of alarm in the reader. The article also addresses the unfairness of the VICE system, mainly pointing out its inability to accurately evaluate a student’s potential. Provocative in language and dismissive in tone, the writer bluntly refers to VICE as “a total beat up”, and asks a rhetorical question: “who’d want years of hard work reflected in just one set of numbers on a bit of paper? , convincing the reader to recognize the harsh and unjust reality of the VICE system. The writer also emphasizes the fact that “doing well at high school is no measure of future success, and refers to some very famous people, “Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Paul Simon, and Russell Crower,” who didn’t do well in school, yet managed to achieve many great things in life, as evidence to support her position. Furthermore, she claims that Melbourne university decision to only allow people with a general degree to enter professional courses, is secretly “an admission that VICE and ENTER scores were a dismal failure”.

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She gives a very DOD example to prove that VICE is an inaccurate method of deciding whether someone is well suited to a particular job, in this case to be a doctor, as she says that “the cream of the VICE crop entering Melbourne Medicine were seriously bright, but some were about as emotionally suited to becoming a doctor as Hannibal Lectern. ” This statement is very effective as it contains a cliche and a helpful comparison, which makes it easier for the reader to understand the message.

Strong messages are sent to the reader to bring to light the extent of the motional damage that is inflicted on teenagers who “are forced to jump on the academic treadmill and join the rat race,” and the writer utilizes disconcerting statistics to really sway the reader into believing her point of view. The writer draws on statistics such as: “one in five Victorian year 12 students have committed suicide or self-harm because of the pressures of school,” in order to substantiate her point and give legitimacy to her arguments.

These statistics also appeal to the readers’ morals and values, to aka them believe that VICE is more of a punishment or torture than a schooling system, and the metaphor used in the article which refers to students as “VICE slaves”, creates the effect that school is like a prison. Susie O’Brien article is a bit one-sided and unbalanced, as it does not look at both sides of the issue. However, she presents very strong arguments which encourage the reader to realism that in order to ensure the mental wellbeing of students, we must “abolish this VICE insanity’ immediately, and spare future generations from unnecessary trauma.


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