Anna’s Story

Task: “Biographies may be constructed to do more than tell a story of a person’s life”.

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Discuss how your reading of Anna’s Story shows that it has been constructed to achieve a particular purpose.

The biography, Anna’s Story by Bronwyn Donaghy is both an expository and narrative text, as it uses both expository and narrative techniques. An expository text seeks to influence and present a message about an issue. Donaghy aims to warn parents of teenage drug taking, and help them understand that children don’t have to fit into the stereotypical image of a “druggie” to be at risk of taking drugs. The text gives parents a clear image that their own children are at risk of drugs, and explains the serious effects of drugs. Through the forward, author’s note, prologue, epilogue, family accounts and photographs the reader is influenced and persuaded to see how children are at risk of drugs.

The forward, prologue, author’s note and epilogue all seek to invite the readers, in particular parent readers to see how Anna is a teenage representative in general. The forward written by David Bennett, a specialist in adolescent medicine describes Anna as a “marvellous person” and a “beautiful young woman”. Bennett does this to present Anna in a positive light therefore the reader will respond to her more positively. Bennett then talks about his own children and begins to make comparisons with his own son, Nathan. “Nathan is a bit like [Anna] actually-outgoing, exuberant- Bennett purposely does this to invite the reader to make comparisons with their own children. Bennett also describes both Anna and Nathan positively as, “outgoing, exuberant, fun loving and popular”, which is how parents would like to see their children. Through this the reader can recognize that you don’t have to come from a broken family, be homeless or turn to prostitution to be involved in drugs – it can be any one even their own child.

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