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Why some writers present an objective view, whereas others resort to persuasive techniques.

Updated on June 25, 2013

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Introduction

Writers often use different means to achieve their goals. Some try to present an objective, multi-perspective view of the events in their writing, other authors use various persuasive techniques to grab the attention of the reader. Authors, aiming to be objective, frequently describe events or feelings from different perspectives or even other different versions of events, to invoke thoughts in the reader's mind. Those writers, who make us of persuasive techniques, mesmerize the reader with mastery of language and an abundance of literary and stylistic devices. This essay will present these differences and evaluate their success through the novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksander Solzhenitysn and the theatrical drama "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" by Dario Fo. Both writings have elements of objective vies and various techniques, which add to the mastery of language of the two authors. The question is how successful are they in achieving their goals and presenting their ideas with the help of these techniques.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Objective view

To be able to present an objective view of anything, a writer must neutrally show the event. But this is often insufficient. An author may present the event through the minds of multiple characters allowing the reader to see the occurrence from different perspectives. Furthermore, a writer may choose to present different versions of happenings to show all likely outcomes. This precisely, manages Dario Fo in the drama "Accidental Death of an Anarchist", written in 1970. The drama heavily criticizes the Italian government at the time due to the suspicious death of a railway worker, who allegedly was responsible for an anarchist bombing. The suspect was pushed, or fell, out of a police office window under unclear circumstances. Fo presents a distorted version of this occurrence, from many perspectives, but also offers the reader a choice between two completely different endings. The protagonist of the piece, known as the Maniac, frequently refers to history and proven facts to achieve his goals of chaos and incitement of revolution. "Fifty years ago, Miss Feletti, the workers of Europe wanted revolution. What did they get instead:...an avalanche of promises!" states the Maniac, referring to the exploitation of the workers. By referring to history, the main character sustains his message of government criticism. He attempts to evoke feelings of discontent and wish for change among the audience. The metaphor "an avalanche" emphasises the huge amount of promises that governments make, instead of taking direct action. In addition, it presents that these "promises" are not simply ineffective, but also destructive and terrible, as they force society to believe in lies making a mindless, docile, inactive population, with no wish for change. However, Fo's most effective technique is the depiction of two versions of the end of the drama. "Let's see another version" bursts out the Maniac after the initial end of the play, revitalizing the audience and involving the reader or viewer into the drama, by offering this choice. This technique not only presents an objective view, it greatly provokes thought and discussion among the audience to incite society that the power of the people is stronger than that of a corrupt and ineffective government.

One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich and persuasive techniques

In comparison, Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, in his Nobel prize winning novel "One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich", makes use of different techniques, but to achieve the same goals - to raise awareness and criticize a corrupt and unforgiving brutal dictatorship. Through the effective use of eloquent language, literary devices and rich imagery, the author effectively depicts the terrific suffering and harsh inhuman conditions in forced labour camps during the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union. By bombarding the reader with rich, but unpleasant images, the writer successfully evokes feelings of sadness, disgust and bewilderment. Unlike Dario Fo, Solzhenitsyn attempts to persuade the reader to understand the harsh reality of the inmates of these camps. The simile "like a flock of sheep" depicts the large amount of prisoners as a mindless rabble of animals, without any purpose in life. This image, combined with the "packed barracks" and the ever present repetition of "cold" shows the ruthless reality of this meaningless existence. Despite this overwhelming hopelessness and cruel conditions, Solzhenitsyn, unlike Fo, creates a positive aspect in his novel. The protagonist, Ivan Denishovich Shukhov, is depicted as an inmate who is capable of withholding his morality and not being degraded and dehumanized. "He'd never either given or taken a bribe" is one description of Denisovich's character. He is able to survive, without joining the omniscient corruptness of the entire system. Furthermore this positive abnormality, within the novel strengthens the criticism of the Soviet regime throughout the novel, by constantly comparing Shukhov, the innocent and morally sane inmate, with the hardships all prisoners attempt to outlive. Similarly to the techniques used by Fo, those used by Solzhenitsyn objectively inform the reader to understand and even feel the ruthlessness and degrading conditions of these forced labour camps.

Conclusion

To summarise, both authors successfully achieve their common aim. By presenting an objective vies and various possible outcomes to a certain chain of events, Dario Fo revitalises the theatrical stage by involving the viewer in a choice, allowing the audience to be part of the storyline of the drama. This successfully create discussion, which in turn creates a politically active and aware society - the primary goal of "Accidental Death of an Anarchist". In comparison "One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" simply and clearly depicts the truth, the reality in a rigorously censored and absolute regime. Exactly this simple, but objective and emotional presentation of a sad and horrific reality persuades the reader to be aware and critical of the political system and government. The author effectively and successfully achieves his aim - to educate the world of the secret horrors of the Soviet era.

Why this essay?

I hope this essay gave you an insight into the ways of these two authors and enlightened you in their mostly common aim - Be politically aware and active!

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