A: This passage takes the form of a news report titled “Zimbabwe grapples with hyperinflation” published on January 2009. This passage is essentially about the rapid rise of hyperinflation and how the people of Zimbabwe are handling it. The purpose of this news report is to inform the reader about the gravity of the situation, as is seen from the very title of the report.
This passage is targeted towards newspaper readers, mostly those who take a keen interest in global affairs. In light of presentational devices, the author has made use of an image consisting of large amounts of money along with a bold main heading as well as a subheading. These devices are successful in catching the attention of the reader. The tone of this passage is serious which is effective in conveying the sheer gravity of the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. To enforce this serious tone, emotive language has been used such as “currency has virtually lost its value”, “currency is worthless” and “families are unable to afford a square meal.”
To strengthen the purpose, the author has backed up his statement claiming that Zimbabwe’s currency has “lost its value” with statistical and factual evidence. For example, “one US dollar was trading at this date at around ZW$25 billion” and “an economic crisis with unemployment running at more than 80%”. This makes the passage authentic and manages to convince the reader to accept what the writer has stated. This is the use of logos as it appeals to the reader’s logical sense.
The author of this news report has cleverly used quotations of those people who are suffering from hyperinflation. He or she has included the opinions of various people such as “taxi driver”, “lecturer”, “mother” and “businessman”. These quotations also include the use of pathos, for example; “we can hardly look after our families, “people are cannibalizing each other”, “we won’t be able to afford the prices”. These are important tools that evoke an emotional response from the reader, convincing them to believe what the author is stating, as well as engaging the reader in the passage.
To arouse the reader’s interest, the writer has made use of a variety of sentences, ranging from simple, short sentences to longer, complex sentences. For example, “Zimbabwe was once a regional economic model, but now in the throes of an economic crisis with unemployment running at more than 80%, many families are unable to afford a square meal’ and “They’re immediately eroded” The vocabulary of this passage is simple but some jargons have been used such as “legal tender”, “foreign currency” and “hyperinflation”.
Overall, the writer has used a blend of pathos and logos to raise the reader’s awareness on the economic situation of Zimbabwe. I believe that the writer has been very successful in conveying his or her message as well as arousing a deep interest in what he/she has to say.