Key aspect to all expository texts is the effective use of techniques in producing a ‘credible’ text in the hope to influence and position the reader to accept particular views. Bronwyn Donaghy’s self-help book ‘Unzipped’ is “everything teenagers want to know about love, sex and each other. ” Through this text, Donaghy attempts to influence and infiltrate today’s youth in action against radical beliefs towards sex, drugs and puberty.
Instead, her more conservative views are present in all aspects of the text and despite appearing to be more ‘in touch’ with readers, the underlying facts show her to be influencing against many ideas, like youth sex. In particular, we see Donaghy promoting certain attitudes and values while rejecting others. Attitudes and values like abstinence, other sexual contact, long term relationships and communication within families are promoted. However we see heavy petting, drugs, youth sex and media representation as being rejected.Order now
The most easily noted technique Donaghy uses is her structure â€“ through use of expository chapters and also personal touches, it appeals not only to younger readers, curious about their personal development, but also to parents who may face the issues with uncomfortable questions asked. Donaghy openly rejects the view that sex and drugs are cool. She rejects this view through use of techniques such as selection of detail and personal touches, which in itself, is an aspect of selection of detail.
For example in You Sexy Thangs, she states that “there are boys who have put some intelligent thoughts into their personal development and have decided to wait until they are older, wiser, and more self-sufficient before having sex. ” p. 99, 100 This statement shows Donaghy as not just rejecting sex, but also those who choose to have sex by saying that those who perform the deed are not “intelligent” or thinking about their personal development.
Also in You Sexy Thangs, we see Donaghy as trying to appeal to drug users on a personal level as “At the age of 15, Anna Woodâ€¦died from the effects of illegal drugs in 1995, before she ever had the chance to fall in love. ” p. 109 One relating personal touch story in relation to this story is Kim’s Story, a tale about finding true love, and realising that sex isn’t a necessity of life â€“ “I told
I wanted to break up,â€¦even the sex was getting comfortable and sort of ordinary” “Since told me what happened I have practically sworn myself to celibacy” p. 27, 128. Another personal touch, Helen’s Story shows Donaghy’s negative attitude on drugs â€“ “When I woke up the next morning I didn’t have a clue where I wasâ€¦I didn’t ever want to be out of control like that again”p. 143, 144. However in contrast, she promotes the value of abstinence, of waiting before you have sex. From the introduction, where Donaghy’s use of rhetorical questions shows some kind of concern with youth sex â€“ “What if planes wrote it in swirling white letters across a wide blue skyâ€¦would they look up?
Would they listen? ” p. 6 to Amira’s Story – “I can’t remember ever making a decision to remain a virginâ€¦I want sex to be really special, with the right person” p. 92 she continually sends the message to wait. Donaghy also promotes the ideals of family and how every family should be more open in discussion with children about sex, and their bodies. She adds credibility to the text by her use of appeals to authority, statistics, and language.
In reference to the chapter ‘Please Help Me: I’m Desperate and I Can’t Tell My Mum’ she relies on the use of appeals to authority made by Doctor Melissa Kang, adolescent health specialist at the Children’s Hospital in Sydney â€“ “Some of know their bodies inside outâ€¦but when it comes to what they are doing with their bodies like what happens during sex, they are surprisingly ignorant” p. 26.
In promoting communication, Dr Kang states that “adolescents who have received a good sex education are much more likely to delay their sexual involvement” and that “Sex education should begin at homeâ€¦parents should continue to be their children’s main source of informationâ€¦should is hard, guaranteed to produce guilt” p. 27. At the same time she rejects the idea of the media in representing teens and sex. In the chapter ‘Love or Sex?
Great Expectations’ Donaghy rejects the media as the reason why youth expect “instant perfect love” p. 65 “when kids want something, they want it now, and they want it to be just as good as it looked on the television” p. 66. I personally don’t accept this text, the excuses made by Donaghy nor her attitude towards youth intelligence. Specifically in reference to her need to ‘dumb things down,’ treating any reader like an immature child, not as a young adult seeking help.
Donaghy seems to present the need to use primal language, for example, in reference to ejaculating or going to the toilet, she continues by also providing terms like “coming,” or “poo” and “shit. ” ‘Unzipped’ is a text that, despite personal differences for or against the book, it is effective in supporting Donaghy’s ideals with expository techniques.