Sometime back, a video was being circulated around Facebook describing how European settlers in Australia brutally murdered the natives of that country. I forwarded the video to my Australian friend Aidan and asked for his comments on the video. I asked if the story were true, and if so, what was his attitude towards those incidents.
Sometimes, you may be asked what is the writer’s attitude towards the subject of a story or passage. The following words may describe a writer’s attitude: sympathy, empathy, scorn, contempt, anger, disagreement, satisfaction, hatred, love, jealousy…and the list goes on.
Was he happy about what happened? Was he regretful? Was he ashamed? Or was he indifferent?
During the early 18th century, the enslavement of Africans by Europeans was a rampant practice. Today, hundreds of years after the abolition of slavery, many Europeans have an attitude of remorse towards slavery: they’re sorry that it ever happened.
When reading a story or passage, it is easy to determine a writer’s attitude to the subject based on the words and statements used. Read the following extract below and try to determine the writer’s attitude towards the subject.
Industrialization is taking the world to a new frontier: more jobs, money, success and happiness. The ability to produce canned food has led to the eradication of hunger and poverty in many regions of the world. We still have a far way to go, but thanks to the hard work of scientists, doctors, nutritionists and laborers, the world is becoming a richer and better place to live in.
What is the writer’s attitude towards industrialization? Obviously, he likes it, so we can say that the writer’s attitude towards the subject is satisfaction and happiness.
Now read the following extract about the same subject.
We are going faster and faster to the grave. Families barely have time to kiss each other goodbye in the morning, and hug each other in the evening before their tired bodies fall asleep from a grueling day’s work. This is what factories, corporations and assembly lines are doing to the human race. Aside from polluting the ocean’s water, killing all the animals, destroying the rain forest and pumping more carbon dioxide into the air, we’re doing a great job poisoning ourselves with canned foods and artificially synthesized nutrition. Industrialization is the product of greed, and unless we recognize where we’re going, we won’t be able to stop and reverse out of the path of destruction.
Evidently, in the second passage, the writer’s attitude towards the subject (industrialization) is one of scorn, contempt and disagreement.
Choose words from both passages to defend each answer.