Josh Wike-Gysen

Guided Language Analysis

Introduction

In response to the media criticising Naomi Osaka’s wishes to skip post-game conferences, Vanessa Beedleman has proposed, using an accusatory tone that the media should respect Osaka’s mental illness treat it as they would any other illness. The article attacks the media, specifically their lack of sympathy towards people with mental illnesses. The title “Double-fault: Journos who criticise Naomi Osaka are letting down anyone who deals with depression” seeks to evoke a feeling of abhorrence within tennis fans.

Main Arguments

Some journalists don’t respect or understand mental illness.

Tennis players should be allowed to choose what off court activities they partake in.

Forcing athletes to play through physical and mental injuries is wrong.

Analysis

Beedleman uses generalisation stating that playing through illness “destroys careers”. This proposes to the reader that working or playing through illness is damaging to all careers, positioning them to avoid supporting media that attacks people for preserving their careers.

Beedleman uses an appeal to group loyalty in the phrase “I thought it was fair enough” to put-forward that the writer agrees with Osaka’s choices about her health. This persuades the reader to agree with the writer’s contention so that they feel like they fit in.

Beedleman uses emotive language in the statement “watching this cruelty unfold” to emphasise how hard it is for people dealing with mental illness. This positions the reader to act with sympathy towards people suffering mental illness.

Beedleman uses an appeal to justice in the statement “biggest possible scandals in all sports” to suggest to readers that pressuring athletes to play through mental illness is wrong, encouraging readers to support athletes decisions about how they deal with their mental health.

Beedleman uses rhetoric, stating “Why, then, should forcing an athlete suffering from mental illness to play be seen as any different?” Beedleman uses this statement to propose to readers that mental illness should be treated like physical injuries, positioning readers to support athlete’s choices about their mental health.

Image Analysis

The image attached to the article uses hyperbole to portray how life would be “if physical diseases were treated like mental illness”. There are two images with characters using cliché mental illness phrases, such as “you have to at least make an effort” and “you just need to change your frame of mind” next to ill characters, one with food poisoning and one with their hand chopped off. This positions the reader to view these cliché terms as useless and unhelpful, compelling them to agree with mental illnesses being treated equally to physical illness.

Conclusion

Through the use of persuasive language techniques and an image, Vanessa Beedleman persuades tennis fans understand that mental illness should be treated equally to physical illness, and to support athletes taking time off because of it.