Brazil’s Amazonian forests

This is a leaflet written by Friends of the Earth where the audience targeted are British, the mahogany furniture lovers. The layout of the leaflet is eye-catching forces the readers to read on. This leaflet was produced in 1992 for the Friends of the Earth. The writer was an Indian from Brazil’s Amazonian forests. It was produced to gain support from British public and to gain their help to stop deforesting in Brazil. The writer uses eye-catching big bold letters in the heading along with the word ‘YOU’ to attract readers.

The writer uses this word for two reasons, one being involving the readers with the leaflet and secondly so that they feel guilty and responsible. It has been seen that most of the readers normally reads the message in bold writing and they glance at the picture before they decide whether to read the leaflet or not. The writer of this article shows his understanding of reader’s nature as he uses, just the write wording in the leaflet’s heading, the first paragraph of the article and the right picture.

The metaphor not only explains what is this leaflet all about (mahogany) but also the harshness and brutality faced by Indian community of Brazil and the cost they pay (gets murdered). The writer uses the word ‘murder’ twice, just in the beginning of the leaflet, to gain sympathy from the readers. The writer is biased through out the leaflet and wants the readers to help Friend of the Earth by joining them. The writer boosts up the leaflet with a persuasive story of 1988, a story of murders in a very dramatic way.

The writer uses four years old data to persuade the audience to do something to save Brazil’s Amazonian Forests and the Indians living there. The writer uses emotive language through out the leaflet and specially in the story. The writer creates imagery of horrifying images to gain the sympathy for Indian and hence to gain the support for Friends of the Earth. The writer uses emotive sentences like ‘Fourteen Indians, including children, were killed (Line20-22)’ and ‘timber cutter threw an Indian woman’s baby into a river where it drowned (Line75-77)’.

The story also reflects anti-government propaganda and shows that the government of Brazil is not doing anything to save the murders of innocent Indians. This is clearly shown in line 27-28, the writer says, “yet four years have passed and not one has been prosecuted” and again in line35, the writer says, ‘the law is supposed to protect us and our land’. The writer also shows feelings of hatred towards the timber as he calls them ‘timber thieves (line 13)’ and again this feeling is shown with the sound of sarcasm in line 37-38, ‘But they do come, the timber cutters. They come because the mahogany is so precious’.

He describes Indians that they are innocent, hostile and down to earth that they are fooled by dirty tricks played by timber cutters. The picture on the leaflet is of an innocent Indian girl and the writer is trying to persuade the readers that they have to do something to save an ancient culture by saving forests. The writer then gives several other reasons to save the forests other than saving the Indian community from being killed by timber cutters. These reasons are given in an appealing way so that the readers can feel that it is their duty to do something to save forests.

The writer says, ‘we should not cut the trees. The trees give the fruit we eat. We want the honey from the trees, the fruits and all there is to be eaten in the forest (line93-96)’. The repetition of word ‘we’ emphasises that these are the survival means for the Indians and these means should not be taken away from them by deforesting. The writer also uses personifications to win audience’s hearts and says, ‘many other trees are damaged in the death struggles of the big mahoganies (line 91-92)’ and ‘it is greed that is killing us, and the trees and animals (line98-99)’.

The writer indirectly blames the British people for the murders of Indians and the deforesting of Amazonian forests by saying, ‘your greed for mahogany. You in Britain buy more than half the mahogany Brazil produces (100-101)’. The aim of the leaflet is to stop the deforestation for the sake of mahogany and the writer emotionally plays with reader’s hearts readers by involving them and with his/hers excellent use of emotive language. The writer draws reader’s attention with the words like, ‘look (line102)’ and ‘listen (104)’ followed by exclamation marks and metaphors.

The writer says, ‘That deep red glow in your mahogany dinner table is the blood of murdered Indians (line 102-103)’ and another metaphor with the use of alliteration, ‘The clatter of your mahogany luxuries is the gunfire that killed Indian children’. These two metaphors are very effective and surely play with the emotions of the readers. They feel guilty at this point and in order to undo their guilt they will think about doing something to help Friends of the Earth.

The writer does not stops there and hammers the readers with extra pressure by saying, ‘we don’t believe that after reading this you could ever contemplate buying mahogany again (line108)’. The sentence itself suggests one way of helping the organisers and that is by not buying mahogany ever again. Some more suggestion also been given to the readers in bold writing at the end of the leaflet and that is to write to the local MP’s and the other Government Authorities.

The leaflet is beautifully crafted with the strings of emotive language along with biased opinions, aiming to influence them by making them feel responsible for all the murders. Once that feeling of guilt is obvious writers pulls the string and ask them to join Friends of the Earth. What is happening to the rainforest resource? This is an extract from an informative leaflet produced by the Brazilian government in 1993/1994 to show the other side of the coin to oppose the image given by the leaflet of Friends of the Earth.

It seems like it was produced to change our public’s view and their concerns regarding the deforestation of Amazonian forests. The Friends of the Earth article must have convinced a lot of British readers to write to local MP’s and other government authorities and our government must have pressurised the Brazilian government to provide the reasons. The writer uses a bold heading with a question, ‘what is happening to the rainforest resource? ‘ This helps the writer to get reader’s attention towards the article, especially the readers, who wants to know about the government’s point of view regarding deforestation.

In the beginning of the article, the writer keeps the pace of writing slow and tries to build up relationship with the readers. The writer creates this friendly environment by showing that the Brazilian government appreciate the reader’s concerns for deforestation and shows that they are also on the same side of the court. The writer initially writes the things what the reader wants to read. For example, the writers says, ‘the Amazon’s rainforest is a vast natural resource.

It could provide timber and a wide variety of plants, food crops and medicines (line1-14)’ and then again he/she says, ‘the forest also has an important effect on the world’s weather. It is also home to hundreds of thousands of unique wildlife species (line15-18)’. The writer also uses a picture to show the government is doing everything possible to keep the rainforests and putting its efforts towards forest regeneration. Unlike the first leaflet where the writer plays with emotions to win reader’s hearts, the writer here plays with the reader’s mind by showing that they are also on their side.

The writer at this point knows that the readers would feel comfortable to read about the deforestation. The writer draws their attention towards the development of Brazilian nation and say, ‘the government has a responsibility to bring development to the 14 million people who live in the Brazilian Amazon (line19-21)’. The writer first describes that the government has to use the available resources sensibly in order to bring this development although the writer does not mention clearly that deforestation is also one of the resources to keep the readers calm and quite.

Then, the writer contrasts their use of resources to the other developed countries and says, ‘all the industrialising countries have achieved their prosperity in this way (line24-26)’. The writer keeps on playing with the reader’s mind to make them understand that the Brazil is not the only country that uses deforestation as one of the resources to achieve the prosperity. The writer remains bias but at the same time keeping the atmosphere friendly and asks a question on behalf of the readers, ‘how quickly is the Amazon rainforest being cleared? Line 27-28) ‘ The writer answers this question with the data along with the name of source to prove its authenticity. These sources are well known to the readers and nobody would doubt at the figures shown. The writer uses four years old data to persuade the readers and says, ‘World Bank in 1988 stated that 12% of the Amazon had been cleared (line 29-30)’. The readers gets satisfied with this figures when they see the average rate of clearance chart which shows the data (without its authenticity) from 1978 to 1988, 1988-1989 and 1992-1993 where the average goes down to 11,000 square kilometre.

The chart has a gap of three years between 1989-1992, which is a bit suspicious and the readers probably would not notice this gap. Some other big names has also been shown in the article like NASA (line33) and the Brazilian National Space Research Institute (line 30) when quoting the facts and figures just to persuade the readers that these figure are true and there is a very little deforestation in the Amazonian forests to change reader’s views.

The article also informs the readers about the views of people outside Brazil and the difficulties faced by the Brazilian Government to control the incident happens in Amazon, but quickly gives the Government’s plans for development and their plans to prevent the forests so that the readers can appreciate the Government’s dedications. The writes says, ‘The 1988 Brazilian Constitution emphasized the need to protect the environment (62-64)’. The writer proves that the government is doing everything to protect the rainforests.

On the last page, the writer shows a picture of forestry police to prove that government is well prepared to tackle any incident and it would be difficult for any timber thieves to sneak in, as the writer says, ‘some important steps have been taken in recent years (line57-58)’. The last paragraph indirectly confirm that there is deforestation and the government is not denying this fact as the writer says, ‘so, Brazil’s resources, renewable and non-renewable, are being used to develop the economy and create better living standards all round (line 94-97)’.

In short, the aim of this leaflet is to calm the people down and to clear their views about the Government’s policies towards deforestation and to give them information about their work towards the prevention of forests. The writer uses out dated data with some authenticity but this out dated data in my eyes is invalid. If the writer wants to show the true picture then the most updated records should have been used. Which article is I inclined to believe? It is very hard to decide what is true and what is false as there is a very thin line between them.

I believe both the articles do not show the reality and the true picture to the readers. Both the writers want the readers to believe in their version. The first article attempts to influence the readers by wining their hearts through the use of emotive language like ‘timber cutter threw an Indian woman’s baby into a river where it drowned (Line75-77)’ and by making them feel responsible and guilty for the murders as the writer says, ‘your greed for mahogany.

You in Britain buy more than half the mahogany Brazil produces (100-101)’. On the other hand, the second article attempts to influence the readers by playing with their minds by showing that the government is on their side and then showing a very little of deforestation through outdated data of 1988 with authenticity. The example of this outdated data is seen in line 29-30, ‘World Bank in 1988 stated that 12% of the Amazon had been cleared ‘.

The writer also shows in this article the development made in recent years in the Amazonian forest as the writer says, ‘today in the Amazon there are eight national parks, seven biological reserves, ten ecological stations, three ecological reserves, 24 national forests, four extractive reserves (line 84-89)’. The writer also gives the government future plans by saying, ‘by 1995 all companies using wood as raw material or energy source must get their supplies from planted and managed forests (line74-77).

The writer also confirms in line 43-45 that it would take 300 years to remove all the Amazon rainforest. This statement is sufficient enough to satisfy the readers and believe what the writer wants them to believe. At the time of reading the first article, I was inclined towards the first article but when I read the second article my views started changing.

I am not saying that the incident of 1988 shown in the first article where 14 people were killed is not true but I think the writer over exaggerated the whole incident, as there is no evidence shown to prove its authenticity. I believe, no Government would allow the illegal exports of their precious things when the Government know that this can earn them some foreign exchange, which can be used towards the development of their country and their nation.

I also believe that the forests are necessary for a good environment but at the same time the population is increasing and they need homes, food and off course roads to commute to one place to another. In short I am inclined towards the second article and I agree that the Brazilian government would be taking all the necessary steps to prevent any incidents and also taking precautions to prevent their precious mahogany from any illegal wood traders and trying their best to give protection to innocent.

In addition, the second article placed a greater emphasis on facts and figures from reputable agencies that are more likely to be believed although the data is outdated and there is likely to be some bias in favour of the government. Clearly the first article, which is more emotive, is strongly biased towards the interest of Friends of the Earth.