Pair of letters and cartoon

These letters come as a pair; one is a reply to the other. The tone of Richard Benny’s letter is aggressive; it’s really more a rant than an argument. The first paragraph is a series of accusations couched in hostile language.
List the 5 words which suggest Richard Benny’s hostility to cyclists.

The second paragraph begins with a rhetorical question which contains another string of complaints and is followed by an assertion containing 2 more words suggesting hostility.
What are the 2 words?
List Richard Benny’s complaints about the behaviour of cyclists.

The heading of the 2nd letter picks up on the vocabulary used in the original. Dr Kathryn Goodenough addresses Richard Benny’s complaints in her opening paragraph in a very measured and reasonable tone.
Are there any accusations of his that she does not address?
In the second paragraph she goes on the offensive, whilst maintaining her measured tone. Words like “However” and “Or” suggest that she is presenting an alternative case.
Why does Dr Goodenough behave in the ways she describes in her 2nd paragraph?
Though her words suggest that her behaviour might be blameworthy, she is, in fact, launching an attack on thoughtless car owners and users.
What is she accusing them of doing?

Her 3rd paragraph begins with an acknowledgement that there ARE problem cyclists, but quickly becomes a defence of the majority which doubles as a challenge to non cyclists. Her final line brings her back to Benny’s original accusation, creating a pleasing shape.
What benefits does Dr Goodenough suggest cyclists bring to society?

The cartoon is from Private Eye, a very self aware, politically slightly subversive publication with a tendency to get sued by the establishment. It’s edited by Ian Hislop, however, who is the embodiment of middle class-dom. The cartoon simultaneously pokes fun at our current obsession with sat navs, which sometimes direct us up totally unsuitable routes, and at “errant” cyclists who act with disregard for the law.

I suspect that one of the essays might well focus on the conflict that this pair of letters highlights. I suggest that you give some thought to these issues, especially those Dr Goodenough raises in her final paragraph. Do some research; forwarned is forarmed!

Main Page