the article and number the paragraphs.
Look at the source of this article. What
does it say about the target readership?
The headline is both literally true, as the ice melts (if
it is melting; have I succumbed to environmentalist propaganda?)
and a metaphorical pun on the saying “skating
on thin ice”. What is the
implication of the metaphor for this situation?
The opening paragraph presents 3 sets of opposites: “Not
so long ago”/ ?; “”a
symbol of cold” / ? ; “ “The
traditional threats” / ?. Fill
in the question marked gaps. What 3 traditional threats are
identified, and what new threat?
The word “new” is repeated in paragraph 2. What
is the impact of this?(Think “Julius Caesar”
and “honourable men”!)
I find this paragraph a little uncomfortable, actually; whilst
the overall tone of the piece seems to be pro polar bears, the
description of them as “the
latest poster animals in a distinguished parade”
seems somewhat cynical. Maybe the cynicism is directed at the
exploitation of cute looking creatures for sentimental impact.
I don’t know; I’m struggling here.
You see, here we are again in paragraph 3 with the cute factor:
“polar bears had even more reasons
to feel loved.” This personification of polar bears,
and the suggestion that they are aware of the implications of
their situation just feels…snide. The colloquial phrase
“pin the blame on”
has the same effect. Make 2 columns,
in 1 of which you list all the facts found in this paragraph.
In the other, list the facts given.
In the picture, the bears look precariously balanced on the
melting ice. This could be seen as a visual metaphor. Explain
This writer, too, breaks the conventional rules and opens
sentences with “but”
& “and”, &
uses abbreviations – “aren’t”.
Why? He also uses a short sentence
in the middle of longer, more complex ones. Comment
of the effect of this. Make a pictorial / diagrammatic representation
of the diminuendo of resources available to the polar bears.
A sense of uncertainty is created in the final paragraph through
the use of phrases such as “There
are thought to be…”, “most
scientists believe…”, “it
may be too late…” , “To
some extent…”, “it
may not recover…” What
words or phrases used in this paragraph work against this uncertainty
to suggest threat and danger? This balance of uncertainty
and fear seems to me to be well set up in the (fairly) centrally
positioned “After years of hesitancy,
there is now a sense of urgency.” Maybe this lack
of absolute certainty partially accounts for the hint of cynicism
I was picking up earlier. Maybe it was never there in the first
place. You decide!