Learning check

1. Vocabulary and text: walk/sit and quiz

No study aids.

Walk and Quiz

Each student gets a slip of paper with a word or phrase from the text.  If there is more than one word, the student should explain the word in italics.The students walk around and ask a fellow student to explain the word/s on their slip of paper by referring to the text.  If the student asked gets into difficulties, the one asking the question can help. If they get into difficulties, they should then consult the teacher. When they have asked each other and answered their questions, they swop the slips of paper and move on.


Sit and Quiz

If the task is done in groups or in pairs, the students place the slips of paper in the centre of the table and take turns drawing, reading, answering and commenting on the answer. If there is more than one word, the student should explain the word/words in italics. They should put the questions they cannot answer in a separate pile and consult the teacher when the time is up.   

Cut into slips of paper.

infamous photographs


the soldiers were revelling in the degradation



the blurring  of the line between private and public

purposeful military torture

´white trailer trash´


demoralized military torture

mutilated bodies


My Lai massacre


Susan Sontag

the promotion of emotional incontinence

primary movers


a relativist worldview




everybody from crooks to cooks

degrading spectacles


a controversial  video


a salacious documentary

our degenerate culture


British television executives

they seek to shock and titillate their audience


People’s apathetic attitude to bigger issues

the carnival of degradation


the nadir of reality TV culture

people’s most personal emotions are dissected in the papers


American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners

we are voyeurs into other people’s private lives


In a warzone, all restraints are off

to pose for pictures

to stage the degradation for the camera


the only comparable pictures


they are reluctant to say that anything is unacceptable


Learning check

2. The rhetorical pentagon

No study aids.

a) Draw the rhetorical pentagon and write the five keywords – one at each corner.















b) What are the three modes of persuasion?








c) Name four rhetorical devices used by the writer of the article:








Wider contexts

1. Historical context: photos from the Afghan war

Read for example:

“US Army apology for photos of soldiers with Afghan body”, BBC News South Asia, 21 March, 2011


“US Army apologises over new Afghanistan abuse images”, BBC News US & Canada, 29 March, 2011



Wider contexts

2. Literary context: other texts by different writers: “Why not everyone is a torturer”, p. 188 and Salman Rushdie, “Reality TV: a dearth of talent and the death of morality”

“Why not everyone is a torturer”, p. 188 and Salman Rushdie, “Reality TV: a dearth of talent and the death of morality”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/jun/09/salmanrushdie.

Choose one of the articles and compare the views and rhetorical devices in this article with those in “Is Abu Ghraib the military version of reality TV?” You may do this task as a written assignment.