Patrick Clayton’s article ‘Where the hell is everybody’ (February 2009) is a striking piece that offers the stories of Black Saturday bushfires survivors. His style of story telling is used to create an anxiety and fear in the reader. It brings the audience into his world by using in depth descriptions of the events unfolding followed by the characters reactions.
Claytons article tells the story of a day that went down in Australian history as having the most devastating bushfires on record. The article describes the panic of the people in the fires path, and the heartbreaking stories told by survivors.
This piece offers readers first hand accounts of the events that unfolded that day. Clayton’s writing has a sense of urgency, this capture the reader attention and give the reader an idea of the terror felt by the people that day.
In the beginning he tells the story of an old man Colin Paul. The reader is given a backstory, which as the article progresses makes the reader feel worried on his behalf. The article explains the lazy relaxing life the people were living before that day, and how it was supposed to be a normal day and they were just normal people. This makes the reader feel involved in the life of the people and feel like they are a part of the story.
Clayton uses multiple points of view in his story. This creates a thorough insight into the events, giving the reader enough information to make sense of what the people were going through. He also gives locations, which enable the reader to get an idea of the geographical location of the story and thus explains the massiveness of the fires. He creates a graphic view of the events unfolding.
Clayton mentions things such as the local radio station and Chanel Ten news both of which are relatable for the audience, and it demonstrates how close to home the events would have been to the readers. bring the reader into his world.
The end of the article addresses the loss the people affected by the Black Saturday bushfires felt in the aftermath. All the characters come together and experience some kind of loss. Clayton intends to leave an impression upon the reader, he brings the reader into this world and then tears it down around them making the reader feel the emotions felt by the people as if they were their first hand.
Overall Claytons use of urgent story telling and panicked characters he creates a graphic description of the events that is intended to generate an emotional response within the reader.