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Alienation - Essay

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Alienation

Alienation is defined as; isolation from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved, but the definition can change depending on a person’s experience. Alienation can come across in many different feeling’s such as powerlessness – helpless and ineffectual, meaninglessness – having no significance, normlessness – lack of social norms, cultural estrangement and social isolation. In the three chosen texts; “Enter Without So Much As Knocking” by Bruce Dawe, “Capitalism and Alienation” by Danielle Pioli and “ Be My Brother” by Geneueve Clay, alienation is forced upon the characters by external forces.

In the poem “Enter Without So Much As Knocking” by Bruce Dawe, the alienation present is determined largely by external forces. This external force is consumerism, which causes the unnamed character to alienate himself and others. Powerlessness and meaninglessness are two of the major types of alienation that are present. This comes across with the use of short, sharp sentences, which are very unemotional and detached. This detachment is shown through the unnamed character and his unnamed family which also comes across as a stereotypic family of the nineteen sixties. Advertising jargon is added to give more effect; “economy-sized mum, Anthony Squires-Coolstream-Summerweight dad…”, which gives a sense of meaninglessness about the family and main character. Dawe uses different types of dialogue, such as conversations and monologues, to develop the concept of alienation. This concept comes from an omniscient third person narrator with voices of other characters; such as the child’s mum and the child himself, to add effect. This creates a “see all” view on the alienation which is backed up by shallow, one-sided dialogue. An example of this comes from the fifth and sixth stanza, when the child (which is grown up) dialogue comes across as harsh, highlighting the change from innocent boy to selfish man. The character...