Bruce Dawe

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“Language helps us to share other people’s experiences”.

In Bruce Dawe’s poems Breakthrough and Life Cycle, they are often trying to persuade, inform or warn the reader of different things throughout the human life. This is done by translating his social beliefs and stands into poetry, using many language techniques to express his points. Some of these will be discussed throughout this critical response.

In the poem Breakthrough, Dawe uses sarcasm and irony to inform his readers of how sickening it is that a jingle from a money-making advertisement is what gives a little girl her last joy before dying, when she is singing is right before death took her. He makes it out, in a very sarcastic manner, that the capitalism lifestyle has overtaken our society. While one might turn to religion for some kind of guidance or relief, he makes it out that the latest generation, exposed to constant consumerism, has now embraced that lifestyle as a kind of replacement for religion.

In the poem Life Cycle, there is a much more lighthearted feel. It attempts to inform the reader about how much football is treasured, and to what lengths people treasure it. However, links to the consumerism lifestyle are still made. In this poem, it goes into detail about how, in Victoria, from Day 1 of life, the football culture is forced upon anyone located there. The game is such an important thing to people living there, and lines such as ‘and behold their team going up the ladder into Heaven’ and ‘a voice like the voice of God booms from the stands’ bring Hyperbole and Juxtaposition into the poem, as it is exaggerating the sport’s importance up the point of being a god and heavenly like thing.

Breakthrough also plays heavily with Contrast, using words relating to heaven and god (continuing with the religion theme) alongside lots of language linked in with commercial language. This draws the parallel between the two things. The girl singing this jingle is highlighted as being just...
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