Bruce Dawe - Americanized

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Bruce Dawe is strongly opposed to consumerism, as shown through his poem, Americanized. The poem is written in a predominantly bitter and ironic tone. The title itself is ironic. Bruce Dawe is Australian and has spelled the title using American spelling rather than Australian spelling, with the ‘s' being replaced by a ‘z'. Stanza one is set in the morning at breakfast time. It involves the mother and her child. Instead of the usual loving mother, we see a cold mother and one that is doubtful of her lover for her own child. Dawe uses cold language such as ‘beneficence', ‘beamed' and ‘laminex' as well has the pause after ‘she loves him' to signify this. The pair are also conveyed to be separate from each other, symbolised by them being on opposite sides of the breakfast table. Stanza two shows us how the baby is well looked after, yet is lacking the affection that small children need. The child experiences a ‘vague passing spasm of loss.' The mother blocks out her child's cries. There is a lack of contact and warmth between the pair. Stanza three again shows doubtfulness about the mother's love. We see how the mother locks her child in because she fears the modern world. She sees the world as dangers and especially fears men. Her fear of men is emphasized by the italics used. In the final line of the stanza, the mother puts her son on a plastic pot. This is somewhat symbolic of the consumeristic society i.e. manufactured and cheap. Stanza four is a metaphor. The mother trying to toilet train her son is a metaphor for people learning the rules of society and trying to conform to society's ways. In this stanza, the mother is society and the child is someone trying to learn society's values. It is against the child's natural instinct, yet the mother still tries to force it. In stanza five, the mother leaves the house and leaves her son at home alone. The mother is said to be ‘off to nurse and invalid called the world.' This is to do with the theory of...
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