Bruce Dawe Analysis

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Bruce Dawe explores the complexities of modern life in Homo Surburbiensis and Enter Without So Much as Knocking. Dawe conveys the ideas through references to everyday life and what the protagonists experience throughout their lives. The author’s perspective on life is contradictory in the pair of poems and this is shown through the use of imagery, description of the characters and the tone of his language. In both poems, the main characters are not seen as individuals but are used as metaphors to represent the rest of the people within that world or society. In Enter Without So Much as Knocking, one of the major concepts that Dawe is trying to get across, is that materialism and consumerism affects everyone and it will impact your life in one way or another. At the very beginning of the poem, a child is born and the first thing he hears is not the voice of his mother but instead a host on a TV show. This shows how quick and early materialism has a direct effect on people, and they don’t even realise it, yet it is what runs their lives in this society. In contrast to this, Dawe projects a different idea in homo surburbiensis that people are able to take control on what their thoughts and actions are. The last two lines in the poem “A man alone in the evening in his patch of vegetables, and all the things he takes down with him there” shows he is now in his own personal territory, alone with his thoughts, free of consumerism and materialism. The theme materialism in further established in Enter Without So Much as Knocking when the family of the protagonist are described with advertising labels and they are all without character or emotion, as if everyone in society is mass produced. This idea is backed up in the final stanza of the poem, where the protagonist’s death is regarded as inferior and the most important thing is how he looks. Observe how similar the beginning and end of the poem is, thus showing that life is a natural cycle and life and death can occur...
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