Comparative Study of Texts

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The module comparative study of texts should remain in the Board of Studies syllabus as it can provide a powerful insight into the human condition and social values of an era. The play “Away” by Michael Gow and poems published in “Sometimes Gladness” written by Bruce Dawe are both texts which reflect similar conditions that the typical person living in suburban Australia between the 1950’s and 1960’s experienced. There were many significant events that took place during these two decades such as the aftermath of the Great Depression and the country’s military involvement in the Vietnam War. These incidents led to an outbreak in excessive consumerism and rising conflict amongst the Australian population on the subject of conscription. Through the analysis of the above mentioned texts, comparisons can be established. The 1950’s and 1960’s saw the beginning of a very consumerist Australian society where by treasured values were replaced with superficiality. In the play “Away”, Gwen’s obsessive longing for all things materialistic began to take over her life and affect the relationships she had with her family. The diminishing ideals of the pre-boomer generation are the resultant of the Great Depression which occurred in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Many Australians were left unemployed which gave them the inability to support themselves with a home or even a decent meal. On the left hand side, you can see two men walking down the streets with signs hung around their neck on the lookout for a job so they are able to efficiently provide for their family. In Gwen’s confrontation with daughter Meg whilst being accused of purposely leaving Jim’s cardboard carton behind containing Christmas presents, she explains how she has “Sacrificed! Gone without. Gone through hardship so what happened to us will never happen to you. So you’ll never know what we saw – never, never, never.” The short sentences followed by the repetition of the word ‘never’ give emphasis to...
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