Essay – Bruce Dawe

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Essay – Bruce Dawe

What is Bruce Dawe saying in ‘Breakthrough’ and ‘Televistas’ about the impact of the media on modern society? In your discussion show how the poem uses persuasive and poetic techniques to convey the viewpoint.

There are many different ways for poets to get a message across to an audience about the impact of the media on modern society. The two poems that are closely being looked at are ‘Breakthrough’ and ‘Televistas’, both poems are by Bruce Dawe. Dawe brings out the same concept in both poems, being his dislike for the media; like television and advertising. He also manages to bring out the worst in television by using a range of different poetic techniques like rhyme, irony, metaphors and sarcasm. He employ’s his message through different techniques, language and symbolism.

‘Breakthrough’ is based around a little girl, who was said to be singing an advertising commercial while dying in hospital. This gives a sad message to the poem, as it illustrates that the little girl must have been consumed and controlled so much by television, that it cause her to have died in hospital singing about toilet tissue.

Dawe’s poem ‘Televistas’ is similar in some ways as it portrays the same general message to express how much media controls people’s lives. ‘Televistas’ also gives a sad effect, as it compares people’s lives to T.V. shows, as two people fall in and out of love in front of the television, then in the end, get married in front of it.

By doing this, it does not give either poem a positive effect as Dawe describes television as something that controls human society. In both poems by Dawe, he gives them an ironic title, like ‘Breakthrough’. A breakthrough generally means a discovery of some sort, but in this case, Dawe uses ‘Breakthrough’ as a way of showing that the death of a child can be exploited by advertising and materialism.

Irony is used right throughout both poems. Dawe uses it to degrade and belittle people. For...
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