Robert Gray Poetry - Australian Identity

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The Australian Identity – essay

The opinions views and beliefs of our Australian population combined with influence from other countries and major voices are the main contributors towards our constantly changing and diverse Australian identity. Numerous texts explore aspects of this idea, including Robert Gray’s poems ‘north coast town’ and ‘Late ferry’, as well as a passage written by Kate Grenville entitled ‘mate’.

First of all, 'North cost town', a poem written by Robert Gray, explores the influences and altering factors of which contribute to our dynamic identity. The poem examines Americanisation and the affect it has on both our country and our identity. This theme is further enforced through use of metaphors; 'They're making California'. This particular example highlights the fact that we idolise America and are therefore greatly influenced by them, affecting how we define our identity. This idea of Americanisation is further enforced through the use of juxtaposition; 'We pass an abo'. We see the use of slang, which is somewhat condescending, as well as the juxtaposition of America being 'the future' and Aboriginals 'the past'. This represents how our identity is no longer greatly defined by aspects that were major characteristics of our history but rather our future and what we are becoming as a country. Additionally, this poem observes the loss of nature and increase in urbanisation, a major aspect of modern Australia. We see this highlighted by numerous language features including the use of verbs; 'we pass bulldozed acres'. The use of 'pass' intimates the acceptance of 'bulldozed acres' and represents how we are scantily afflicted or concerned by this loss of nature. Throughout this poem, we see how America is a major voice of which is one of the main contributor's to the change and development of our Australian identity, as well as our view on urbanisation and how it is causing the alteration of our identity.

Another poem by Robert Gray,...
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