Weapons Training Responses
The drill sergeant in the poem “Weapons Training” written by Bruce Dawe, is portrayed as a bully and a very moody, tough and angry character. Dawe has showed this through many techniques. For example, in the first stanza he insults one of the soldiers by saying “what are you laughing at you in the back row with the unsightly fat between your elephant ears”. This shows that he drill sergeant is a bully but also a teacher who wants the soldiers to concentrate as they will be going in to war. Other than insulting the soldiers, the drill sergeant also makes the Vietnamese soldiers sound bad and disgusting to make the soldiers have less remorse for them when they have fight in the war. For example, at the very end of the first stanza he says “All right now suppose for the sake of argument you’ve got a number-one blockage and a brand-new pack of Charlies are coming at you, you can smell the fish-sauce breath hot on the back of your stupid neck all right now what are you going to do about it”. By saying this, the drill sergeant makes the soldiers feel less hesitant when they have to kill the enemy (Vietcong).
There are many techniques used in the poem by Dawe to convey that war is not a game. An example of this is how he uses rhyming, “If you had one more brain… open that drain”. This expresses the pointlessness of war mainly through the words “brain” and “drain”. It shows that Dawe wants to express that if you were stupid enough to go to war, you may as well throw your life away. This concept of futility is also expressed through the repetition of “dead, dead, dead” in the last line of the poem, which emphasises the tremendous loss in war that is inevitable. Dawe also shows that war is not a game through the technique of juxtaposition at the very end of the poem in the sentence “that's right grab and check the magazine man its not a woman’s tit”. This shows that the soldiers must take the weapons training serious in order to survive in...
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