Bruce Dawe Homecoming Analysis

Topics: Poetry, World War II, World War I, Dulce et Decorum Est, Stanza, Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori / Pages: 4 (798 words) / Published: Aug 22nd, 2016
Homecoming by Bruce Dawe exemplifies and recounts the calamities of the Vietnam War in a dehumanising, confronting tone. The anti-war elegy was written in 1968 as a tribute to the return of the Australian veterans who died fighting in the Vietnam War. While protesting about Australia’s participation in the War, the poem also demonstrates the lack of identity and deference that was attached to the soldiers. The 25 line broken verse poem presented in a single stanza, speaks on behalf of the disrespected, mute, fallen soldiers who are unable to describe their personal suffering. In contrast, Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen was written in 1917 to depict the helplessness of veterans caught in the gruesome horrors of a gas attack. The poem …show more content…
Repetition is a dominant technique that is used in the first half of the poem to accentuate the ongoing nature of bringing the body’s home. The repeated use of the pronoun “they’re” implies an impersonal ceaseless connection between the bodies and their handlers. In addition, it indicates an anonymous mass, thus accentuating the sheer number of deceased bodies. Dawe uses the metaphor ‘chow mien’ to indicate the messy disarray in Vietnam, the fallen trees represent the noodles whereas, the deceased bodies symbolise the meat. The vicious characteristics of war can also be determined by the personified simile “whining like hounds”. This allows the reader to feel the reverberating, hostile sound that is comparable to a hound dog. The aftermath affect of war can be recognised through the metaphors, “the spider swings in his bitter geometry” and “telegrams tremble from a wintering tree”. This specifically emphasises the arbitrary pain that affects the people who receive the telegrams. By personifying the telegram and describing it as ‘trembling’, it allows the reader to interpret the significance of the news the deliverer is bearing. By contrasting telegrams to the number of falling leaves from a ‘wintering tree’, it indicates the colossal number of unfortunate …show more content…
The horror of war is immediately introduced within the first line of the poem when Owen depicts the morbid physical condition of the soldiers, “bent double, like old beggars under sacks”. This simile indicates how filthy and unhealthy the soldiers appear to be. Also, it suggests that the young energetic soldiers have been aged prematurely by their involvement in the war. In addition, Owen uses a metaphor to describe the repulsive psychological affects of war on the soldiers. The metaphor “drunk with fatigue”, compares the extreme exhaustion of men with the effects of alcohol. This indicates that the soldiers are displaying limited awareness of their surroundings, abnormal behavior and poor coordination. The rhythm of the poem is regulated by the amount of commas. The punctuation specifically slows down the readers pace and creates a slow tiring rhythm, indicating exhaustion. In contrast, the alertness and vigilance of the readers is enhanced by the term “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! Owen specifically uses direct short sentences and exclamation marks to portray the sense of urgency and terror. The ‘clumsy helmets’ are personified to enhance a sense of urgency and suggest that the helmets are fighting against the veterans. The simile ‘like a devil’s sick of sin’ confirms the idea that war is grotesque. The deceased mans face is associated with the devil, who is itself

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