Weapons Training Bruce Dawe Poem Analysis

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Discuss Bruce Dawe’s attitude towards the society and war with close references to his poems. “Homecoming”, “Weapons Training” and “Enter without so much as Knocking”. Bruce Dawe is an Australian poet who wrote about contemporary Australian issues. Most of his poetry explored further conflicts including the massacre of protestors in Tiananmen Square and the Iraqi wars and most of Dawe’s poem revolves around Australian society, politics and culture. Dawe worked in the forces for a while and his poetry was influenced by the Vietnam War was fought in the 1960s and early 1970s. Dawe’s attitude to society and war is represented in his poems Homecoming, Weapons Training and Enter without So Much as Knocking. Three concepts which are discussed…show more content…
“Weapons Training” is a dramatic monologue in which an instructor is teaching new recruits about their weapons in preparation for the Vietnam War. In this satirical dramatic monologue, the instructor insults a recruit by asking him "are you a queer?" The "old crown-jewels" have to be tucked away during cockpit drill or the recruits will not be able to "turn the key in the ignition" after the war, and "the magazine man it’s not a woman’s tit". These sexual references are imagery that emphasizes the violence in the war. Moreover, Dawe express an idea that war dehumanizes people. In the middle of the poem, the sergeant describes enemies as “mob of little yellows”, the sergeant dehumanizes the enemy by making a racist comment, thus making it easier for the soldiers to kill them because if they are not really people, it doesn’t matter if they…show more content…
The poem itself is a story of one man’s life, from birth until being buried and it is a satire to the modern society and its materialism. The father, mother and siblings in the poem are described using labels common in advertising. The mother is described as “economy-size(d)”, this can be translated as “large”. The term is usually used for soap powder or grocery purchases to imply quantity. The father is described as an “Anthony Squires-Coolstream-Summerweight Dad” and the siblings as being “straight off the Junior Department rack”. These statements lack of love and emotion and dehumanize his family, which shows that consumerism runs our life. Furthermore, watching television, game shows and shopping are the activities of the people in the poem. The impression is that everything being shiny and new, full of activity and crowded until

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