Bruce Dawe

Dialogue in text, adds to our understanding about people, social issues and life. Poems that use dialogue include ‘Weapons Training’, ‘Pleasant Sunday Afternoon’ and ‘Enter without so much of knocking’, written by Bruce Dawe. The themes these poems express include strive for happiness and fulfilment and make the most of life. Another text that also displays these themes is ‘Friday’ directed by F. Gary Grey. This essay will explore the study of dialogue and how it gives a better understanding of human nature and relationships.

The poem ‘Weapons Training’ written by Bruce Dawe is monologue from military instructor that is lecturing recruits on what to do in a battle situation. Dawe expresses his ideas about military life using techniques such as humorous tone and vivid imagery. Dawe uses humorous tone in the poem to express how the speaker is of a higher rank and therefore very self-confident, because of this he humiliates his recruits. An example of this is when the speaker says ‘open that drain you call a mind and listen’ the speaker says this to make the recruits feel small and defenceless so they fall in line.

This technique is also used in the movie ‘Friday’ where smokey is telling Craig about how deebo (the neighbourhood bully) has some kind of mind control over him but is really fearful of deebo. An example of this is when smokey says “I got mind control over Deebo. He be like ‘shut the f**k up. ‘ I be quiet. But when he leave, I be talking again. ” This is all so the recruits pay attention to what he says so they hopefully survive battle.

Vivid imagery is used by Dawe to show the recruits and readers what can happen in war, ‘they’re on you and your tripe’s are around your neck’, and this is saying that if the recruits don’t listen they may be killed. Irony is used throughout the poem; an example of this is the title “Pleasant Sunday Afternoon” the title coaxes you to believe that the poem is about a “pleasant” Sunday afternoon, he chooses to do this so that the reader can have the thought of a cheerful poem; however this is not the case.

The poem presents a situation of miscommunication and understanding. “Enter Without So Much as Knocking” by Bruce Dawe is an example of a free verse poem because it refrains from any pattern or rhyme. The poem appears to be like a normal speech conversation. This type of form highlights and emphasizes the poem, creating a lot of emotion. The theme of this poem is human condition because it includes the life cycle. It is about the life of a man from the day he arrived on earth to the day he left.

It also considers the pointlessness of life by expressing all the rules and regulations we have controlling our lives. This relates to the quote because it showing a clear understanding of our life on this planet. Dawe shows that everything on our planet is “fixed up”; it is never left untouched and natural. “A pure unadulterated fringe of sky, littered with stare no one had got around to fixing up yet”, which creates irony because of the word “littered” since the stars are the only pure thing Dawe mentions in the poem.

Dawe uses exaggeration to express humour, in order to show the negative aspects of life. The extreme use of exaggeration is carried in the line “NO BREATHING EXCEPT BY ORDER. BEWARE OF THIS. WATCH OUT FOR THAT”. Three of the stanzas in youth and middle age begin with link words: However, Anyway, Now, – They represent the fast pace of the poem and life. Through the poem ‘Enter Without So Much as Knocking’, Bruce Dawe uses poetic strategies to express his message.

Dawe uses techniques such as imperative, descriptive language and paradox to articulate his concerns for contemporary society, particularly the selfishness and consumerist values that degrade the moral integrity of its inhabitants. To further emphasise his concerns and dissatisfaction towards the society, Dawe uses an anonymous protagonist to imply that anyone could related to it therefore creating a sense of understanding and strong emotions within the audience.

Bruce Dawe has used descriptive language to explain on the materialistic world he believes he lives in. Descriptive language is a common technique used in texts yet very effective and in this poem, Dawe has used it to metaphorically describe the protagonist’s family. In the 2nd stanza, the father is being compared to the suit ‘Anthony-Squires-Coolstream-Summerweight’ and the children are said to be ‘straight off the Junior Department rack’. The Advertising Jargon used conveys a sense of materialism within the family, as if life is being sold to the protagonist.

For example, when the children were described as being ‘straight off the Junior Department rack’ was used to show that the children do not need names, gender or description (apart from the clothes they are wearing was what everyone their age wore) as all the family thought about was how to be like everyone else to the extent where they were all the same. Dawe described the family as if they were not grown but bought and constructed as families were all the same to the protagonist.