Analysis Of Homecoming By Bruce Dawe

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War is a significant issue that has been affecting society throughout the ages on a multitude of scales. Its impact on our world has resulted in many texts which each present a strong anti-war perspective. One such text is the poem “Homecoming” written by Bruce Dawe. This is a visually rich poem containing various images, key ideas, motifs, and poetic techniques. These are used as Dawe conveys his anti-war perspective through exploring a variety of themes regarding war and its many negative outcomes. The most prominent of these themes is that of dehumanisation but the poem also demonstrates the consequences, futility and emotional journeys resulting from war.

Firstly, the theme of dehumanisation is effectively conveyed throughout “Homecoming” …show more content…

This is seen in how war changes people’s perspectives on life and their surroundings. Whilst war is often recognised at changing the lives of those remaining, the most obvious impact is that of how many soldiers are dead. This is the most evident consequence of war as each person has unnecessarily lost their lives and as a result they are simply the image of what they once were. Their potential and personality has been destroyed within a second. This is all represented through the personification of shadows which are said to be “tracing the blue curve of the Pacific”. War’s consequences that affect the world are seen in how Dawe describes Australia’s vast landscapes as “the old ridiculous curvatures of earth”. This is yet another use of cumulative listing and conveys how the soldiers will never see their homeland again. Furthermore, it presents the Australian landscape as something that is now unknown, distant and foreign due to the large impacts of war. The consequences of war are also seen in the attitude towards the dead and surviving soldiers returning from the Vietnam war. There is a clear absence of a heroes return and the soldiers return to find “dogs in the frozen sunset” who “raise muzzles in mute salute”. This shows how society has completely changed and that there is a lack of humans who support the efforts of the soldiers. In their place are simply dogs (a motif throughout the poem) who sit in silence so as to demonstrate the solemnity of the occasion. All of this demonstrates that war has a vast array of consequences on many scales, hence another reason for this poem to convey a strong anti-war

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