Drifters Bruce Dawe Poem Analysis

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Drifters by Bruce Dawe “Why have hope?”, is the question raised in the poem “Drifters” by Bruce Dawe. Bruce Dawe’s poem explores how change can damage a family 's relationship and cause them to drift apart. This poem has underlying and straight forward themes depicted about change. Straight forward depiction is the physical movement of the family from place to place and not everyone is in favour of this change. The very first line of the poem, “One day soon he’ll tell her it’s time to start packing”, supports the inevitable change that no one else has a say in except the man. This highlights the power imbalance in a patriarchal house hold. The underlying depiction is the fact that the family is drifting apart because of this change. This is conveyed through the mother choosing to ignore the children and packing aimlessly almost as if she’s following a routine. This idea is reinforced by the repetition of ‘and’ as well as the listing effect which creates a sense of routine.…show more content…
This is also present in the fact that she is detached from her family members. A black feather with white band is said to signify home, harmony and balance. All that she wishes to be surrounded by but isn’t. It’s not that she can’t have balance at all it’s that she never has enough time to bring it in to light. The feather is covering one of her eyes to convey that she is blinded by this dream of one day settling down in one place and bringing the whole family together. “Make a wish, Tom, make a wish.” This line is significant as it shows that she had hoped for a better life and wanted fate to play in her favour to let them settle their roots this time. The statements reply is ambiguous and all that we as the audience know is that she doesn’t want to be in this alone anymore. Yet we know that they end up moving again
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