Sacrifice In Bruce Dawe's 'Drifters'

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How does the poem explore its key themes? The poem “Drifters” by Bruce Dawe explores how sacrifice is needed to belong in a family, the effects of moving communities, and how maturity is largely related to age. Through exploring these themes, Dawe shows the complex nature of identity and belonging in a family. The poem, “Drifters” explores how sacrifice is essential to belong in a family through examining the sacrifices made by the mother and the eldest daughter when moving out. The conflicting interests of the mother and the father result in a situation where one must make a sacrifice in order to preserve the connection in the family. The flat depressed tone of the poem reflects the mother’s unhappiness and frustration about having to constantly…show more content…
In “Drifters” the family’s constantly changing location results in them unable to set up roots in a community and live a fulfilling lifestyle. The symbolism of the “green tomatoes” shows the mother’s frustration about being unable to set up roots in a permanent location and live a fulfilling and productive life, resulting in a lack of belonging to a community. Similarly, the contrast between her hands which were “bright with berries” when they first arrived, with “the blackberrycanes with their last shrivelled fruit” when they depart highlight how her hopes of a happy and productive life have deteriorated with the prospect of having to leave. In contrast to the mother’s perspective on leaving, the youngest daughter’s is “beaming because she wasn’t” happy there. Through exploring the contrasting perspectives of the mother and the youngest daughter, the Dawe shows how moving communities have different effects on people. Therefore, Dawe shows how an individual’s sense of belonging is largely influence by moving…show more content…
This idea is epitomised by Ozymandias’s obsessive pursuit of power which resulted in him dismissing the needs of his people. The alliteration in “sneer of cold command” highlights Ozymandias’s distain towards the people in his empire that stems from the immense amount of power which he holds. Furthermore, the contrast between Ozymandias’s self-reference to himself as the “king of kings” with how his empire was now “a colossal wreck, boundless and bare” highlights, he failed the empire which he had strived towards building, believing that he was supreme and successful. Through this, Shelly stresses the importance of being able to identify what success is to an individual in order to ensure that he does not lose sight of his goals like Ozymandias. Thus, the idea of how the search for perfection can consume an individual is one key to the
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