Bruce Dawe: consumerism. Question: You work for the department of consumer affairs. Your workplace supervisor has asked you to write a report based on your investigations of how texts influence consumers. Write a report. In your answer, you should refer to your prescribed text and a variety of other related texts of your own choosing. Department of consumer affairs.
Date: 10/10/2002 Re: how texts influence consumers. From the prescribed text sometimes gladness by Bruce Dawe it is evident that the two poems americanized and enter so much without knocking have a strong influence on consumers. Both similar and contrasting aspects can be seen in the related texts no logo which is a best selling non-fiction novel By Naomi Klein and the blockbuster film fight club by David Fincher. Throughout my research into how texts influence consumers I have discovered that through clever manipulation of language, theme, ideas and various other techniques that are employed Bruce Dawe has successfully influenced consumers.
The darkly satirical nature of the poem americanized that is used presents the viewer with the metaphorical representation of the mother as America and the son as a country that is largely influenced by the first consumer nation, America. This tone influences the consumers' perceptions of America, as it is represented as being powerful, controlling and as having a negative effect on the rest of the world. The quote "she loves him... but will not allow him out" clearly shows the consumer the mothers possessiveness and the stranglehold which, Dawe suggests, Americas consumer culture has over all the societies which it dominates. In addition to this it also is a contradiction of emotions and shows the fallacious nature of the mothers' love for the boy. An influential element similar to this can be seen in the non-fiction text by Naomi Klein, 'no space no choice no jobs no logo', where like Dawe she aims to inform the consumer about the control that America possesses over the rest of the world.
Naomi Klein uses strong persuasive, emotive language like "breeding loyalty: what goes around comes around" to influence the consumer by presenting them with the pernicious effects of consumerism on modern society. The use of direct (quoted) speech in americanized gives immediacy to the mother and sons relationship thus suggesting that the influence that America has on other countries is presently occurring. My research has shown that this brought the worlds current situation to the consumers attention and influenced the way that they now view Americas position in commerce, the news and other political situations especially the war in Iraq. A similar aspect is present in Naomi Klein's text that is Naomi Klein uses statistical information to support her point of view and therefor the consumer is aware that the information is from the present and is relevant to this day and age. Being aware of this could make consumers be more inclined to re-evaluate their outlook and position in regards to the consumption of American products and taking action to prevent the Americanization, of their own culture The last four stanzas introduce a second metaphor that of the day declining and the onset of night, representing the negative influence of American culture overshadowing and obliterating a local culture. This is parallel to the idea of the sense of evil that finally dawns on the boy as he realises that he is totally under her control.
"He tries to run, her large hands hold him fast." In a survey that was conducted 90% of participants commented that from reading Dawes poem americanized they were finally aware of the power and stronghold that America has over other countries in particular Australia. Both similar and contrasting aspects to this can be seen in Naomi Klein's text. Klein presents the consumer with a compelling and entertaining anti-capitalist case against all multi-national corporations who put profit and put work before basic human needs, she presents the consumer with the negative effects that 90 s' uber brand marketing has had on culture, work and consumer choice. My research shows that After reading this riveting non-fiction text consumers 95% more inclined to share Naomi's views and review their own position in relation to consumerism.
In Americanized through the use of a scornful tone Dawe expresses his concern for societies that are influenced by America. In the line "the streets are full of nasty cars and men" Dawe uses a satirical yet scornful tone to make consumers aware of the adulteration of our environment, and that it is no longer safe for kids to play on the street. Consumers may be able to relate to this as their society or community may be parallel to the unsafe situation presented in Americanized. This tone influences viewers in that it effectively supports Dawes negatively geared case against consumerism and further convinces consumers that what Dawe is saying is plausible. A similar use of tone is apparent in 'no space no choice no jobs no logo'.
Klein uses a similar tone to reinforce the message that she is portraying through her work. That is, she aims to educate consumers about the severity of the effects that America has in regards to advertising, work opportunities and the effects that our actions have on future generations (just to name a few). This is apparent in the quote that comes from the part of the book 'no choice': "but in the pages of the business section, the world goes monochromatic and doors slam shut from all sides." Through the use of this simple yet effective technique both Dawe and Klein can successfully present a point of view or an opinion to viewers. However, it is purely up to the consumer what they do with the information, it is possible that some may disregard it but on the other hand some may take it on board and act upon it in a manner beneficial to all (besides the multi-national companies and corporations). A contrasting element that is apparent between Klein and Dawes literature is the fact that Klein primarily focuses on the popular culture of brands and logos like "the swoosh, the shell, and the arches" (referring to Nike, Shell petrol, and Mc Donald's) and thus the influence on the consumer is different to that of Dawe. As Dawe only makes reference to consumer items like "Pepsi-cola figurines to spam" and they are not prominent themes in the poem.
More over because they are only imitations of the real thing, coca-cola and ham, this portrays their lack of value and therefor their importance in the poem. On one hand research has shown that the primary focus on the popular culture of brands in Klein's text was more affective on the younger generation in regards to the consumption of popular brands, like Nike etc. 79% of youth said that Naomi Klein's text was a call to arms and brought the painful truth to their attention.