Composers express their beliefs about consumerism in many ways, mediums and styles, due to its power of influence over the majority of the civilization. Bruce Dawe communicates his views and believes through the medium of poems to emphasise the grave reality of consumerism overtaking our social, ethical and moral issues of our culture. His cynical views are brought forward using numerous poetic techniques some being, figurative language, caricature, imagery and epigraph these clearly outline his way of thinking concerning this topic. Such as in the poem 'Enter without so much as knocking' by Dawe, the responders clearly see his incite through the many techniques used by him. Similarly in Breakthrough most his main ideas remain unchanged while new ones are brought out. Dawe incorporates many of his beliefs and ideas into 'Enter without so much as knocking.' In this poem Dawe talks about a child being born into our consumerist crazed society.
Since this is a sequential life poem, we see when he was born and the first thing he heard was Bobby Dazzler. Next see the child as when was young and how he noticed nothing but the stars rather than the driven movie he was watching with his family and was swept off into another realm where consumerism did not dominate. But as time went on he matured, and soon became a part of our "money-hungry back-stabbing miserable so and so" society. Finally Dawe presents us with his unexpected death due to a car accident. Dawe makes a very satirical remark "even adding a healthy tan he'd never had"; this meaning consumerism plays a roll even during the recent time your death. At the end Dawe finishes of by "no parking tickets, no taximeter"six feet underground nobody interested." By this he means the only know way to escape consumerism is after you have passed on where then you have no significance to the living money hungry world.
One being consumerism attempts to mask human mortality, yet death is inevitable. Bluntly putting man's death cannot be foreseen or un avoided by the consumerist materials he owns or the status he stands in society or the wealth he has accumulated over his years. This is quite distinctly proven by the use of an epigraph. Dawe has written referencing to a biblical phrase "Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulver em reverter is." Denoting, 'remember, man, that thou art dust and into dust will return.' Through the technique of an epigraph Dawe has quite clearly labelled one of his many pessimistic views on consumerisms' effects on society.
Dawe also makes another very strong and harsh judgment on our society when he indirectly states with the use of caricature and imagery that consumerism dehumanizes the individual. Thus stating we are now know for what we own and treasure rather than what we are born with, our individuality and uniqueness. This is clearly shown in the poem 'Enter without so much as knocking', "one Anthy squares - cool stream - summer weight dad, along with two other kids straight of the junior department rack." This clearly shows how the dad in the poem is being identified by what he wears rather than for who he is and how he behaves, the same goes for the kids, mentioning rather than their innocence and delightful ness they have been recognised as straight out of a rack in a department store meaning they are new and young. Dawe has shown the harshness and severeness of the effect of consumerism on the world we live in today. Likewise Dawe relates many of the ethical and religious views and believes in his mind which consumerism has creep into and overpowered with reference to a newspaper article. In the poem 'Breakthrough' his points are conveyed by the use of a dying young girl who sings a jingle rather than a prayer on her death bed.
"A little girl is reported to have died happily in hospital singing an advertising commercial." An epigraphy is used to again to direct the responder's attention to the key idea, of how innocence has been exploited be consumerism. This little girl knew nothing other than a jingle showing how little ethical and religious influence she has been exposed to, and presenting how much consumerism has not only infiltrated the lives of adults but now has also triumphed over children. Similarly another point Dawe highlights is the fact that in his views consumerism has reached the heavens and beyond. This really is an insult to the rest of us, as it us who have helped achieve this. He portrays this with the use of imagery and figurative language.
"Storm out: angels, backed up by guitars, take up the theme earth's loss in heaven's gain... ." Firstly angels are accompanied by harps melodies instruments signifying peace, love, unity in contrast to guitar which is a very earthly instrument. Then a slogan relating to consumerism 'earth's loss in heaven's gain' gives a direct link that consumerism has gone one level up. "And downy soft is draped around the stars." Dawe is presenting a serious insult to the heavens, as downy soft being a brand of toilet paper. When toilet paper is used for decoration it's normally a sign of offence but he has used sophisticated language 'draped' adding a sarcastic touch to it to show that consumerism has now also infiltrated the heavens. As we can see Dawe's satirical views and believes on how ravage consumerism is, and how destructive it has become over the years to our existence, and yet we are oblivious to it and abide by its way of life.
Dawe on the other hand has become conscious to its doing and has chosen to act, via the medium of poems with the help of poetic techniques to inform the civilised world of what has been hopping to us and all our lives. Written by Ramana Kirubagaran Yr 12 English.