Bruce Dawe's Homecoming Essays

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Bruce Dawe's Homecoming

Bruce Dawe writes of his experiences in the Vietnam War in the poem "Homecoming". By using many different language techniques he conveys his sadness and sympathy for the loss of the lives of the young soldiers.

Repeated use of the pronoun "they're", hints at the impersonal relationship between the bodies and their handlers. Repetition of the suffix "-ing" in "bringing", "zipping", "picking", "tagging", and "giving", describing the actions of the body processors, establishes irony. These verbs imply life and vitality, in stark contrast to the limp, lifeless, cold body that they handle each day. Repetition is used effectively to highlight the shocking brutality that has
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The Pacific is described as a "blue curve", again describing the view from the windows of the jets. The use of " sorrowful quick fingers" - personification- to describe the shadows of the jet, again gives the responder further imagery of the jet flying over the Vietnam jungle. The shadows are searching for the homes of the soldiers, quickly and sorrowfully, knowing what bad news they shall bring to those families. "Heading south, heading east" also portrays the many stop-overs made by the planes as they deliver the bad news, and corpses, to the families.

The repetition of the word "home", plus the final word in italics, forces the responder slow down in their reading of the poem & more greatly emphasizes the sadness of the soldiers coming home for the last time.

Dawe feels that no matter where war is situated it is 'ridiculous'. It is only a struggle for power, a struggle to gain certain 'curvatures' of the earth. This is portrayed in the offset phrase "Ridiculous curvatures".

Dawe uses vivid visual imagery to emphasise the emotional damage caused to friends a family through the loss of a loved one, a deep suffering that is often left unrecorded in the annals of history. "Telegrams tremble like leaves from a wintering tree" and "the spider swings in his bitter geometry", exemplify

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