Consumerism as we understand as individuals is the need to acquire objects and possessions often beyond our essential needs, just for the sake of acquiring them. This universal theme is made patent through two of Dawes poems, Americanized and Televistas 1977. Dawe is successful as he discusses and ultimately utilizes the theme of consumerism in a negative, derogatory way.
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Additionally, Dawes employment of techniques such as metaphors, rhetorical questions, repetition, figurative language and tone further enables the responder to understand themes which arise throughout both poems such as consumerism, capitalism, cultural imperialism and materialism. It is through this utilization that obsessive consumption of material goods can lead people to believe that their lives as well as their social status is determined by what they own and ultimately, consume. Dawe’s poem Americanised is a dark satiric poem about cultural imperialism.
This is made apparent as Dawe uses an extended metaphor. That is the mother being America and the child representing a younger developing nation. Furthermore, Dawe explores how this younger developing nation is becoming imbued by American value systems, as well as how a simple human relationship between mother and son can become perverted by consumerism. Rhetorical questions are employed by Dawe for the duration of Americanised. “What child of simple origins could want more? ” As stated, what we can articulate is that any modern consumer needs to sustain life is material wealth.
The employment of rhetorical questions is further developed at the end of the first stanza. This representation allows the reader to understand that the child must accept the mother’s gift of love. Additionally, Dawe explores entrapment throughout this poem and makes the reader aware that entrapment is a powerful motif in consumerism. This is perceptible as the baby is contained in his ‘high chair’, which represents that communities around the world are imprisoned by the conformist nature of consumerism and capitalism.
Moreover, Dawes employment of consumerism is explored in his poem ‘Televistas’. Dawe is successful as he directs our attention towards two ways television could serve the interests of consumerism. Dawes utilization
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of metaphors, allows the responder to comprehend the development of the love story on which the poem is based. Dawe is triumphant as through his representation of cartoon programs like ‘Bugs Bunny’ and personality shows such as Furthermore, Dawes language in ‘Televistas’ is even and unbalanced however he incorporates an uneven rhythm, with a varying number of unstressed syllables.
It is made apparent however that there is a regular rhythm in the line, “they fell in love, and shared a SamBoy. ” Additionally, the expression ‘Sanyo oriented’ suggests that it is no longer a question whether one has a television or not, but now only a question of which brand. Furthermore, Dawe expresses the different stages in relationships such as fights, conversations and promises and has contrasted them with a television consumed society. Through this, the responder is able to identify that this couple’s relationship is dully based around television.
Throughout the duration of Americanised, consumerism if further explored as the perception of the world is weak as it is made apparent that they lack the ‘things’ that make America great. For example, materialism is perceived as a way of life. Moreover, repetition is incorporated by Dawe as the phrase “she loves him… ” is repeated. This exemplifies that the loving action is viewed as protecting and insulating the child, in much the same way modern day consumer culture cushions reality.See More on Culture