Metaphor and Language Techniques

8 August 2016

Changes can be defined as a process or transition and refers to the act or instance of being different. A study of change in Preliminary English has allowed for a greater understanding of the concept. Transitions or changes in our life can be both positive and negative. The prescribed text dougy by James Moloney and the song ‘Took the Children Away’ by Archie Rouch effectively explores the concept of change within the individual in society. The song ‘Took the Children Away’ by Aboriginal song writer & singer Archie Roach examines the negative effects of a change.

The song written in general and personal perspective, deals with the issues of stolen generation, when aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their parents. The first part of the song is about removing children from the family. Roach begins by directly addressing the audience and assures us that what we are about hear ‘true’. He uses the second person narrative ‘you’ to involve us. Roach used many language techniques through the song. He uses the simile ‘fenced us in like sheep’ to show the audience what a cruel nature of the act and to explain them in an easy way.

Metaphor and Language Techniques Essay Example

The listing used in ‘taught u to read, to write and pray’ shows the loss of their traditional culture for the dominant white one. The repetition is ‘took the children away’ and also used the verb ‘snatched’ to describe their forcible removal, reveals their powerlessness in the face of controlling dominant white culture. The tone in lines such as ‘take our hand’ and ‘said it was for the best’ is the patronising way Roach and his race were treated. The emotive use of humiliated reveals the havocking impact of white education on his people.

He used emotive and metaphorical language techniques in the line ‘Breaking their mother’s heart’. The next paragraph in this song becomes more personal and Roach started to share about his experience of being taken away from his family. This is the paragraph starting with Alliteration “One dark day”, which shows the visual imagery in your mind. The use of listing about the father’s reaction “he came running fighting mad’, and the direct speech ‘you touch my kids and you fight me’ shows his anger.

The paradoxical line “Cause we were acting white, yet feeling black’ shows how they were felt inside when they were with white people and doing staff as white. There was a change happened suddenly in the song. After the change, the paragraph starting with ‘One sweet day all the children come back’. The sentence in the paragraph tells how they felt after they came back to where they belong and where their heart grows strong. There is a repetition the last paragraph which is “The children came back” and the song lyrics finished with a strong line ‘Yes I came back’.

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