Analysis Of Ambition

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Good morning I am Maddison English and today I would like welcome to this joyful occasion – the 2017 Shmoop Poetry Competition. How many stories have you heard that speak about the positives of colonialism, the basic understanding that it was necessary to unite the world under one banner. Or movies depicting the colonists as stereotypical heroes who fought with honour, while slaying the so called ‘savages’. Well Banjo Patterson’s poem ‘Ambition’ does not focus on such fantastical nonsense but instead focuses on the hard truth of colonialism that is the act of money hungry racists who simply colonize to make a fortune. Throughout his poem, Ambition, Banjo Patterson uses cultural understanding of the truth of Colonialism and its dark and negative influence on Australian culture and the theme of greed to create strong imagery to effectively symbolise the negatives of being a colonialist and creates a strong emotive understanding from the audience. Paterson relies on the audience having an understanding of ambition and that having too much of it could lead to corruption. His additional use of the theme greed creates strong imagery in the audiences mind and emphasises the negativity of colonialism, forcing the audience to connect with the hard truth of the colonialist’s true nature. Additionally Paterson uses metaphors, along with other various poetic devices, to position the audience into emotively accepting the chaos and strife caused by colonialism. Banjo Paterson relies on the audience having an understanding of what Ambition really is and its manipulative control of those with high ambitions. Ambition, also referred to as intense mission, is defined by as an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honour, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment. However in truth this flimsy definition, while accurate, can be misleading at times causing the audience to focus more on words explicit meanings, rather than the much more important implicit meanings to really comprehend what is really about. An example of this is the line “I am the maid of lustrous eyes” which when looked at explicitly portrays simply a female with bright and shining eyes.

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