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Bruce Dawe Poem Weapons Training

Decent Essays
Bruce Dawe’s poem ‘Weapons Training’ is a dramatic monologue about the harsh conditions of the training sessions for troops of the Vietnam War. The poem expresses the harsh conditions as well as the dehumanisation of the soldiers. The poem was written in 1970 while Dawe was part of the RAAF. Bruce Dawe uses a variation of language and poetic features to express his opinion and point of view of the Vietnam War. All of the features which Dawe uses contribute to his representation of Australia during the war.

‘Weapons Training’ is a monologue about the harsh and dehumanising conditions of the training session for the soldiers. During the poem, Dawe uses a variety of crude words, insults and Australian slang to show the dehumanisation and attitude the soldiers had to endure. Dawe uses both crude words and insult to humiliate both Australian and Vietnamese soldiers. He uses phrases such as “unsightly fat” and “are you queer “to insult Australian soldiers and “little yellows” and “rotten fish sauce breath” to insult the Vietnamese. The slang that Dawe uses is able to show a representation of Australian culture, the slang is “old crown jewels,” “tripe’s” and “copped the bloody lot.” Using these words, the poet is able to show that the culture is strong even during war. All the words that Dawe uses is a way of degrading the soldiers.

Bruce Dawe uses expressive language features to show the harshness of his poem. Dawe uses a variety of descriptive words to express his opinion,
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