Protests are an integral part of society as they can give a voice to the many in society who are voiceless. Protesting lets a society voice their concerns to people in power, whether these be concerns of certain laws or even, the concerns of people who may be abusing the power they have been given. Protests can come in many forms such as marches, use of the media, music and poetry. The Vietnam War, which was fought between 1st November 1955 – 30th April 1975, is known as one of the most infamous wars for Australia and the United States to take part in. It became so disliked due to the fact it was a war most of the Australian society did not want to be involved in and led to the unnecessary deaths of approximately 500 Australian soldiers. In this piece an analysis of the poem “Homecoming”, a poem written by Bruce Dawe, as well as an analysis on an image taken in the united states during the Vietnam War. Both of protest focus on the Vietnam War and the issues surrounding the dehumanisation of the soldiers and futility of the Vietnam War.
Throughout the first stanza Dawe uses large amounts of literary devices to persuade an audience on the horrors of the Vietnam War. This includes the title ‘Homecoming’ which is an ironic statement as a homecoming is normally used in a celebratory way to describe people coming back home. Unfortunately, this was not the case for many soldiers. During the start of the first stanza, heavy use of repetition “All day, day after day”, is used to better describe just how gruelling and repetitive the Vietnam War had become for the soldiers and how the soldiers became desensitised to the death happening around them. Dawe uses this repetition to give the poem a very sombre and depressing tone which best describes the war. Imagery is used frequently throughout the poem, especially in the first stanza such as “They’re zipping them up in green plastic bags” “deep freeze lockers” are both used to describe how these dead soldiers were not treated as people but rather they were treated like waste being transported home. More imagery is used when the poem describes the soldiers as “Curly heads, kinky-hairs crew cuts, balding non-coms”. This is used to represent the soldiers in a way as if they were just a number, someone who has lost all individuality. The poem creates emotion through imagery by describing in detail the planes coming home with dead bodies “their shadows are tracing the blue curve of the Pacific with sorrowful quick fingers”. Dawe effectively uses the imagery throughout the first stanza to show the dehumanisation of the soldiers and how they were simply treated like a statistic.
The second stanza also uses heavy amounts of imagery, describing the earth with “old ridiculous curvatures” “knuckled hills, mangrove swamps” as if the earth is old and worn down just like the people in involved in the Vietnam war. There is also the powerful use of a metaphor describing the dead as skiers due to the way th...