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Homecoming by Bruce Dawe.
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HOMECOMING Bruce Dawe
Bruce Dawe writes of his experiences in the Vietnam War in the poem "Homecoming". By using many different language techniques he conveys his sadness and sympathy for the loss of the lives of the young soldiers.
Repeated use of the pronoun "they're", hints at the impersonal relationship between the bodies and their handlers. Repetition of the suffix "-ing" in "bringing", "zipping", "picking", "tagging", and "giving", describing the actions of the body processors, establishes irony. These verbs imply life and vitality, in stark contrast to the limp, lifeless, cold body that they handle each day. Repetition is used effectively to highlight the shocking brutality that has manifested in all wars throughout history. It is shocking that "they're giving them names" since a name is one of the few identifying features left on the plethora of otherwise anonymous, mutilated bodies.
Dawe then writes of how the soldiers are 'tagged' and the seemingly unsympathetic way that the soldiers are classified - 'curly-heads, kinky-hairs, crew-cuts, balding non-coms'. This, however, is not to show the classifying of the soldiers as cold and unsympathetic, but rather to emphasize that the class, race etc. of the soldiers is not important in
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""Yvette Agars. Senior History Teacher. Saint John's College. Whyalla S.A.
""Jacqueline. Modern Studies and English. GCSE Student