Daw makes use of techniques such as exaggeration, sarcasm and caricature to ridicule the materialism that infects modern society; “NO BREATHING EXCEPT BY ORDER”, this deliberate exaggeration and the use of capitol letters convey the congestion and stress that is present in our society. Dawe also uses an irregular structure to emphasise the chaotic environment, which is present day society. The use of dialogue helps set the scene of this situation.
Materialism is expressed through a ceaseless literary of advertising slogans, rules, instructions and clichés. Advertising jargon, for example, “one economy sized mum” and, “Anthony Squires coolstream summerweight dad” is deliberately used to characterise the people as having no individuality or identity.
Figurative language such as similes, “like kids at the circus” and alliteration, “faces snarled screamed” is manipulated so that the responders get a vivid picture of what is being described, which impacts strongly on the audience’s perception of character and situation.
‘Weapons Training’ is a poem written in the form of an address being given to a group of raw recruits by an experienced, roughly spoken, gruff mannered sergeant. His manner is intimidating and derogatory and his authoritative tone emphasises his control over them. Control, debasement and danger are all themes that are present in this poem.
Daw uses stereotypes to help depict the image of a ranting army sergeant. The emotive language creates techniques of fear, anger and frustration and personalised attacks such as “are you queer?” increases the sense of menace and vulgarity. These techniques are effective in characterising the sergeant and making the audience feel uneasy.
Word choice is a particularly valuable technique in this poem. The terminology while simple is packed with double meaning that helps develop a pervading negative atmosphere. Monosyllabic words such as “click”, “queer” and “tit” give the poem a blunt and direct feel while polysyllabic words including “bloody” add layers of meaning.
Various language techniques are further expressed in ‘Weapons Training’. Limited punctuation, instructional and colloquial language along with an imperious tone gives the poem a forceful, authoritative resonance. The colloquial tone and language is evident with idiomatic expressions such as “copped the bloody lot” and slang terms such as “queer” and “nit”. Thus, a range of techniques has helped set the scene and dialogue has revealed the character and has altered the audiences’ perception.
In the poem ‘Big Jim, a picture is painted of a working class man who is proud of his origins and achievements. He appears gregarious and full of self-confidence and the simple joy of life. The main themes of ‘Big Jim’ are individualism and working class hero, which are shown clearly through a range of linguistic and imagery techniques.
The irregular stanza length enhances the colloquial, conversational tone of the poem. The combination of formal terms such as “vendetta” and “intoning” with slang terms including “guts” and “belly” demonstrate the stature of the man.
Imagery is used to portray Jim’s character as overwhelming and somewhat intimidating. Dawe captures his sense of size by reference to his “freckled paw” as he reaches for “fosters”. Imagery is further used when the beer is being categorised by colour imagery as “chilled/amber” and also with the “smoky Melbourne sunlight”. These examples of imagery are effective in setting the scene in an Australian context.
In the short story, ‘The Test’ by Angelica Gibbs, the interaction of three people; the driving instructor, Marian and Mrs Erickson are portrayed in a certain place through the use of dialogue and various language techniques.
Various inferences are used by the white inspector such as “Why do you want to drive a car?”, the inference being that she could never afford one and “Read that sign at the end of the bridge”, implicating that Marian cannot read. This technique is effective in showing the attitudes and beliefs of the instructor, the beliefs that all black people came from slave origin and it shows his prejudices.
The use of southern drawl is evident when the instructor breaks into “dog my cats if I didn’t think y’all came from down yonder” , this shows the prejudices the instructor has as he assumed Marian is a poor black woman from slave origins in the south of the United States.
Mrs Erickson, Marian’s employer genuinely likes Marian, but language is used to show the inequality between them. For example Marian calls her employer “Mrs Erickson” and “Ma’am”.
Dialogue has been used vastly in this story to reveal certain characters in given circumstances; it reveals the prejudices and inequalities between each of the three characters.
Both composers discussed above have manipulated dialogue and used a range of techniques in their texts. These paint a certain picture in the audiences’ mind and can alter their perception of character and situation