Bruce Dawe's Poem - Essay

Bruce Dawe - Essay
Bruce Dawe, one of the finest literary poets, embraces his renowned criticism of Australia’s increasingly consumer-driven society and values. His poems, “Americanized” and “Enter Without So Much as Knocking” are prime examples of this and they are both greatly satirical of consumerism and Australian consumerist society.
“Americanized” is a darkly satirical reflection on the forceful control of America’s consumerist society and values over younger, developing nations. This poem is written in a predominantly bitter and ironic tone. The title, itself, is ironic in the way that Americanised is spelt the American way; with a z (Americanized).
In this poem, Bruce Daw uses an extended metaphor of a ‘mother’ as America and the ‘child’ being the young, developing nations which immediately portrays the maternal relationship America holds with other nations unable to “deny the beneficence of that motherhood.” He mothers actions reflect the values of modern society, and how she is trying to maintain an illusion of perfection, smothers and cushions the child from the reality of “the streets… full of nasty cars and men”, as a materialist values may cushion one from realities of the larger world, and by denying the human instinct, he is trained to “be a good boy”.
Bruce Daw mocks America’s belief that their economic aid to these nations is an act of generosity as the mother goes off to “nurse an invalid called the world”. Her materialistic value is reflected and proves to lack longevity and is readily disposed of ‘into a corner’, as is a characteristic of consumerist society. Also, the ‘treasures’ of “mummy’s world” are all imitations of the original products – “Pepsi cola” of cola coal and “spam” of ham, which suggests the life that she leads, is an imitation of the ‘real thing’.
Through the use of Parody of the French philosopher Descartes’ belief that our ability to reason is what makes us human “I think young, think big, therefore I am”, the...