Bruce Dawes & Kj Adems - Identity

Explain how the aspects of identity are conveyed in Bruce Dawe’s “Sometimes Gladness” and a related text of your choice.

Identity is who you are, what you think about yourself, the way you are viewed by the world and the characteristics that define you.   Bruce Dawe’s collection of poems “Sometimes Gladness” and KJ Adems Short Film “Identity” strongly express that the popular trends of the contemporary society heavily influence an individual’s personal identity. These texts share the idea that a universal public identity has been created due to an established requirement, which forces all people to adapt to social standards. Bruce Dawe’s poem “Americanised” personifies the relationship between Australia and the USA as an over-protective mother – child relationship where Australia has been influenced to willingly disregard its own identity for that of its mother America.   Dawe’s “Enter Without So Much As Knocking” conveys the life of a standardized man, who is brought up with a lack of individuality due to the unnatural focus of consumerism. KJ Adems Short film “Identity” demonstrates a young girls battle to overcome the forced identity that she unwillingly possessed as her individuality keeps her isolated from the rest of the world around her. These texts, through the use of literary and film techniques, confirm that individuality has been relinquished due to numerous external influences; in turn a consistent public persona has been developed.

In relation to the poem “Americanised”, Bruce Dawe depicts the social and political influence that the USA has on Australian identity. This idea is conveyed through Mother-child relationship. In the first stanza Dawe writes, “She loves him… and what small child could deny the beneficence of that motherhood”. Dawe uses this satirical sentence to emphasise that Australian’s should not accept the identity that America expects us to adopt. “Today I’ll let you play with mummy’s things, the toys that mark his short life –...