Comparison Dawe and the One Day of the Year

Arabella Ludemann
Comparison Essay
Without a healthy balance between times and circumstances which bring contentment and those that bring discomfort, several important aspects of life would see no growth. This is a concept explored by Seymour and Dawe in their respective texts, and reflects the nature of change in the society and events of the 1960s. The play The One Day of the Year (The One Day) and poetry from the anthology Sometimes Gladness, specifically “Homecoming” and “Drifters,” exemplify the effects of the changing backdrop of life in terms of relationships and war.
In The One Day, the way Seymour selects dialogue to use in the interactions between Hughie and Jan illustrates how movement in a relationship is required for individual success. The shaky nature of the relationship between Hughie and Jan is showed by the short sharp sentences in times of conflict – HUGHIE: That wasn’t funny. JAN: What wasn’t funny? – and their extended monologues when they are at peace – e.g. Hughie’s monologue with Jan present about how he feels on Anzac Day. This emphasises the fact that although there are times of contentment on their relationship, it is the times of trial which bring Hughie through to the realisation of who he wants to identify himself with.
Dawe also uses the idea of change as a catalyst for growth in the poem “Drifters,” where he demonstrates through the use of extended metaphor the seasons of relationships which have effects on the way the family operates and interacts. “…and the brown kelpie pup will start dashing about, tripping/everyone up,/and she’ll go out to the vegetable-patch and pick all the green/tomatoes from the vines…” demonstrates how the family’s wish for and illusion of having achieved permanency is overridden by the consistency of change in their lives which sees them ever moving, a bittersweet characteristic of their lives. These ideas of change in relationship having positive effects for the individual are a reflection of the new...