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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
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