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Analytical Comparison Focusing On Visual And Language Techniques In Portraying Vision Of Australia In Dorothea Mackellar's "My Country" And Max Dupain's "Sunbather"

1114 words - 5 pages

Many artists, poets and writers alike over the years have attempted to encapsulate an image of Australia in their works. Two of the most famous Australian works - Max Dupain's "Sunbather" and Dorothea Mackellar's "My Country" have achieved this in differing, yet equally effective ways. They have done this through a number of ways such as emphasizing the relationships between the author, responder and context and using language forms and features which shape its meaning and influence responses.The first text that will be discussed is Max Dupain's photograph - "Sunbather". This photograph is a powerful yet simple image that conveys aspects of the Australian climate, attitude and culture ...view middle of the document...

It is strongly masculine and represents a connection with the outdoors. The vector lines as well as his dark hair contrasts to the sand and this draws our eye to him. The horizontal lines split the page creating symmetry between the figure and the sand representing the importance of symmetry between man and nature in Australia and the important part this plays in our climate. The shot seems simple yet is very detailed and precisely focused. The simple life of Australia, that it is a land of natural pleasures, is reflected in the simplicity of the shot.The photograph is in black and white and this adds to the simplicity of the text and therefore message of the simplicity of the Australian way of life it is sending. The photograph is taken under bright light with dark shadows, which portrays the aspect of the Australian climate. These sharp shadows emphasize the focal point; once again reinforcing the importance of the Australian image.The photograph on a whole relates to the audience reluctantly, with no interaction; just a reflection of thoughts. It combines all of these visual elements to create an effective portrayal of the Australian way of life and attitudes.The second text that will be discussed is Dorothea Mackellar's poem - "My Country". This poem is a powerful and emotive text that displays a subjective viewpoint and informs of and involves the reader in Mackellar's personal emotions about Australia through the use of many language techniques.The true meaning of the poem is not fully understood until the second stanza where it becomes apparent that Mackellar is contrasting the landscape of Britain - "Brown streams and soft dim skies/ I know but cannot share it, / My love is otherwise" to her love of Australia - "I love a sunburnt country/ A land of sweeping plains" This contrast of the first and second stanzas shows the different context of being away from Australia and the emotional effect it has on Mackellar. This distance from her birth place and origin is what allows these feelings to arise. The phrase - "My love is otherwise" creates this realization in the viewer invites us to connect with her love; the love of Australian...

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