“Shooting the dogs”
Comparison analytical expository poetry study
Australians are a very mobile group of people. Throughout Australian history Australians have had to move due to drought and other perilous conditions. Today Australians have not relinquished this trait.
The two poems that are being compared are ‘Drifters’ written by Bruce Dawe (1930-) and ‘Shooting the dogs’ written by Philip Hodgins (1959-1995).
Drifters is a poem describing a family who has a habit of moving a great deal. The poem describes there latest move away from their property. The reason for their sudden departure seems to be partly because of a drought or hot summer and the husbands orders.
Shooting the dogs is a poem describing the departure of some farm people into town. Due to their cng ths of the two poems are very alike they both describe the ...view middle of the document...
It was one of the last things I did before
Each time the gravel slid off the shovel
it sounded like something
trying to hang on by its nails.
Philip Hodgins ‘Shooting the Dogs’
The speaker’s beliefs and values in each of the poems are hinted or directly said.
In the poem Drifters the speaker’s beliefs are not openly portrayed. Her beliefs and values seem to have been suppressed by her husband for she does not question his motives and seems to be quite detached from him as if they have had disagreements.
Her humble acceptance reveals that she still believes in the family being together, she also displays this by the way she consciously observes her family after her husband tells her to start packing.
In the poem Shooting the Dogs the speaker displays his values, motives and emotions in a clear language so readers can feel what the author wants to express. He displayed his lack of scruple by shooting his dogs just after calling them enthusiastically towards him but also shows his softer caring side by telling us how he felt as he buried his dogs. At the beginning of the poem you could see that shooting his dogs was to be a daunting prospect for him. The stories he had heard, of dogs that before being shot would look at you with their eyes; accusing, helpless, misunderstood and loving eyes, these images would be flashing before the shooters eyes forever. The poem continues by saying that his dogs didn’t seem to have a clue and were oblivious to their incoming doom. He expected that because his dogs didn’t give him the ‘look’, it would not affect him as much, but he was mistaken and their innocence affected him greatly.
Both poem speakers hide their grief of departure to a new and unknown place. They display their attachment to what is being left behind and grieve for their losses. They both move in a very Australian manner accepting without too much question and completing their last tasks with solemness but productivity. Australians are adapt to change and these poems are perfect examples of it.