Dawe’s ideas of consumerism may not be unique because there are many evidences from other sources that have shown similar ideas to his. For example there is a cartoon strip by Leunig called “The sunrise” which has the same idea/theme as “The Not-so-good Earth”, another cartoon strip called “Entertainment Tonight” with the same ideas as “Enter without so much as knocking” and another one of Leuing’s cartoon strips called “The Holy Grail” which has similar ideas as another one of Dawe’s poems called ‘Break through”
In one of Dawes poems called “The Not-so-good earth”, the message given to us about Anti-Consumerism is that since we view the television so much in our lives, we lose the sense of reality in the way the real world works. There is much confusion between the sense of reality and fiction (Class notes, The Not-so-good earth) and this is the same point given to us in the cartoon strip by Leunig called “The Sunrise”. In the carton strip, we see a window with the sun rising on the outside and beside the window you see a father showing his son the exact sunrise on the television set. This shows us like Dawes poem, we view the television so much in our lives that we seek information and entertainment from the T.V. Another point given out is consumerism and material products are controlling our worlds, sometimes making the viewer cold. (Dawe, The Not-so-good Earth) By having the father and son watch a natural event on a screen, it shows us the loss of beauty from the real experience, which they could have gotten instead.
Even though the two being compared are very similar Dawe still has some points in his poem that makes his work unique. For example, in his poem Dawe sends out his message in a more satirical tone whereas Leunig uses normal humour to change and convince our minds about consumerism.
The poem “Enter without so much as knocking” by Dawes is similar to “Entertainment Tonight”, both by expressing the society is being false and superficial. They lack personal identity by being in a consumer society. In the poem Dawe makes the society into the product of the consumer age and human life is determined as a by-product, lacking in real value and soon concluded as worthless. Another common point is however much we consume, life will still come to an end or we will still end up with nothing. (Website at Bored of Studies, English Std) Both of these articles show that our everyday lives are being controlled by consumerism; difference with Dawe’s poem is he starts with the birth of the baby being introduced to the consumer world by hearing the sounds of the television than of his mothers voice to the death of the person whose funeral was still being controlled by consumerism having his face have much more of a “healthy tan” than showing us as just adults being controlled by the consumer world in our everyday lives like, consuming a movie, food, clothes etc as what ‘entertainment tonight’ has focused on. Dawe, by doing this, made a more effective touch to the poem, making it much more interesting to read.
The similarity of Bruce Dawe’s “Break Through” and Leunig’s “The Holy Grail” are the use of exaggeration on the consumerism society and the use of exploitation of religious figures and items. Both works askes us to question what we seek comfort and direction from. (Class notes, Break Through)
In ‘Break Through’, Dawe exaggerates consumerism by expressing unimaginable limits advertisements can go to reach the consumers and the uses of religious imagery (angels, heaven etc) and black humour to criticize modern society for it accepts advertising in its self, and explores the exploitation of people. The
Advertisements has affected people to worship products and to value highly the acceptance of the consumer world. (Eng. STD/ Consumerism, Hanady)
In Leunig’s cartoon strip, ‘The Holy Grail’ there is exaggeration on the way a man’s goal on life is to ‘have’ and ‘need’ products that are purposely useless. He is in a mad dash to fill his ‘deep, aching void in his lonely, hungry, tortured soul’, and is bound with joy when he finds a ‘Reduced to clear’ special on the ‘one and only’ Holy Grail. (Leunig, The Holy Grail) Leunig through using sarcasm in this comic shows how shallow the human form is when we are under the control of consumerism. It makes us ask ourselves if we are really in need of all these consumer products or are they just wants in our lives.
In Conclusion, even though many of Dawe’s poems (The Not-so-good Earth, Enter without so much as knocking and Break through) may not have original ideas and most could be found in the three related texts (Leunig’s The sunrise and The Holy Grail and Entertainment Tonight) I’ve used, he still presents us with different types of other issues of consumerism that was not used.