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Identity Speech Bruce Dawe ‘Life Cycle’W/Related Text

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Today I will be speaking to you about the aspects of identity that are presented in my set text ‘Life-cycle’ by Bruce Dawe and a text of my own choosing Wheelchair basketball: One woman’s story. I will be speaking about the way that sport enables people to strengthen their cultural identity and the way that these texts convey this message of identity strengthened. The ten verse poem, lifecycle, is about the great Australian game: Aussie Rules Football. It presents to us the aspect of cultural identity that comes with AFL. The traditions of AFL bring people together, strengthening the cultural identity. A good example of this is the line in Life-Cycle ‘Hot pies and potato-crisps they will eat’, this represents the stereotype of a typical AFL supporter. This food associated with the footy strengthens the cultural identity surrounding the sport.

Another great technique we can see in this line is the use of the pronoun ‘they’. The word they includes everyone in that tradition, showing how stereotypical eating pies and chips at the footy is. Physical barriers can hinder ones identity however the cultural aspect of identity in sport strengthens peoples identity. Wheelchair Basketball: One Womans Story is about how Danielle Peers, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when she was just 25 years old, overcomes the physical barriers put in front of her to become a Paralympic wheelchair basketball player. We see her overcoming physical barriers in the quote ‘Being on a team representing Canada at the Paralympics was one of the most rewarding and exhilarating experiences of my career so far’.

Emotive language is the main technique used in this quote. Through the use of the words exhilarating and rewarding, Peers portrays the importance of the cultural aspect of identity. All of this is similar to the elderly people represented in lifecycle. It talks about how ‘the elderly still loyally crying’ and using AFL slang like carn, carn. Also using adjectives like loyally yet feebly supporting their team to the very end, shows how strongly they’re connected to the game. Overcoming the physical barrier of old age because of their strong cultural identity through sport. Sport also enables people to strengthen their cultural aspect of identity through their intense love and passion for the sport.

This intense passion is portrayed in Life-cycle as it talks about how age is not a barrier for passion and obsession doesn’t deteriorate, even as they grow old. We see this in the simile ‘They will not grow old as those from more northern states grow old’. This is similar to the heading ‘rediscovering a first love’ from the Peers story, which is a clichéd way of portraying the love for the sport. Another example from life-cycle is the line ‘for them it will always be three-quarter time with the scores level and the wind advantage in the final term.

This shows the AFL supporters endless passion for the game, and how much it means to them. I’d like to wrap up my speech by saying that sport helps people to find and strengthen their identity whether it be traditions, overcoming physical barriers or just pure love and passion for the game which helps them to find their true selves. Bruce Dawe does a good job of representing identity through different techniques such as slang, similes and pronouns and so does Wheelchair Basketball: A Woman’s Story, using emotive language and clichés to show the different aspects of identity. Thanks for listening to my speech.

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