How Has the Composer of One Text Used Language to Convey Their Ideas?

Topics: Army, Vietnam War, New Zealand Pages: 2 (598 words) Published: August 18, 2013
How has the composer of one text used language to convey their ideas? “I was Only 19” by Redgum conveys their ideas about the violent and disturbing nature of war, the long-lasting psychological effects of war on the soldiers and the misleading nature of the ANZAC legend through the use of language techniques such as repetition, hyperbole, visual comparisons, rhetorical questions, metaphor and code, etc. Firstly, Redgum uses language techniques to effectively convey their ideas on the violent nature of war. The use of visual comparisons such as “I can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel” followed by “And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle” paints a picture of the horrors of the supposed “great” war and the consequences of its nature. This demonstrates to the audience that the Vietnam War was a place of extremes, disturbance and violence. The use of the repetition of the phrase “God help me, I was only 19” shows the innocence of these young soldiers who have been sent out to fight and die and, therefore, expresses the distressing and disturbing nature of the Vietnam War. It also creates sympathy for these soldiers who have lost lots very early on in their lives. The use of code such as an “Asian Orange Sunset” (which is code for Herbicide Orange that the Americans used to have killed or maimed 400,000 people during the Vietnam War) gives the impression that Redgum’s ideas are from the perspective of someone who had experience in the war which adds an emotional, remorseful and disturbing feel to the song. Therefore, these three language techniques show the violent and disturbing nature of the Vietnam War and, therefore, effectively convey Redgum’s ideas. Secondly, Redgum uses language techniques to effectively convey their ideas on the long-lasting psychological effects of war on the soldiers. The use of rhetorical questions such as “And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can’t get to sleep? And why the Channel Seven...
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