In the Folk Museum – Techniques

Quote Technique Explanation
 First person, present tense
1 A darkness in the rooms
betraying the absence of
voices
 Symbolism ‘darkness’
 Imagery
 Personification ‘betraying’
 Lack of warmth/life
 Silence, unwelcoming, disregard
Autumn… stands at the door
dressed in yellow and brown.
Personification Decay/lack of life – only the caretaker and perhaps
generation tries to keep the heritage alive
2 I look at words An observer, impersonal, meaningless, detached
Machinery, clothes, transport
Hay knife, draining plough,
shoulder yoke, box iron
Listing
Jargon?
Reading the description, not own knowledge
Unknowing/unfamiliar
Unenthusiastic, detachment
To remind me of a past which
isn’t mine.
Enjambment
First person ‘mine’
Detached, no connection
Purposeful disassociation, reminding himself
3 The caretaker…knits without
looking up
Symbol Caretaker – Australian society/country
No acknowledgment/apathy/uncaring nature
Expectation of assimilation
Unwelcoming environment
[Caretaker’s] … hair’s the
same colour as the grey clay
bottle that’s cold as water to
touch.
Imagery/sensory imagery
Simile ‘cold as water’
Lack of warmth/life
No connection to people; no
acknowledgement/apathy
4 In the Town Hall next door
they sing to Christ
Juxtaposition
Pronoun ‘they’
Mass of people singing in contrast to
dark/quiet/lifeless atmosphere
Books and “eternity, eternity” Juxtaposition Past/future
5 The wind taps hurriedly Personification Urgent call from nature/Australia which is ignored
“Would you please sign the
Visitors’ Book?”
 Dialogue
 Symbol (Visitors’ Book)
 Ambiguous ending
 First voice in poem; call for belonging; rhetorical
question
 Symbol of a migrant – alien/foreign/temporary


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