In the Folk Museum – Techniques

Quote Technique Explanation
 First person, present tense
1 A darkness in the rooms
betraying the absence of
 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
Reading the description, not own knowledge
Unenthusiastic, detachment
To remind me of a past which
isn’t mine.
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
Imagery/sensory imagery
Simile ‘cold as water’
Lack of warmth/life
No connection to people; no
4 In the Town Hall next door
they sing to Christ
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
 Symbol of a migrant – alien/foreign/temporary

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