Discovery, evoked by curiosity,
has a large capacity in the alteration of one’s understanding and existing
knowledge, ultimately resulting in a significant transformation of their
renewed self-perceptions. Accurately, this notion is reflected through Robert
Gray’s free verse poems, “North Coast Town”, “Flames and Dangling Wire” and “The
Meatworks”. Gray, an Australian imagist, illustrates the discovery of society’s
fixated blindness for materialistic satisfaction with the ignorance of the
degrading humanity. As a result, Gray challenges his own and society’s awareness
of the inevitable destruction on identity, natural world and ethics driven by modernism.

Thus, the confronting discovery emphasised by Gray encompass the alteration of himself
and society’s perceptions of themselves and the world.  

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Gray confronts individuals with
the discovery of the endangered Australian identity as the result of modernism
with major influence of Americanisation. Gray’s “North Coast Town” illustrates
the self- discovery of the lack of individuality and respect of its integrity is
caused by human greed for progression. This notion of anonymity and mystery is
established upon his discovery within the title, “North Coast Town”, is
resulted in the domination of American industrialisation, evident within
“beach. A shell station”. The juxtaposition emphasises the existence of
progression by replacement of the Australian beaches with the man made “shell
station”. Gray reiterates the discovery of existing Americanisation diluting
Australian’s identity by building “pink ‘Tropicana’ motel like a fancy-dress
pharaoh” as “they’re making California”. The smile and sarcasm emphasises Gray’s
unimpressed attitudes to the pretentions attempt of superficial replacement. Thus,
this discovery stimulates readers to re-assess their current selfish greed for
progression with the ignorance and disrespects the integrity of Australia. Consequently,
society’s obsession of modernisation exploit Australian’s sacred nature as the
town erodes in “the smell of vandal’s lavatory” and “stepping on mud”. The
undesirable diction evokes tactile imagery to intensify the hideousness of the
town, reflecting his transformation. Through this experience, the alteration of
Gray’s tolerable attitude to extreme repulsion was concluded by the realisation
of industrial consequences. This notion is further reflected within the
derogatory language of society symbolically expelling the only authentic
culture of Australia, “Abo, not attempting to hitch, outside town”. Hence, the
provocative ramification of modernisation questions readers and therefore
encouraging them to re-evaluate the damages of Australian culture nurtured by
Americanisation. As a result, the confrontation of the degrading Australian
identity encouraged the re-evaluation of Gray’s attitudes and the readers’
perceptions of their integrity.   


The illustration of the
devastating impacts of human consumeristic activity challenges readers and
Gray’s negligence on environment. Gray’s “Flames and Dangling Wire” depicts his
confrontation of the deteriorating earth caused by society’s blind purist for
urbanisation. This notion of society’s obliviousness is reflected through the
discovery of the unknown, which is metaphorically “on a highway over the
marshland” only to encounter pollution and waste “driven like stakes into the
earth”. The smile exhibits the obliterated damages on natural world through
violent actions and fanatical obsession of industrialisation, consequently
resulting to the creation of surreal environment “stencilled in the smoke”.

Emphasised by the alliteration, the provocative illustration of nature connotes
decay to challenges readers of their preconception of their materialistic
actions, which victimise the environment, subsequently led to the reader’s
self-discovery of their negligence of nature. Furthermore, Gray reiterates the
shift of the environmental to post apocalyptic nature through the reoccurring
motif of “smoke” to emphasis its resemblance. This catalysed towards Gray’s
epiphany of the true embodiment of the declining morals within human are
metaphorically, ” in hell the devils… after scraps of appetite”. The biblical
allusion exhibited the society’s materialistic satisfaction for industrialisation
“after scraps of appetite”, consequently led to the eager exploitation of the fragile
earth. Personally, Gray’s self-realisation emphasised the alteration of his
perception of environmental ramifications which encourages him to take action,
“I realise I am in the future”. The first person pronoun speculates that the
continuation of ignorant modernisation will result to the inevitable dystopia. Hence,
the exhibition of the earth dysfunctional status encourages readers to reflect
their environmental negligence caused by their implantations of modernisation
to satisfy their materialistic desires. As a result, the confrontation of the
post apocalyptic nature encourages Gray and readers to speculate the future
possibilities of civilisation and transform their actions to strive for


Gray challenges readers about the
provocative confrontation of declining ethics consequently resulted from
society’s corrupted modernisation. Gray’s “The Meatworks” illustrates the
dehumanising impacts of society’s materialistic indulgences, which poses
concerns of individuals’ mental health. This notion of Gray’s trauma is
reflected in the alliteration, through the confrontation of the slaughterhouse
covered in, “sticky stench of bloody”, produced from the slaughter machines,
“chomping… grinding… shuddering… 
gnawing”. The subjective diction personifies the brutality of the
slaughterhouse to reflect Gray’s epiphany of society’s thoughtless consumption
and degrading ethics, as “they gnawed it hysterically a few moments louder
and louder”. Exposed by the metaphor, the confrontation of the gluttonous
nature of humanity challenges readers to shatter the fanatic purist of
modernisation, ultimately, to self-reflect their corrupted actions with guilt. This
graphic confrontation catalysed Gray’s transformed perceptions by degrading the
value meat as “bags of blood”. The alliteration reiterates the extent of ethic
damages caused by society greed resulted into the everlasting guilt, which
cannot be washed, “you found, around the nails, there was still blood”. The
connotation of blood emphasis the mental repercussion 


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