||Studies into the impact of the First World War on Australian society help to lay bare the legacy of seemingly all encompassing disillusion among returned soldiers. This study will investigate how far this disillusion was felt, and manifested in the media, by returned soldiers who were journalists, in particular by John Bede Dalley, son of the eminent politician William Bede Dalley.
John Dalley wrote for The Melbourne Punch, The Melbourne Herald (as London correspondent) and The Bulletin in the years after the war until his disappearance and presumed death in 1935. He also wrote three novels critiquing Australian high society in the period. This study approaches Dalley's writing by analyzing recurring stylistic peculiarities, prejudices and argumentative habits and reveals a continuity of themes, patterns and moral values. This is therefore a study of Dalley's literary methods to show his common purpose which was to criticize and satirise Australian high society and lambaste what he believed were the rich elite war profiteers. A comparison of his methods with those of his contemporaries will also show that he was not alone in his purpose. This study will uncover a clique of journalists, called society satirists, that focused their post-war disillusion on the rich elite and printed their critiques as early as 1919.