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English Assessment Scrapbook 'changing Self'

1231 words - 5 pages

English Assessment - Scrapbook'CHANGING SELF'TEXT 1 - 'Father and Child' by Gwen Harwood (Poem)Gwen Harwood is the author of the poem 'Father and Child'. Told in first person, this poem is about a rebellious child that experiments with the constraints of authority, which leads to an important discovery in her life. The father in the poem struggles to obtain the position of power and is somewhat blind to his daughter's real personality. We see this when she says, "Let him dream of a child obedient, angel - mild"The poem is set in the country in a farmhouse with 'old stables' and 'flowering trees'. In the first section 'Barn owl', the child is young and the father is middle aged, forty years ...view middle of the document...

" We can see the relationship between innocence and experience through the double meaning of this line, she has 'begun' the death of the owl and 'begun' a new life of adult knowledge. She grieves for the owl and her loss of innocence.In the second part of the poem 'Nightfall' the child is now middle aged and reflects on how she has changed from a wilful child "once quick to mischief" to a woman of understanding and compassion, through her life experiences. She now faces the prospects of losing her father and sees in his old age, the sense of innocence she has lost, she knows the power of death and Harwood depicts the image that children feel that tears and words can mend sorrows but the mature woman knows that she will be permanently altered.I understand from this text that changes in the self brought about by time and experience can mean re-evaluation and acceptance.The structures of the poems in 'Father and Child' show the passage of time changes and how we view our parents and others.The six line stanzas have an ABABCC rhyme scheme but in the second section of the poem the first few stanzas have half rhymes, "home/come" and "taste/last" which contrasts with the certainty of the full rhymes seen throughout the first section.The split poems adds depth to each other by showing the changes brought by passing time and offer different viewpoints on the relationship between the father and child.'Barn Owl' is very clear and stark in its depiction of the setting, the actions and issues of authority, guilt and responsibility. It uses vivid description and colourful language to convey destruction of the bird; "while the wrecked thing.... hobbled in its own blood."'Nightfall' is more softly focussed in its language and subject. "Father and child, we stand in time's long-promised land."The father is quoted in both sections. In the first he is stern and in the second he is affectionate. This reflects the changing role in the speaker's life.Harwood uses seeing and blindness as a way of representing life and death. They identify the child with the animal she has destroyed. Her tears of guilt and sorrow 'blind' her, just as the owl would be blinded by the glare of the daylight."Daybreak: the household...

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