Fear and Opposition to Changes in Poems of Gwen Harwood

by Andrew - Date: 2007-09-11 - Word Count: 297 Share This!

Gwen Harwood shows in her poem "Father and Child" the ways change, and knowledge amassed through change, influence on the life of the individual and the world surrounding them. As the persona gets older and wiser and the coming death of her father, Harwood describes aspects of change by showing the grown child's understanding that memory and love can let people accept and withstand with death. This comes with personal painful realizing that death of her father will be agonizing and that the tears she shed in her childhood are helpless in the face of her father's death. "Father and Child" explores the way from chastity to experience; from ignorance to knowledge; from the time she was a child to the time when she is an adult, and interlaces the past and the present while exposing the great effects change has on an individual as he or she discloses more about herself and their world that surrounds them.

Many aspects of life cause change, and one of them is motherhood. Gwen Harwood's sonnet "In the Park" depicts a woman's opposition to her changed self. When the woman meets her lover from the past, she is made confront how she has changed. The enjambment intensifies that this is her current reality that is changed. The slow hypocritical monotonous tone applied by Harwood shows the woman's depressive state, which has appeared through her understanding that she and her life differ, and that once choices are made, they are unalterable. It also reveals her aggravation and cynicism at being opposed to a changed self. She is a mother, her clothing is outdated and she has no freedom anymore. Unlike the lover from the pats she can not just leave everything and walk away; she is entrapped and disappointed nursing her baby.

Related Tags: knowledge, love, change, reality, death, freedom, motherhood, painful, depressive state, to make a choice

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