English Assessment - Scrapbook 'CHANGING SELF'

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English Assessment - Scrapbook


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 later in the second section 'Nightfall' the daughter is now middle aged and the father is facing death at 80 years old.

The ideas conveyed about change in this text are based on the changing relationships between a father and child over time; growing up and growing old and coping with death and sorrow.

Gwen Harwood portrays the change from innocence to experience in her poem 'Father and Child', she depicts the harsh experiences of growing up.

The first part of the poem 'Barn Owl' portrays the cruelty of the uncomprehending and arrogant child, who decides to assert herself in defiance of her father's authority and kills the owl living in the barn. She feels triumphant at her own power but when the first shot only maims the bird, she is appalled at what she had done - her punishment, exile from the world of childish innocence.

This shows the naivety of children in the line "...a lonely child who believed death clean and final..." Harwood refers to the child as both "blessed" and a...