Essay on Area of Study Texts

Essay by maree11High School, 11th gradeB+, October 2004

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The poetry of Gwen Harwood, Hannah Roberts piece 'Sky High' from the 'changing' booklet and Ray Bradbury's novel 'Fahrenheit 451' all show people contemplating changes in themselves, and looking with a new awareness at their place in the world.

Time, trauma, death and discovery are all aspects of the dynamic process of changing self that we can effectively recognise in each of these texts.

Time is a major factor in changing people, and can be seen at work in Harwood's poem 'Father and Child' where the changes wrought by forty years or so.

In this poem, Harwood explores the changing relationship between a father and child over time and how this has led the persona of the poem to reflect on the changing of herself . Indeed, it is due to this passing of time that we are able to contrast the two sections of the poem 'Barn Owl' and 'Nightfall'.

We see a child 'once quick to mischief' disregarding her father as an 'old no-sayer' transformed into a matured woman admiring her father as an 'Old King'.

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.

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.

'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...