Gwen Harwood Essay supporting use in the HSC:
The work of Gwen Harwood should be acknowledged in current HSC curriculum, and so I shall enlighten you as to why her poetry is worthy of critical study in the Advanced English course. Harwood's poetry is above all other texts, the best option for this course. Her unique choices of themes, technique and language devices provide vital help to students in their learning progress, giving them the skills to conduct in-depth analysis on poetry in a way that they can relate to. Examples of poems that illustrate my argument include The Glass Jar, Prize giving and At Mornington.
Gwen Harwood illustrates through her writing a wide variety of subjects that provide a high level of intrigue and challenge for the specific adolescent audience. Harwood's poem, The Glass Jar, has a somewhat menacing tone. It is set in narrative form, and is written in 3rd person, with a strong omniscient presence which allows for insight into the young boys mind.
It deals quite heavily with the Post-Freudian concept of a young boys attraction to his mother and rivalry with the father, otherwise known as the "Oedipus Complex", This is presented in the phrase, "most secret hate", and is further clarified in " his comforter lay in his rivals fast embrace". The Glass Jar, itself, is symbolic for security, comfort, hope and faith, as the child believes it contains sunlight which will shield him from darkness, "ready to bless, to exorcise". This, however proves fruitless as the so-called holy object, fails him. "Hope fell headlong from its eagle height". Harwood, in this fourth stanza, seems to emphasize the child's plight using hyperbole to demonstrate the uselessness of religious faith. This poem contains complex language and structural devices that allude to these themes. It contains...