How does poet Les Murray convey ideas about change in Letters to the Winner?

Essay by bbodaHigh School, 11th grade July 2004

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In the poem, Letters to the winner, there are many different ideas about change and how it influences an individual and also their surroundings. Change is seen as a catalyst for new insights, knowledge and education. However, change is also seen as something which can have different effects on different people, and that change that is perceived as good to one can be seen as something negative to another.

The poem is about a divorced man who has experienced a change in his dull, tedious life, by winning an enormous amount of money from a lottery. However, this change to him is very overwhelming and hard to handle because he is not used to anything of such. There is a great use of imagery in this poem to allow the responders to visualise the change that has happened to the 'winner' and the change in his character after seeing the corruption of society involving materialistic wealth.

The composer describes the letters in a 'vast mound' and in 'fat bags' to show that masses of people, even people who has never spoken or know of the winner before he won the lottery, want to lay hands on the winner's money. In the 1st stanza, the life of the man is seen as a man who has gone through a tough life and someone that isn't used to having such an immense amount of money. In the 2nd stanza, the use of imagery, 'plank walls of the kitchen', places a greater emphasis is shown on the state of poverty that the man used to live in to show that comparison and the 'change' that has occurred from before and after he has won the money.

The composer also used many metaphors to show the effects that change has had on the...