HSC Changing Self- Gwen Harwood (Prize-Giving and The Glass Jar).

Essay by no_truth_involvedHigh School, 12th gradeC-, July 2003

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Changing Self Essay

How do composers use texts to explore concepts of Changing Self? Discuss ideas and techniques.

In Gwen Harwood's poems Prize-Giving and The Glass Jar, the prescribed text Sky-High, and the novel White Teeth by Zadie Smith, the composer have used many varying ideas and techniques to investigate and illustrate concepts of Changing Self effectively. The ideas looked at in Gwen Harwood's poetry include imagery, retrospect, metaphor, and inversion of the connotation of adjectives. Ideas conveyed in Sky-High include imagery, retrospect, and comparison. The techniques and ideas in White Teeth, to name the most important, are long and erratic chronology, removing characters for a period and the exposing of the least important change are evident in the texts that are compared.

In Gwen Harwood's poem Prize-Giving, the composer has adeptly used imagery to examine and represent the Changing Self evident in this poem. This striking imagery at first portrays an egotistical middle aged man, such as his inurbane behaviour when he "scowled with violent distaste".

This works in revealing the major change of Eisenbart, in comparing the self-righteous man at the start of the poem, to the awkward and confused man at the end. The imagery used to describe the titian haired girl is also evocative, especially when comparing her supposed insignificance in contrast to Eisenbart, and the affect she has on him. She seems to be nothing but a cheeky, though attractive, schoolgirl: "one girl sat grinning." This thought of her insignificance is reinforced when she "winked at nearby friends", possibly reinforcing to Eisenbart her immaturity that was earlier established through her audacious behaviour during the opening prayer. However, Eisenbart was flung from his "calm age and power" merely by a touch of this 'immature schoolgirl', indicating a change. This change in the...