Summer Of The 17th Doll Gwen Harwood Analysis

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Change is a concept that will effect everyone at some point in their life; quite simply it’s inevitable. How an individual reacts to change is dependent on a number of factors such as the situation and their personal perspective. Positive or negative change will obviously have different reactions in terms of a person’s acceptance or rejection of its influence on their life. Ray Lawler, author of the play, “Summer of the 17th Doll”, and Gwen Harwood, author of the poem “In The Park”, use a number of various aesthetic features in their writing to portray the ideas, attitudes and values surrounding change, and its affects on their characters. Change of career, relationships and lifestyle were evident in “Summer of the 17th Doll”, whilst the focused…show more content…
The piece revolves around the subject of motherhood, portraying a women who feels smothered and consumed by her children. Poetic devices were used by Harwood to emphasise the affect that change had on the woman and her life progression, whilst illustrating the negative response which became evident as a result. In the poem, whilst taking her children to the park, the woman encounters an ex-lover, briefly discussing their life progression and stating to herself after his departure, that her children 'have eaten [her] alive’. Harwood’s use of this metaphor and hyperbole, shows the affect of the change her choices created, and its impact. The use of symbolism, to a large extent, also portrays the woman’s feelings derived from her sense of imprisonment. The opening line “Her clothes are out of date” as well as the children 's behaviour; demanding her constant attention as they "whine", "bicker" and "tug her skirt” are symbolic representations of how the mother no longer lives the same life she used to. The reference to “out of date” emphasises the sacrifices the woman has made for her family, whilst the children’s dialogue illustrates their negative depiction from the mother’s perspective. In this piece, the children are the catalyst for change; depicted as having a crushing weight on the mother’s emotions, leading to the development of her belief she is tied to a straining and sacrificial life as a result of
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