The Violets Gwen Harwood Analysis

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Oscillating between the progression of life through the memories and experience of an individual is expressed through Gwen Harwood’s poem The Violets. The poem encapsulates the human experience as both integral to the formation of our perceptions of life and the timelessness that it provides to the audience. Gwen Harwood is able to create a text that goes beyond the way we respond, creating a deeper awareness of the complexity of human attitudes and behaviours.
The matrilineal theme reveals that the core of the poem The Violets stem through childhood memories as a component to reveal our own personal reconciliations. It examines the significance of memories as a means to combine the past and present, achieving textual integrity by resonating …show more content…

We can identify a characteristic of gender roles through the eyes of the persona. The nurturing nature of the mother can be seen when she ‘dried [the child’s] tearful face’. Contrasting to the father who ‘whistling, [comes] home from work’, through the alliteration portrayed through the father as the bread winner of the family and thereby the guardian of the household. By drawing attention to these gender roles in the context of childhood memory, the persona is subliminally implying the permanent repeated display of gender roles throughout generations and how it has not changed. However, this observation is downplayed by refocusing on the childhood memories as the combinations of events ‘milk and story-books / the gathered flowers / my mother’s golden brown hair’, psychoanalytically reveals the significance of childhood memories in their ability to evoke nostalgic and pleasing emotions to distract the audiences thoughts on gender roles. The poem The Violets acts as a stimulant for viewers to re-conceptualise the impact and existence of gender roles.
Through exploring the importance of childhood memories and gender roles in Gwen Harwood’s The Violets shows that the power of memories can illuminate the past as well as the future. Harwood shows that the childhood memory facilitates the forging of our identity now.

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