Literature: Oedipus and Child Essay

Submitted By BridgetBBarton
Words: 1832
Pages: 8

Literature Exam

The Turning
Themes
- Religion
- Class (Rich & Poor)

Characters
- Raelene (poor)
- Sherry (rich)
- Dan (Sherry’s husband)
- Max (Raelene’s husband)
-

Setting
- Caravan Park
-

Language
- Raelene’s language is un-educated, rude
- Sherry’s language is educated, sweet

Sherry and Dan are born again christian’s.

Gwen Harwood

The Glass Jar
- Religious connotation
- Contrast between light and dark
- Day and night
- Childhood
- Trying to keep childhood/light in a jar to protect us from adulthood/darkness
- Childhood fears
- Cannot capture childhood/light symbolizing a loss of hope
- Metaphor for resurrection of Christ
- The fear when Christ is gone
- Frightened of the truth
- False hope- false hope of god
- Truth – taking us away from innocence, irrational, childlike, innocent act
- Pantheism-pantheistic: The idea of god in nature
Source of images from nature
- Juxtaposing ideas:
Contrast of: Light and dark
Good and evil
- Original metaphorical imagery that describes the boys hopes for his bottled sunshine
- The sun is prevailing metaphor – beginning and at the end. Symbolic significance
- Extended metaphors give power to the sacred crusade the boy is waging against the forces of dark and evil
- Contamination of the metaphor in the personification the ‘suns disciples’, strengthened by the alliteration ‘dream’ and ‘darkness’, bring out the power of the imagery that portray the boys nightmare
- ‘Pincer’, ‘claw’, ‘trident’, ‘vampire fang’, his father, ‘held/fiddle’ and his scraped ascent to the ‘malignant ballet’, point out the original metaphor again, especially the ‘malignant ballet’, the assonance in ‘vampire fang’ and the onomatopia ‘scraped’
- there are two saviours in this poem, however both let him down. Traditional hopes
- conventional ideas

Another one of Gwen Harwood’s poems where psychoanalytical criticism or a modernist reading is appropriate is The Glass Jar. This poem is about the transformation from childhood innocence into adulthood. The poem deals with an individual’s perception of the universe and the romantic notion of a child learning through experience. Gwen Harwood writes about a child’s fears of the darkness and loneliness and how through his experience he transforms. This poem has a major contrast between light and dark, good and evil. In the poem the sun is a symbol for security and plays the role of a saviour. The imagery of the “reeling sun” is used to remind us that darkness is fast approaching. Religious imagery such as “disciples” is used to express the child’s faith and belief in the “pulse of light beside his bed”. The words “bless” and “exorcise” are used to express the boys belief that the light will protect him from the “monsters that whispering would rise”. His believe in the lights “total power” to create a “holy commonplace of field and flower” represents his innocence and trust. Harwood uses a short sentence “he slept” to represent action and a change in the poem. “Pincer”, “claw”, and “trident” are words used to express the imagery of pain and terror the child feels. The metaphor “hope fell headlong from its eagle height,” is used to describe the child’s loss and realization that he is alone. This poem mocks traditional conventions of religion and family through the fact that the mother has her back turned when the boy needs her, creating a sense of betrayal. The rivalry between the boy and his father, and how this influences his image of his mother is significant "...his comforter lay in his rival's...... violence done to her".
This alludes to the Oedipus complex, a concept central to the psychoanalytic theory that explains the unconscious desire of a child for a sexual relationship with the parent of the opposite sex and the rivalry with the same sex parent ensues from that. Also linking to the Oedipus theory is the fact boys grew out of this phase due to the fear of being punished by their fathers, "his…