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Discuss how meaning develops through particular style and imagery in TWO of Harwood's poems.

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Introduction

Discuss how meaning develops through particular style and imagery in TWO of Harwood's poems. Imagery stimulates particular emotions whilst the elements of style can influence the way a text is organised. Gwen Harwood often uses particular style and imagery to develop meaning. In Harwood's philosophical reflections, "Barn Owl" and "Spelling Prize" particular style and imagery are used to offer the reader a seemingly simple, yet powerful meaning. Memory is a strong notion in both of these poems as it is linked to ideas about immortality. The force and impact of memory and movement from innocence to maturity are explored and developed in these poems through particular style and imagery. "Spelling Prize" uses a particular element of style to immediately develop meaning. In the first stanza, the syntax and stanza structure is manipulated significantly. This poem deals with the persona's first experience with death. The persona, as a child, is at her friend's house and sees the brutal death of a calf. ...read more.

Middle

The symbolism of the calf works significantly in developing meaning. By heightening the notion of the persona's movement from innocence to maturity the force of memory and the notion of immortality are significantly developed. Imagery, working with the calf symbol, notably develops the meaning offered. Eye imagery is used in this poem to convey that particular actions can have serious consequences. Ella, the only construction that is named in the poem to intensify the reader's level of sympathy towards her, and the calf are interrelated through eye imagery. The first use of eye imagery is immediately after the death of the calf, whose "eyes, still trusting" develop a message of innocence and trust, on behalf of the calf - much like the feelings of the persona, innocent and trusting. The last stanza echoes the use of eye imagery through a rhyming couplet which holds the purpose of the poem: "one hurt look from her red-rimmed eyes / at my coveted, worthless prize." ...read more.

Conclusion

Whilst innocent, the persona was unaware that its actions could have disastrous consequences on others and the impact it had upon the persona's first realisation of the permanence of death. Meaning is developed significantly through personification as it helps to highlight the persona's loss of innocence. The personification of sleep makes the child's actions seem more covert and deceitful. The personification of the father's sleep is shown here, "Let him dream of a child obedient, angel-mild - old No-Sayer, robbed of power by sleep". It is obvious to the reader that sleep itself cannot steal the father's power. Thus the personification develops the innocent and na�ve nature of the child. By the persona's presumption that it personally is the "master of life and death" the development the effect of the memory is illustrated by showing the persona's shift to maturity. The personification of the father's sleep heightens the persona's innocence view on the world. It highlights how the construction does not perceive its father and the owl in a realistic manner. The fact the poem is a memory shows the movement to maturity. ...read more.

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