• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

New Zealand poems. For EACH of the texts, analyse how the writer used symbols to develop important ideas. Texts: House and land, by Allen Curnow; Sad Joke on a Marae, by Apirana Taylor

Extracts from this document...


Question: For EACH of the texts, analyse how the writer used symbols to develop important ideas. Texts: ?House and land?, by Allen Curnow; ?Sad Joke on a Marae?, by Apirana Taylor Allen Curnow?s 1941 poem ?House and land? and Apirana Taylor?s 1979 poem ?Sad Joke on a Marae? both portray the idea of displacement. Each poet uses a symbol to develop this idea. ?House and land?, Curnow uses a dog as a symbol for the main character, Miss Wilson. Miss Wilson is a woman of 80 who lives alone on a farm in North Canterbury. Outside her house is a dog, which ?trailed its chain / From the privy as far as the fowl house / And back to the privy again?. ...read more.


The dog represents this idea of being ?caught between? places. He is trapped between the privy and the fowl house, and simply wanders between the two. In ?Sad Joke on a Marae?, Taylor uses the tekoteko to symbolise Maori culture. The poem deals with Tu, a young Maori man, when faced with the task of speaking at a marae, realises that ?Tihei mauriora? are the only Maori words he knows. This is embarrassing for him, as all around him are carvings which remind him of great Maori warriors of the past: ?Kupe Paikea Te Kooti / Rewi and Te Rauparaha?. We then read that the tekoteko ? the wooden carving attached to the top of the meeting house ? ?ripped his tongue from his mouth / and threw it at my feet?. ...read more.


Miss Wilson does not feel at home because she wants to be back in England, where her ancestors came from. Tu does not feel at home at the marae, because he has been brought up in the city, far away from his ancestral home. By comparing Miss Wilson to the tied up dog, and by contrasting Tu with the proud tekoteko, Curnow and Taylor help us to realise how displaced each of these characters is. In this way, they each develop the theme of displacement. On the surface, an 80 year old Pakeha woman living in North Canterbury in the 1940s, and a young Maori man living in the city in the 1970s, would not have very much in common. Through their use of symbols, Curnow and Taylor enable us to view one way in which the two characters are very alike: they both suffer from a sense of displacement. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Examine the characterization of the central characters in The Outsider and Antigone and ...

    15 This theory of the absurd rests on the asserted premise that since God does not exist, and man dies, therefore everything is permissible. The absurd man lives in the moment, without ambition, hope, illusion, a future or anything to justify.

  2. I will be focusing on the significance of the two protagonists from two different ...

    Miss Amelia hard working and best business person in the town is 'rich' due to her inheriting 'the building from her father' she has a lot of power and control within the town. (pg 4) Miss Amelia married the town criminal for a 'ten-day marriage' with Marvin Macy however her

  1. Of all the ideas portrayed in Barbara Kingsolvers, The Bean Trees, one of the ...

    They're coming with me'" (32). Naturally, as a woman, seeing that an infant was abused, Taylor felt accountable for caring for Turtle as if she were her own child. As the story progresses, so does the relationship between Taylor and Turtle. Taylor begins to feel emotionally attached to Turtle, and even feeling what Turtle herself cannot express.

  2. The texts The Fiftieth Gate (1997) by Mark Baker, John Menszers website HolocaustSurvivors.org (1999 ...

    . . I only recognise suffering in numbers and lists and not in the laments and pleas of a human being". Baker is undoubtedly of the conviction that 'History is how we understand the world' at the beginning of the memoirs, as in his preface the use of the gate metaphor reveals

  1. Images of Birds as Symbols of Character Traits and Struggles

    and yellowish gray hair" betrays the illusion of content, and even the Chronicler cannot bring himself to admit that "life might end up resembling bad literature so much" (88-89). In this scenario, the singing canaries give the fleeting illusion of complacency, an image that is quickly shattered when the Chronicler

  2. El rastro de tu sangre en la nieve

    -Lo hice adrede -dijo- para que se fijaran en mi anillo. En efecto, la misi�n diplom�tica en pleno admir� el esplendor del anillo, calculando que deb�a costar una fortuna no tanto por la clase de los diamantes como por su antig�edad bien conservada.

  1. Two Kinds by Amy Tan and Under Pressure by Carl Honor are two texts ...

    She begins with introducing the setting of the story and then continuous explaining the problems of the situation. The extract ends with an open ending ?I began to cry? (Line 24) which leaves the reader wondering what would have happened next.

  2. Reflections on "Miss Julie" in a cultural context

    acting like he wanted to be in the same class as Miss Julie. While Miss Julie is acting like she is confused about her class. When Jean was with Kristin in the beginning he was complaining about her food, showing that he has more power than her, but when Miss

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work