Week 8, Blog 6

Following along the lines of what I have been discussing above, discuss any of the poems/ prose pieces that we have been looking at this week in terms of how they might be maintaining “the frame and order of the world”?


Over the last few weeks of Australian Literature, we have explored many of 19th century works up to the mid 20th century with authors such as Mary Gilmore, Judith Wright, John Shaw Neilson and others. In particular, in my opinion, Mary Gilmore and John Shaw Neilson have shown in-depth knowledge in regarding the Australian landscape and culture, discussing the order and lifestyle of their world.

Mary Gilmore’s pieces I believe show a unique perspective of women in the 20th century. With her work “Eve Song”, Gilmore discusses the issue of how the way women were stereotyped, treated and portrayed in the early 20th century. The perspective of the lady in the poem highlights the discrimination towards women as they were only perceived as wife and/or mother. Also with Judith Wright’s poem “Eve to Her Daughter”, the theme of women being only portrayed as birth givers particularly in the 8th stanza as she states “you are submissive, following Adam even beyond existence.”. This showing the order of Australian society in the early 20th century but this was the time when art and literature had started to discuss the importance of gender equality; this I believe was the catalyst for change in Australian culture as this was a way to inform and challenge the traditional perspectives of all. Although women’s rights and perceptions didn’t change dramatically throughout the 20th century, I still believe that authors such as Gilmore and Judith Wright were the catalyst for future change.


On the other hand, John Shaw Neilson poetry discusses the spiritual connection of self to the landscape. In the poem, “The Orange Tree”, Neilson portrays two different perspectives of how an individual perceives the landscape as the girl and the man argue about the orange tree. I believe that this is symbolic of the contracting views of the Indigenous Australian’s perspective and the white society’s. Neilson does highlight the lack of understanding through the man’s persona and the frustration of the girl hinting the annoyance of the Indigenous Australians of the white society being so materialistic. This poem does show the way of Australian society and this speaks out that there needs to be a higher level of tolerance and understanding for the Indigenous’ way of life. Even though this was written in the mid 20th century, it is still very relevant to Australian society today.


These authors, in my opinion so far into this subject, do show the lifestyle and order of Australian society in present day though their texts were written much earlier on. And from their works, audience can gain understanding of underlying issues that do occur in Australia.

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4 thoughts on “Week 8, Blog 6

  1. Hey Riley
    I really like your discussion on Mary Gilmore and Judith Wright and how they were the catalyst for change and women’s rights in the 20th century – I think this is a really great point 🙂 And I think your discussion on the differing perspectives in “The Orange Tree” symbolizing the polarizing perspectives between Indigenous and white culture is also a really interesting point – I didn’t think of it when I read the poem and think it’s another good point. This is a really good blog, well done!


  2. Hi there Riley!
    I enjoyed your post about this weeks poems and your analysis of the meaning behind them. I like the fact that you ventured to state that female authors and poets were a driving force behind women’s movements as influential women were in fact very empowering for other women at the time in many ways. I have to disagree however with your statement that there was not much change for women throughout the 20th century; this was the most rapid time for change for women as it includes all the years between 1901 and 2000 in which time so many changes occurred- in fact, women in Australia got the vote in the very early years of the 20th century! I also enjoyed your analysis of “The Orange Tree” as your insight into the poem contrasting the perspectives of Aboriginal and white people as I only thought about the different perspectives of individuals and society- loved your fresh take on it!
    Keep up the awesome work 🙂


  3. HI Riley- I just clicked on your “Best Creative” but I am told there is nothing there. I suspect you have forgotten to add the Category link for the blog you wanted showcased- this can be easily fixed!
    This Best Critical Entry is impressive. You have two well-chosen texts and you are developing a powerful argument for the subject of women’s rights in Australia. Good work.

    *Please attend to editing your work carefully. Here is what I have picked up:
    *This showing the order of Australian society in the early 20th century = This SHOWS the order of Australian society in the early 20th century
    * John Shaw Neilson poetry= John Shaw Neilson’S poetry [‘s or s’ – Apostrophe- if there is a meaning of ownership ( the boy’s apple/ the boys’ apples) then you need an apostrophe. See http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/621/01/. But don’t use apostrophe s for normal plurals!!!]
    * symbolic of the contracting views of the Indigenous Australian’s perspective and the white society’s.= symbolic of the CONTRASTING views of the Indigenous Australian’s perspective and the white society’s.


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