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.