Barn Owl

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Barn owlBarn Owl ESSAY Gwen Harwood’s, ‘Father and child’, is a two-part poem that tempers a child’s naivety to her matured, grown up attitude. Barn Owl presents a threshold in which the responder is able to witness the initiation of Gwen’s transition. The transformation is achieved through her didactical quest for wisdom, lead by her childhood naivety and is complimented through ‘nightfall’, where we see her fully maturate state. The importance of familial relationship and parental guidance is explored in father and child, as well as the contrasting views on mortality and death. Barn Owl depicts death as a shocking and violent occurrence while the second poem, nightfall, displays that death can be accepted, describing the cyclical and…show more content…
The synecdoche, “punish beak and claw,” represents the fact that the child can only see and focus on parts of the owl, symbolically denotes that the child is blind to the enormity of what she is about to do. The responder is hinted further, by this synecdoche, on what the persona is about to shoot This is a reflection of the child’s naivety and allows the reader to understand the impelling force urging her to steal her “father’s gun”, and to take this quest for wisdom, inherent childhood arrogance. Similarly in nightfall, Gwen prefigures a monumental moment of her life, the death of her father. The title of the poem “nightfall”, is the binary opposite to “Daybreak” and therefore assembles a thought in the readers mind of the opposite of coming alive, end of time, death. Gwen’s understanding of the inevitability of death is highlighted when she says “Now the season that seemed incredible is come”. This quote in combination with the constant links to nature, in particular “fruits” is symbolic of the season autumn, the falling of ripe fruit and can therefore be interpreted as the end of her father’s time on earth, Gwen’s poem, Father and child, represents the cyclical nature of life through the inevitability of consequence and growth. Paternal guidance and familial relationship is seen as a key

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