Essay about Environmental themes in the Poem " Dust" by Judith Wright

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Dust, written by Judith Wright, discusses the concepts of a destroyed, empty world and a mother reflecting on the days when the “Earth was kinder”. Through her poem she shows the audience her fears for the world and how the world will become barren and “sick” if the environment is not cared for. This is typical of Judith Wright, with environmental themes central to many of her poems. The emotive responses that are evoked while reading this poem are extremely strong. A great sadness is experienced as she describes the barren new word and contrasts it to the previous one. To convey the moral of this poem Wright has employed many different literary and poetic techniques. These range over three major categories, imagery, structure and language. Overall we find that Wright is telling the reader that the environment needs to be protected and its resources appropriately used before it loses its beauty and can no longer provide for both families and the world.

Imagery is often used in poems as it creates a sense of space and gives the reader a better understanding of what is going on as well as helping them to suspend disbelief. Wright has clearly made an effort to involve imagery throughout her poem Dust. To establish the new world to the reader as a place impoverished and desolate she uses personification, saying that even the dust is “sick dust”. This allows the reader to clearly see the dust, representative of the earth, as diseased and almost dead which demonstrates the…