Essay on Legend by Judith Wright

752 Words4 Pages
What features or characteristics of the human condition can you identify in Judith Wright’s Legend? How has the poet used specific language techniques to emphasise these attributes of life.

Judith Wright’s ‘Legend’ responds to various aspects of the human condition present in our society today. The poem is focused primarily on the actions of a Blacksmith’s boy, a vassal for humanity’s growth in response to age and change.
In stanza one, Judith Wright utilizes personification “rivers hindered him” and “thorn branches caught at his eyes to make him blind” coupled with metaphor “the sky turned into an unlucky opal” to emphasise nature’s hindrance of the blacksmith boy, if the poem is to be deemed as a metaphorical representation of
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The repetition of ‘his’ used in the following line “His rifle broke, his hat blew away and his dog was gone.” emphasise this emotional and physical loss.
The rainbow, an extended metaphor, symbolises an epiphany, a sudden realisation that is imbued with hope. The symbolism for the rainbow can also biblically allude to a more religious revelation, where the blacksmith boy has embraced ‘god’ into his life. This symbolism along with the contrast between the two images “But in front of the night the rainbow stood on the mountain”, hints to humanity’s capability of change even in the direst of times. The following lines “He ran like a hare, he climbed like a fox” are similes, to show the blacksmith boy’s newfound affinity with nature, and his rediscovered sense of self. The further similes used in the following lines, “Like a bar of ice, like the column of a fountain, like a ring of gold.” describe the rainbow, in increasing levels of brilliance, from a bar of ice to a ring of gold, this depicts the blacksmith boy’s gradual dawning on the significance of his revelation, figuratively portraying the value of humanity’s affliction with nature or biblically, the importance of god in our lives.
The final stanza, the symbolism “The blacksmith’s boy hung the rainbow on his shoulder, instead of his broken gun” once again reflects on the human capability of change and adaptation as well as marking independency. Hyperbole, “and the rainbow shone as brightly
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