Literary Analysis Of Barn Owl By Gwen Harwood

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Barn Owl written by Gwen Harwood conveys the idea of how growing up can be a painful experience. The poem tells the story of a child showing her father she is capable of responsibility and maturity, through disobedience and rebellion. The child creeps out at sunrise, father’s gun in hand, prepared to shoot the owl that roosts in the barn. She has the belief that through this deed she will prove to her father that she is not a child, but it doesn’t occur this way. The child is not prepared for the pain she has caused to the innocent bird and herself. In reassurance, the father tells her to end what she has started. The child learns a valuable lesson about growing up which the author transforms into a poem based on her own experiences. [Assure readers that the journey of growing up is not a smooth ride]

The narrator suggests that children are not always innocent, how they learn from their mistakes and how they have to take responsibility for there actions. Throughout this poem, the author uses descriptions and past experiences to create an image of the trauma involved in growing up.

At the start of the poem the narrator describes a child at a rebellious age, how she experiments her constraints of authority in an attempt to seek control and power. She is unaware of the consequences that follow her decisions and therefore she is unknown to the fact that with power and knowledge comes responsibility. It needs to be used wisely, not just when the child wants to use it. A

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