Harry Wood Summary

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‘Harry Wood’ by John Foulcher, is a poem set in the 1920-30s which explores the idea of change. This poem shows us what happens when change does not occur in a person. Harry throughout the whole poem says the same; harsh, cruel man that was just seeking to survive. He did at some point have social change with, a wife of which he had children with however, as he was an introvert and had his mind set on just surviving and never really “living life”. With Harrys attitude and beliefs never changing it created a negative aspect on his life, with his family leaving him and him living alone. Although throughout his life change did happen around him he never changed with it, if you dont change with the times you get left behind, we see this happened to Harry Wood. Overall the poem is negative change. The economical change of him changing jobs from working in the mines to being a foreman, this is also a emotional as a contributing factor of him leaving is because he almost died in the minds and this effected him. He leapt to the change that would create him a better life. At the end of the poem he encounters a personal change, he realises that he was only surviving and even though he wants to change live a good life, he realises it is to late for him and decides to give his grandchildren what he wanted. The harshness of Harry Wood towards people and life matches the era of the great depression and the harshness of the Australian bush. The great depression was a hard time where everyone had to defend for themselves and survive to avoid the rising poverty rates, Harry does this as it shows how he is surviving by leaving the mines because of the fact he could die etc. The australian bush is very rough, dry, plain and what you see is basically what you get, there is no mystery to him.
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