Summary: Judith Wright Expresses Concern for Our Society and Conveys This Through Her Poem's "Eve to Her Daughters" and "South of My Days." Wright Uses a Variety of Techniques to Appeal to the Responder.

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Summary: Judith Wright expresses concern for our society and conveys this through her poem's "Eve to her Daughters" and "South of my Days." Wright uses a variety of techniques to appeal to the responder.

Judith Wright is a commendable poet and part of her achievement is her ability to express ideas and personal reactions that are effectively communicated to the responder. Wright expresses concern for our society and conveys this through her poem's "Eve to her Daughters" and "South of my Days." Wright uses a variety of techniques to appeal to the responder. The poem "Eve to her Daughters" is an imaginative account grounded in the biblical story of `Adam and Eve' and it still retains its relevance for twentieth century people. Wright dramatises the argument that the preoccupation with technology and the quest for knowledge and scientific proof is dangerous for human kind and has caused people to forget their traditional relationship with God. Also, from a feminist reading the poem ultimately acknowledges that females are submissive. The poem sees Eve talking to her daughters about their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The poem opens very formally "It was not I" to show that Eve is submissive to her husband. "Where Adam went I fairly contented to go" also reinforces this idea. The formal tone shifts in the next stanza to accommodate the humorous mood presented. In the line "He had discovered a flaw in himself" satirises Adam's realisation that he is not perfect. What Wright addresses here is implicit throughout the whole poem. The message conveyed is that human life is `imperfect' and the humorous line "It was hard to compete with Heaven" shows that it's impossible to equal God. In the third stanza, Eve imitates Adam's voice and in a few lines she lists his argument. In a public retrospective voice "The earth must be made a new Eden with central heating...." she lists the achievements of technological progress. Men have generally taken the credit for these changes. This stanza acknowledges this idea through Adam's obsession to rebuild his ego. Adam is a symbolic character and he is representative of twentieth century man. Thus Wright illustrates man's unchanging desire to equal God. The awareness of these developments in men's ideas and knowledge lies behind the fourth and fifth stanzas. In these stanzas, Wright changes Eve's language to a sophisticated level to show that Eve now represents modern women. Eve follows a logical sequence in explaining the mechanist theory. Suddenly she confuses this theory with mechanics in the statement "he was always mechanical minded" to weaken the impression that she can argue logically. The poet ironically paints this confusion as being typically `feminine'. When Eve says that "he got to the centre" she refers to the centre of spiritual existence and Christian belief. Since Adam is an egotist he can't bear the idea that God does not exists. Wright plays with jargon here to turn the men's argument against them. The serious tone of the philosophical language is severely contrasted with Eve's conversational tone. In the next stanza, the tone is pessimistic. The poet projects Eve into the future at some time after the nuclear war. Contrast is a technique used to portray this pessimistic tone. "It was warmer in the cave" is severely contrasted with the "fall-out." Eve reverts to mother role and tells her daughter to take over. In her cliché "for the sake of the children" she suggests a positive and assertive attitude. However on reflection, Eve concludes that her daughters will inherit her own faults. In the statement "you are submissive" Wright stirs the women to do something about it, so there might still be hope for the world. Perhaps the last line "who is faultless and doesn't exist" reminds the responder that Adam is not equal to God. The faults of human beings lie in their technological expertise which leads them to destroy life on earth. Wright is concerned that Eve will be...
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