No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest Poem Analysis

1152 Words 5 Pages
For much of Australia’s history, women have been under-represented and marginalised. Throughout the three eras of Australian poetry (pioneering, war and contemporary), societal ideas, attitudes and values towards woman have been reflected through poets’ use of aesthetic features. Essex’s ‘”The women of the west”, upholds the accepted unequal values of the Pioneering era, and while it does represent women as somewhat heroic, they clearly are not equal to men. The war era shows very little evidence of poems which support the rights of women, except for small mentions like in the poem ‘No foe shall gather our Harvest” by Dame Mary Jean Gilmore. “Suburban sonnet” written by Gwen Harwood, shows the women as more hero-like than the others, but she …show more content…
Essex was British, but his poem rejects British ideas values and attitudes, which the British could never understand (Australia.gov.au - http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/changing-face-of-early-australia). The poem represents women as a possession, which must stay at home and support, while the men go and seek their fortunes. He discriminates against women and their endurance and resilience, as they sacrificed a lot during this period. Religious imagery is used by Essex to represent the women as noble martyrs who courageously left the luxury of their “Mansions on the hill” to serve their men elsewhere. Essex wrote “For love they face the wilderness” (Stanza1 line4) but, this in itself is perceptive as the idea that women were only brave if they served the men they loved, a value commonly held in the pioneering era, especially when encouraging others to migrate. This view is reflected throughout the writings made in this time, as female writers like Miles franklin, had to change her own name into a masculine one, to have her novel, “My Brilliant Career” published. British values underpin the poem, whilst purporting to be Australian; the values expressed are of women as a supporting character. He writes about women sacrificing their beauty, as if that were their most valuable trait. Evans influences readers to perceive the idea of the women as brave, but only in role of supporting men. Evans spoke for the women, without giving them a voice, he uses aesthetic features well in the poem, but he reveals his ideas, values and attitudes towards women as lesser than

Related Documents