Change Your Mind To Change Your Life Essay
Change is defined as something that differs or alters from its previous state. Change in self can either be a bodily change or a change in character or personality. There are numerous ways in which the following texts effectively portray change in self. This essay will discuss texts such as ‘In the Park’ and ‘Prize Giving’ composed by Gwen Harwood. An adaptation of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ by Shakespeare titled ’10 Things I Hate about You’ composed by Gil Junger. As well as a poem composed by Bruce Lundgren tilted ‘Sturt’s Dreaming’.
A text that effectively portrays change in self is the poem titled ‘In the Park’ composed by Gwen Harwood, which created great controversy when responders began to question whether the piece was based around Harwood, herself. The text, presented as an Italian sonnet through two quatrains followed by a sestet, depicts a woman who is performing a common task of taking her children to the park but yet is so discontented. The first quatrain describes the woman and her situation, through the use of metaphor “Her cloths are out of date” and onomatopia when describing her children who “whine and bicker”.
The second quatrain describes her meeting with the man, his reactions and the awkwardness felt mutually, shown to the responder by the use of “et cetera” as they are engaging in small talk despite their previous relationships as she describes him as “Someone she once loved”. The use of the volta between the second quatrain and the sestet, indicating a change, shows the artificiality of what the woman is saying “It’s so sweet to hear their chatter, watch them grow and thrive”, juxtaposed to the final line of the poem, “They have eaten me alive”.
Change in self is revealed throughout the text as the woman realises that it is too late to change her lifestyle, the choices she has made must be followed through. This is shown by both the woman using specific phrases such as “too late” and also shown by the man thinking “but for the grace of God….. ” leading the responder to complete the phrase ‘there for the grace of God I go’ concluding that the man is thinking that could easily have been him. Change in self is also shown by the changing phases in life, the woman looking back on previous stages of life, her youth and romance, from the point of view of her current stage, parenthood.
This shows the changes that the woman has in counted throughout her lifetime within both herself and therefore her lifestyle. Another piece of literature composed by Gwen Harwood that successfully portrays change in self is the poem titled “Prize Giving”. This regular poem with irregular rhyme depicts a character commonly used in Harwood’s poetry Professor Eisenbart, a name derived from a German song meaning “I am Dr Eisenbart”. The poem is set with an educational tone established by the formal language, ‘elaborate crest’ and ‘shook indifferently’, symbolising the familiar scene of a high school speech night.
The first stanza develops the image of irony through the line “to grace their humble platform”, as Eisenbart was persuaded to accept the invitation to attend the night despite previous refusal, showing that his attendance will lack enthusiasm and interest. Themes such as of social status, lust and pride are developed in the second stanza through further use of irony. Eisenbart’s assumption of superiority and indifference are destroyed by the dominance of the girl with titian hair. The composer’s use of “a sage fool” oxymoronically showing the Professor’s wisdom and prestige has been overpowered by his feelings of lust toward the girl.
The placing of ‘chased’ and ‘curious’ in the same line shows the Professor’s sexual curiosity. The responder is shown that the girl is extremely beautiful through the complimentary description of having ‘titian hair’, setting her apart from the metaphorical “mosaic of young heads, blonde, black, mouse-brown”. The girl is shown in know the power she holds over the Professor as she mirror images him, “her hand bent under her chin in mockery of his own”, and grins at him showing she knows her supremacy.
Change in self is portrayed throughout the poem as Eisenbart’s pomposity and pride as an academic is destroyed by a young sensuous girl with lower social and academic status. The reversal of roles of power shows the Professor’s change in attitude, and the relisation of his sensual self. The music played by the girl with “titian hair” awakens him from his arrogance and begins his passage to know something more about himself. The text ‘Sturt’s Dreaming’, composed by Bruce Lundgren in 1995 as a combination of his passion for the diaries of European settlers as well as Aboriginal spirituality, effectively demonstrates change in self.
As a result of the nature of the medium, poetry, the responder is able to affiliate their own personality and interpretations to the text as the composer depicts the expedition of Sturt, his visions and the harsh reality of his findings. The first stanza is set with a positive tone through the use of emotional language, such as the reference to Sturt’s wife involving the responder on a personal level “(Charlotte called him “Charlie dear”)”. The explorers expect to succeed on their plight for the inland sea, as Sturt is depicted as an “efficient explorer- projecting a topographical dream” shown through geographical illusion.
The second stanza goes on to use dramatic irony when depicting the harsh reality of their findings, through the use of “a legendary ocean” as the responder is aware that the ocean exists only in Sturt’s mind. The composer uses several devices such as; onomatopoeia in “rattle” and assonance found in “wicked gibber” to depict the unfavourable conditions discovered by Sturt during their plight for the inland sea. The concept of change in self is primarily depicted through the variation of tone used between the two stanzas.
The responder is shown the effects that reality can have on an individual’s dreams and hopes. The depiction of the boat significantly changes between the two stanzas; the first stanza depicts the boat with a positive tone emphasizing its importance, “a splendid wooden painted boat”. In contrast the second stanza depicts the boat to the responder as an “ancestral conoe”; this negative tone shows the change between reality and dreaming. The text “10 Things I Hate About You” is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”, presented as a logically structured film, composed by Gil Junger.
Similar central themes, plots and characters, as well as the inclusion of the quote, “I burn, I pine, I perish” and the Shakespearean sonnet 141 quoted by the teacher during the film link the two texts. The composer through many of the different characters featuring in the text portrays change in self. Bianca transforms from a self-oriented, snobbish person, “can we focus on me for a second please! ” to someone who no longer cares about others opinions after she is confronted by Cameron, “Have you always been this selfish? ” Cameron also changes as a person as he no longer allows Bianca to dictate to him.
This is done as Cameron places himself in the dominating position, shown by the composer as Cameron is in the driver’s seat of the car and Bianca is in the passenger’s seat, showing Cameron’s power and dominance. Juxtaposed to the beginning of the film when Bianca gets Cameron to help him: “And you’d do that for me” “Hell yes! I mean, I could try”. Many of the characters are shown to discover something within themselves and live more positive lives as a result of it. The text, titled “A prisoner’s story”, is presented to the responder through the medium of literature, a short story that effectively portrays change in self.
As a result of the nature of the medium the composer has been able to utilize the power of the written word, involving the responder on an exceedingly greater level as this story of self-discovery and survival against all odds. An emotional response is evoked from the responder as the text is presented from the unknown composer’s perspective, “I was charged”, “I started looking”, sharing personal information about him self, “I was 34 years old”, allowing the responder to accurately interpret the situation.
Emotional language is used throughout the text, “life in ruins”, “I was failing”, shaping an emotional response from the responder. The texts begins with each paragraph ending with a short and negative response showing the responder of the negativity felt by the man as his life began to slip into chaos after he killed his friend whilst drink driving, “Frank was killed”. Toward the end of the text a more positive tone is adapted as the man begins to develop and change, shown by the mixture of a negative and positive line at the end of paragraph six, “My world was crumbling, but I did not have to fall apart with it”.
This shows the man beginning to change from within. Throughout the text the responder is shown the man’s transformation from negative and pessimistic to positive and proactive. This is shown by the man’s reliastion that all situations have positive outcomes, depicted to the responder by the man’s response when his business is destroyed in an accidental fire, “There is something good and a lesson to be learned in everything that happens to you”. The responder is clearly shown the man’s journey of self-discovery that resulted from this negative situation.
As change in self is either a bodily change or a change in character or personality the following texts can effectively portray change in self as they depict these things to the responder. ‘In the Park’ composed by Gwen Harwood, shows a woman’s relisation that the choices she has made can not be changed and her reminiscing of her past stages of life. Another text composed by Gwen Harwood, “Prize Giving”, as a man begins as dominating and then his power is lost when a young girl destroys his arrogance.
Sturt’s Dreaming’ shows the responder, through juxtaposition, the differences between dreaming and reality. ’10 things I hate about you’ composed by Gil Junger shows through a modern adaptation of Shakespeare, shows change in the characters confidence and personality. Finally the text ‘A prisoner’s story’ shows change in self as it depicts a man who discovers the power of remaining proactive. All of these texts effectively depict change in self to the responder through many different mediums.