Gwen Harwood - Context

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Gwen Harwood - Context by Mind Map: Gwen Harwood - Context

1. A lot of subjects and themes that she addressed in her poems were often seen as inappropriate or not acceptable for women to address or talk about, and using male pseudonyms allowed her to do so.

2. Harwood was frustrated that she had been now confided to a housewife and mother and regarded as nothing more. Harwood explored these themes both satirically and seriously and expressed her frustration towards both personal and societal expectations.

3. Harwood faced gender discrimination as a poet

4. As a young adult, Harwood aspired to become a musician. She became a music teacher

5. The time period in which she lived in

5.1. Being a wife/mother in the 50’s/60’s, and the struggles/burdens that came with that

5.2. Lived in the hippie era

5.3. Women were being marginalised in the society she lived in

5.4. Being born right after WW2 and being born into the effects that the war had on the society she was living in

5.5. Lived in an era of increased self-awareness

6. Feminism + strong feminist views

6.1. Struggle for women's rights

6.2. Fighting against patriarchal ideals

6.3. Lack of contraception available to women

6.4. Challenging stereotypes

6.5. Acting differently to the societal norm

6.6. Rebellion

6.7. Harwood's poetry wasn’t being published when being submitted by her, using male pseudonyms to prove the gender discrimination that she experiencing

7. Personal life/experiences

7.1. Harwood had 4 children

7.2. Harwood moved from Queensland to Tasmania at a young age

8. Other Themes/Inspiration

8.1. Unexpected perspectives of everyday experiences and relationships

8.2. Youth and age

8.3. Past and present

8.4. Inoocence and knowledge

8.5. Growth

9. Family

9.1. Harwood had a strong musical family background

9.2. Poems inspired were inspired by Harwood's childhood and when she lived in Queensland

9.3. Harwood's grandmother was the one to introduce her to poetry

10. Music

10.1. Harwood went on to become an organist at the all Saints Church of England

10.2. Music played a massive part in the inspiration/context for Harwood's poems

11. Art

11.1. Living in Tasmania, Harwood was able to draw an amazing amount of inspiration for her poems from any beauty the landscape and surrounding environment contained

11.2. Harwood also enjoyed to spend her spare time in art clubs in her community, providing a sense of community and comradery amongst the women

12. Philosophical and religious beliefs/views

12.1. Harwood had strong Christian beliefs

12.2. Spiritual exploration was a predominant part of Harwood's poems

12.3. Harwood was well versed in religion, and had a life-long interest in philosophy.

12.4. Harwood often uses images from the natural world to convey philosophical themes and questions about life and death

12.5. Ludwig Wittgenstein, a specialist in the field of linguistic analysis, was Harwood’s philosophical hero and the inspiration for many of her poems as she felt she could clearly relate to him on a philosophical and personal level

13. Romanticism

13.1. Harwood’s appreciations of romanticist poets such as Keats, Coleridge and Tennyson is evident in her examinations of smaller themes. These include the acknowledgement of the individual, imagination as well as the transience of love and life as well as the view that art can transcend temporal restraints of life, open for re-interpretation and by new generations

13.2. Harwood uses the idea of romanticism to express the idea of individualism and uniqueness that she wanted to bring out in the society

13.3. Gwen Harwood’s poetry is heavily influenced by and based in the nature of romanticism