Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Gwen Harwood's Context

Post your responses here to Gwen Harwood's:
a) Historical context
b) Social context
c) Cultural context
Please cite sources you use!

15 comments:

  1. FEMINISM - www.abc.net.au


    The Macquarie Dictionary defines feminism as "advocacy of equal rights and opportunities for women, especially the extension of their activities into the social and political life ".1 This definition suggests that women's access to power within the public sphere has always been one of the main objectives of the feminist movement. In the Australian context, this fundamentally global characteristic of feminism gained special significance. Since the beginning of Federation, Australian society has been perceived and portrayed as democratic and egalitarian 2 ; therefore women's access to democratic processes through active citizenship, and thus their access to power, was always a prominent concern of the Australian women's movement.

    Aboriginal women were not recognised as citizens and only obtained citizenship and hence the right to vote in 1967.

    The second wave of Australian feminism began in the 1960s and significantly undermined legal and social barriers which made women the 'second sex' - economically and legally subordinate in marriage, discriminated against and exploited in the work place, and denied access to reproductive and sexual freedom. Some of the achievements of the second wave of feminism include the elimination of discriminatory practices such as lower pay for female workers, and discrimination against women on the basis of their marital status. The second wave of feminism coincided with an outbreak of social movements struggling for the rights of other marginalised groups such as immigrants (particularly those from non-English speaking backgrounds), indigenous people, people of colour, lesbians and gay men. As the politics of discrimination were questioned, racism and patriarchy (male dominance in society) were identified as modes of exclusion of groups and individuals from citizenship, the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s gazed at the future full of optimism.

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  2. poems - 1963

    -prime minister = Robert Menzies
    -indigenous Australians could vote in federal elections on the same basis as other electors when an amendment to the commonwealth electoral act became law. the november 1963 election was the first federal election for indigenous people in WA, Queensland and NT (voting rights in other states had been in place since 1949)
    -commonwealth pacific cable opened (compac) telephone connection with the rest of the world via international direct dialling.


    poems volume 2 - 1968

    -prime minister = john McEwen (till 10th jan) followed by John Gordon {following the death of Harold Holt}
    -50 students arrested during an anti-vietnam war protest sydney
    -45 people arrested during anti-war protest st.kila melbourne
    -National Gallery of Victoria is opened in Melbourne


    The Lions Bride - 1981

    -Prime minister = Malcolm Fraser
    -Harry Holgate become premier of Tasmania following resignation of Doug Lowe
    -A referendum is hed in Tasmania to vote for whether or not Franklin Dam should be built.
    -Victoria decriminalises homosexual acts between consenting Adults.

    Bone Scan - 1988
    -Prime minister = Bob Hawke
    -Australias Bicentenary year {celebrations held throughout year}
    -Queen Elizabeth 2 opens new parliament house in Canberra
    -Walsh street police shootings

    The Present Tense - 1995

    -Prime minister = Paul Keating
    -John Howard becomes liberal Party leader
    -Quantas is privitised
    -telecom changes domestic name to telstra
    -death of Gwen Harwood (at 75)

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  3. Gwen Harwood

    a). Cultural Context

    -She grew up in the country outside Brisbane
    -Her father was English, who inherited a great library from her grandfather, including the standard English classics
    -“I was born into a feminist family”
    -Her poems were “deeply grounded in her interests in European poetry, music and philosophy”
    -Many of her poems were written about the “D’Entrecasteaux Channel” on her small farm in Hobart


    b). Social Context

    -She was a busy wife, mother and secretary
    -She “always felt part of a long chain of independent women”
    -She worked at the All Saints in Brisbane during the later years of WWII


    c). Historical Context

    -She was married shortly after the end of WWII, and she and her husband moved to Tasmania
    -Many of her uncollected poems “belong to the 1960’s” and most of her poems and books were published in the 1960’s
    -She was born in Brisbane in 1920 and she died in Hobart, Tasmania in 1995
    -She was an organist at the All Saints in Brisbane during the later years of WWII


    Source
    Introduction- Alison Hoddinott
    "Interview with Gwen Harwood"- Barbara Williams

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  4. continued..... this is some information I found on an Australian history website about the 1960's.

    From the handouts and interviews with GH it seemed that most of her poetry was written in the 1960's, so that's why I've included this background information.


    ***The 1960s in context

    -The 1960s were a decade of political and social upheaval in Australia. Young people challenged the traditional values of their parent's generation and actively opposed the decisions of the government. Women demanded equal rights and others called for racial equality and a new consideration for the environment. Many more demonstrated against the Vietnam War, conscription and the nuclear industry.

    -Many of these protests were part of wider social movements taking place in other Western countries. Advances in communications technology meant that revolutionary ideas and voices of dissent could rapidly be transmitted and received around the world.

    -Australia's population increased throughout the decade, as European and British migrants continued to arrive. The late 1960s also saw changes to the White Australia Policy, which permitted a small number of skilled Asian migrants to settle in Australia.




    Women's rights and the Pill in the 1960s

    -In the late 1960s, many Australian women began to question the restrictive roles that society had assigned to them. Many women felt that there was more to life than raising children and taking care of the home. Others were dissatisfied at being confined to traditionally 'female' occupations like teaching, administration and secretarial work.

    -Women marched, protested and pressured governments in a bid to gain equal rights in all spheres of life including the workplace, education, politics and sport.

    -The contraceptive or birth control pill was introduced in Australia in the 1960s. It had a significant impact on society, granting women greater sexual freedom and allowing them to control when and if they had children. The Pill also sparked much moral debate during the 1960s about pre-marital sex and promiscuity.

    Indigenous rights in the 1960s

    -In a 1967 referendum, Australians voted overwhelmingly to recognise Indigenous peoples as citizens and allow them to be counted as part of the Australian population. This result followed a long campaign by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, who demanded better rights for Indigenous people and highlighted the poor conditions in which many lived.


    The 60s hippie revolution

    -Throughout the 1960s, many young people became disillusioned by what they perceived to be the shallowness and materialism of contemporary society. Towards the end of the decade, many adopted an alternative 'hippie' lifestyle. Among other elements, the hippie movement included a rebellious style of dress, a reverence for nature, Eastern spiritual philosophy and experimentation with drugs like marijuana and LSD.

    -These radical changes in society were reflected in the new fashions, hairstyles and styles of music that emerged throughout the decade. While rock 'n' roll retained its popularity, the rise of hippie culture permeated mainstream fashion and music


    ***www.skwirk.com/history/australia-s-social

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  5. Gwen Harwood: Born in Brisbane, 1920, grew up in the country, moved to Tasmania in 1945 and died there in 1995.
    She was a hard working mother and wife and was employed as a secretary.
    Her style of writing is mostly involved in feminism and the roles of women. This may have been because she lived with a chain of independent women and felt she was born into a feminist family.

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  6. She was born in Brisbane in 1920 and lived in the country for her childhood, then moved to Tasmania in 1945, where she lived until she died in 1995. She believed she was born into a feminist family, and this is what a lot of her writing is involved in. She writes movingly about her childhood, because this was the "golden time" in her life. She stated that "Love, friendship and music are my armour against fate" She did not have an eventful life, but "all poets need is the long journey from innocence to experience".

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  7. a) Historical Context
    -Gwen Harwood was at the age of nineteen when WWII began in 1939 and she was 25 when the Second World War finished in 1945, in that same year she married her husband William Harwood.
    -Her father was also a stretcher bearer at Gallipoli
    b) Social Context
    -“I never had to become a feminist, I was born into a feminist family”
    -Although being a feminist she loved her children and having the role of a mother, “I gave myself wholeheartedly to my children”
    c) Cultural Context
    -Gwen Harwood was born in Brisbane 1920 and later moved to Tasmania with her husband
    -Her father was English, “I thought England as the mother country”
    -She had a love for European art especially German poetry so much so she learnt the language so she could read the poetry

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  8. historical context:
    Gwen Harwood was 19 when WWII began, at this age she was easily influenced by what was happening around her. Her father was also a stretcher bearer in Gallipoli.
    Harwood viewed the war as 'national glory' rather than viewing the war as a time of great sadness.
    social context:
    Gwen harwood lived in the country with her family, with little contact with the outside world, perhaps living an isolated existence. This can also be conveyed when she moved to Tasmania after marrying her husband, tasmania is often viewed as isolated with little contact with the outside world.
    She was surrounded by a family that did not worry about the value of money.
    Her family was very family orientated, with a large portion of the family living with them.
    cultural context:
    Her father was English and she viewed England as a sort of second home.
    Her husband was a university lecturer, so she viewed the world with enchantment.

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  9. 1963:
    Aboriginals were given the option to vote
    The coalition took over power from the ALP

    1969-1974:
    Harwood is again surrounded by the war, the vietnam war was continuing, starting in 1955 and going until 1975.

    1981:
    Foreign minister accuses the prime minister of disloyalty
    In Tasmania the premier resigns and a new premier Harry Holgate comes into power.
    Again in Tasmania there is a referendum for the building of the Franklin Dam

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  10. feminism in the 1960s:
    In the 1960's this period of feminism was known as the 2nd wave of feminism. This peiod began in the 1960s and continued on until the 1980s. This was a time when women wanted to liberate themselves from the traditional roles of wives and mothers. This time included the women's liberation movement. This was when women further attempted to combat social and cultural inequalities. This wave was mainly dedicated to the end of descrimination and oppression.

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