Everything is constantly changing; indeed, the world is so ephemeral that one may argue it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Given the inevitability of change, the inability to cope with and accept it will lead to a failure to deal with life. Each of the poems in Peter Skrzynecki’s ‘Immigrant Chronicle’ revolves around the key aspect of change. This collection of poems deals with the personal experiences of migrants, how their perspectives are altered, and how this modification of perception is brought about.
The process and significance of change is a central issue in every poem. There can be a catalyst for change, as in ‘Kornelia Woloszczuk’ when Kornelia loses her only child, or it can be a gradual process, as exemplified through the increasing depression of patients in ‘Chronic Ward’. In each of these instances, the reader is given a point of view on change, and is shown how perspective can affect the process of change. One’s perspective offers different viewpoints and therefore allows different insights to be gleaned from examining a change; simply looking at something from a different perspective can alter your original view.
It is that first move – shifting your perspective – which is the most difficult. The natural instinct of any human being is to resist change, and this notion shines through in ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’, as Feliks refuses to accept the differences between himself and his son. In ‘Chronic Ward’, Peter Skrzynecki delves into the minds of chronically ill mental patients in order to relay what may have been the chain of events which caused them to spiral downwards towards depression and suicide. The conversational tone in the first stanza suggests the illness is not new. It has been going on for some time and the patients have adapted to it.
Although change can be good and bad, any change is better than no change, it is an unpredictable aspect of life. Sally Morgan’s autobiographical novel My Place shows the changes towards Aboriginals and how three different generations deal with change. Similarly, my related texts The Door and the unseen text have reinforced that any change is better than no change. These texts have altered and ...
Each of these patients is fixated with death; “[we] Relive the bathtub drama, / The slip-knot confusion / And oven-door mistakes.” Their perspective has a single focus. These patients yearn for a change, and that change is death. At the same time, they are resisting change, in the form of the therapy sessions that are supposed to cure their illness. The treatment is designed to shift their perspective; with a slight change, their entire outlook on life could be altered. In fact, the patients are in a life or death situation; if they do not modify their perception of life, they will not even have a life, outside of the asylum.
Another central theme, closely and conversely related to death, is the concept of immortality. Throughout ‘Chronic Ward’, Skrzynecki presents many images relating to permanence and eternity. “How the grass never wears out / With all the short cuts / The moon takes across our eyes.” The use of enjambment serves to emphasise each image. These descriptions of transience present a stark contrast to the image of change; they are static and fixed, whereas the lives of the patients are in a constant state of flux, however much they wish it were not so. It is obvious that the mentally ill patients have trouble accepting the notion of change. These issues of suffering and eternity are carried through in ‘Kornelia Woloszczuk’.
She remarks “How water destroys images / That reflect eternity.” Once again these pictures of permanence are conveyed. The juxtaposition of the images of eternity against the erratic state of Kornelia’s life highlights the significance of change in this poem. Kornelia is detached from the real world; since she lost her only child, her perception of life has been almost permanently altered. She concludes by saying that “Having only one child / Is like having / One eye in your head.” Kornelia can only see life from one angle, for it is as if she has only one eye; her perspective has been limited to a single view. In addition to this, the idea of a generation gap is also presented and carried through ‘Kornelia Woloszczuk’.
Each and everyone of us has a story to tell and share to others, life stories that may serve as an inspiration to other people. Every individual may have a life experience or a moment in his or her life that somehow greatly affects his or her whole life. We often share our own triumphs and travails, our victories and defeats, our happiness and despair that bring alterations to the present life ...
Throughout the poem, Skrzynecki differentiates between Kornelia’s grim view of life and her child’s innocent and undeveloped perception of the surrounding world. Kornelia is associated with images of eternity and the supernatural; she is compared to the very elements of the world around her, as she has “Eyes to outstare / The face of the waters.” Her son is more concerned with the visual, natural world; “I listen for bird calls, / Look at breaking water / With every fish in air.” The tragic tone of the poem suggests that Kornelia is unhappy and dissatisfied with her life, which is then contrasted with the son’s confusion regarding his inability to solve that suffering. Clearly, Kornelia finds it difficult to cope with the notion of change, and has trouble moving on. The ‘gap’ between mother and child in ‘Kornelia Woloszczuk’ also relates to the barrier between father and son that is presented in ‘Feliks Scrzynecki’. The effects of time on perspective and the differences that occur because of it are emphasised through the relationship between the persona and his father. Feliks’s on has difficulty identifying with the family’s past, and he recognises his difference from Feliks.
This is illustrated through the different methods of speech each has. The persona thinks, “Feliks Skrzynecki, / That formal address / I never got used to.” As the boy matures, he grows away from Feliks, and, as time passes, the generation gap between them grows also. This wall between father and son is stressed when, in the concluding stanza, “like a dumb prophet, / [Feliks] Watched me pegging my tents / Further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall.” Feliks’s on accepts change, and moves on, yet Feliks himself remains fixed in the past. Futher more, it is apparent from the tone of the poem that the concept of perspective, and how your perspective may change over time, is significant.
Feliks and “His Polish friends”, often “reminisced / About farms where paddocks flowered.” Looking at a situation in hindsight often alters your perception of that situation. The entire poem, ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’, is concerned with recollecting and remembering Feliks’ past life. With age, comes enlightenment; the persona begins to understand the differences between Feliks and himself, now that he has matured. “Growing older, I / Remember words he taught me, / Remnants of a language / I inherited unknowingly.” He regrets not having appreciated the Polish language when he was younger, and now, looking back, and remembering, he realises that his perspective has been altered.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a moral tale that depicts the protagonist’s Ebenezer Scrooge’s moral journey from selfishness to redemption. It can be seen that his new found way of life is derived from the desire to be a good man of the community and to assist others such as Tiny Tim. The idea of Scrooge’s transformation not being selfish can also be seen in his aspiration to contribute to ...
He reflects that Feliks is “Happy as I have never been.” Clearly, the poem is about more than the migrant experience; it concerns the ways in which young adolescents can be influenced and how, as they mature, their ideas and behaviour may differ from that of their parents. Feliks rejects the notion of change, as he wants to live in the past. The theme of reminiscence and past times is continued in the story entitled ‘Sky-high’, by Hannah Robert [Text 3]. The story retells a past experience from Hannah’s perspective, from when her grandfather came to stay, and contrasts it with her altered perception in the current day and age. The reader is drawn into the scene by such descriptive imagery as the “bush with little red berries, [and] a struggling sapling, [which] surround the patchy lawn like spectators.” The use of alliteration gives a clearer picture of the landscape she is describing, and combined with personification, the description of Hannah’s backyard comes alive in our minds. At first, the washing line is said to have “silver skeletal arms”, and then, through the passage of time, it has changed.
In the present, it is “an older, more age-warped washing line” with “sagging wires.” Similarly, Hannah has also changed, over time. As a young girl, she would “swing upside-down” on the washing line, yet now, “it is unlikely the washing line could support [her].” She remarks, “There are too many things tying me to the ground.” Hannah feels the weight of the ages upon her shoulders; she has changed, and the child-like innocence she once possessed is stunted and stagnant. Time has caused her perspective to change, and Hannah accepts this. The notion of change is also highlighted in the movie, ‘Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit’ (Written by James Orr, 1993).
... washing line and the author, help to create a picture of the two perspectives, past and present, and how they have changed. ... in change. Time not only changes things but it changes peoples perspectives. "Feliks Skrzynecki" by Peter Skrzynecki and "Sky high" by Hannah Robert ... aged woman her "hands, beginning to accumulate the line etched story of life in scars and wrinkles, easily touch the sagging ...
Deloris Van Cartier, a worldly singer, is asked to disguise herself as a nun and teach a music class at the school of St Francis. It is only due to Deloris’ unique perspective that she is able to challenge and reorganise them into a modern singing group.
Her distinctive perception of life changed and modified the perspective of the students. Had the students continued in their lives without change, or a means for modifying their views and values, the school would have been closed down and their dreams of singing would never have been realised. One’s own perspective can therefore be influenced and changed by an external opinion, often beneficially. From each of these sources, a common theme becomes apparent.
The more receptive you are to change, the greater your ability to cope with life. In each of his poems, Skrzynecki subtly highlights the positive aspects of change, and that being able to cope with change is beneficial, as it allows for a happier life to be led. While it is true that great deeds are performed by great people, examining those deeds typically demonstrates a preparedness to initiate change. Anwar Sadat, one of the great change agents of the 20 th century said, “He who cannot change the very fabric of his thoughts, will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.”.