Changes Negative Effects- Judith Wright and Shaun Tan

Kristy Jacobs

Ms. Rae

Humanity and thus our world and environment are inevitably predisposed to change. Particularly in our age of modernity where change is such a necessity one might label it progress for progress sake, we can often lose sight of who or what pays for these changes, the drawbacks and discomforts they always have for some. Changes negative consequences often go unnoticed but much of society’s progress has or has had significant draw backs and discomforts for the environment, our history and on people as individuals. The poems “Sanctuary” and “Bullocky” by Judith Wright and the picture book “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan deals with each of these losses individually shaping through various techniques the drawbacks and discomforts consistently accompanied by change that often go overlooked.

Environmental loss is a severe drawback of change. People can be blinded by the benefits of societies change and progress and thus often forget to consider the draw backs and discomforts that are occurring to our natural world as a result of these adjustments.

Judith Wright uses her poem Sanctuary to criticise the nature of society’s untameable need for change, and through symbolism, irony and powerful imagery forces us, as the readers   to acknowledge the drawbacks change is having on the environment as Wright asks - at what cost is progress?

Powerful symbolism and metaphors are used through out the poem to convey the extent of the change and in so doing the danger it poses to our natural environment.   “Sanctuary” is centered around a road that “sweeps on and cannot wait”. An extended metaphor for progress and change, the personification of the road demonstrates the continuity and impatient nature of change in modern society. This shapes the idea of natural and cultural disintegration to make way for the human progress, a clear drawback of change.

The connotations of “sanctuary” as a safe haven is in ironic contrast to the actuality of what is...