Scars Upon My Heart

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Examine the portrayal of women and their roles in the poems you have studied in the ‘scars upon my heart’ anthology. In the poem ‘The jingo woman’ written by Helen Hamilton, she talks about her dislike of a woman who feels it is her duty to punish the men who do not go to war, asks her how she can do this with no experience of war. At the beginning of the 1st stanza she describes why she hates the Jingo woman so much, then carries on to question the jingo woman as to who gave her the right to judge these men. She says “the judgement of your eye, the wild, infuriate eye” this suggests that the Jingo woman is a bit crazy, making her view on the men seems wrong as her judgement cannot be trusted. Hamilton goes on to explain why her dislike of the jingo woman is so strong; “you make all women seem church duffers!” she implies the Jingo woman is seen as unintelligent, criticising why her opinions are wrong and that this view of her is being applied to all women. She disagrees with the way women like the jingo woman portray other women. She portrays the Jingo woman and her role in the war, in a negative light. In ‘women at munitions making’ by Mary Gabrielle, Gabrielle criticises women’s munitions work as unnatural. The word ‘coarsened’ implies that the women’s relationship with birth and life is tainted by munitions work and its association with death. It also maybe suggests about the ‘coarsening’ effect, both physical and moral that manual labour has on the finer features of women. In the poem, Gabrielle might be trying to suggest that war changed the role of women and portrayed them in a negative light too. Women are meant to bring new life, but instead these women were making weapons of destruction. In the poem ‘The Jingo woman, I think Hamilton was trying to reveal that British women were not a race at peace, but a race at war, along with the rest of British
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