Rosemary Dobson - Texts and Human Experience

Welcome back to another CLEAR Education blog post!

Today we will be exploring the Common Module of the new English syllabus, "Texts and Human Experiences". Specifically, we will be looking at Rosemary Dobson's prescribed poems and breaking three of them down.

To start with, it's important to know a little bit about Rosemary Dobson's context, and the key values she represents in her poetry. We can see that Dobson’s poems “Cock crow,” “Young girl at a window,” and “Amy Caroline,” snapshot moments in various stages of women’s lives. These moments provide audiences with an understanding into the complex nature of one’s relationship with self and family, but also the oppression felt due to patriarchal social ideals.

Cock Crow 
"Cock Crow" portrays a woman’s conflict between her personal desire for self-expression and freedom against the overbearing expectation of society towards her familial responsibilities as a Mother. 

Young Girl and A Window
Similarly, “YGATW” explores the conflicts of the human experience through capturing a young girl’s hesitance at the threshold of womanhood due to fear of the strife that the entrance into new life stages invites. 

Amy Caroline
Furthermore, “Amy Caroline,” further explores the constraints placed on the female condition in adulthood by exacerbating the societal oppressions that prevent women from pursuing a life of their own volition.

Through Dobson’s storytelling of the lives of three women at three differing life stages, we as an audience become more aware of the collective experiences of the human condition. In particular, we can grasp the repressive impact of patriarchal social pressures on women, and how these unjustly predetermine and shape the path of female lives. 

Here is a practice essay question that you can try out at home!
"Through storytelling, we become more aware of ourselves and the world around us."
Evaluate this statement utilising three of the prescribed Rosemary Dobson’s poems.


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