The idea of finding our individual place in the world is again apparent in Remittance Man which despite its distinctly Australian feel evokes strong emotion in a wide range of audiences challenging them to think about whether or not it’s a person place in the world that truly defines who they are. In both poems Wright successfully engages the audience expressing her feelings about characters and issues, while it may seem Wright composes mainly for herself she has a powerful and sometimes slightly disturbing effect on the responder.
Eve to her Daughters starts centered on the biblical characters Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Edan. The poem starts with a light tone almost gossip “It was not I who began it” to gain the reader’s interest. Then starts to describe life after the fall “turned out into caves”, “having to work for our bread” but then Eve reveals that she wasn’t unhappy saying “Where Adam went I was fairly contented to go”. In the second stanza Eve’s colloquial language continues “But Adam, you know…! ” as she goes on to describe Adam’s reaction to the fall “He kept on brooding over the insult, over the trick. “He found a flaw in himself and he had to make up for it” we are shown Adams pride for the first time. Eve is loving in her criticism of Adam and even makes light of things “He even complained of my cooking (it was hard to compete with heaven). ” Then the poem adopts a darker tone and a more universal meaning as Adam becomes a representative of all men, and Eve of all women. Wright then uses imperative language “Earth must be made a new Edan” to convey Adams sense of determination in creating a new paradise for himself.
It also signifies the transition from the story of a man and a woman to a discussion about the price of the technological advancement of mankind. Symbolized in the next two stanza by lines like “central heating, domesticated animals, mechanical harvesters” and “Multiplied opportunities for safe investment and higher education for Cain and Abel” Judith Wright engages the responder intellectually expanding on these ideas and themes in the fourth stanza “in the process he had to unravel everything because he believed that mechanism was the whole secret”.
She then goes on to argue that man has lost touch with its spiritual side and lost faith in God and the unexplainable “what cannot be demonstrated doesn’t exist”. The stanza ends with a comment on mankinds over whelming pride Eve then twists Adams logic against him as Wright invites the responder to consider whether humanity’s existence is purely physical or has a spiritual element to it “Yes he got to the centre where nothing at all could be demonstrated and clearly he doesn’t exist” we are also show the dangerous heights of Adam’s pride as he continues chasing perfection “but he refuses to accept the conclusion.
You see he always was an egotist” In the seventh stanza the responder can clearly identify the social context of the time Wright wrote the poem as the themes of feminism and the fear of nuclear warfare resound through the stanza in which the responder is launched into a dark premonition of a post apocalyptic world. Where Adam in his never ending and ultimately foolish pursuit of perfection and advancement has destroyed his new Edan with nuclear disaster “It was warmer than this in the cave; and there was none of this fall-out”.
Eve encourages women to take over and re-connect mankind with its spiritual side. But then doubts they can “But you are my daughters, you inherit my own faults of character” she softly rebukes other women but acknowledges it’s not that simple “faults of character have their own logic and it always works out. ” Judith Wright continues to challenge the responder with the idea that perfection itself does not exist or cannot ever really be gained “perhaps nothing exist but our faults? Wright uses this rhetorical to make the responder wonder what price will humanity pay for it’s pride-fullness it’s believe in the attainment of perfection question whether mankind needs to have a spiritual to its existence and the folly of throwing that away. “He has turned himself into God who is faultless and doesn’t exist. ”