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Both Nothing's Changed and Two Scavengers deal with social injustices, however, there are some big differences between them.

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Introduction

Read and examine the poetry from two very different cultures. Although they are both dealing with contrasting societies, explore how each one presents the issue of social injustice and decide which of the two demonstrates more outrage at the injustice explored. Both "Nothing's Changed" and "Two Scavengers" deal with social injustices, however, there are some big differences between them. "Nothing's Changed" is set in Cape Town, Africa and focuses on the segregation of black and white people, after an apartheid was made. It is an autobiographical poem by Tatumkhulu Afrika. The poem is about how District Six used to be a place for blacks and whites to live together. But when that changed, Tatumkhulu left in anger (and prison). Now he has returned to his old home after many years and has discovered that the segregation has gotten wider and worse. The social injustice in the poem is the black and white segregation. On the other hand, "Two Scavengers" deals with the social segregation between the classes in America. At a set of traffic lights, early in the morning (9am), a garbage truck has stopped next to a couple in a Mercedes. The garbage men then ponder on the class system and how they are less respected by people like this couple. They wonder if they'd ever be seen as equals as they wonder if the democracy of America really works. ...read more.

Middle

This, I'd like to believe, tells us that, either way, the writer is willing to risk prison (or worse?) in order to vent his anger at the segregation. The first stanza of "Two Scavengers" sets the scene by introducing us to the characters and telling us what they are doing.The garbage truck is described as "bright yellow" while the garbage men are described wearing "red plastic blazers", both of which would stand out anywhere in San Francisco at nine in the morning. I feel that this tells us that no matter how hard the government might try to "hide" the garbage men, they are going to get noticed at some point. The writer says of the garbage men, "one on each side hanging on", in reference to where they are on the garbage truck (back stoop).This makes me think that the writer is trying to make out that the men are struggling to hold on to this job, even though it is such a looked down upon job. The writer then says that the two garbage men are "looking down into an elegant open Mercedes with an elegant couple in it". In that section, the writer has took the literal meaning of "looking down" but we also think of the figurative meaning and then are meant to wonder if the garbage men are in fact better people than the couple and so their position should be swapped. ...read more.

Conclusion

Of course, the two poems are similar in the way that they both deal with social injustices (Class system and Segregation), but, in the same way, different because the two place settings (San Francisco and Cape Town) are so far apart. In "Nothing's Changed", as previously mentioned, the writer uses a lot of commas to slow down the pace in order, I believe, to add suspense.On the other hand, the writer of "Two Scavengers" doesn't use any punctuation, instead stopping the line whenever he wants the reader to stop and let what they've just read sink in. Because of the punctuation, the structure of "Nothing's Changed" looks less pre-prepared and more "straight from the heart", as the plot would suggest.However, "Two Scavengers" is neater in it's construction, despite the lack of punctuation, thus giving off the opposite feel to "Nothing's Changed". After studying both poems, although I feel that I wouldn't need to, it's obvious to me that "Nothing's Changed" shows far more anger, raw as it might be, than "Two Scavengers".The reasons for this being that in "Nothing's Changed", there is a constant reminder of how angry the writer is as he walks around his old home, in the end, of course, wishing he had a bomb to blow up a white's only restaurant.But, in "Two Scavengers", the two garbage men look at the social injustice in hope rather than anger, as seen by when they wonder if they'd ever be able to reach in to the Mercedes and start a normal conversation with the couple, like old friends. ...read more.

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