• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the cultures of two poems - Unrelated Incidents, by Tom Leonard and Half-Caste, by John Agard

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

This essay will be based on comparing and contrasting the cultures of two poems. The two poems I will be talking about are "Unrelated Incidents", by Tom Leonard and "Half-Caste", by John Agard. The poems are based on different cultures, and whether or not it matters what culture you have. Both of the poems are structured in interesting ways. "Unrelated Incidents" is set out in a long column with 38 lines and no more than four words per line. It seems to be set out like an auto-cue TV presenters use instead of scripts. There are no sections or verses in it, whereas "Half-Caste" has four verses which is (in my opinion) split into two sections - the first two verses consists of John Agard asking questions and using the word "half-caste" to describe things where colours are mixed, like artwork and piano keys, and in the second pair of verses he is using "half-caste" to describe parts of his body and states of mind. ...read more.

Middle

"half-caste"/ In the very first verse John Agar has used a sort of humour - Excuse me Standing on one leg I'm half-caste The meaning of both of the poems is linked, as they are both about culture. Both poets seem to feel outcaste, or even victimised, because of their culture. However, the subject of the poems differ because "Unrelated Incidents" talks about judging people by their accents and the way they talk, whereas "Half-Caste" talks about being criticised because of being of mixed race. The poets seem to feel that they are not treated normally and they don't get enough respect because of who they are and the way they talk. Tom Leonard has written his poem in such a way that he is the newsreader, and he is criticising people with a Glaswegian accent, describing each person as "wanna yoo scruff" - this makes me think that this is the way that Tom Leonard thinks people would describe him. John Agard doesn't understand why he is considered to be "half-caste" just because he is of mixed race because in his opinion the word "half-caste" is wrong, as when two colours are mixed together it does not create something "half-caste". ...read more.

Conclusion

I thought it was quite unusual that "Unrelated Incidents" was set out in a column with no more than four words per line, yet I think that it is interesting and inventive that it is structured like a TV presenters auto-cue. Although I like the fact that the poems are written phonetically I found that the different dialect accents were quite difficult to get your tongue around. I also enjoyed the fact that both poems were performance poems, which made them more interesting to hear and read aloud. Although both poems are very different they do have quite a few similarities and links. Both poems got me thinking that it would be better if we opened our eyes and realised that such easily tossed around phrases like "half-caste" can be hurtful. Both poets seem to feel that they are disrespected, and it made me open my mind to a few thoughts: are people of different cultures treated unfairly? Are some people considered to be better than others because of their cultures? Are people criticised because of their cultures, and if they are what can be done to prevent this? Caroline Wood, 10W ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Agard: Half-Caste section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Agard: Half-Caste essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Compare How Agard Challenges Particular Values and Ways of Thinking in Listen Mr. Oxford ...

    4 star(s)

    The word 'mash up' implies violence, Agard is threatening to 'destroy' the English language. Unlike 'Listen Mr. Oxford Don', the tone of 'Half Caste' is lighthearted, only towards the end of the poem that the tone starts to get serious.

  2. Comparing Three Poems 'Half-Caste' 'Search For My Tongue' & 'Unrelated Incidents'.

    talking about nature or music and it would again be completely ridiculous to call Tchaikovsky's composition a 'half-caste symphony'. The poem itself also relays the message of individualism. It is written in phonetics to demonstrate his own personality with the language being English, but with his own Guyanan dialect.

  1. Comparing Poems From Other Cultures

    is trying to find some consistency in her life - she is trying to find what she knows in life to find in the end that she can, in her dreams. The fact that she also includes both English and Gujarati in her poem shows that even though she does

  2. Using the poems 'Telephone Conversation' By Wole Soyinka and 'Nothing Said' by Brenda Agard ...

    reflects the reader's own thoughts of astonishment at this appalling display of racism. The shock of the narrator is exhibited throughout the following sentences with Soyinka commenting on the surroundings, describing the buttons on the payphone as if contemplating ending the call.

  1. Halfcast and Unrelated incidents

    Agard wanted its readers to clearly understand this point as he gives another example of it, 'Tchaikovsky', famous for his composing, shows that his work is great because he uses a mixture, "mix a black key wid a white key". John Agard's mother was Portuguese, and his father was black.

  2. Diverse Culture essay

    The fist time Bhatt uses imagery is to describe her tongue dying as if it was a weakening flower: Your mother tongue

  1. Comparing John Agard

    In line 12 he uses repetition of 'and' and 'anger' is needed to show the anger he feels. In half-caste there is no argument that John agard Has strong feelings and anger about the word half-caste. This is shown when he says 'excuse me standing on one leg I'm half-caste'.

  2. Poem Comparison-Half Caste and I am not that Woman

    this poem also mentions that "light cannot be hidden in darkness" and "my voice cannot be smothered by stones." This creates a feeling in the reader that the woman is fighting and still believes that she will become somebody free and equal.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work