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Compare the ways in which the poets present people in Night of the Scorpion and Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful people in a Mercedes.

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Introduction

Compare the ways in which the poets present people in Night of the Scorpion and Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful people in a Mercedes. In Night of the Scorpion, the title is in some ways deceptive. It leads us to believe we are in for a frightening and dramatic tale with a scorpion taking centre stage. In fact, the poem is not about the scorpion at all, but about the reactions of different people to its sting. The poem starts off in the first person when Ezekiel describes an event that really happened. However, he does not give his own feelings or reactions: we realise he is merely the narrator even though it is his mother who is being stung. Most of the poem is in the third person, as Ezekiel reports on what other people do and say. He does not portray the scorpion as a villain: it was driven to shelter 'beneath a sack of rice' after ten hours of rain and that it was only protecting itself from the rain. It probably stung the mother instinctively as a warning to her when she approached its hiding place, rather than harming her on purpose. Having delivered the sting and scared off by the people indoors, 'he risked the rain again'. The title of Two Scavengers shows us straight away that the poem will be about the contrasts between two pairs of people. ...read more.

Middle

The rich couple are very fashionable: he has an expensive 'hip three-piece linen suit', and her blond hair is 'casually coifed'. The use of 'hip' indicates a strong care of looking good. However, the couple in the Mercedes, though, are almost colourless: he wears a 'linen suit' - natural linen is a cream colour - and they both have blond hair. He may use this to show that even if you live in a higher society, money isn't everything; he portrays the two as boring. The elegant couple are not described in as much detail as the garbage men, as if the poet is less interested in them. And most probably that the beautiful people see themselves a being 'cool' and 'elegant' On the other hand, the garbage men are 'grungy'. The younger one has 'sunglasses & long hair' just like the 'Mercedes driver', which forces us to compare the two. The older garbage man has a hunched back and looks 'like some gargoyle Quasimodo'. This simile is unusual as Quasimodo is the Hunchback of Notre Dame in Victor Hugo's novel. He is a tragic figure because he was kind and loving despite his ugliness. We are encouraged to sympathise with these garbage men who have become dirty and smelly as a result. The expressive word 'grungy' make us pity them. Ezekiel's father is usually a sceptic and a rationalist; he does not believe in superstitions and is not religious. ...read more.

Conclusion

From a wider perspective, it also suggests that the huge gap between the rich and the poor is a problem now, too. Also that it will continue until people stop stereotyping different classes of people. Ferlinghetti uses repetition in Two Scavengers. Individual words are repeated, for instance, 'elegant' and 'scavengers', as well as phrases such as 'as if'. This emphasises the first point about stereotyping classes of people because of their jobs. Although we don't know the jobs of the 'cool couple' they are classed as 'elegant' so will most probably have better paid jobs in a higher society than the garbage men. I prefer Night of the Scorpion rather than Two Scavengers because the tension in the poem draws you in and you feel as if you are in the hut with Ezekiel and his neighbours. The use of description and similes give greater effect because they are his personal opinions. Two Scavengers has a political message and I feel it makes the poem boring. The use of similes and metaphors are good but have more complex meanings to them, it is lacking emotion and is unarranged untidily. Night of the Scorpion is told in a chronological order and the reporting effect of the poem is good at making the reader want to read on. The humorous description of the villagers helps you understand the poet's view of them easier and quicker than in Two Scavengers. ?? ?? ?? ?? Pavan Aulak Mrs Gerber 10AV English ...read more.

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