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Comparing Not My Business with Nothings Changed and how they demonstrate strong attitudes and feelings about how individuals are treated in society

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Introduction

Comparing 'Not My Business' with 'Nothing's Changed' and how they demonstrate strong attitudes and feelings about how individuals are treated in society In the society I live in - in the UK - everyone has freedom of speech. In the past there used to be a lot of countries in which your feelings towards something were only to be known by you. Dictatorships do not allow freedom of speech nor even a freedom to be in certain places. Today, people are more equal in society (Maybe not much so in the less developed countries such as Nigeria and South Africa) and strictly speaking there are no 'laws' as of such, against or for a particular race, yet people who are discriminated know where they belong. This is displayed throughout 'Nothing's Changed'. Tatamkhulu Afrika begins 'Nothing's Changed' with the first stanza describing the ground he is walking on; "Small round hard stones click" portraying the floor, full of obstacles as are most thing in the circumstances he lives in. This line is particularly effective as an opening sentence as TA uses monosyllabic harsh words to really draw you into the poem from the start as they make the reader need to read them and recognise them properly because the words don't fade in your mind. ...read more.

Middle

He shows the attitude of the white people that someone else will do it; "linen falls", portraying the whites to just throw things like linen on the floor, while not even letting the blacks making good use out of it. All this is hidden; "the single rose" hides the problems that society has and instead just makes people misinterpret the area into being a civilised place. Yet I know the truth of the race hate and constant discrimination. In 'Not My Business' the narrator refers to his yam several times. It is a very acquirable cheap food that doesn't have much variety and nutritious value. Yet the narrator not only accepts this, but describes it as; "savouring". It is the highlight of his day every day. This makes you sympathise with the fact that everything in Nigeria is so bad that the best thing in someone's life there is a sweet potato. The techniques used in both poems are very effective. 'Not My Business has a clever use of personification and similes in the first stanza; "Stuffed him down the belly of a waiting jeep" which gives a good representation of mistreatment and shows the mean treating 'Akanni' like an object. ...read more.

Conclusion

I am lucky to live in a better, more fair society that I can share my feelings and attitudes to things without arriving home to see someone has; "Booted the whole house awake". Both poets describe and explain their situations under the reign of General Abacha in Niyi Osundare's case and in the time of apartheid in Tatamkhulu Afrika's. These were both taking place at around the same time - in the 90s - in Nigeria and South Africa. It's unimaginable that these weren't sorted out earlier. To conclude, I believe that both poems try to give messages to encourage freedom and freedom of speech. As globalisation take place, we have begun to realise the horrors and to eliminate discrimination around the world. However, somehow there are still cases of this around the world. These poems have completely changed my insight on discrimination. I don't think I can now stand by and watch someone be bullied without speaking up. Out of the two, I prefer 'Not My Business' as it is very simple yet extremely explanatory. It can be suited to fit general view of a majority of people and with no knowledge of Nigeria you can still empathise with this poem, as I have done. Hassan Bassam 10R English Coursework Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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