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Discuss the Theme of Resistance in two of Martin Carter's poem.

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Introduction

MARTIN CARTER COURSEWORK. ESSAY TITTLE-Discuss the Theme of Resistance in two of Martin Carter's poem Martin Carter was born in Georgetown, the capital of British Guyana on June 7 1927. He attended a prestigious boys school, Queen's college. He became a civil servant after living school and started writing militant political journalism under a pseudonym. In 1953, he was imprisoned without trial for protesting against British rule. In 1954, he wrote the "Poems of Resistance" where he expressed his fierce anger and developed an international reputation. He served for 1 year as a UN representative after the independence from British rule was granted in 1966. His poetry contrasts of Guyanan life from hope to sadness and misery as at the time of writing Poems of Resistance Guyana was under British Government and suffering from oppression even though Guyana was given adult universal suffrage in the 1950s. Through his poems, Carter fought strongly for universal suffrage and expressed loyalty to his people and country. Martin Carter died on December 13, 1997 at the age of 70. This essay will discuss the theme of resistance in two Carter's poems, looking specifically at main themes, narrative, key symbols & images, colour/light/dark, repetition, alliteration & sound, mood & tone and structure. The first poem I will be discussing is called "This is the dark time my love". The main theme of this poem is resistance from oppression, destruction of Guyanese culture and the presence of the British troops. For example, the oxymoron "festival of guns" suggests a war-like environment and the term festival could refer to the large number of people involved or to the usually happy or 'festive nature of Guyanan people contrasted with the oppressive 'gun'. ...read more.

Middle

In the fourth stanza, Carter refers to the night as being silent "night comes from the river in a boat of silence" and also talks about death "dark is the shroud", "the shroud of night". Carter then goes on to write about the death of the slave "his drum is silent" signifying the cease of heartbeat. Carter shows in this poem that, morally, slavery is wrong and that it leaves a society scattered and angry; "time plants the seed of anger. Carter uses a lot of symbols in this poem. For example "cane field" symbolises a place of work and could also represent a prison for the slave. "Day" suggest torture and a period of work; "river" refers to life, escapism and freedom. He also uses other symbols like "birds" to convey freedom, peace, life and dreams "Night", implies death and rest, "forest" could symbolise nature and life Earth suggests burial, death and the possibility of growth. Seeds may mean beginning of life and the whip is an instrument of torture that drives the slave on. Carter also used lots of colours in "Death of a slave". Example, green to convey life, nature, happiness, brightness, Red signifies blood, danger and the slave's heart, White could refer to peace, joy, beauty and happiness, Day suggests brightness but in contrast dark may refer to death, torture and pain. Carter also uses other colour representatives like dim, deep, sun, river, forest, earth and seeds, so that the reader has a vivid image in their mind of the world in which the slave exists. ...read more.

Conclusion

Judging from the way the poems were written, a reader comes to the conclusion that Carter uses figurative language more than sound effects. In the first poem "This is the dark time, my love", Carter mostly used metaphors and it is short but well structured. But, in the second poem "Death of a Slave", Carter mostly used similes. He structured the poem to reflect the different parts of the day so that the poem is long and in my opinion, brilliantly structured. Martin Carter is a Guyanan poet and the two poems discussed in this essay form part of the poems of resistance collection. The poems use for resistance from the ownership and encourage readers to think about human rights cultural needs. The first poem, "this is the dark time, my love" is mainly about British military presence, destruction misery and dashed hopes. "Death of a Slave" was written more like a story about slavery describing the slave's life from the beginning of the day to the end, night. I think the themes of resistance in these poems are clear and effective because Carter emphasises it with the use of repetition and figurative or poetic language. I think the poems are interesting because they are informative. They inform the reader of the British presence in Guyana slavery, amongst other things. These poems also inform us about the people of Guyana and how slavery and colonisation have affected them historically and culturally. My opinion is that slavery, racism and oppression shouldn't be encouraged. As Carter expresses in his poetry, They leave people in misery. Do you think they should be encouraged? ...read more.

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