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GCSE: Tatamkhulu Afrika: Nothings Changed

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Tatamkhulu Africa's biography

  1. 1 The poet spent his childhood classified as 'a white' when he was growing up in South Africa. When he was a teenager he discovered he was half Egyptian and chose to be reclassified as 'coloured' under Apartheid.
  2. 2 He was a member of the African National Congress. He was arrested and forbidden to write or publish anything for five years
  3. 3 The poet used to live in a multi-cultural area called ‘District 6’. Under Apartheid the government decreed it was a 'whites only' area. All of the non white inhabitants were evacuated and their houses were burnt down.
  4. 4 He was born in 1920 and died in 2002.

Things you need to know about 'Nothing's Changed'

  1. 1 Nothing’s Changed is autobiographical was written in a time of hope, at the end of Apartheid and shortly after Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
  2. 2 Nothing’s Changed is very tightly controlled and is written in the first person.
  3. 3 There are six stanzas. The sentences can be one stanza or two words long which creates a rhythm.
  4. 4 Imagery includes wasteland, the restaurant and the working man’s café.

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  3. 3
  1. Compare the ways poets reveal emotion in Nothing

    In Night of the Scorpion similes are used to make the village seem panic stricken and frightened, unlike the anger shown in Nothing's Changed. On line 8 in uses the simile "The peasants came like swarms of flies". This simile makes it seem like anger and makes the child and the villagers seem panic stricken and afraid. In Nothing's Changed the language helps to show the man's anger and the annoyance that he feels with the people. It says "Hot, white, inwards turning anger of my eyes".

    • Word count: 718
  2. Origins: Island Man and Nothing's Changed

    Language in Island Man is used effectively to convey the man's past origin to present day. For example 'of his small emerald island' This is particularly effective as the connotations of 'emerald' reflect a precious, rare and colourful island. This is later compared to a "grey" and "dull" North Circular to show the clear contrast between the man's origin and where he is currently at now. Further, light language is used which also engages the senses of the reader to portray the island the man loved so much.

    • Word count: 654
  3. Half Cast and Nothing's changed essay

    In the poem "Half-Caste" a mixed race person is directly attacking a racist through words. He is establishing sentiment in order to awaken a reaction from the racist in order to make them understand that having two cultures is better than one. On the other hand "Nothing's Changed" is a poem about apartheid- separation of blacks and whites. This poem depicts a society where rich and poor are divided in the apartheid era of racial segregation in South Africa. Rage has arisen within the poet because, despite the abolishment of apartheid everything hasn't changed, hence the name "Nothing's Changed".

    • Word count: 1669
  4. Nothing's Change

    We are informed that there are cans scattered about amidst "tall, purple-flowering, amiable weeds". The "trodden on" cans is possibly a metaphor suggesting that the cans are like the black people being trodden on by white people. Overall the area described seems to be unkempt and neglected; people simply do not care for it anymore as the whites do not care about the black people. Afrika see's a "new, up-market" restaurant which is "brash with glass". These two words produce harsh sounds, and the word brash instantly tells us how showy this place is.

    • Word count: 872
  5. Comparing Nothing's Changed and Charlotte O'Neil's Song

    They both have a bitter tone through out most of the poems, and similarly they sound very envious of the upper classes. They are both being treated very unfairly, simply because of their skin colour or jobs, respectively. The Poet's Ideas Both characters are very rebellious, the authority they are fighting against is lowering their quality of life. In Nothing's Changed the character says "I know before I see them there will be crushed ice, white glass, linen falls, the single rose."

    • Word count: 1371
  6. How do Tatamkhulu Afrika and Imtiaz Dharker make us aware of the society they describe in the poems

    The title 'Blessing' revolves around the fact that a pipe has burst and it's a miracle and a blessing. The society in this poem is similar to the one in 'Nothings Changed', as both are a poor community. Also the writers both make out that they want something to change. To completely abolish the racial segregation and for there to be a good word to sum the basic outline of these two poems. Nothing's changed makes you aware of the current society there by making the reader feel jealous of the white people and sorry for the non whites.

    • Word count: 1135
  7. Analysis of Nothing's Changed and Charlotte O'Neils song

    This shows that there is also rubbish and weeds on the path where the writer is walking. In the second stanza, the writer also shows that there are no signs pointing to district 6, 'District Six. No board says it is:' this shows that district 6 is a lonely place where people do not want to go. But he shows he knows district 6 by, 'But my feet know, and my hands, and the skin about my bones, and the soft labouring of my lungs,' This shows that the writer has been there before because he is familiar with the place.

    • Word count: 1690
  8. Use Nothing's Changed and another poem; discuss how the writer creates a sense of place.

    This is followed by simple images of the fishermen pushing their boat out, the sun climbing in the sky, The Island and emerald green. By having 'morning' on a line by itself, it sets the scene and represents new beginning. The island man always returns to the island, in his mind, but in thinking of it he must 'always' come 'back' literally snapping back to reality this is shown from where Nicholas writes about hearing the traffic on London's North Circular Road, the use of the notorious North Circular contrast to the 'dream' as once your in it's a nightmare to get out of, furthermore the use of circle represents 'no beginning and no end' hence it is continuous.

    • Word count: 1414
  9. History coursework on sources

    Firstly, because it is quoted, things could have been changed to promote monks. Secondly, he is not actually from Fountains Abbey or Saint Mary's so he is an outsider and cannot possibly really know the truth of what is actually going on in the monastery unless gone on a visit there. Finally, this quote was produced years later from when the actual letter had been created meaning it could have been changed over time. In conclusion, the role in the future for the Abbey was going to be a new home for the monks, but at that time it was not yet created.

    • Word count: 1747
  10. Compare the ways in which the poets present people in two of these poems

    Whilst, in 'Two Scavengers', the theme is about social inequality, in which the poet captures a particular time in San Francisco in America, and notices how two pairs of people live completely different lives in the same city. One of the ways in which the poets present people is by using language. Both poets use comparison language effectively to contrast between the lives of the people. In 'Nothing's Changed', Afrika compares the lives of white and black people by using the description of the 'whites only' restaurant and the 'cafe'.

    • Word count: 819
  11. "Nothing's Changed", by Tatamkhulu Afrika, and the poem "Island Man", by Grace Nichols. Each poem, instead of directly linking with the chosen title,

    From the start of this poem, you can see that he still has a strong connection with his original home and culture from the title "Island Man"- at least in his dreams anyway. The actually start of the poem begins with the word "Morning". It is a simple statement but by placing it on its own it draws attention to itself. The shortness of the first could also suggest that he's jolted awake. In line 5 it says "the steady breaking and wombing".

    • Word count: 1038
  12. Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Poet's Use of Language in "Nothing's Changed" and "Two Scavengers in a Truck,

    The lower class garbage-men are labelled as "Scavengers" while the higher class Mercedes owners are described by the poet as "Beautiful." The title contains a metaphor and a contrast between the two sets of classes because the poem is about the differences and separations of the classes. Lawrence Ferlinghetti uses the metaphor "Across the small gulf, In the high seas." The separation of the two sets of people here is only a few meters hence the "Small gulf" but the separation and differences of the two classes is portrayed by the poet as huge with vast differences so the poet describes these differences as "In the high seas."

    • Word count: 1543
  13. The two poems I have chosen which convey feelings of alienation and frustration that growing up in a hostile environment such as that of today's society are: "The Places Fault" by Philip Hobsbaum and "Nothings Changed" by Tatamkhula Afrika.

    In verse one the poet describes being physically bullied at school by teachers who picked on and caned him because his work was untidy. When he left the school, he was physically and verbally bullied by other children, presumably because he was overweight and Jewish. " A stone hissed past my ear- 'Yah! gurt fat fool!' " The poet uses onomatopoeia, dialect and alliteration to draw attention to the stage of events and to show how miserable he was. In verse two, ragged street children 'urchins' accuse him of being cowardly, although he appears able to defend himself against them by shouting swear words at them.

    • Word count: 984
  14. Comparing how the themes of freedom and oppression are explored in the poems 'Caged Bird' by Maya Angelou and 'Nothings Changed' by Tatamkhulu Afrika (Poems from Other Cultures)

    Incredibly she has broken down the barriers of 'class' and 'race' through her inspiring poetry and autobiographies. The poem fits in with Angelou's past life since she describes in the poem the discrimination upon Black Americans. The title 'Caged Bird' is a metaphor and the adjective 'Caged' gives the reader an idea of what the poem is relating to. Angelou relates back to the history of slavery since the title influences the reader to think of 'imprisonment' and 'oppression'. "The caged bird sings", Angelou uses this speech to express 'freedom' by 'singing'.

    • Word count: 1610
  15. How do the poets in Nothing's Changed and Charlotte O'Neils Song use their poems as a form of protest

    Apartheid is the political policy of keeping people of different races apart, which was practised in South Africa. Black and white people were segregated from each other; however, District Six was a mixed community. In Charlotte O'Neil's Song, Charlotte O'Neil changes her life by going after her dreams of freedom. She protests to us about the Victorian class system and how far she has to go to get her freedom. Charlotte is at the beck and call of her mistress and tells the reader of her difficult daily life - she wants opportunities of her own.

    • Word count: 1086
  16. Please don't use the computer will be back soon

    Meaning people had to move out of their homes even if they were happy living with other racial colours, and move to their 'colour' zone. A lot of the meaning in this poem is conveyed through the attitude expressed towards its subject; that 'Nothings changed' and that he has lost all hope that things will change. The poem is set in District Six after the apartheid system was abolished. The person in the poem (Tatamkhulu Afrika) is going back to the district he used to live in, until the apartheid system was introduced and District Six turned into an all white area, causing him to have to move from his home.

    • Word count: 840
  17. Compare the Ways in which Old Age is Portrayed within "Old Man, Old Man" and "Warning"

    It is one of the things that are picked up by the poet that will or has already changed. In 'Old Man, Old Man' most of the statements referring to old age are greatly exaggerated for the reason that the reader can imagine how much the man has changed, and therefore a much greater view of his changed image can be seen and noticed. There are some clear signs that this man may have very poor eyesight. A condition common in people of his age. "Now his hands shamble among clues He left for himself when he saw better" And "Living in almost dark, I can see you" Changing physically had more affect on him that it would on anyone else.

    • Word count: 1152
  18. In "nothings changed" the poet Tatamkhulu Afrika, focuses on the difference between the black race and the white race, where as in "two scavengers" Laurence Ferlinghetti focuses on the difference between rich people

    In verse three the poet begins with the word: "Brash.." This means that what is being described as over the top and showy. The poet also uses alliteration: "Name flaring like a flag," Flaring like a flag means that it stands out and doesn't fit in, this describes the restraunt. Also to describe the restraunt the poet writes in line 19: "it squats" This suggests that it isn't meant to be there like squatters are not meant to be where they are and it is not flattering.

    • Word count: 1399
  19. How do the poets convey anger

    'it's in the bone.' [line 40] This indicates the poets perceptive on the influence culture has. It shows that the poet thinks because black people were treated badly and lived poor quality lives, they began to accept the opinions of white people. Even after the abolition of apartheid, they still deem themselves inferior. Continuing on the theme of self image, the persona says 'but we know where we belong.' This indicates the separation between people of the persona's culture and those with different cultures.

    • Word count: 1781
  20. Poetry Coursework:Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes (Lawrence Ferlinghetti) and Nothing's Changed (Tatamkhulu Afrika)

    However, 'Beautiful People' is a compliment. So, right from the start, we feel the garbagemen are at a disadvantage. Ferlinghetti also chose these words to describe their different classes, as they are strong indications of who they are and what they do for a living. Scavenger implies that they are an unimportant and insignificant part of society. Beautiful people suggest that they are high status, highly paid and doing well in life. The second contrast in the title is 'Truck' and 'Mercedes'. This enlightens us further on the social status of the garbagemen and the elegant couple as a garbage truck is associated with waste and rubbish, but a Mercedes implies rich, powerful and stylish.

    • Word count: 1919
  21. Scavengers and Nothing's Changed. Two very different poems, written by two very different poets, both of whom write with regards to their own cultures, backgrounds and places of origin

    There's your first shared theme. Then you got the second: hypocrisy. The hypocrisy theme runs strong in both poems. In Nothing's Changed it's that this poem takes place after a law had been passed against racial discrimination. Laws change. Attitudes don't. There may not be a sign on the door denying the young boy entry, for it is an unwritten law that he is rebelling against. He is rebelling against the attitudes of the people inside the resturant. With Scavengers it is the entire American Dream that is called into question and shown up to be what it is: a lie.

    • Word count: 915
  22. Life under Apartheid deteriorated for most Africans from 1950 to 1970 as the amount of money spent on law and order increased and

    This meant that 84% of the land was given to the whites, even though they were only given 15% of the total population. Blacks were only given 14% of the land, even thought they made up over 80% of the population. This changed lives of black Africans because they had small areas to live in meaning it would be very overcrowded. This was like the whites who had a large amount of space to live in. This was sign if white 'supremacy'.

    • Word count: 1005
  23. Choose a poem by Edwin Morgan in which the poet creates a picture of a heroic or a corrupt figure

    The poem can be split into three parts, as there are three couples involved. The beginning of the poem shows us the young couple are passing by maybe looking at diamond engagement rings, when suddenly they are used as human bricks by two young attackers, and fall backwards into the shop window, suffering the start to bad pain and injuries. While the two attackers continue to go ahead and snatch what they can from this shop. At the meantime the two drivers passing by, focusing on the road ahead trying to avoid the situation, and don't bother helping.

    • Word count: 1402
  24. Compare 'Nothing's Changed to 'Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes', showing how the poets reveal their ideas and feelings about the cultures and traditions that they are writing about.

    The poem also tells us the separations between the rich and poor. The poem 'Nothing's Changed' talks about the separation between the whites and the blacks and how the whites usually treat the black people. The tone in 'Nothing's Changed' is very angry and violent, to show the poets attitude to the fact that nothing has changed. His ideas and violent feelings are revealed in his tone. He shows a very bad attitude towards white people. The tone can be seen as that of a resigned way, as if he knows that it almost too much to hope that things can change.

    • Word count: 769
  25. 'Nothings changed'

    In stanza 1, Afrika clearly builds up a sense of his anger at the continuing injustice. As he walks through District six, once so familiar to him, he feels an outsider. He begins his poem with short monosyllabic words, 'small round stones', which adds a feeling of sharpness to the tone which suggests his anger. In addition, the onomatopoeia word 'click' emphasises his anger because of his sharp aggressive 'ck' sound. Secondly he begins to use harsh and aggressive words, for example the word 'thrust' is a very harsh and unwelcome word, and it sounds very violent and aggressive.

    • Word count: 595

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' by Moniza Alvi and 'Nothings Changed' by Tatamkhulu Afrika - Comment on the conflict between two cultures in the poem and the way the poets express this.

    "In conclusion 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' and 'Nothings changed' are similar in the way that they show the problems that can arise when two conflicting cultures meet. The two poems show the problems in different ways. 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' shows this indirectly in the form of a girl opening gifts from her Pakistani relatives. While the poet in 'Nothings Changed' uses a more emotional direct approach to the issue. Brendan Thorne 27/04/07"

  • Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Poet's Use of Language in "Nothing's Changed" and "Two Scavengers in a Truck,

    "To conclude the poem "Two scavengers in a truck, Two beautiful people in a Mercedes", Ferlinghetti describes two classes of people as they stop at a red light. Two garbagemen "on their way home" after finishing their days work, the second set is two high class elegant people "On the way to his architects office." The garbage men's day ends when the young couples begins. The poet compares the two lives and then seems to ask, at the end of the poem - whether America really is a democracy? Tatamkhulu Afrika's poem describes the troubled past of Africa's treatment of colored people, a subject we know the poet fought against. He describes the separation in the past, before 'showing' us the present. He describes how he feels nothing really had changed and his anger makes him want to destroy all the injustice done against colored people."

  • Compare the Ways in which Old Age is Portrayed within "Old Man, Old Man" and "Warning"

    "In conclusion, by comparing these two poems it meant comparing two very different views and ideas of how old aged is portrayed. In 'Old Man, Old Man' old age is like the beginning of the end of life as in 'Warning' Joseph puts the idea that old age is a new beginning for her, and therefore the poem is more optimistic to the reader. There are few comparisons that can be made between the two poems, but there are some in that at old age there is a change of some kind. Graham Conner 11c Miss Kitson"

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