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Comparing Blessing with Nothing's Changed

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Joshua Martin Poems from different cultures Compare 'Nothing's Changed' with 'Blessing'. Consider what each poem suggests about people and places. In this essay, I shall be exploring what the poems "Blessing" and "Nothing's Changed" suggest about people and places. Imtiaz Dharker is a British-Pakistani poet who wrote 'Blessing'. Dharker writes about the issues she has faced being a Pakistani in Scotland and also the guilt she feels when she sees the suffering of people in her homeland. In 'Nothing's Changed' she explores the issue of water deficiency within a village just outside of Bombay. The other poem I shall be exploring is 'Nothing's Changed' wrote by South African poet Tatamkhula Afrika. Afrika lived in South Africa which followed a policy of apartheid; black and white people were segregated on the belief that blacks were inferior. Afrika later in his life re-identified himself as African. "Nothing's Changed" was wrote shortly after apartheid. The poem maintains throughout a high sense of bitterness and anger from Afrika. In both poems there is a degree of setting and tone, established in the immediate sentences. 'Nothing's Changed' presents a wasteland like setting. Special attention is placed on the inequalities of the floor, such as the 'hard stones' and the 'cans, trodden on'. Through the use of punctuation, especially commas, and also elongated language with words such as 'bearded seeds' and 'amiable weeds' a sense of slow, trudging rhythm is established and gives the reader the impression that the first person narrative does not want to be there. ...read more.


To make this point clear, Afrika uses a clever simile 'name flaring like a flag'. The flag refers to the white people and their culture that they impose on South Africa. The word flaring means to burn brightly, therefore implicating that the white people make a point of showing who they are. The fact that they flare like a 'flag' also brings the reader to think of people who conquer countries and then place there flag there; Afrika may feel South Africa has been conquered by the White people. In contrast, Afrika's description when describing the 'working man's caf�' is direct. The comparison between the white's inn and the working man's caf� demonstrates this contrast. He describes the working man's caf� with it's 'plastic table tops' against the 'linen falls' of the whites inn. He further shows this contrast when describing how the 'haute cuisine' has become 'bunny chow'. These contrasts show that the 'working man's caf�' or in other words, the restaurant of the working class, the average man, is much less expensive and grand. Afrika says that they 'spit a little on the floor'. To most readers this might seem unhygienic and rude, therefore slightly discomforting them. Afrika however does this porously for dramatic effect, which becomes clear when he says 'it's in the bone'. In this, he is revealing the nature of the Joshua Martin black people. ...read more.


Describing the 'White's Inn' as extremely eloquent and extravagant with 'linen falls' and 'haute cuisine' in contrast to the 'working man's caf�' in which people 'spit a little on the floor'. The contrast in these two places is not used to show how better off the white people are but that the white people in South Africa use their wealth to impose their Joshua Martin culture on the indigenous population. Afrika personally expresses his anger to the audience, suggesting that the black population are angry at the way the white people enforce their culture. The poem Blessing, through using key words such as 'hut' and 'skin cracks like a pod' suggest that the setting is neglected. Describing the 'municipal' pipe as bursting suggests that it is the people in charge which try and forget their suffering, leaving them to decay. Dharker creates a sense of atmosphere of community and also desperation through the words 'congregation' and 'frantic'. The atmosphere is also created when the people all work to collect water from the burst municipal pipe. From the two poems, I preferred 'Nothing's Changed'. I enjoyed the contrast between the two caf�s as it challenged you to think of the emotions of the indigenous population. I also thought that the poem being in the first person allowed the reader to become much more involved in the poem as all the senses could be used. The perspective of the first person also allowed for the reader to really feel his anger and other emotions as he realised that nothing had changed. Joshua Martin 11L ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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