• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain how 'What Were They Like' and 'Vultures' make the reader - Think carefully about the nature of evil

Extracts from this document...


Gemma Phillips 10-1/T 15th November 2002 Explain how 'What Were They Like' and 'Vultures' make the reader Think carefully about the nature of evil The two poems, 'What Were They Like' and 'Vultures' make the reader think carefully about the nature of evil due to the use of poetic devices by the authors Chinua Achebe and Denise Levertov, the way in which each poem is structured and presented and also the way in which evil is shown in each poem. The poem 'Vultures' portrays a contrast between good and evil, it shows how the two elements can be linked even through complete dissimilarity. ...read more.


It is a series of questions followed by answers which are not fully complete. Both poems use negative adjectives to show the nature of evil. Examples of this from 'Vultures' are greyness, dead, broken, cold, strange and gross. Silent, smashed, charred and bitter are only a few examples of the many in 'What Were They Like'. The use of these negative adjectives shows the authors disapproving opinion of the events described in each poem. Chinua Achebe uses alliteration to9 show his feelings in phrases such as 'drizzle of one despondent' and 'Praise bounteous Providence'. ...read more.


The presentation of 'What Were They Like' is very effective. There are six questions one after another in the first stanza followed by the six answers in the second stanza. The poet answers the questions from what seems like a child's point of view, not quite fully understanding what has happened. Both poems are similar in the way that they are both linked by describing evil through war and conflict. 'Vultures' is relating to the 2nd World War extermination camp at Belsen where many innocent children were destroyed. In the same way, 'What Were They Like' relates to the Vietnamese War where also, many innocent children were wiped out. This is very powerful and is shown very well in each of the poems. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Chinua Achebe: Vultures section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Chinua Achebe: Vultures essays

  1. To what extent do you feel that Achebe intends the reader to be sympathetic ...

    'Things Fall Apart' is a novel that is able to erode these British stereotypes and present uniquely an account of colonisation from the viewpoint of the African people themselves. Achebe shows that native communities had religion, rich culture (with a detailed history)

  2. Comparison Between "Vultures" and "What Were They Like?"

    "What were they like?" also has a similar subject to "Vultures" but the subject does not link in the same way. "Vultures" portrays a contrast between good and evil directly, how evil things have good sides to them whereas in "What were they like?"

  1. Do you agree that Achebe shows an "awareness of the human qualities common to ...

    But I want you to have nothing to do with it. He calls you his father." Okonkwo's actions, specifically culturally are viewed as immoral. His actions would likely be condemned by men from all times and places though and this is Achebe's intention.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting The poems 'Vultures' by Chinua Achebe and 'What were they like?' ...

    Denise Levertov uses a unique structure for the poem. She uses a sequence of numbered questions followed by the answers. The questions are to the point and reflect the innocent lives of the poor peasants living in Vietnam at the time of the war. Chinua Achebe's poem seems to be set out in four verses but actually it is two.

  1. Compare 'Vultures' by Chinua Achebe and 'What were they like?' by Denise Levertov

    The mouths of innocent children were burned. How could they laugh then? To answer the fourth question about ornaments, the speaker says they don't need ornaments made from animal bone when human bones have been burned by bombs. To answer a question about their epic poems [poems that celebrate the past] the speaker says the war has wiped out memory.

  2. Vultures - poem review.

    (Think of wheat germ rather than disease-carrying germs.) Sound * There is some alliteration in the poem, but otherwise Achebe concentrates on visual images rather than sound effects to present his ideas. Attitude, tone and ideas Much of the meaning of a poem is conveyed by the attitude it expresses toward its subject matter.

  1. Compare and contrast the poems "Vultures" and "Night of the Scorpion", analysing how they ...

    be some good or depressed and in despair because in the family life of the Belson commandant lurks an evil which could ruin their lives any time. Night of the Scorpion The title denotes power and control from the scorpion as one night the scorpion ruled and controlled everything that happened.

  2. Comparsion of Anthology Poetry (Two Scavengers and

    "Like some gargoyle Quasimodo" The reference to Quasimodo has great effect because people already know the story of the 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' and he is portrayed as being an ugly creature, so the implication is that the scavenger is of the same nature.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work