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Explore the theme of protest in the poems limbo, Nothings changed and Not my Business.

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Introduction

Explore the theme of protest in the poems "Nothing's changed" and "Not my Business". The most predominant theme in the two poems is that of sheer desperation. The notion of hope and hopelessness is effectively conveyed, representing the poet's anger at the absence of democracy and equanimity in society. They struggle to restrain this frustration towards the outrageous political and social racism made against ethnic minorities in the way they have been. However, thematically, the way the oppressed deal with the unjust and prejudiced policies installed into society differs greatly between the poems. In Nothing's Changed the poet returns to the wasteland that was once his home, and relives the anger he felt when the area was first destroyed. When confronted with the new hotels and the restaurants, which are surrounded by the poverty and suffering - his deep content forces him to want to destroy the restaurant - "with a stone or a bomb". This makes him reflect that despite the changing political situation, there are still huge inequalities between blacks and whites. Nothing's changed. Therefore, the subdued message in "Nothing's Changed" is the Whereas, in Not my business a different message is conveyed, as in the beginning stanzas Osundare sits back, grateful he is safe, as those around him are taken away. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, through consistency and regulation in the structure the poets reflect the relentlessness of government regime and ongoing racial attitudes. Despite the morally unjust and unsubstantiated discrimination which still exists, there are no breaks in the poems and this represents the way racism has become embedded into society and people's lives, so much so that the poets see no reason to stop the fluency of the poem because of it. On the other hand, this consistency in the structure could relate to the emotional state of the poet and their reaction to the injustices progressing in the poem. In Nothing's Changed the structure appears regulated, implying the poet is managing to keep his emotions in check and accept the racism in South Africa. However, within the stanza's there are irregular line breaks and punctuation giving the poem a sense of choppiness, suggesting there are internal issues which the poet is struggling to control as the poem becomes progressively unfair. These line breaks and irregularities may, alternatively, symbolise the way that the government claim to have ended the apartheid and it appears over, however there are still underlying issues which exist in society. In addition, the punctuation creates speed and therefore tension, which creates a sense of ambiguity; the regularity of the stanza construction, evoking the concept of detached rationalism, contrasting with the wildly fluctuating line length, suggesting that the poet is struggling to contain his emotion. ...read more.

Conclusion

The government seem like a faceless and impersonal tyrant, who through bribing the people of their "yam" are enforcing a deadly regime that, much like the Nazi one, see's people taken away randomly, to die. The range and extent of the vocabulary used differs mostly between Not my Business and Nothing Changed. In Nothing's changed Afrika is very detailed in his description of the wasteland. The "purple flowering" represents the White population at the beginning of the poem. The purple connotes royalty and class representing their superior position in society. The "flowering" implies growth and development, perhaps, socially, the problems getting worse and the racism is becoming stronger. This juxtaposes the "amiable weeds" which relates to the Blacks position, the way they are out of place and unwanted in society. The Blacks have removed them like an owner of a garden would remove a weed. Moreover, the images in the poem - of the wasteland itself, the expensive restaurant, and the working man's cafe - are sharply contrasted to create a sense of division, mirroring the division within the country itself and within the poet's mind. The stark difference In Nothing's Changed, Afrika says the Inn is "flaring like a flag" meaning it is glaringly bright. Flaring has another meaning: spreading gradually outwards, which is relevant to Afrika's feelings, as the Inn's whites only prejudice is spreading throughout district six. ...read more.

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