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GCSE Essay Cultural Poems

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GCSE Essay Poems from Different Cultures In this essay will be the poems, 'Nothing's Changed' by Tatamkhulu Afrika and 'Two Scavengers in a Truck' written by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Tatamkhulu Afrika is trying to emphasise the pain of black people being disallowed to associate with white people, although the apartheid has been lifted. In the second poem, Two Scavengers in a Truck, Lawrence Ferlinghetti is writing about people that are of different groups once again but in this context he has wrote about garbage men and two beautiful people in a Mercedes. In this case, the subjects are separated, as you don't associate garbage men with two people who are rich, elegant and dressed in a three-piece linen suit. In this essay, I plan to compare how the two poets explore cultural issues and attitudes in their work. In the first part of my essay, I am going to write about Tatamkhulu Afrika's poem, 'Nothings Changed', in which he talks about the cultural difficulties of living in District Six, in this particular case, the difficulty of not being allowed to eat in a fancy restaurant and how this represents many aspects of their cultural existence. District Six had been under apartheid although it had now been lifted. Apartheid is a system of racial segregation and repression of non-white people in pre-democratic South Africa. The poem 'Nothing's Changed' is wrote in first person, as it is personal to Tatamkhulu, in the sense that he is from South Africa and was once living in District Six with the apartheid in order. Afrika also writes this poem in first person as he thinks strongly about the topic, as he has been victim to racial abuse. When Afrika was growing up, he was actually Egyptian born as the child of an Arab father and a Turkish mother. The South African government began to classify every citizen by colour - white, black and coloured. ...read more.


I think Tatamkhulu Afrika uses the expression 'shiver' because the people are cold hearted and evil. He has now expressed all of his feeling, from upset and sadness to anger in this poem. At the start he was very descriptive when setting the scene and showing his feelings. He ends by writing 'Nothing's Changed', which is significant as he is talking about racial prejudice throughout the poem. At the beginning he says that nothing has changed as when he last visited District Six the apartheid was in motion and even though it has now been lifted there is still that little hint of it still in the air. As he finds out when he isn't allowed inside the restaurant 'No sign says it is but we know where we belong' this short verse says it all about the racial discrimination even without the apartheid. Imagine what it would have been like when it was the law for black people not to mix with white people. In Tatamkhulu Afrika's poem he has explored cultural issues such as the discrimination; the apartheid and expressed his feelings and attitude towards it in an angry tone. In the next poem I have been reading, the message is the same as 'Nothing's Changed' because in this poem there are two different kinds of people that shouldn't mix. However in 'Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes' this group of people shouldn't mix as they are socially worlds apart but in 'Nothing's Changed' the subjects couldn't mix as culture is holding them back. The writer of 'Two Scavengers', Lawrence Ferlinghetti, shows the message of cultural issues in a different way than Afrika, whereas he was showing them in a form of racial abuse, Ferlinghetti puts them across as social issues. Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in Yonkers, New York on March 24th 1919. He began writing poetry during his years at boarding school in the late 1920's. ...read more.


Yet we also think of other meaning of gulf - a deep chasm or abyss. It may look easy to cross but really, it is impossible. The lives of the two pairs may cross 'for an instant', but they will never be genuinely close together. The poet writes 'as if they were watching some odourless TV ad', because when you see something on television they make everything look possible but in actual fact, the garbage men just could never become rich and stylish like the beautiful people in the Mercedes. I have now analysed both poems, given quotes and explained them. Therefore, we conclude both poems. In the first, 'N.C' written by Tatamkhulu Afrika he explores the cultural issues of racial discrimination and his attitude towards it. In the second of the two, Two Scavengers, written by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, he explores the cultural issues of social discrimination and his attitude towards it. In the poem, N.C Afrika describes the posh restaurant by writing 'linen-falls' and then when he comes to describing the caf� he writes 'eat it at a plastic table's top' making a direct comparison between the posh restaurant and the grubby caf�. In Ferlinghetti's poem 'Two Scavengers...' he describes what the beautiful man is wearing, which is a 'three-piece linen suit' and then when he describes the garbage men, they are wearing 'red plastic blazers'. This is again another comparison between the two types of people. In addition, both poems have used these comparisons to split the two groups of society apart. Both poets use their attitude in the poems but whereas Afrika writes his in first person and Ferlinghetti writes his in third person Afrika's poem has more feeling as it is from his point of view. In the first poem, 'Nothing's Changed', Tatamkhulu uses his point of view to get his feelings across, but in 'Two Scavengers...' Lawrence does not write it using his feelings, therefore making the poem 'Nothing's Changed' much stronger. ...read more.

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