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

How do the poets of Half-Caste and Not my Business talk about discrimination?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How do the poets of 'Half-Caste' and 'Not my Business' talk about discrimination? Our thoughts are unseen hands shaping the people we meet. Whatever we truly think them to be, that's what they'll become in our eyes. Discrimination is the locks on the door to wisdom, two poems which enlighten us about the issues of discrimination are, 'Half-Caste' and 'Not my Business'. Agard states that those who discriminate others because of who they are, will only receive half or no respect at all, "I'm sure you'll understand, why I offer yu half-a-hand". This line reveals Agard's frustration as he refuses to respect those who have stereotypes; he aims to put across to the reader that any kind of discrimination is wrong. In the same way, Osundare protests against complacency. In this poem the narrator witnesses three catastrophic events based on discrimination in which he does not choose to act upon, "So long they don't take the yam from my savouring mouth". The poet aims to get across a fable with a deep moral in it. ...read more.

Middle

This example is perhaps even more potent, since the black and white keys are used as metaphors referring to black and white people. It is obvious that a composer would use both black and white keys of a piano: nobody would question such a thing, so Agard argues that people of mixed nationality, having one black parent and one white parent, should be accepted in the same way that Tchaikovsky's music is. Conversely, In the poem 'Not My Business' the poet doesn't comment so much on injustice, he is waiting for it to happen to him. The poem begins with violent verbs such as "beat", "stuffed". This instantly conveys to the reader that the message of the poem has something to do with violence and injustice. These brutal verbs portray to the reader vivid images of the brutality triggered in the tragic events: causing them to empathise with the poet. The poet's use of personification and metaphors to create the thought of being "stuffed" into "the belly of a waiting jeep" illustrates an idea that the jeep is a machine or monster- which obviously has no feelings. ...read more.

Conclusion

the first stanza is said in an ironic tone, it's very obvious to the reader he isn't standing on one leg but does this to mock those who have strong stereotype. He objects to being called half a human being, and asserts that there is much more to him than we realise. Likewise, The title 'Not My Business' is ironic as in the end all that has gone on that "isn't his business" eventually happens to him and so becomes his business. The final stanza creates a moment of suspense, "Waiting, waiting in its usual silence." This frightens the reader causing them to contemplation of what could have happened to the apathetic narrator- as they now know that no one will be there to help him. Osundare makes the reader reflect deeply on what could have happened to all the victims and the carefree narrator. The poem has been structured in the style of a ballad or a song: to resemble the teaching of a moral from a ballad or song. Equally, both Agard and Osundare demand that readers look, "wid de whole of yu eye" and understand that they must prioritise helping others in order to stand up for our justice; instead of worrying about their, "savouring mouth". ...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 John Agard: Half-Caste section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This is an exceptional piece of work, it goes into a suitable depth and is engaging. The candidate clearly answers the set question and does so with flair. S/he goes into a suitable depth and the essay is interesting to ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This is an exceptional piece of work, it goes into a suitable depth and is engaging. The candidate clearly answers the set question and does so with flair. S/he goes into a suitable depth and the essay is interesting to read. I do feel that this would flow better if the candidate changed the layout so that they discussed all the points from one poem followed by all the points of the next, jumping between to two can make the essay hard to follow.

Level of analysis

The candidate chooses suitable quotations and goes into a sufficient level of analysis to back up their ideas. S/he manages to talk about the poets feelings and the moral within ‘Not my business’ which is that you shouldn’t ignore abuse because one day it might happen to you too. We should stand up and fight against oppressive regimes. The candidate has also clearly understood the attitude of John Agard’s poem ‘half-caste’ and how he is mocking those that discriminate against others. In addition the candidate appropriately discusses linguistic terms such as the use of metaphors, which is expected form an A grade student. My only qualm would be that the conclusion could be stronger, I would like to see the candidates personal opinions coming though as well as a summary of their key points and ideas.

Quality of writing

This is a fantastic example of a high quality essay, it is fluent, the candidate has used a good range of vocabulary and there are no issues with spelling or grammar.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by PicturePerfect 25/02/2012

Read less
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 John Agard: Half-Caste essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How are anger and frustration presented in 'Nothing's Changed' and 'Half-Caste'?

    3 star(s)

    An example of how they are linked is shown by the use of glass. Like I said about racism that the glass acts as a barrier separating the white people from the black, the glass is used as other things as well.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Compare How Agard Challenges Particular Values and Ways of Thinking in Listen Mr. Oxford ...

    4 star(s)

    Do we say it because we feel prejudiced towards people of mixed ethnicity? In 'Listen Mr. Oxford Don', the tone starts off lightly; this is when he's talking about who he is and where he's from. As the poem goes on, he begins to talk about violence, "I ent have no gun, I ent have no knife".

  1. Poems From Other Cultures

    Much of the meaning of a poem is conveyed by the attitude it expresses toward its subject matter. 'Attitude' can be thought of as a combination of the poet's tone of voice, and the ideas he or she is trying to get across to the reader.

  2. I have chosen Half-Caste and Nothing's Changed because both discuss the issue of racism.

    Nothing's Changed give details to most of the environment in which the poet go through and come across, like when he is striding above the 'hard stones' and 'amiable weeds'. As a reader you can picture Tatamkhulu looking up from the 'grasses' and have a image of a board saying

  1. Compare and Contrast Search for my tongue and Half caste.

    The poet doesn't use a capital letter for Tchaikovsky because we imagine him composing a half caste symphony. Again he refuses to follow the rules of English Grammar using Creole grammar and by doing this he is insulting the audience who have been prejudiced and showing them he is proud of what he is writing.

  2. Poetry Analysis of: Limbo, Blessing, and Half caste

    The poem is colloquial, written as if spoken to someone with imperatives (commands) like "Explain yuself" and questions like "wha yu mean". The punctuation is non-standard using the hyphen (-) and slash (/) but no comma nor full stop, not even at the end.

  1. Outline the significant features of the Caste system, and Comment on the criticisms made ...

    product of ancient times incompatible with "modern life"; it is perhaps from this reason that within the caturvarna are thousands of Jatis. The caste system's evolution began with nomadic tribal people of the Aryans. In its nomadic state Aryan society was divided into the priests, warriors and "the rest", but

  2. Comparing Poems

    This softens the convict's so far black and heartless shell, but only slightly. When he learns that Pips brother in law who he lives with is a blacksmith, he sees a way out of his desperate predicament. When the convict commands Pip to bring him a file and some food,

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