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How Does Grace Nichols Explore the Feelings and Experiences of Immigrants?

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Introduction

How Does Grace Nichols Explore the Feelings and Experiences of Immigrants? In "Wherever I Hang", "Island Man" and "My Gran Visits England" Grace Nichols explores the feelings and experiences of immigrants in a variety of ways. She develops the contrasting themes of alienation and enthusiasm differently in each of the poems, for example. She also uses many types of figurative language including imagery, similes, metaphors and alliteration to describe the differences in the English and Caribbean cultures. Her use of Guyanese dialect is also evident - especially in 'Wherever I Hang' where the first line immediately gives us a sense of the confusion many immigrants seem to feel about why they have emigrated in the first place: 'I leave me people, me land, me home For reasons I not too sure...' Here, as well as suggesting confusion, the use of dialect highlights the Caribbean roots of the character, roots she still holds onto even in her new environment and this argument between the two different environments continues in all three poems. Each of the poems is written from a different perspective. In 'Wherever I Hang' Grace Nichols has tried to convey a tone of confusion by telling us how the character has had to change her culture and way of life. ...read more.

Middle

The image of people 'pouring from the de underground like beans' is a wonderful simile that suggests crowding and lack of space in contrast to the images of sea and space which are associated with the Caribbean in the poems. Like 'Wherever I Hang' the 'blue surf' and the 'small emerald island' in 'Island Man' also show the colourful side of the Caribbean in contrast to the 'grey metallic soar to surge of wheels' in 'Another London day'. In each of these three poems, Grace Nichols has used structure to convey each character's state of mind and to reinforce the already discussed themes of alienation and enthusiasm. For example, "Island Man", as mentioned already, is a very lonely and depressed character. This fact is enhanced by the confusing structure of the poem, as it doesn't seem to have much of one. What structure there is, is very loose. It seems like "Island Man" could possibly be just a dream or thought in the character's head that he has had in his confusion. 5 Lines 3 Lines 3 Lines VERY LOOSE STRUCTURE 4 Lines 3 Lines 1 Line The poem "My Gran Visits England" however has a very clear structure; it has four lines in each verse and a couplet at the end. ...read more.

Conclusion

He still dreams about his old home and this for me makes it sadder because his beautiful dream always gets interrupted by the "dull north circular roar". "He always comes back...groggily groggily Comes back to sands Of a grey metallic soar To a surge of wheels To a dull north circular roar." This quote is showing us the man waking up in the morning and how he always comes back, he never gets to stay at his island. All the beautiful sand turns grey and metallic as he wakes up to "Another London day". I feel very sorry for the man as I imagine it is probably like the feeling you get when you wan to go back after coming back from a holiday, except much worse. I smile when I read "My Gran" because I get a real feeling of understanding as "Gran" reminds me of my own gran. I can relate to the annoyance that the grandchild gets at her grans naivete. "She'd hardly put her suitcase when she began a digging spree Out in the back garden To see what she could see" This really enhances the grans naivete as she thinks you can tell what a place is like by digging up the earth. This makes me fell quite happy and want to smile as it reminds me so much of my own Gran. ...read more.

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