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How does Grace Nichols express her relationship with the two cultures she belong to - South American and British.

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Introduction

How does Grace Nichols express her relationship with the two cultures she belong to Grace Nichols was born in a place in South America called Guyana but now she lives in London. Themes and images that keep recurring in her poems are of homesickness, emotions, her split culture, perception of self and nature. Grace Nichols shows this through images of food, senses, landscape, nature and colours. In her poems Nichols expresses her relationship with the two cultures through physical issues of travel and journey. The poem that expresses this best is Island Man. Island Man is narrated by a voice that we can assume is Nichols playing a character because it is written in a third person narrative. This poem is written from the point of view of a man. This is an effective technique because it shows us that it is not only Grace Nichols who feels this way but hundreds of people in London feel longing for their homeland and it also reveals the depth of the poets love for her homeland. In Island Man the central theme is of longing for home. ...read more.

Middle

The closing image in "Island Man" of the island man having to "heave" himself out of bed for "another London day" leaves the reader feeling sorry sad and sorry for him. The final line in "Like A Beacon" also leaves the reader feeling sad and sorry for her, but also happy for her as she has found something that connects her to her homeland and it is like a "beacon" for her I feel the most successful image in Island Man is when he says "small emerald island", this metaphor of his island being an emerald reveals that the poet has an image of lush of greenery and since an emerald is a precious jewel that the poet feels her homeland is precious. I feel the most successful image in "Like A Beacon" is of her bag being "like a beacon against the cold". I think the beacon was an excellent symbol to use as it could symbolize so many things for example light, beam, hope, and guide. Although the images in both poems are not exactly the same, they both convey the feeling of homesickness and longing for a connection with home. ...read more.

Conclusion

physically is what she will call home "wherever I hang my knickers that's my home" I think that Nichols wrote this poem a long time after "Island Man" and "Like A Beacon" and in this poem although she still feels home sick for Guyana and the ways of Guyana, she is slowly starting to accept that London is also her home. I feel that Nichols expresses her sense of longing and home sickness for Guyana while living in London most successfully in the poem "Like A Beacon" because she uses words like "craving" and she repeats "I need" and it shows the poet does not have control over her want for her home land. The overall mood of the poem is one of slight desperation whereas the mood in "Island Man" is one of sadness. But the poem that expresses Grace Nichols relationship with her two cultures best is "Wherever I Hang". In this poem she acknowledges her two different cultures and accepts them. "I get accustom to de English life but I still miss back home side" In conclusion, I feel that Nichols has successfully expressed her feelings for the two cultures she belongs to. Iram Tariq 1 English coursework ...read more.

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