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I have been asked to compare two poems. I will be writing about

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Introduction

I have been asked to compare two poems. I will be writing about "Nothing's changed" by Tamamklula Afrika and "Charlotte O'Neil's song" by Fiona Farrell. Both poets are protesting about the injustices and inequalities of their own respective cultures. In "Nothing's Changed" Afrika protests about the differences in the way that black and white people are treated in South Africa. The poem illustrates how, although the South African apartheid system was abolished in the early 1990s nothing had really changed beyond paperwork. Afrika was once quoted in an interview as saying "We may have a new constitution, we may have on the face of it all a beautiful democracy, but the racism in this country is widespread. We try to pretend to the world that it does not exist but it most certainly does, all day long, every day, shocking and saddening and terrible." He reinforces these feelings in his poem. He begins the poem in a calm mood. He describes his walk down the path towards district six in a calm, almost leisurely way. When he reaches district six the sense of calm leaves and the anger in the poem starts to become apparent. He talks about how there is no sign to show the name of the area but he can feel it. "No board says it is: But my feet know, And my hands, And the skin about my bones, And the soft labouring of my lungs, And the hot, white, inwards turning Anger of my eyes." ...read more.

Middle

It's saying how that when you are black you are born black and you will die black; you will never become any more than you are because of who you are. Yet more discrimination against people which has been instilled by the apartheid system. "I back from the glass, Boy again, Leaving small, mean O Of small, mean mouth. Hands burn For a stone, a bomb, To shiver down the glass. Nothing's changed." Here he is remembering being a child when apartheid was at its height. He is remembering the anger he felt as a younger man at being set apart from white people and being denied the same rights and opportunities as the white children. The voice of the poem is one of great anger and bitterness. Afrika is protesting with words against the inequalities in his society, a society where the majority of the people are held back from even attempting to reach their full potential as intelligent human beings simply because of something as insignificant as the colour of their skin. These inequalities seem to be mainly expressed by the repeated references to the glass. Afrika is always on the outside looking in upon the life he is denied because of the colour of his skin. This final stanza shows us the violent thoughts that Afrika has simply because the situation is beyond reasoning. The white's only is appears to be a symbol of so called white supremacy and he wants to destroy it. ...read more.

Conclusion

In those days a trip overseas was not an easy task, it was a long, hard trawl through endless seas with many hazards. To chance this journey to travel to a land she had never been to, where she knew no-one and had none or very little money she must have reached the end of her tether. Her desperation is not shown so much in her words but in her actions. She desperately wants more than what she has and she knows in her heart that she will never achieve any of her goals if she stays where she is. She is making her own personal protest about the situation in her culture by leaving it in the hope of finding another. Farrel and Afrika have both chosen to protest about different inequalities with words and both do it well. Afrika protested about the difficulties faced by black people in South Africa and Farrel made her stand about the inequalities poor people in England faced. Both made their complaints know to the world about two very different but very relevant subjects with poetry. Both poems are about hardship and the horrible injustices in human society in recent years and although set in different countries and about different kinds of inequality there is a definite feeling that both poems are talking about the same thing. Injustice. Rebecca Elson English cousework. Texts from other cultures. ...read more.

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