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

In Piano and Drums, Gabriel Okara has effectively managed to present two conflicting cultures, both of which he is a part of, through the form of music. On one hand is his innate African culture symbolised by the raw wild beating

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Piano and Drums, Gabriel Okara has effectively managed to present two conflicting cultures, both of which he is a part of, through the form of music. On one hand is his innate African culture symbolised by the raw wild beating of the drums and on the other hand is the soft melodic and complicated rhythm of the piano, symbolising foreign European culture that has invaded his African homeland. Throughout the poem, he discusses both cultures but it seems as if he has already made up his mind about one. In the first stanza, Okara describes how and where he hears the beat of the drums. "When at break of day" suggests the time when he heard the beat but it could also mean rebirth or a new beginning for his African side. The words that Okara uses to describe the drums are all short, monosyllabic words like "mystic," "urgent" and "raw." These words mimic the sound of the drums as if they are also in harsh short bursts. This is further supported by the use of the word "telegraphing" as a telegraph transmits short message bursts rather than one long sound. ...read more.

Middle

Okara describes how the drums take him back to his childhood and life as a hunter. His "blood ripples," this action suggests that the rippling is just the beginning and then it "turns torrent, topples the years." The blood could mean the feelings locked up inside him that suddenly boil and come rushing out like a flood, destroying all his years of experience and foreign culture and "at once" transporting him into his childhood. The alliteration in "turns torrent, topples," increases the pace of the action, making it seem fast, violent and terrible. Okara is transported to his mother's "laps" where he is "a suckling." "Mother" here could be a reference to nature and "a suckling" suggests a feeling of fulfilment and contentment. Okara talks about walking down "paths" instead of streets or roads as the "paths" are "rugged" and "fashioned with feet" and lacking "innovation." All of these show the simplicity of the African way of life, without any modernism but Okara seems to be happy . The third stanza finally speaks of the piano. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final stanza is sort of like a conclusion but not exactly. It is a conclusion to the poem but not to his feelings of discrepancy. Even though it already seems as if he values the drums before the piano, he is still plagued by the piano calling to him. Here, the "morning mist" mimics his feelings of confusion, also supported by "wandering" showing that he hasn't come to a final conclusion. Okara feels more from the drums as is evident in the two long paragraphs full of simplistic language and sensory images against the one bare and short stanza of complex language with no sensory images at all. Even the structure of the poem shows his preference as the drums are described with passion as "mystic, raw and urgent" while the piano is described in small breaking lines as if the piano (colonisation) calls to him but he doesn't want to go. Though Okara has made up his mind half-way about which culture he prefers, he can't abandon one and pick the other as he is still being called to by both of them. The final stanza states this confusion. ...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 Comparing poems section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 Comparing poems essays

  1. Culture; what is it and where does it come from?

    One thing I can relate to is the last stanza, quoting "Every time I think I've forgotten, I think I've lost my mother tongue, it blossoms out of my mouth", every time I start to speak English Urdu just comes out my mouth.

  2. English essay: "Piano and Drums."

    reminiscent of his childhood to when things were simpler and carefree, "in my mother's lap a suckling." The repetition of the 't' sound in "turns, torrent and topples are plosives, they are not harsh and are intimate, like a life force and is tribal.

  1. Comparing and Contrasting Poems

    be built in the time of the Nazis; this line surely tells us how much Rafat is against the ritual. Rafat is comparing the foundations of a home to a camp where 25,613 prisoners are believed to have died, I think the reason he has done this is because he

  2. Examine the way in which Culture affects the relationships of the main characters in ...

    Okeke shows many times that he cares for Veronica although in the text it doesn't really say what Veronica feels about him. Okeke is the narrator of the story and always says it from his perspective; Veronica is more passive because it doesn't say how she feels.

  1. Clash of cultures coursework

    the view as being able to "look down and see what everyone was doing" symbolises social class and the difference between Cathy and the Indian people below her. This may be that around the time the story was written (1960s)

  2. What View of African Culture is portrayed in Veronica(TM) giving a personal view(TM)?

    She catered for her sisters and brothers, probably cooked as well, and even undertook some of her father's responsibilities. The author, Adewale Maja-Pearce, who telling from the Surname has obviously some Western influence or blood in her, tried to reveal children as not living their childhood properly.

  1. Different Cultures

    The immorality act didn't only prevent white and black relations but Indian and coloured relations as well. This was because the government wanted the white race as the top class. This meant that if two races were to have a relationship it meant two classes were having a relationship.

  2. What is a culture? How does it affect the behaviour of an individual?

    There is no status barrier between manager and co-workers (Hofstede, low p.d.). Distaste for bureaucratic procedures is evidently clear in the organisation. Managers are discouraged to apply formal rules. Degree of formality is minimal here, suggesting it as a loosely controlled culture (Hofstede, 1980).

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