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

In What Were They Like and Nothings Changed, both Levertov and Afrika illustrate a sense of meaning about Viet Nam and District Six by using linguistic and structural techniques.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare the ways poets use structure and language to convey meaning in 'What Were they Like?' and one other poem In 'What Were They Like' and 'Nothing's Changed', both Levertov and Afrika illustrate a sense of meaning about 'Viet Nam' and 'District Six' by using linguistic and structural techniques. Levertov explores the loss of the Vietnamese cultures while Afrika represents the racial divide that continues to exist even post-Apartheid. Firstly, both writers use strong language choices to demonstrate their anger towards the loss of culture and racial divide that is apparent in both areas. In 'Nothing's Changed' the poet uses words such as 'hot, white [anger}' to illustrate how frustrated he is. The anger and rage that has developed inside the protagonist has affected him both physically and emotionally. Indeed, he wants to break the barrier between the two races as he yearns for 'a stone, a bomb, to shiver down the glass'. ...read more.

Middle

The poet uses this to convey to the reader that such earth-loving people who ' [delighted] in blossom' and worked in 'paddies' have become 'silent now'. In 'Nothing's Changed, however, the reference to nature is used to make the 'white's only inn stand out'. For instance, Afrika says that the inn 'squats in the grass and weeds'. The inn itself is built upon the very foundations of District Six. The poet is suggesting that the inn is artificial and 'flares like a flag'. Furthermore, the inn is surrounded by 'incipient Port Jackson trees'. 'Incipient' suggests that the trees themselves are new. Moreover, 'Port Jackson' tries are not indigenous to District Six and have been imported from elsewhere. In addition, the poets use structure to represent meaning within the poem. In 'Nothing's Changed', anger is expressed by the protagonist as a result of the minimal change that has occurred in the lives of black people. ...read more.

Conclusion

This reflects upon the poet's message as it shows that segregation still exists within District Six and the blacks still know where they 'belong'. In 'What Were They Like', the tile poses a question to the reader and it suggests that this will be answered throughout the poem. However, it isn't because Levertov ends the poem with the question 'Who can say?' This final question reinforces how the culture has been destroyed by the American-Vietnamese war because even at the end of the poem; there is still ambiguity to whether the Vietnamese 'terraces' and 'paddies' existed or not. In conclusion, both poets express meaning to the reader by a mix of both structural and linguistic devices. One shows the segregation and racial divide between black and whites and how this has affected the development of culture within 'District Six'. On the other hand, Levertov demonstrates how culture has been lost by the destruction of 'Viet Nam'. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Compare how the past reveals feelings about a place in Nothings Changed with the ...

    5 star(s)

    The poet also uses colours such as grey and metallic in contrast to the blues and greens of the island. Grey here symbolises dull and metallic symbolises industrial and ugly. The word 'soar' almost echoes as the wild birds soaring in the island but the soar also suggests the rising sound of the cars that he can hear.

  2. Comparing Not My Business with Nothings Changed and how they demonstrate strong attitudes and ...

    Furthermore, both poems display strong attitudes in the form of violence. Even though, 'Nothing's Changed' is violence referring from Tatamkhulu Afrika and his society to the higher powered people, while 'Not My Business' displays the minority committing acts of violence against the rest of society.

  1. Clash of cultures coursework

    The only time in which he starts to become friendlier to Cathy is after the time in which everybody finds out she is pregnant: "If he found clothes strewn about the place, he picked them up and folded them, moving very softly so as not to disturb her".

  2. Free essay

    Love and loss

    because they were having an affair, they had to be careful and sneaky. The poem is similar to the other two, but only because it's also about love, and When we two parted has more of a negative tone compared to the other two.

  1. Not My Business and 'District 6' compared.

    The poet goes on to show the ignorance of some of the people, 'What business of mine is it so long they don't take the yam from my savouring mouth.' The narrator's selfishness is shown by the mention of 'yam' which represents his food, comfortable home and self-occupied lifestyle, despite mentioning what happened to Akanni.

  2. Two Scavengers and Nothings Changed both use language and layout to convey the writers ...

    that can be eaten at 'a plastic table's top.' There's a real sense of decorum or manners as instead of 'linen' whereas the working men 'wipe their fingers in your jeans' to show it's common and working class.

  1. Different Cultures

    She thinks life has given her a specific job which is to look after her family. She comes from a small tight-knit community and she has no education. She has really low expectations of herself and hasn't got a lot of confidence.

  2. To what extent are the poems, 'Nothings changed' and 'Half-caste', a message of ...

    These immediately portray a build up of anger. He uses pronouns such as "I press my nose" making it a more personal account which engages the reader with the personal emotions. On another level he could be expressing the voice of black people against discrimination. Similarly Agard uses pronouns he engages the audience by saying "yu" which is directing the poem to a wide audience.

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