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Not My Business and 'District 6' compared.

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Introduction

Literature coursework The poem 'Not My Business' is written by a Nigerian poet Niyi Osundare. This poem is a dramatic monologue and uses a fictional narrator to reflect upon how the Nigerian society is affected by the political and military misuse of power and authority in addition to the people's rejection to revolt against injustice. The poet uses the narrator's ignorant and selfish personality to display the abuse of power not only in Nigeria but also around the globe. The title 'Not My Business' is short and simple to communicate the idea that South Africa's socio-political status has not changed since the end of apartheid. The tone is very direct and shows the narrator to be ignorant and selfish. In addition to this, the structure of the poem emphasises his detachment with the people; the lines in which the narrator talks about himself are kept separate by the poet to stress his feeling of superiority over others. However, the narrator suffers the same fate at the end of the poem. The first stanza consists of Akanni being kidnapped. 'They picked up Akanni one morning'. The poet uses the kidnapping to emphasise how the government's attitude towards the public is like. The use of 'they' is an obvious indication of the military to the audience but is kept vague to engage the reader's mind to the poem. ...read more.

Middle

It also coincides with the second stanza where the jeep is also 'waiting' for danladi. Lastly, the structure of the stanza shows the irony of the narrator's situation, that he also suffers the same fate as his neighbours. The poem District 6 is written after apartheid by Tatamkhulu Afrika who is a white South African poet and is a dramatic monologue. Afrika amplifies his anger at the situation of South Africa by using a black South African narrator to show that discrimination is still widely active. The narrator feels the post-apartheid period should have been different. Throughout the poem the poet voices his disappointment with the racism and discrimination. The poet's attitude consists of anger and frustration which is reflected and emphasised at the end of the poem where the narrator want to resort to violence. District 6 is shown to now be a run-down levelled place, 'Small round hard stones'. This quote displays to a certain extent how District 6 has not changed since the apartheid government destroyed the area. In addition, the poet uses the consonance in 'small round hard' to depict the hostile and unpleasant environment. Furthermore, he uses a bitter tone, 'seeding grasses thrust bearded seeds'. This is shown by 'thrust' which carries an aggressive attitude making the statement resentful. This is emphasised by the continuous repetition of 'sss' sounds used in this stanza. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last stanza reverts to the main picture of the poem, 'boy again...hands burn, for a stone, a bomb to shiver down the glass'. The use of 'boy again' suggests that nothing has changed since the narrator was a boy and the word 'shiver' reflects the frustration in the narrator's mind. Furthermore, the use of 'stone...bomb' helps the reader to understand the possible causes of violence throughout South Africa to be like calls of anger against racism. To conclude, the poem 'Not My Business' was written because the Nigerian public has no motivation to rebel and fight against injustice or tyranny enforced by the government. The narrator is shown as an example of what will happen to the people if they refuse to repel the injustice laid upon others and that they will eventually succumb to the same fate if they continue to be ignorant. In the second poem, 'Nothing's Changed' summarises that South Africa has not yet managed to overcome its issues of racism, injustice and inequality despite being in the post-apartheid era. The poem acts as a plea to all South Africans to come together and unite to create a civilised society with equal rights. In my opinion, both poems share the idea that the people should unite and act against injustice and oppression, though in different ways; the message is universal: Unity will bring peace and harmony amongst the people. ...read more.

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