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

Slavery in pre-20th century society.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

ANDREW TOASE GCSE COURSEWORK THEME: SLAVERY IN PRE-20TH CENTURY SOCIETY This is an exploration of the portrayal of slavery in pre-20th century society, through the poetry of F.E.W.Harper (1825-1911) and T.Hood (1799-1845). I will be discussing points and ideas suggested in the poetry by Harper and Hood. These two poems portray two different aspects of slavery. The first poem, 'The Slave Mother', by Harper is about a woman imprisoned in slavery, having her only son taken away from her. This is quite a moving poem. The other poem, 'The Song of the Shirt', written by Thomas Hood focuses on the working days of a slave. He talks about the non-stop work and the poor living conditions, which shows us how badly slaves were treated. Both these poems take an anti-slavery viewpoint. Frances E. W. Harper was a black American poet who was born in 1825 to a free family at a time when most black people were still slaves. However, at an early age, she was orphaned. ...read more.

Middle

Surely God can do something to help them? Verse nine describes how the child is torn from 'her circling arms'. These words effectively show the warmth and love of their relationship which has now been destroyed - she has 'sad eyes' and he has a 'mournful face'. They are united for the last time in their shared grief. The tone of the last verse is bitter. Because she is a slave, the mother has no rights and is powerless to resist. 'Her bitter shrieks' resound through the air but there is no help for her as her heart is 'breaking in despair'. This ends the poem on a pessimistic note and it is difficult not to feel the anguish and despair of the slave mother. The next poet, Thomas Hood, was the son of a London bookseller who became a journalist and contributed to magazines such as 'Punch'. 'The Song of the Shirt' was inspired by an article which appeared in 'Punch' which highlighted the long hours and poor wages of a working-class woman. ...read more.

Conclusion

The despair of the woman is emphasised in verse ten where she says that she cannot even cry in case it would disturb her work. The last verse echoes the first one, describing the woman who is singing the 'Song of the Shirt'. The mood of this poem is also one of pessimism and despair. Both poets have used language effectively to highlight the plight of slaves and their inability to change their situations. They have both attempted to portray the sense of hopelessness that these people experience and the ignorance and thoughtlessness of the rest of humanity. Both of these poems have made me think more about the way we take other people for granted. Nowadays we imagine that slavery no longer exists, but unfortunately there are many countries in the world where people live and work in terrible conditions, in return for a pittance, to line the pockets of their rich employers. It is only through poetry such as this, that these wrongs can be highlighted and we are made to think about others. I always remember the phrase -'There, but for the grace of God, go I'. ...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 Comparisons 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 Comparisons essays

  1. Comparing and contrasting of poems 'Woman Work' and Overheard in County Sligo'

    The aggressive side comes in the first two lines of stanza three. "Storm, blow me from here With your fiercest winds" This is quite violent; it shows how strongly she feels towards this subject. She is so bored and frustrated by this that is making her aggressive.

  2. Nothings changed by Tatamkhulu Afrika and I am not that woman by Kishwar Naheed ...

    It is illustrated in the words "Now it is time for me to flower free." The alliteration gives the impression that she wants to fight back and does not want to live restricted anymore. The words "Now" and "free" shows when she wants to redefine the man-woman relationship.

  1. Compare and contrast The Flea(TM) by John Donne and To His Coy Mistress(TM) by ...

    of 'God's creatures' she is thus killing the father, the son and the Holy Ghost. He is trying his very best to make her believe that she will be doing wrong. It's almost as if she's manipulating her, trying to make her feel guilty.

  2. Compare how "Strange fruit" and "Not my business" portray violent acts

    The answer of this question is the title therefore it refers back to what it's all about how he does not care and believes it's not his business. Using this technique shows that the person involved in this poem does not care at all but also he uses the questions

  1. What differences have you found in the presentation of attitudes to love in 4 ...

    He boasted that both would be preserved nearly eternally. Five hundred years later, no one refutes his boast. On the other hand, "To Celia" is an example of the idolatry that the Shakespeare sonnet mocks. Jonson likens his beloved to a goddess, giving her special powers beyond realistic measure.

  2. Cheng and Atwood show how The Planners of suburbia and The City Planners form ...

    This new found grace is used to help buildings of all ?permutations of possibilities? be built in ?alignment? with the roads, all in ?desired? places. ?The Planners? ?build and will not stop?, a new age of settlement and building is upon the world, one in which the continent shrinks, ?the

  1. Compare how the writers express their ideas in Pessimism for Beginners and A Consumers ...

    A Consumer?s Report looks at life as a product and it metaphorically reviews it. It says ?I have used much more than I thought?, metaphorically referring to how life is short and that it will finish quickly and therefore you must try to enjoy it.

  2. How does Wilfred Owen in Disabled treat the subject of exclusion? Including comparisons with ...

    It is shown as ironic as he no longer possesses these traits. Auden contrasts symbolic moments in the poem from the present day to his past. When the soldier was ?carried shoulder-high? this relates to the irony that he now requires to be carried by a wheelchair and not admirers.

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