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The poems No Problem written by Benjamin Zephania and Half-Caste written by John Aguard illustrate strong feelings towards race

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Introduction

How do the poets present the theme of Change in the poems Half-Caste and No Problem? The poems No Problem written by Benjamin Zephania and Half-Caste written by John Aguard illustrate strong feelings towards race. The poets are writing about their feelings towards their life. Looking at them we can empathise with them and their plight. Comparing them allows us to experience their pain. Looking at the way they were written provides us with insight to those who suffer from racism. In the poem No Problem Benjamin Zephaniah who is from Jamaica tells of how bad life was in England, but even after all of this he still doesn't hold any grudges himself. In this poem he uses slang words not proper English this emphasises that he is not from England and that he feels he is an outsider. "Silly playground taunts, an racist stunts" this also tells me that he was not welcome in the society in which he lived. ...read more.

Middle

This turns it back on the people that look down upon him for being half-caste and shows that the word half caste should not be used in a derogatory way. It asks the reader to listen to what he has to say and not just ignore him and others like him that are trying to put there point across. The poem also asks the reader to be more open minded. Not just stuck in there ways by being single minded about half caste people. John Agard uses the word half-caste a lot in his poem this is to emphasis his point and strengthen his argument. His poem uses contrasts to show how stupid it is to say that things like half colours are unworthy. He says "yu mean when Picasso mix red an green" this says that if being half-caste isn't good and that you should be a lower race of people if your one then Picasso one of the greatest painters of all time should also be classed as a lesser person because he mixed the colours in his paintings. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is why he used humour in his poem I think he uses humour to great affect as it strengthens his argument. John Agard writes in non standard dialect he uses a Caribbean style of writing that shows he himself could be half-caste and that he is defending himself and others from the abuse that they suffer. Even though he is trying to stop the use of the word half-caste he still manages to add humour into his poem a lot this makes me feel that the poem should be read in a humorous tone. At the start of the poem it is set out like an apology "excuse me standing on one leg I'm half-caste" but by the end of the poem he has built up his momentum and is saying look I shouldn't be apologising for what I am you should listen to the whole story "come back tomorrow with the whole of yu eye an de whole of yu ear an I will tell yu de other half of my story" this quotation shows me that. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

There are strengths in this essay. The student has clearly engaged with both poems, and has begun to offer interpretation into what the writers were hoping to achieve.
However, the focus of the essay was to discuss how change is presented and this was not covered sufficiently. There was a lack of language analysis in the Zephaniah poem and the points made in the Agard poem were lacking in depth. The student would be better served to make fewer points but those made should be explored in greater detail.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Melissa Thompson 09/04/2013

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