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Use Nothing's Changed and another poem; discuss how the writer creates a sense of place.

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Use Nothing's Changed and another poem; discuss how the writer creates a sense of place. I have chosen to study Nothing's Changed by Tatamkhulu Afrika along with Island Man by Grace Nicholas, both of which are indirectly linked on the issue of place and where they belong. Nothing's Changed depicts a society where rich and poor are divided. In the apartheid era of racial segregation in South Africa, where the poem is set, laws, kept apart black and white people. The poet looks at attempts to change this system, and shows how they are ineffective, making no real difference. On the other hand, Island Man tells of a man from the Caribbean, who lives in London but always thinks of his home. Nothing's Changed opens with a very vivid image of nature, perhaps the poet is walking through a field where the only sign of plants are dried and dead, this has been emphasised by the use of 'crunch' the use of onomatopoeia also adds to this effect, also 'click'. It seems that the poet or the person in the poem feels at home as it's a pleasant image of what life is like, 'amiable weeds' and use of alliteration, 'trodden on, crunch' elevate this as it shows the beauty of nature. Island Man open with daybreak, as the island man seems to hear the sound of surf - and perhaps to imagine he sees it, since we are told the colour and the language tells us of the nature. ...read more.


The black people know their place, no sign says it but 'we know where we belong' this is a double meaning as they no their status - below the white people and also they acknowledge where they belong despite the fact there is no sign saying so. Grace Nicholas divided the Island Man into two sections, the first section which shows the man being where he belongs, in the paradise and tranquillity of his home in the Caribbean. There is a sense of the sound of the sea being heard throughout the poem and how the man is coming in and out of his 'dream' like the waves of the sea, 'breaking and wombing', the sea is coming in and waves are breaking. The use of 'groggily groggily' is the shift of the poem and the man is reluctant to comeback, despite the poem switching there is still a glimpse of the Caribbean, 'sands' and 'muffling muffling' representative of the sea and also the waves of the pillow, maybe he is leaving the waves of the sea and the Caribbean dream on his pillow. Perhaps the most important image in Nothing's Changed is that of the 'glass' which shuts out the person in the poem. It is a symbol of the divisions of colour, and class - often the same thing in South Africa. ...read more.


In fact, this man is like most other British people - he does not relish work, but faces up to it. The structure of Nothing's Changed and the title of the poem suggest not just that things have not changed, but a disappointment that an expected change has not happened. The poem uses the technique of contrast to explore the theme of inequality. It has a clear structure of eight-line stanzas. The lines are short, of varying length, but usually with two stressed syllables. Island Man is written as free verse as it is a quite loose sequence of vivid images. The poet relies on effects of sound by contrasting the breaking of the surf with the roar of traffic. There are a few rhymes and repetitions. Grace Nichols also refers to colour, blue for surf and emerald for the island and grey for the traffic. Furthermore the way the poem has been written also resembles the structure of a wave. Overall both poems create the different sense of place, Nothing's Changed is based around the black peoples place in society and there status upon the white people in South Africa, Island Man focuses on the place of where a man from the Caribbean belongs, does he belong in the island of the Caribbean or is it the island of the united kingdom? Also it raises the question of Is this poem about the Caribbean or London? ?? ?? ?? ?? By Rickesh Bhopal 11T ...read more.

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