Compare how identity is shown to be important in 'Half-caste' and 'In search for my tongue'

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Compare how identity is shown to be important in ‘Half-caste’ and ‘In search for my tongue’

‘In search for my tongue’ is a poem based around the idea of culture and identity. The idea of losing a mother tongue, is like losing a body part; tongue being the metaphor most used along with a blossoming flower, connecting together at the end in union.

In this poem John Agard is criticizing the offensiveness and stupidity of the term “half-caste”. The poem uses an aggressive manner, and makes the reader responsible even guilty of maybe even using the term ‘half-caste’.

Identity is important; in “Half-caste” essentially it's using the idea of race as a wide metaphor. So challenging attitudes that are prejudiced towards half castes by ridiculing and questioning this through a poetic structure which both mocks stereotypes of the way foreigners speak as well as questioning whether many things which are mixed are any worse because of it. Essentially it's suggesting a duality to nature and to life, which is prevalent in a great deal of poetry like that of William Blake’s.

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The poet uses phonetic language to express the mans pride for his identity and refuses to back down and conform to the stereotypical (average) person.

In some parts of the poem, the poet points out the absurdity of the phrase, that he makes jokes such as “half-a-dream” and “half-a-shadow”. He presents absurd ideas to mirror the ridiculous phrase.

The use of the language itself shows that he is no way half a man in the way that he labeled as ‘half caste’.

The poem itself is a commentary of the conflict between the person’s mother tongue and foreign tongue. ...

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