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Compare 'Nothing's Changed' with 'Two Scavengers in a Truck', showing how the poets reveal their ideas and feelings about the particular cultures and traditions that they are writing about

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Introduction

Compare 'Nothing's Changed' with 'Two Scavengers in a Truck', showing how the poets reveal their ideas and feelings about the particular cultures and traditions that they are writing about Both poets convey strong ideas about the inherent divisions that are inherent in modern-day society. Afrika conveys his ideas by writing about racial discrimination and segregation in South Africa, informing the reader about the differences in the quality of life for Blacks and Whites. Ferlinghetti, however, decides to tackle the theme of social/wealth divide in San Francisco, U.S.A. Afrika also describes the landscape, nature and setting in much more vivid detail, using it to represent the history of District Six. Ferlinghetti, who focuses on the people who are the protagonists of his poem. Although set in two very different locations; one in a third world country and another in a developed country, both poets deal with the issue of inequality and prejudice. Afrika and Ferlinghetti both feel very strongly about inequality in society and how people can be discriminated against due to their skin colour or social class. The reader is able to tell that Afrika feels strongly about his particular culture and traditions because he tells part of the poem in first person (singular and plural): 'I back from the glass' and 'We know where we belong'. ...read more.

Middle

Afrika begins by using a succession of one-syllable words, sets a harsh, uncomfortable tone for the rest of the poem. Also in the first stanza, Afrika uses sibilance at the end of words, such as the phrase 'seeding grasses thrust', which is an awkward and almost unnatural sound pattern, adding to the image of an harsh, unwelcoming environment. His use of onomatopoeias also adds to this distinctly coarse atmosphere. For example, Afrika's use of 'click' and 'crunch' appeals to the reader's aural sense, which increases the impact of his vivid images and creates a jarring effect. Afrika follows this with a stanza almost completely devoted to illustrating the physical effect of his anger, through descriptions of the 'labouring of my lungs' and the 'hot, white inwards turning of my eyes'. This, combined with his repetition of the word 'and' creates a accumulating effect and the reader is able to empathise with the anger that is building up within him. Afrika's sensory and rather vulgar images, such as 'wipe your fingers on your jeans' and 'spit a little on the floor' used in contrast with the 'crushed white glass' and 'linen falls' of the previous stanza, shows his bitterness and resentment against the difference in the restaurants that Blacks are allowed to go to and the ones that will accept 'Whites only inn'. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could perhaps be an effort by Ferlinghetti to illustrate how the lives of the garbage men and 'beautiful' can co-exist with each other without ever coinciding. Ferlinghetti's use of enjambment and indented lines forces the reader to pause in certain places, which isolates and highlights important lines. This is clearly evident in the last stanza, where the final three lines are spaced out in such a way that causes the reader to slow down and pause at the end of every line. This draws attention to the meaning behind the lines. Both poets tell the reader something different; Afrika focuses on the consequences of racial division and discrimination, showing how such treatment can breed hatred, resentment and violent retaliation. Ferlinghetti chooses to explore the theme of the division that wealth can bring. He raises the question of how society can allow such divisions to arise and how America (and the Western World) has become so commercialised that these so-called' beautiful people' are in fact fake and have lost grip with reality. Ferlinghetti leaves it open to interpretation as to whether the garbage men are envious of the 'beautiful people's' wealth and material possessions or whether they are more content with their honest, frugal lifestyle. However, both poets convey the fact that in our modern day 'democratic' society, divisions are evident, be it racial, monetary or otherwise. ...read more.

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