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GCSE: John Agard: Half-Caste

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 10
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  1. Poem Comparison-Half Caste and I am not that Woman

    Therefore, the poet is reasoning that he shouldn't be discriminated against when there are lots of things that are mixed that the whites view in high esteem. He is asking why they aren't treated in the same unfair way as he is. This could also have an ironic side, as he is pointing out that the whites are so prejudiced against mixed race people and yet some of the things that they hold in the very highest esteem are mixed colours.

    • Word count: 2558
  2. Poems From Other Cultures

    The poem appears very fragmented on the page. This might suggest the fragmented or 'broken' nature of society? The language used in this poem is used in different ways to convey his ideas. For example; the title shows us straight away that the poem will be about the contrasts between two pairs of people. 'Scavengers' is a belittling term for the garbage men because it suggests that they live off the rubbish of others - a scavenger beetle lives off rotting flesh. However, Beautiful People is a compliment.

    • Word count: 2116
  3. Using the poems 'Telephone Conversation' By Wole Soyinka and 'Nothing Said' by Brenda Agard explain how the poets convey and challenge the message in their poems. Also compare the similarities and differences.

    The poem is presumably set in London, with the narrator pleading his case from within a red telephone box, feeling quite outraged at the unjust comments which face him. The opening lines of the poem are direct and straightforward, "The price seemed reasonable, location indifferent." The dismissive attitude in the opening lines is mirrored in the landlady's character, showing ambiguity in Soyinka's writing. The landlady, much like the location, is 'indifferent' and shows no compassion toward the African man. Sadness is experienced on behalf of the narrator, as he is treated dismissively by the landlady and is made to feel a sense of shame in his black African origins.

    • Word count: 2215
  4. Outline the significant features of the Caste system, and Comment on the criticisms made on the Caste system.

    The reincarnation cycle extends to the composition of society: the caste system. Hence, being a Brahmin is the highest level one can be in the reincarnation cycle, for this is the level at which one can understand Moksha and thus attain it. Therefore the caste system affects the interactions between Hindus. But can the caste system be a mere invention of the Brahmin in Vedic society, for this reason it is necessary to examine its origins, yet another key feature of the caste system.

    • Word count: 2082

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • I have chosen Half-Caste and Nothing's Changed because both discuss the issue of racism.

    "In conclusion both Half-Caste and Nothing's Changed has very serious issues in which they write about. Both being from the party in which are being attacked. Being from different time periods makes it slightly diverse. Tatamkhulu has been influenced by his culture and background in the way that there were only non-whites and whites in that particular area. Taking that into consideration most non-whites would have despised all whites thinking all of them would be against them so the anger in his poem would explain that. Whereas John's culture and background does have some bearing on his opinion but he in fact knows that not everyone would think of him as half a person to another human being or any other mixed race individual."

  • How the poets create and use a metaphor in 'This room'. Compare this to one or more poems are also use metaphors

    "In conclusion 'This Room' starts off showing the feelings of being trapped and having no opportunities on the horizon however suddenly it become resolved and new beginnings are present. 'Half Caste' show annoyance to the treatment of the poet however it ends by turning the tables on the audience saying, 'come back with the whole or yourself, this shows that the audience are not perfect. Finally there are very few differences between the poems, 'This Room' and 'Half Caste' because the use of metaphors is so greatly used in each poem therefore there is nothing substantial to differentiate."

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