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GCSE: John Agard: Half-Caste

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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

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