Half-Caste by John Agard - How effective is the light-hearted ridicule in this poem?

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Half-Caste by John Agard

How effective is the light-hearted ridicule in this poem?

In the poem Half-Caste by John Agard the poet uses ridicule to put his point across, he uses this technique very effectively and many times and by the end of the poem you realise how stupid the fact of someone being a Half Caste is.

The poem is about a man from the West Indies and is called Half Caste, which means         of mixed race. The poem starts off with a verse off three lines all written in Standard English. Even in this very short part we can see the way the poet is using ridicule when he says ‘standing on one leg’, this is inferring that because he is a ‘half-caste’ he is only standing on one leg and that only one half the white half of him means anything to most people. It may seem like a ridiculous idea that he should stand on one leg but it does show how stupid the idea that someone can only stand on one leg because he is off mixed race.

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The poem then goes into a West Indian accent and it then makes another example like mixing colours makes him a half-caste. It then says ‘explain yuself’ again as it did at the start of the verse, this is repeated many times through the poem and becomes a sort of chorus. It is then always followed by an example, in this case comparing light and shadow to black and white. Light and shadow is a euphemism for black and white.

The poem then goes onto a line, which really uses ridicule to get the point across, but whilst adding ...

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** 2 stars. This essay has the potential to be a very good essay as there are some thoughtful comments and the writer has clearly understood the poem and the writer's message. However PEE (Point, Evidence and Explanation) is only used in some places and the essay suffers from not including enough quotes to support the statements. More literary and linguistic terminology needs to be used.