Text from other cultures.

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Aleem Riaz     10078688         GCSE English Literature Assignment 3 (Poems)

GCSE English Assignment 3: Text from Other Cultures

Text 1, ‘Old Father’ written by Hugh Boatswain is a narrative poem, it tells the story of a man who come from the Caribbean to come live in England in 1959. The man stays in England for quite a while and he begins to change his identity, for example he starts by wearing bright cloths, straightening his hair, driving a white car, walking about with blond women and going to the pub with white men. At the pub he also makes fun of his own people and eventually starts to ignore them, he also stops eating traditional Caribbean food such as dasheen, yam and saltfish.

           Text 2, ‘Island Man’ written by Grace Nichols is a different kind of poem, it does not tell a story, just a series of images. Each stanza in the poem describes a collection of different images. Island Man is a poem about a Caribbean man who lives in London. In the first stanza the man wakes up in his bed, dreaming about the beaches and blue waves of the Caribbean. In the second stanza the man is also thinking about the Caribbean and the wild sea birds and the fishermen pushing their boats out to sea. I feel that the reason why the Caribbean man is thinking about the Caribbean is to escape the smell and grime of a London morning. In the third and fourth stanzas Grace Nichols uses a lot of colourful, vivid descriptions. Contrasts are dramatic: the grey and dull skies of London to the yellow sandy beaches and blue seas of the Caribbean. This makes a clear contrast between the two places.

           Both poems relate to each other with immigration and experience of moving to another country. In Text 1, ‘Old Father’ the story is told over a period of time. The challenges that Old Father has to face are to adapt to his society and to change himself to be able to fit in. The reader can visualize Old Father begging to change in the quote,

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        “Old Father feet begin to shift. His roots have no meaning now.”

The challenge that Island Man has to face is to go through each dull and boring day living in London while he is longing for his home in the Caribbean and all he can do is to dream about how beautiful it was and imagines himself there.

Two different Caribbean writers write these two poems. They both were in England while writing the poems. Both of the poems describe brief comparison and contrast between England and Caribbean culture.

‘Old Father’ and ‘Island man’ is about the passion of ...

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