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Compare how the writers express their feelings about the place in "Nothing's Changed"
and "Island Man".
A place is where a group of individuals live and where communities and societies are formed. Many
poets such as Tatamkhalu Afrika and Grace Nichols have used the concept of a place to portray their
feelings throughout the poems.
In the poem "Nothing's Changed", Afrika depicts a society where rich and poor, black and white
are divided. Afrika in the poem returns to "District Six" and can still witness the segregation within
it. South Africa was in the apartheid era at that time, and the poem focuses on the laws enforced by
the government to separate black people from white people. Afrika looks at attempts to change this
system and indicates how ineffective they are and that "Nothing's Changed".
However, in the poem "Island Man", Nichols signifies a sense of empathy towards the "Island
Man". The realisation to waking up to reality rather than the paradise in his dream is disheartening.
Grace Nichols shows the importance of the phrase "there is no place like home", by pursuing the
sense of how society forces us to forget our origin and replace it with the harsh reality of "another
Therefore, it can be concluded that the poet's express their feelings about a certain place, whether the
place is dear to them or symbolised as paradise to them, the expression used in each poem contradicts
how the poem feels about the place. We experience a mixture of emotions throughout the poem's and
how the poet's relate to this emotion.
Theme shown in "Nothing's Changed" is the system of racial segregation in South Africa in 1948.
"District Six" is the name of a former inner city resident area of Cape Town in South Africa, which
was divided into races. The theme helps the reader focus on the overview of the poets feelings
towards the racism. Whereas, the theme in "Island Man" is regret. The poet romances over the idea
of being in the "Caribbean" rather than "London", this is a sign of regret as he wants to go back to
the "Caribbean" but something is stopping him. Evidently, "Island Man" does not seem to feel at
home in "London" therefore, there is a sense of being out of place, not belonging and regret. Both of
the themes in the poems are different to each other but, still maintain the same outcome.
Both poets use structural technique to help portray their feelings about a place. Firstly, Afrika uses a
structural pattern of enjambment to represent his feelings about "District Six". The reader is then
able to acknowledge that the poet shows feelings of anger of depression towards the racial division
within South Africa. The effect of enjambment provides the reader with an insight of contextual issue
of Apartheid which will continue forever and that it has been a cyclical process of the poet's life. High
levels of racism and discrimination amongst South Africans is shown through the "whites only inn",
this is represented through how the white people are shown as a more dominant race in "District
Six". The word "inn" allows the reader to understand the time period of which the poem was set is
not present in modern society, this conveys the image of racism and discrimination as common feats in
the past. This is when the feelings of Afrika are on display as he has returned there, this implies that
he hopes for it to be different one day but, so far "Nothing's Changed".
Also the structural use of enjambment is used by Grace Nichols in "Island Man" to portray her
feelings about "London" compared to the "Caribbean". The reader is able to understand how the
"Island Man" has not yet fully adjusted to life in "London" and that the "Caribbean" no matter
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A vignette is created to provide the reader with an insight between the
"Caribbean" and "London". The feelings created throughout the poem are negative towards
"London" as the "Island Man" is forced to wake up "to dull North Circular roar", the adjective
"dull" describes the boring world which he is awaken too. Thus the use of enjambment demonstrates
the cyclical process of waking up to "another" dull day of "London".…read more
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He describes his return to "District Six" with anxiousness and bitterness. Even though, the old sign is
gone "no board says it is", his senses tell him where he is, "my feet know/my hands know". This
shows how his recognition to the place has become physical. His feeling of "District Six" is
recognition of neglect. Anger is evident in this part of the poem and this is shown through the repetition
of the word "and"
Throughout the poem "Island Man", historical context is demonstrated.…read more
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Caribbean" then what is stopping him from returning there? Similarly, "Nothing's Changed" also
leaves the reader to ponder over whether will racial segregation ever stop?
Therefore, it can be concluded that each poem shows a contrast of feeling throught the poem. Each
feelings symbolizes a sense of imagery towards the reader. This is done so the reader is able to
understand the concept to as why the poet has done this.…read more