Island Man

Analyasis of Island Man by Grace Nichols

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Feelings

Poet: Positive memories of the Caribbean - Line 3 "Sound of blue surf", Line 10 "His small emerald island"

Sadness because of being in London - Line 13 "Grey metallic roar", Line 15 "Dull North Circular roar"

Stuck in England - Line 19 "Another London day"

First half: Relaxed - Line 5 "The steady breaking and wombing"

Second half: Tense, fast paced - Line 14 "To surge of wheels"

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Attitudes

Misses the Caribbean - Line 11 "He always comes back"

Dislikes being in London - Line 12 - 15 "Comes back to sands/of a great metallic soar/to surge of wheels/to dull North Circular roar"

Knows he can't go back to the Caribbean - Line 7 "And fishermen pushing out to sea" (Agricultural lifestyle doesn't bring in enough money)

Doesn't want to get up - Line 11 "Groggily groggily", Line 17 "His crumpled pillow waves"

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Ideas

Necessity to be in England - Line 7 "And fishermen pushing out to sea"

Not enjoying being in England - Line 19 "Another London day"

Homesickness - Line 11 "He always comes back"

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Language

Water/Beach words - "Surf" "Breaking" "Wombing" "Sea" "Sands" "Waves"

Makes the island his own - "HIS small emerald island" - emerald makes it valuable to him.

First half is very positive - "Blue surf" "Wild seabirds" "Small emerald island"

Second half is negative - "Dull" "Grey" "Heaves"

Contrast between first and second halves - first half uses colour eg. "Blue", second half is "Grey"

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Style & Structure

Varying line length makes it look like waves coming in

Free verse, no rhyme scheme though some rhyme dotted here and there eg "Soar" "Roar" & "Sea" "Defiantly"

Repetition - eg "Groggily groggily" & "Muffling muffling" give ryhthm and makes those words important

Whole poem is written in a slow sort of way, like the island man waking up

Transition between dreams and reality - good dream suddenly changing (lines 11-12) into the cold stone reality.

Third person, which makes it impersonal, and no name other than "Island man" which means this can apply to almost all immigrants.

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