Wider Reading Poetry, Drama and Prose

Quotes and Themes for the wider reading poetry, drama and prose to help you remember them in the exam. They are not explained in detail but if you have studied the texts then you should understand the context and why they are under that heading.

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Theme: Immigrant Outsider

The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping, Grace Nichols (Poetry): "and de weather so cold", "curses in Swahili/Yoruba"

Three Black Males, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "For we have no human rights"

Small Island, Andrea Levy (Prose): "Mother Country", "How come England did not know me?", "a stinking, cantankerous hag", "no irish, no coloureds, no dogs"

Child of the Divide, Sudha Bhuchar (Drama): "In my food chain there's like me at the top...and right at the bottom is Hindus like you"

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Racism/ Prejudice

Three Black Males, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "For we have no human rights", "So the system just rolls on"

What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "the road to liberty is as long as the road from slavery"

Small Island, Andrea Levy (Prose): "That NHS- it's pulling them in" he complains. "With all that free dental work and opthalmic attention, it's no wonder the streets are full of darkies", "****** lover"

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (Prose) : "a light shade had been pulled down between the black community and all things white", "I'd rather stick my hand in a dog's mouth than a ******'s"

Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh (Prose): "Thair's nothing like a darker skin tone to increase the vigilance ay the polis and the magistrates"

The Glass Menagerie, Tennesee Williams (Drama): "You be the lady this time and I'll be the darky"

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Anger at Society

What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "We know the killers are", "racism is easy when you have friends in high places" 

This Be The Worst, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "They **** you up, those lords and priests", "so just start thinking for yourself"

Small Island, Andrea Levy (Prose): "England had shrunk", "It was smaller than the country I had left"

Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh (Prose): "Society invents a spurious convolutes logic tae absorb and change people whae's behavour is outside its mainstream"

Child of the Divide, Sudha Bhuchar (Drama): "I live among them- But these are not my people"

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Anger at politics/politicians

The Fat Black Woman Versus Politics, Grace Nichols (Poetry): "she knows the oil that ease the tongue", "like snake sees through the rat"

This Be The Worst, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "They **** you up, those lords and priests"

Child of the Divide, Sudha Bhuchar (Drama): "What happened, then, to cause this narrowing of minds and the broadening of this divide?"

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (Prose): "We are the victims of the world's most comprehensive robbery"

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Family Conflicts

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson (Prose): "She had never heard of mixed feelings. There were friends and there were enemies", "The Lord forgives and forgets but my mother didn't"

The Glass Menagerie, Tennesee Williams (Drama): "I haven't enjoyed a single bite of this meal because of your constant corrections on how to eat it"

Child of the Divide, Sudha Bhuchar (Drama): "You are not my family"

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Feminism

Small Island, Andrea Levy (Prose): "a married woman might go anywhere she pleased"

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (Prose): "I'd rather you had a good mind than a cute behind"

Looking at Miss World, Grace Nichols (Poetry): "the fat black woman wonders when will the beauties ever really burn"


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Death

What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "why is it so official that black people are so often killed without killers?"

Three Black Males, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "we die in their police stations"

Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh (Prose): "It, naw, she, wis cauld and deid, blue aroond the eye. Ah didnae huv tae touch her tae ken."

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Ideals of beauty

The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping, Grace Nichols (Poetry): "Nothing much above a size 14"

Beauty, Grace Nichols (Poetry): "beauty is a fat black woman"

Small Island, Andrea Levy (Prose): "a blonde haired, pink cheeked English woman with eyes so blue they were the brightest thing on the street"

The Glass Menagerie, Tennesee Williams (Drama): "I'm crippled!"

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Religion

Be a Butterfly, Grace Nichols (Poetry): "Be a butterfly old preacher screamed"

This Be The Worst, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "They **** you up, those lords and priests"

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson (Prose): "pillars hold things up and salt keeps things clean", "not all dark places need light", "The Lord forgives and forgets but my mother didn't" Child of the Divide, Sudha Bhuchar (Drama): "You don't fear the wrath of Allah, bahen? You give a non-believer a place in your lap?" I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (Prose): "I knew that if a person truly wanted to avoid hell and brimstone...all she had to do was memorize Deutoronomy and follow its teaching"

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Homosexuality

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson (Prose): "But she's not holy", "These children of God have fallen foul of their lusts"

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (Prose): "How did lesbianism begin? What were the symptoms?"


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Colloquialisms

Small Island, Andrea Levy (Prose): "cha nah man", "me sprigadee", "mite"

Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh (Prose): "ken", "ah've goat tae ****** move man!"

Child of the Divide, Sudha Bhuchar (Drama): "Pitaji" and "Mataji"

Be a Butterfly, Grace Nichols (Poetry): "Don't be a kyatta-pilla"

Three Black Males, Benjamin Zephaniah (Poetry): "Dis poet says that's expected"

The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Michael McDonagh (Drama): "feckin" 

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Comments

Malicka

Very Useful 

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