Far Cry From Africa Poem

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The poem "A Far Cry from Africa," by Derek Walcott is not only an elucidation of the uneven relationship between the colonizer and the colonized but also a depiction of the pain of a man who stands in-between two cultures. The poem exposes the conflict of the identity he goes through due to his state. Throughout the poem the poet continues to find an identity of his own, but at the end, his struggle remains futile as he finally confesses his love for the English language as well as for his origin. In other words the idea that encompasses the entire poem is the conflict of culture and identity, from where the poet finds no way out.
As the poet has his roots belonging to both Africa and Europe he calls himself a mongrel. His mixed heritage helps him identify with the post-colonial situation. In the poem he ironically describes his rejection of the British culture and the colonial identity. The main theme of the poem could be about the poet’s split identity and anxiety caused by his mixed heritage. He is not in position to side
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We find that his search becomes more complicated as he himself falls in an ambiguous state, from where there is no way out. That is why the last stanza of the poem contains so many lines where we see that the poet himself complicates his search for a legitimate identity. The poet in his dilemma remains partial to the African culture and lifestyle, while he prefers the English language and literary tradition. Having known the poet’s affinity for progress and technology contained within the British culture and his nostalgia for the rich cultural heritage of Africa. The magnetism that each culture holds for Walcott causes a tension which augments as the poem continues. The poet is unable to adopt the culture of his origin because of his sense of divided loyalties. It is all because of this ambiguity faced by the poet which does not resolve the paradox of his hybrid
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