Half Caste Poem Analysis

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“Half-Caste” by John Agard & “Island Man” by Grace Nichols Comparison Essay “Island Man” and “Half Caste” are two poems written by John Agard and Grace Nichols. Even though they have different purposes, structure and language, both present the theme of identity. In this essay I am going to be comparing characteristics such as purpose, theme, structure, emotions and poetic techniques in analysing these two texts. Both poems have a distinct purpose. In the poem “Half-Caste” John Agard confronts the audience directly regarding their personal opinions and/or beliefs concerning the term “half-caste” or people of mixed heritage. He uses various scenarios using the term “half-caste” that may seem absurd and incongruous. This helps put his point across and makes people reconsider their use of the word and its implications. However, “Island Man” is the story of a man who spent time on an island, but moved back to London afterwards. This text identifies his emotions as he wakes up for the first time in England. It can be interpreted that he would rather live on his “emerald island” than in…show more content…
“Half-Caste” has no structure to it and its stanzas appear to break at no significant point. This could be portrayed as a subtle way to show how John Agard is imposing his own culture with his own accent and his own way of speaking, and expressing himself. This shows that John Agard is questioning the act of categorizing people in a discriminatory way. His free verse structure is an extended metaphor of the uniqueness of his mixed heritage identity. Similarly, ‘Island Man’ doesn’t have organization in its structure and is written in a free verse way. This could imply disorganisation. However this may reflect the feelings of the island man himself. Also, some words have been separated from the rest of the poem to, I believe, emphasise these pieces of text, which is a clever way to employ the technique of
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