This sample essay on Half Caste Poem reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
This also shows the subtlety of women compared to men, as the word “fragrance” is a far more delicate word than chains, this shows the different way men and women can fight. Men use force, and women have subtle ways. Also, in “half Caste” we are more given an image of using half of you because of the prejudice, where as in “I am not that Woman” it is more a feel that they are attempting to stop her completely and she is fighting that.
That fact could also explain why “I am not that Woman” comes across as the stronger poem.
In “Half Caste” you are given the idea that, although the person is restricted, they are still able to do things, whereas in “I am not that Woman” there is more an idea that the people doing the discriminating are trying to completely control her.
In both of the poems we are made to feel that the person being discriminated against is the one in the right, with the majority of people (meaning the ones doing the discriminating) being the ones in the wrong. In “I am not that Woman” this is done by referring to the woman as “a fragrance. ” The people who are “normal” are mentioned though “chains” and “walls of stones.
” These things are associated with bad and unpleasant things, where as a fragrance is linked to good and sweet things.
This emphasizes the idea that the people doing the discriminating are in the wrong, as they are described as “chains” and “walls of stones” with the person being discriminated against compared to innocent things such as “fragrance” and “light. ” Also, we are given an impression of the woman being almost angel or god like, with mentions of “I can walk on water” and “my chastity, my motherhood, my loyalty. ” The latter seems to be like the Virgin Mary, and the former is like Jesus.
In “Half Caste” this idea is not communicated as directly, although there is still a feel that the mixed race person is good, and is simply confused as to why the other “bad” people do not accept him. There is certainly no evidence of the person doing anything wrong. The poems are both descriptive and written in free verse. They have no rhythm or rhyme scheme and are simply written in the same way you would speak. “I am not Woman” seems to have slightly more structure, especially as capital letters are used and in “Half Caste” they are not, which I believe is to add the idea that the person is unsure of himself.
This in turn adds to the idea of “I am not that Woman” being a stronger poem, as capital letters are used to emphasise and embolden things, as well as obvious proper uses. In “Half Caste” even the proper uses are dropped to show that at no point is the person brave enough to draw attention to anything regarding himself. Both of the poems are written by foreign people, with John Agard who wrote “Half Caste” coming from Guyana and Kishwar Naheed, the author of “I am not that Woman” from Asia. Both of the poems are written from the same viewpoint, which is that of the person who is being discriminated against.
In my opinion, this makes the poems much more closely linked, because it is easy to compare the feeling of two people going through similar things. If they were written from different viewpoints, it would make them quite the opposite of each other, as essentially they would be about different things. One would be about doing the discriminating and the other would be about how the discriminating causes you to suffer. The poems consider the same aspect of the theme, although the person it is about deals with it differently.
The mood in “Half Caste” starts of with a very questioning air, which is sustained throughout, although it gets slightly more demanding and almost mysterious, saying “come back tomorrow wid de whole of yu eye an de whole of yu ear an de whole of yu mind. and I will tell yu de other half my story. ” The mood in “I am not that Woman” is much more aggressive and commanding, and stays this way throughout the whole poem, saying things such as “remember me” and the frequent use of the assertive “I am not.
” These words are all written in an imperative form which creates the strong feeling in the poem that is quite different to the sort of vague questioning style of “Half Caste” There is a lot of imagery in “I am not that Woman,” most linked either to contrasting right and wrong ideas, and religious concepts. This creates a poem that is easy to identify with, as it is using examples that are everyday things, such as “stone walls” and “fragrance. ” “Half Caste” uses very little imagery, with much more emphasis on repetition to get the point of unfair discrimination across.
It repeats “explain yuself” time and time again, and so the idea that the person is confused as to what the whites mean, becomes very firmly embedded in the readers mind. In my view, these poems are quite strongly linked, despite the differences in the way the message is communicated. They deal with very similar matters (both are about being prejudiced against somebody), but the most obvious difference between the two is that in “I am not that Woman” the person is fighting it, and in “Half Caste” it is being accepted, or at least only questioned and not fought.
In some ways, this connects the poems as a pair, as they show the two different ways that prejudice can be dealt with, while both still showing how unfair and unnecessary it is. However, this does not make them different, but connects them more powerfully, as they are excellent examples of the different ways the same situation can be dealt with. I believe that the poems set out to create the two different aspects of dealing with discrimination that they very successfully achieve.
“Half Caste” maintains its slightly apologetic and almost ironic view on things the whole way through where “I am not that Woman” manages to stay strong and powerful for the entirety. Both of the poems persuade the reader to support the same viewpoint that it is writing from, which is that the person being discriminated against is the one having a hard time of things and that is it unjust. Both of the poems manage to move the reader to really sympathise with the unfairness the subjects of the poems are experiencing.
Overall, I prefer the poem “Half Caste” as I feel that it is written with more genuine feeling than “I am not that Woman. ” I like the way that it is entirely written in lower case as I think it is a very simple way of getting a point across. I also like the constant idea of “half” as I find it very meaningful. The ideas around people not listening to him properly also strike a chord. It is a more subtle poem as it makes less use of the obvious imagery that “I am not that Woman” uses. I find this makes it a rewarding poem to read as you need to understand the deeper meaning more to fully grasp the aim of it.
All in all I like the almost apologetic air that “Half Caste” has more than the powerful side of “I am not that Woman. ” Despite my personal preference, these poems are both extremely well written and thought out, and the ideas and morals behind them come across very strongly. Rebecca Britton Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Agard: Half-Caste section.