"An Old Woman" By Arun Kolatkar And "Nothing's Changed" By Tatamkhulu Afrika.

1259 words - 5 pages

Chose to or more other cultures poems you have studied. How do the poets present the theme of protest?'What else can an old woman do?''We know where we belong'These two quotes, the first from An Old Woman by Arun Kolatkar and the second from Nothing's Changed by Tatamkhulu Afrika, both seem to show a sense of abandoned protest and although the poems are from two very different cultures the theme of protest is clear in both.An Old Woman is about an old Indian woman who follows a man just for a fifty paise coin. Kolatkar depicts the old woman's protests with poverty and age. In Nothing's Changed Afrika writes of his protests with the whites and segregation as a black person in South Africa. He tells of how District Six was destroyed to make way for a brash and misplaced white restaurant. An Old Woman focuses on the Indian culture, while Nothing's Changed looks at the American culture and race.In this essay I will attempt to show the similarities and differences between these two poems, highlighting how the poets have presented the varying themes of protest.The title An Old Woman doesn't really suggest much about the poem except that it is about an old woman. It has a very narrow focus, as now the poem cannot be about anything else. As we already now the poem has some form of protest in it we can guess the protest is with age. However the title Nothing's Changed has a much broader focus, it's very negative and connotes that something was bad and still is, because nothing has changed. It suggests that the poem has no progression.In both poems the first statements use hard, aggressive words to describe how the 'small round hard stones click' and the 'old woman grabs hold of your sleeve'.The first, from Nothing's Changed, is very hard to say and sounds quite harsh, and the use of onomatopoeia helps the audience to imagine the rough surroundings. The second, from An Old Woman uses forceful verbs such as 'grabs hold' to suggest that she wasn't invited but she did it anyway. The same can be said for the next line where she 'tags along' again uninvited.In the first stanza of Nothing's Changed Afrika cleverly uses onomatopoeia to enhance the audience's image, and then goes on to use an antithesis when describing the 'amiable weeds'. This connotes that everything else is so awful that the weeds look good. These clever language choices are not used anywhere in An Old Woman, instead the opening is very clear and simple- just like the old woman.Kolatkar does however stress the seriousness of the woman's protest by writing about how all she wants is a fifty paise coin, which in English money would be worth less than a penny, and how she offers to take the person to the horseshoe shrine. This suggests to the audience that the old woman is very desperate as it is clear she doesn't want much. She offers to take the traveller to the horseshoe shrine because many people go there on pilgrimages.In the third stanza of Nothing's Changed Afrika describes the 'new,...

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