Comparison Of The Poems, Two Scavengers And Nothing's Changed

2463 words - 10 pages

Comparison of the Poems, Two Scavengers and Nothing's Changed

“Nothings Changed” was written by Tatamkhulu Afrika, a mixed race
child with fair skin, who was later adopted by a white South African
family who brought him up as though he was white, and he only found
out about his origins as a teenager. Tatamkhulu lived in a
multi-cultural area called District Six, which was destroyed by the
white authorities. He feels strongly about this kind of racism towards
the black people despite the fact that he has fair skin. In the actual
poem, the poet is telling the story from his own experiences in first
person.

“Two Scavengers” was written by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The poem
highlights the differences between rich and poor and the working
classes, as well as democracy and equality. The poem itself is written
in third person and based around a couple of Bin Men and a couple of
‘beautiful’, rich people. Then, at the end of the poem seems to ask
whether America really is a democracy.

“Nothings Changed” is set in District Six, based in South Africa. The
poet describes District Six as harsh-land, but also goes on to explain
that he still feels that it’s his home and it’s still amiable and
natural. I know this because he says, “amiable weeds” on line 8. This
is a contrasting sentence because weeds are usually a symbol of bad
things, so to use the word amiable to describe them is distinguishing.
Socially, there is a separation of race. In the poets own opinion, the
white people think that they are more important and superior to the
black people. I know this because in stanza five, Tatamkhulu echoes
the voice of the white person and says, “Take it with you, eat it at a
plastic table’s top, Wipe your fingers on your jeans, spit a little on
the floor: it’s in the bone.” This free indirect discourse highlights
the white minority control. The poem doesn’t state any other
relationships, besides the contrast between the white people and the
black people. This gives me the impression that both sides “stick to
their own”, either due to the partite or difference of race.

“Two Scavengers” is set at some traffic lights in ‘downtown San
Francisco’ at 9am. The whole poem is based around a freeze-frame in
time. The poet gives very little description to the setting of the
poem, and instead focuses mainly on the two working classes, to get
the point across. Socially, I think the Bin Men, or ‘Garbage Men’ as
they are called in the piece as this the poet is an American, aren’t
very well respected compared to the couple in the Mercedes. In the
poem it says, “…and looking down into…” as if to say that the Bin Men
were looking down on the posh couple, this is but a bit role reversal
between both sides. Bin Men have a lonely, smelly and dark job and
most of the time are seen as stupid people, so therefore are taken
advantage of. The poem makes me think this by saying, “Grungy from
their route”. This particular quote gives us the...

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