Always a suspect Poem study

Essay by zLiaamHigh School, 11th gradeB+, June 2014

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Liam Koza

Year 11 English Studies

225913 F

Poetry Study - Always a suspect

The poem I am studying is titled Always a Suspect and it is written by Oswald Mtshali. The poem is about being a black person in South Africa during the time called Apartheid. Its written to show that despite what kind of person you are and what type of clothes you wear if you were born black during that time in South Africa you were considered as you were up to no good. You were always a suspect of crime and were never innocent.

The mood of this text was always dark and condescending. The fact that he was always a suspect when he was simply trying to enter some sort of business seeking employment or trying to work but even though he is completely innocent he was considered to be a criminal because he was black.

The mood also gets darker and sadder when he is trudging through the streets and the 'madam' who shifts her handbag and calls him a thief while she laughs at him. Even though he is dressed up he is still considered to be a thief to any white person during this time.

The imagery that is produced is both happy and sad imagery, 'I get up in the morning and dress like a gentleman' this is showing that he is trying to be 'classy' or is trying to be a business man. It also shows maybe he's trying to be successful as he isn't being a child he's being a full gentleman. He is then told to 'produce' which gives you the image that any white person is above him and shows him little to no respect. He isn't greeted with a hello or how is your day...