Comparison of social injustice and protest in the poems 'Half caste' and 'Nothing's Changed'

Essay by alifagHigh School, 10th gradeA+, October 2007

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"Social injustice is a concept relating to the perceived unfairness in the society" (Aguiar 9) which can be evidently seen in the two poems "Half-Caste" by John Agard and "Nothing's Changed" by Tatamkhulu Afrika. The two poems also show racism, protest and cultural conflict. "Half-Caste" is about the subject of ill-treatment against mixed raced people in Britain. "Nothing's Changed" is based on discrimination in South Africa, deliberating about non-whites and whites being treated differently. John Agard comes across in a sarcastic method to deliver his message and Tatamkhulu clearly shows his anger and opinion in an angry mood which can be clearly seen in the lines, "I back from the glass,/ boy again,/ leaving small mean O/ of small, mean mouth./ Hands burn/ for a stone, a bomb,/ to shiver down the glass." (41-47). These lines show how he sees the glass of the restaurant as a barrier between the white and black people and wants to break the barrier using any means possible.

He feels a rage within himself which could even result in him using bombs to blow up the luxurious 'white' occupied areas and the similar rage can be seen in John against British people who are unjust towards 'Half Castes'. The similarities in these poems show the common message the poets have to convey about social injustice, racism and inequality which are the common issues both the poets are protesting against.

Agard's poem starts off with "Excuse me/ standing on one leg/ I'm Half-caste" (1-2). This gives an overview of the poem which is based on the theme of how some British people are unfair to people who are 'Half- Caste'. In spite of this, the poet is proud of his ethnic background but despises the way some narrow minded people look...