How Grace Nichols' Poetry uses figurative language to achieve her purpose.

Essay by TaniwhaHigh School, 12th gradeB, June 2006

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When we are oppressed we want to bring about change so that the oppression is no longer felt by us and is recognised by the oppressors as wrong. From the beginning the author's main purpose is apparent. The metaphors and emotive language Grace Nichols uses, illustrates to us the reality of oppression towards blacks, through her experienced eyes. These techniques are prevalent in the poems, "Of Course When They Ask for Poems About the Realities of Black Women" and "The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping".

When we are oppressed, we feel the need to revolt. Grace Nichols did this through the medium of poetry. Using metaphors she made us think about what she has experienced. There are cultural metaphors in both titles that convey the subject matter to us inconspicuously. The word 'black' is usually used to describe the colour of some peoples' skin, but in this case it may have also been used to demonstrate the feelings that are felt when people are oppressed.

Oppressed people may feel unnoticed and soulless and therefore 'black'. The two titles, "Of Course When They Ask for Poems About the Realities of Black Women" and "The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping" are metaphors themselves. They are cultural metaphors and are repeated in each poem. "The fat black woman curses in Swahili/Yoruba." These metaphors show us the purpose of the poems before we even read them and are essential for the full Grace Nichols experience.

We revolt when faced with oppression, regardless of the costs, so that we can make the world a more comfortable place for all. Grace Nichols' poems use emotive language to display how she feels about the oppression of black women. "Crushing out with each dancing step the twisted self-negating history we've inherited". This sentence encompasses mixed emotions, as...