Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Compare Nothing’s Changed with one other poem in Cluster 1, in relation to the theme of injustice

Category Injustice, Poetry
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Compare Nothing's Changed with one other poem in Cluster 1, in relation to the theme of injustice. I have decided to compare Limbo with Nothing's Changed, about the theme of injustice. Both Tatamkhulu Afrika and Edward Kamau Braithwaite have shown in Nothing's Changed and Limbo, that even through the unjust world that is described in the poems, there is still hope which prevails through the misery and despair.

In Limbo, the repetition of "Limbo, Limbo like me", shows that even through the loneliness they are put through, there remains still a 'pulse', the constant beat of those two lines shows that the slaves' dance and music, still prevails through what is slavery. The effect created is that through the bad times, there is still happiness which surpasses suffering, and this line still is repeated to the end of the poem, where we know is the end of the bad events, through the saying, "sun coming up" on line 40.

This effect is a main part of the poem, as the suffering at the start of the poem, is juxtaposed with the pulse and limbo dance through the slaves lives through the poem. In Nothing's Changed, similar repetition techniques have shown injustice in the world. As Nothing's Changed was based on the post apartheid times in South Africa, the poet writes how although it would be illegal to discriminate, and how there no longer are signs promoting this, it still happens, and is through the antithesis of District Six, and the "new, up-market" town, mentioned in line 22.

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The repetition of "and" in lines 12-15 is using the poetic technique of caesura, which means through repeating the words it causes more of an effect. As the poet describes his growing anger at how society is understood in South Africa, and how the punctuation used in those lines, the commas hold a large significance to the poet's exaggeration on those lines.

Visually, each line progresses longer than the previous one, which may be a way the poet is to show his growing anger about society. The poet also juxtaposes many of the features in his home of District Six to the new, up-market towns. "Amiable weeds", shows that the poets believe that even the weeds are friendlier than "Brash" environment of the richer areas. The use of "guard at the gatepost" and "working man's cafi??" shows juxtaposed opinions of the two different places.

As having a guard suggests that the environment is more hostile and that you may be overpriced, while the working man's cafi?? suggests that it's a more honest and friendly place to eat. The repetition of "glass" four times in Nothing's Changed has a considerable significance, as it shows how even though the apparent apartheid is over, there is still an 'invisible' barrier which stops the people from doing what people would be doing in Port Jackson, which could be reflected through the usage of glass.

In both of these poems, there is a significant usage of onomatopoeia and harsh sounding words, which suggests that both poets, especially for Nothing's Changed is writing in a pessimistic tone, whilst Limbo, shows optimism through the continuation of "Limbo, Limbo like me". The harsh sounds, "Dark deck" in Limbo, line 21 and 23, use alliteration and through the sound of the words suggest hostility on board. Down, down, down" on lines 34-36 shows how they believe they are below everybody else and that they are sinking further into despair.

But then in lines 44-46, this is juxtaposed with "Up, up, up" where it shows that the slaves may have another chance for a better live and to rise from the suppression. In Nothing's Changed, throughout the poem, there are many alliterative words, such as "labouring" and "lungs", which shows alliterative words which increase the resentment and the dislike that the poet has of the "whites only inn".

Assonance is used in the poem, in lines 20-22, "weeds", "trees" and "cuisine", which the tone of all these lines relate to the resentment that the poet has of Port Jackson, and how he feels that the apartheid may not have been lifted, but rather having a larger effect on their lives than before. The poet clearly shows his feelings, through relating to Port Jackson as "it", which suggests that it's a hostile and unfriendly place, whilst he relates to District Six as "we" which shows his strong allegiance with his past, and believes that times have not really changed even though the apartheid has been lifted.

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