Noughts and Crosses

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Noughts and Crosses

‘Noughts and Crosses" by Malorie Blackman is a novel which follows the lives and experiences of two characters, Callum and Sephy. Throughout the book Blackman deals with a number of issues including relationships, alcohol abuse, power abuse, depression and violence. However, the key issues of the book are racism and prejudice. These issues of racism and prejudice are conveyed through the narrative techniques of characterization, point of view, language, structure and setting.

The author uses language as a tool to show the characters' status in society as black or white. Various language techniques are used to display the classes of society. The words "blanker" (used by blacks to describe whites) and "dagger" (used by whites to describe blacks) are used repeatedly throughout the novel. This use of language reflects the intolerant attitudes towards one another in Blackman's radical world. There is a significant amount of symbolism used in these words. "Blanker" is used to describe a blank, worthless, brainless white person. And "dagger" is used to depict a weapon that is capable of scratching and severing, reducing and disconnecting a person, or even bringing them to an end completely. " I bet it was one of her blanker friends, they're blank by name and blank by nature". Through the difference of educated, formal language used by Crosses and the sometimes tasteless, simple language of the noughts, the reader can see the grades in which noughts and Crosses are separately classed. Through this technique I believe Blackman is trying to show the extent to which racism can affect people. It can lessen, degrade and have heavy social affects on a person proving where they belong and what they will never be.

The language is also used to emphasize the feelings and emotions of Callum and Sephy. The use of descriptive writing is employed by Blackman to give the reader insight into the effects and emotions of racism. "I was talking like my...
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