Half Cast Poem Essay

Topics: Mind, Métis, Caste Pages: 2 (804 words) Published: April 26, 2015
Explain how Agard uses language and form to put forward his point of view in the poem ‘half caste’ using examples from the poem. ‘Half caste’ is a performance poem written by a man named John Agard; a Jamaican who immigrated to England in 1977. He wrote this poem with the sole purpose of presenting his views on the derogatory term “half cast,” which are aggressive towards the racist suggestion that anyone with a mixed race background should be considered as half a person. Agard uses repetition to reinforce his ideas and influence the reader to see his point of view and empathise with the humans considered “half caste,” emphasising the outrage associated with how they are treated in society. By constantly repeating the term: “explain yuself, wha yu mean, when you say half-caste,” Agard uses it primarily to help question the reader why people and society in general use the term but also emphasise the fact that there is no true reason for a person of mixed race, like himself, to be considered as half a human, promoting the necessity for a explanation and recognition in a fair society. Furthermore, Agard uses non Standard English and disregards the rules of punctuation to increase the impact of the poem and make it more memorable in the mind of the reader. The writer uses unusual punctuation: “is a half-caste canvas/” in the form of a slash to create an informal break in the flow of the poem and leave maximum impact on the reader as they, consequently, have more time to consider the verse that they have just read. In conclusion, the structure and use of punctuation is unpredictable but is used to make the reader think and exaggerates the importance of particular parts of the poem. The main purpose of this poem itself is for Agard to put forward his views on society and reveal the faults in judging someone because of their race. Agard uses famous figures in history: “like when Picasso, mix red an green, is a half caste canvas/” or musicians: “yu mean Tchaikovsky.”...
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