Search for my Tongue and Half-Caste

Topics: John Agard, Stereotype, Metonymy Pages: 2 (939 words) Published: November 12, 2014
In the poems “Search for my Tongue” by Sujata Bhatt and “Half Caste” by John Agard, there are a variety of language features used such as personification, metaphors and repetition, which personally made descriptions in the poem more vivid. These techniques aided in making these poems more powerful and helped to effectively convey the messages that our identities are engraved in us and that we need to reconsider using the derogatory term ‘half-caste’ as it identifies people as ‘half’ people. Sujata Bhatt uses metaphors in the poem ‘Search for my Tongue’ to help the reader visualize the descriptions in the poem vividly. The conflict of two worlds can easily bring about the loss of one’s culture and identity. In an attempt to overcome this struggle, the persona assimilates the foreign language leaving the mother tongue to ‘’rot and die’’. However in the third stanza, the use of an extended metaphor vividly illustrates the growth of her mother tongue, “It grows back, a stump of a shoot, grows moist, grows strong veins”. This comparison of the mother tongue to a seedling is powerful as the reader can clearly imagine the persona’s situation and the strong essence of their identity. It clearly depicts the rejuvenation of the persona’s mother tongue and its defiance to the foreign tongue. Sujata Bhatt made it clear through this metaphor that even when faced with the assimilation of another world, our true and natural identities will ‘bloom’ and ‘sprout’ out of us. Our identity is engraved deeply in us and is nearly impossible to replace. Likewise John Agard uses metaphors in his poem “Half-Caste” to make the ideas in his poem more powerful. In this poem, there is a comparison of the stereotypical term ‘half-caste’ to daft but ordinary and everyday life examples. “Yu mean when Picasso mix red an green, is a half caste canvas”. This direct comparison of Picasso’s paintings to being ‘half caste’ is powerful as the reader immediately understands that the renowned artist’s...
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