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Half Caste:

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by

Kendall Brown

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Half Caste:

Half Caste
John Agard:
"Explain yuself/Wha yu mean"
starts 4 of the 6 stanzas with this phrase
Represents the questions he constantly gets from people/society about his race (what race he is).
--> Shows that he can't simply fit in with society - he cannot be accepted for who he is.
"Whole"
repeated 3 times at the end of the 5th stanza
Whole = one (1)
people only have 1 thought about him & its based on his race
--> how close-minded people are.
Repetition:

Unique Spelling:
"Yu" & "An" & "wid" (instead of You & And & with)
Automatically makes the reader sound Jamaican - like him
Personal to the poet
Forces reader to put themselves into his shoes
--> they are experiencing a bit of the difference he goes through daily
Language
Metaphor:
"Half" (e.g."Half of mih ear")
5th stanza
Its a harsh/vivid image to present
Conveys the hurtful meaning of the discrimination he feels
"Standing on one leg"
2nd line; 1st stanza
He feels 'crippled' by the discrimination/label "Half-caste"
--> only 1/2 of him is permitted by society
Unbalanced; unsupported
mocking tone - mocking society's naivety
He is hiding the other half ? - wrong, ashamed.
Comparisons:
"yu mean when Picasso/mix red an green... yu mean when light an shadow/mix in de sky... yu mean Tchaikovsky/sit down at dah piano/an mix a black key wid a white key"
suffering to art/beautiful/great/unique things and people
Mixing makes things better
--> proving society's discrimination of mixed race wrong
Relates to himself
Grammar
"england"
Proper noun (country) but is lower case (no capital letter)
He doesn't think the country is important enough to be capitalised
--> Where he got the name "Half-caste"
--> Where he is questioned by society about his race (because he looks "different"
Like he's saying they're not as great as they think they are
--> Still prejudice and discriminatory towards difference (race, etc.)
Sarcasm:
"Half of mih ear... Half of mih eye... half-a-hand... half-a-dream... half-a-shadow..."
In the 5th stanza
Anger
--> Angry that he is discriminated against; using sarcasm as a response
Blunt - sarcasm can seem rude; pointing out the obvious
--> Obviously he can't be physically halved, but referring to it as if that's what being "half-caste" makes him, is pointing out the stupidity of society.
Black humor - sinister
Full transcript