Half-Caste and Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes

1509 Words7 Pages
Today, our world is being structured by globalization, and people with different racial and social backgrounds are compelled to conform in a ‘melting pot,’ a metaphor used for assimilating into a single society. However, these drastic changes create a major conflict such as colliding of society’s perspectives on ethnicity and the true definition of democracy. The origin of such conflict is constantly revealed and questioned through the form of literature as it thoroughly portrays the state of one’s society. For example, John Agard and Lawrence Fernlinghetti both illustrate distinctive cultural identities and societal obstacles that act as barriers from being part of ‘selective civilization,’ where only people with high standings are welcomed. Furthermore, they inquire for justifications of this movement of racial and social division while implying similar notions to the audience by using collective societal context, structure, imagery, opposites, ironic language and literary devices. The poem “Half-Caste” is written by John Agard who was born in Guyana with mixed racial backgrounds or ‘light an shadow’ (13): his mother is white and father is black. After immigrating to England, Agard had to cope with an impasse due to his cultural backgrounds. Therefore, it is evident that “Half Caste” is delineated by his personal experiences of confronting a generalized, yet invisible barricade. Accordingly, the poem demonstrates the reality of England where multiculturalism and equality fail to establish together. Additionally, the poem “Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes” is written by Lawrence Fernlinghetti which takes place in San Francisco, USA. Fernlinghetti was born in New York where his youth was slumped into poverty and theft. He was regarded as an inferior person and was differentiated from other successful and wealthy people by the
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