John Agard's "The Palm Tree King"

358 Words2 Pages
John Agard’s Palm Tree King mirrors the relatively faceless lives that many of his Creole predecessors subsided in. This signifies a foundation that inhabits its “native roots”, but mirror modern society. Through a cross section of ideals Agard demonstrates that society has progressed economically, but the boundaries of racism have not. He deconstructs the values of traditional British society, illustrating that racism has indeed become outdated. In the first stanza Agards speaker wants to disassociate himself with the conventional idea that because of his nationality he is born with a natural instinct to know the “palm tree”. He wishes to not “sever dis link” (4), but provide a more rational picture of society’s ignorance’s. What this creates then, is a reaction to the conventions taking place in London, England where Agard resided in at the time. Agard himself was once under the dominance of British colonialism in Guayna, a British colony until 1966, where he was born. This creates a sense of sarcasm that mirrors the economic state of it’s inhabitants. Presumably, what Agard is stressing is that within society a sort of primitivism has emerged. Rather then focus on the more natural aspects of human interaction in life, ideals have essentially become mechanized and comodified in attempt to reside within a capitalistic society. This has created a sort of commodity fetishism where simple aspects are regarded for their value and net worth. Conversely, this satirical tone creates the feeling that society has in fact subverted itself in an attempt to gain net value. This is particularly evident in his comparison of an American tourist to that of an English, which relatively says very little about each person, except for their place of habitation. When we displace the idea of nationality, although it is important, it becomes clear that all human beings share
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