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Comparing Half Caste and Search for my Tongue

Culture. It’s a very complicated term, with many differentinterpretations, but what does it actually mean? In this essay I willcompare two poems from completely different cultures to see if we getany comparisons, the poems I have chosen to write about are Half-Casteby John Agard and Search for my Tongue by Sujata Bhatt, I have chosenthese because I feel they raise some very significant points. But backto the question mentioned earlier, what is culture? Everyone has adifferent view on culture, but to me it is a huge influence on oureveryday lives, many different issues contribute to the term ‘Culture’from the way we dress, to our beliefs, attributes, how we live, andeven what we eat. It affects us all differently depending on how weunderstand it, for example, if we were to believe that culture wasjust a religious matter we would only be affected by what thatreligion tells us, whereas if we were to believe that culture was awhole way of life we would be affected in a completely different way.Culture is important to us all, regardless of how we feel about it, itgives us a guide to our lives and shows us some boundaries; it canalso give us advice and help us to be a better person. The word‘different’ can be used in two contexts; we can say it bothcomplimentarily and offensively, my understanding of this is that somepeople are afraid of what’s different and therefore have to makecomments to feel safe. But when we say ‘different’ cultures we arereferring to the way other people live, and if we are afraid of thiswe must all seriously reconsider ourselves.

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As I have already mentioned one of the poems I will be studying isHalf-Caste by John …

… the end of the poem though sheseems to have won the fight.

In conclusion, everyone looks upon culture differently; there arethose who take it seriously and those that don’t. But whether or notwe like it we are all part of a culture and should therefore respectother’s. Of course culture can be seen as something to fight with,there are so many people in the world with different views it would besurprising if it wasn’t! In my opinion both authors use language assomething to fight with and against in their own unique ways. Both ofthese poems use some sort of violence to get a message across, this tome is a type of fighting, so the answer to my question is ‘YES’ wecould see culture as something to fight with or against because of thelanguage both poems use, for instance the taunting that John Agarduses and the metaphors that Sujata Bhatt uses.

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