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Compare the Ways in Which Poets Present People in Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes and One Other Poem from the Poems from Different Cultures and Traditions.

  • Date Submitted: 06/25/2010 06:11 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.3 
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Two Scavengers describes a frozen moment in time at a San Francisco traffic light. Two pairs of people from different backgrounds ‘meet’. In the poem Nothings Changed, the poet goes back to District Six. When he lived there, it was a mixed-race area, but when apartheid was introduced in South Africa, it became a ‘whites only’ area.

In Two Scavengers, there are no full stops, so it has to be read in one go, and it is continuous. It uses Americanisms such as ‘garbage’, ‘stoplight’, and ‘odorless’. The repetition of the word ‘elegant’ adds to the sarcastic tone of this word. The words ‘casually coifed’ this contradiction suggests this image is false and hypocritical. There is an air of stillness, as the poem describes a single moment, and the odd layout spreads the phrases around like the different things you might notice on a photograph.

Whereas in Nothings Changed the language is harsh and bitter, he is angry at the inequality, and uses harsh- sounding words. They are often one- syllable, with alliteration and onomatopoeia adding to the harsh feel. The words ‘click’ and ‘crunch’ are onomatopoeia, which create a harsh and bitter mood. ‘Skin about my bones’ and ‘soft labouring of my lungs’ suggests the poet leads a hard life.
‘No sign says it is:
But we know where we belong’
Tells us even though there is no official segregation the blacks still feel inequality lives on.

Both poems have contrasts, however in Two Scavengers there are similarities as well. In Two Scavengers, the title reflects the poem’s contrasts – the lowly and disgusting scavengers versus the supposedly beautiful rich people. ‘Sunglasses and long hair’ shows there are a few similarities between the rich and poor people. ‘about the same age as’ shows another similarity, but only a superficial one. The word ‘cool’ could have three meanings- fashionable, unfriendly and cool in temperature, unlike the hot and sweaty binmen. ‘ gazing down’ is a one-way observation, as the rich couple do not pay...


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