The Effect of the Dream Hurricane on Island Man and Grace Nichols

The Effect of the Dream Hurricane on Island Man and Grace Nichols
Spread out across the world there are many different talented people, some which happen to be poets, many which are form different cultures from us. In these cultures are many different types of people, fat, thin, white, tanned, or even the way they act or dress. However, sometimes people aren?t happy with what culture they are so decide to move into a different one. This may be due to them being unhappy, like the sound of a different culture, fancy a change or even disagree with their culture. For example, put yourself in the shoes of a fourteen year old girl in a sex cult, at just fourteen she?s already slept with twenty nine men all who are old enough to be her granddad, because of her culture she is actually losing her childhood and being forced to act as she doesn?t want to, being bullied into having sex from peers you could say. Would you honestly like this to happen to you or your children? Therefore she may choose to change culture to one that suits her better, where she does not feel treated as a toy or isolated, and being bullied into missing out on some of the best years of her life. Therefore the reasons for her changing culture are understandable.
However when entering this new culture she may feel isolated and unhappy due to the people belonging to that specific culture. The people may make the girl fell as though she is an outcast in the society and not welcome with no right to be in, what some people may say, their territory. She doesn?t know how people will react towards her will they tug at her hair, throw things at her, swear at her, calls her names. All of these are wrong and cause people to feel bad about themselves. These small-minded people who cause all this to happen are the ones who kill and cause people to commit suicide. Grace Nichols is a very talented poet who is from a culture different to ours. She originated in the country of Guyana but moved to Sussex, England in 1970. This way a big step in Grace?s life has not only did she have to change culture, from her West Indian culture, she also had to leave all of her roots and memories behind. As you can imagine it must?ve been quite scary for her to enter our culture when she knows no different than the life she had in the Caribbean. She didn?t know if the people in Sussex would accept her or single her out and bully her physically but mentally as well. They could shout things about her being a different than them or punch her and throw horrific verbal slang at her. Also we have to take into consideration that she was a tall dark haired, dark skinned which in comparison to the normal white skinned, brown haired person, and this may also cause trouble. Nobody knew? Grace Nichols is one of the many poets who right about how they feel and reflect themselves in their works. In 1987 The Great Storm occurred affecting and destroying many people and things. This wasn?t just a storm to Grace instead a recount of her time in the Caribbean and made her feel as though she was closer to home than she actually knew, as in the Caribbean hurricanes happen quite often. This meant Grace knew what to expect from the hurricane. Shortly after The Great Storm she wrote, what I think is a very powerful piece of work, based on The Great Storm but including her feelings, which is where the poem entitled ?Hurricane Hits England? comes to light. This poem is a very meaningful piece. It expresses her feelings about being in England, even though in no part of the poem she actually directly states that it is. Through this piece of work she tugs on our heart and makes us emotionally involved in the poem, by saying how much she misses being in the Caribbean and back home where she is amongst her own kind of people. The poem itself is about how the hurricane has come to England and she questions its appearance in this place. Another poem she wrote is entitled ?The Island Man?. This I would say isn?t really an emotional poem, I think it has more of a moral to the poem and is trying to tell us if you want to be somewhere you can?t, you always have your vision of it and throughout your life it will always be there, even if you find it hard to make friends or have a whole bunch of friends, your mind will always be there. The poem itself is about a man who moved from his home in the Caribbean to come to London. However every day when he wakes he lays and wishes he could be back home, but instead wakes up to the bustling busy London, where he doesn?t really want to be. So when he actually does wake up he feels down and misses the Caribbean very much. On comparing these two poems, both from Grace Nichols, you can imagine there to be many similarities and differences amongst the two. Firstly just by looking at the title ?Hurricane Hits England? we can instantly see that alliteration is including. This is a good factor as it gives the title a bit more rhythm rather than being quite dull, which I feel is the case with the title ?Island Man?. However where ?Hurricane Hits England? doesn?t have any more, ?Island Man? does. ?Sun Surfacing defiantly? alliterates the ?s? which makes it sound like the sea. I think by using alliteration it makes it catchier. Also Grace Nichols as used personification because as we know a hurricane can?t hit like a person therefore you wouldn?t see the hurricane do this as it is impossible. Both poems start the same as they both start in the third person, however when Grace starts telling us about her feelings she changes to first person. I think she does this as at first she is setting the scene, which is like the poem ?Island Man?, but this poem remains like this all way through, whereas in ?Hurricane Hits England? it is more like a story than just a poem. Also in both poems metaphors are used. In ?Island Man? crumpled pillow waves are referred to as being the Caribbean Sea. In ?Hurricane Hits England? she uses ?the howling ship of the wind?. However in ?Hurricane Hits England? the simile ?heavy as whales? is used to refer to the trees. Metaphors and similes are always a good way to describe things as the noun is compared to our everyday things so we can relate to them. Repetition is one of the most common occurrences in both poems as it is used very often to catch our attention by stating the same thing three times rather than just the ordinary once. In ?Hurricane Hits England? ?Talk to me? is repeated along with ?I am?. In ?Island Man ?groggily groggily? is used to highlight the difference between being in the Caribbean and London. Also ?muffling muffling? is used. By repeated words of phrases it emphasises it more making it sound more important and making sure we don?t actually miss it the first time. Another thing included is rhetorical questions which occur in ?Hurricane Hits England?. These are things such has ?why you visit an English coast?? and ?what is the meaningâ???? These make us get more involved in the poem and give us the urge to answer the question ourselves. Rhyme isn?t always used in poems however in ?Hurricane Hits England? Grace Nichols includes internal rhyme with the line ?The Earth is the Earth is The Earth?, this includes repetition also. However there is a lot more rhythm in ?Island Man? as it doesn?t include any punctuation other than capital letters. This gives the poem a more free flowing rhythm rather than in ?Hurricane Hits England? that uses much punctuation. Many things in the poem ?Island Man?, Grace Nichols relates to the Caribbean and makes us feel closer to it. About how in London the ?suns surfaces defiantly?, whereas we know the sun always shines whatever in the Caribbean. Also how the Caribbean is a beautiful small emerald island, whereas in London its grey metallic, this shows us how places actually change in their colour. Therefore the grey is a dull colour representing London whereas emerald is a jewel which is very precious and valuable which is how Grace Nichols feels the Caribbean is to her. As well as the sounds upon wakening are expressed in ?Island Man? as instead of waking up to the sound of the sea birds instead it?s the sound of the ?North Circular roar?, a road, which when in London you can imagine the business of this. Although many factors try turning us against London, when reading ?Hurricane Hits England? it doesn?t really say anything about how the Caribbean is, just about her feelings. Grace Nichols has mixed feelings in the poems, she writes that the storm is ?fearful and reassuring? which contradicts itself as how can something frighten you but make you feel content. This is the case for Grace Nichols though as by the hurricane occurring she knows that they are scary but she knows they occur in the Caribbean so the Caribbean is still with her more than she expected, she refers to it as a ?dark ancestral spectre? which means it reminds her before when she was in the Caribbean and the hurricane is the spectre or the ghost of her time there. Also she writes about ?circuit us into further darkness?, which expresses how she is scared because of the power cut and is making her feel darker into the English community as she?s dark skin coloured whereas English are quite fair skinned on the majority so she feels left out and as though she is left in the dark when she?s in England. Therefore Grace feels as though she is not welcome in the society of the white people. On the other hand she is also saying about how now the storm has ?come to let me know? so she now feels closer to home than she felt before, as well as how the storm is ?shaking the foundations of the trees within me? and ?o why my heart is unchained? which puts across how Grace has been broken away from Guyana and uprooted from her home where she shares memories whether they be good or bad. Not only that, Grace also includes her memories of a hurricane that occurred when she was a child named Hattie. All of these factors throughout ?Hurricane Hits England? has a lot of impact on us and she convey her feelings very strongly. In ?Island Man? Grace also shows her feelings of warmth and safety. By writing ?the steady breaking and wombing? it signifies that a womb is a place to grow, just like her feelings of the Caribbean where she grew up. She is also referring to how when she was in the Caribbean she knew people so was safe from the world she lived in back then whereas now who knows what is expected to happen. Not only by stating her feelings she also uses things which are from her West-Indian culture and the Caribbean. Grace Nichols, as we know is from Guyana which makes her accent different from ours, so when she would say hurricane it would be ?huracan?, just like she states in her work in ?Hurricane Hits England?. This is like this as this is there way of speaking, which brings us yet more closer to her, by just including this simple patoir. Religion is also used as a major part of the poem ?Hurricane Hits England?, which makes us think that Grace is a religious person. When she repeats ?Talk to me? she writes a different God on the last two times firstly Oya which is the Goddess of change, which later on in the poem is blamed for the change in the weather and lastly Shango, the God of destruction who was from a tribe name the Yoruba tribe, who is obviously blamed for the destruction of everything by the hurricane. Both of these Gods were taken as slaves. In my opinion I would say that out of both poems ?Hurricane Hits England? is my favourite as it seems to have a lot more warmth and feeling compared to ?Island Man?. My opinion on Grace Nichols herself is that she is lonely and feeling a bit like an outcast and like she isn?t welcome into England. To conclude this essay as Michael Jackson sings ?it doesn?t matter if your black or white? or as the one and only Grace Nichols says ?the earth is the earth is the earth?.

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