“Half Caste” and “Search for My Tongue”

May 3, 2019 General Studies

Both, “Half Caste” and “Search for My Tongue” present the theme of identity, albeit in different ways. “Search for my tongue” presented through the idea of culture, however in “Half Caste” identity is displayed through the defense of one’s self integrity; shown by John Agard’s criticism of the term “half-caste”.

In “Half Caste” identity is showcased through the extended metaphor of race that runs throughout the poem. This challenges the attitudes and actions of the person who is holding prejudice to someone who is “half-caste” by mocking or lecturing the assailant; this gives the poem an aggressive tone. This is further reiterated by the form of the poem being a dramatic monologue showing that it is a lecture, therefore this presents that John Agard is protecting his integrity. The use of phonetic language throughout the poem shows his unwillingness to become a stereotypical person in society, by refusing to become someone who speaks in somebody else’s style, therefore showing his self-integrity.

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