Compare the Ways the Poet Presents a Particular Culture in ‘Island Man’ with the Ways a Poet Presents a Culture in Another Poem Essay

Compare the ways the poet presents a particular culture in ‘Island Man’ with the ways a poet presents a culture in another poem. The poem ‘Island Man’ is about a man dreaming of his true home in the Caribbean and then waking up to find himself living a dreary, dull life in London. This poem compares his Caribbean culture to his dull London life. ‘Night of the Scorpion’ is about a small tightly knit community who are brought even closer by the tragedy of a scorpion stinging a woman in the dead of night.This poem shows a culture of an Indian tribe and how they use their culture to deal with a tragedy. ‘Island Man’ is about somebody’s culture being distant from them and taken away, whereas ‘Night of the Scorpion’ is about a culture that is alive, and it also shows the importance of having a home, a family and a culture. Grace Nichols uses a metaphor ‘the sun surfacing defiantly’ this is a direct comparison to the Caribbean.

Showing in his dream that the Caribbean is so wonderful and clearly where his culture is, but when waking up to a dreary London he realises that is where his culture still lies.However Nissim Ezekiel uses a simile to describe the lack of individuality in the tribes culture, they are all very much the same ‘like swarms of flies’. Both poets use something different to put across the culture in their poems.

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Nichols uses a spread out layout, which also lacks punctuation. This shows the effect that the man’s dreamy state has upon him. The lack of punctuation creates a broken up flow to put across his dream like states as he slowly wakes up to his reality.Also the layout of the sentences could represent the waves on a beach back in the Caribbean. In comparison Ezekiel uses one continuous stanza to show the panic, rush and fear of the situation. However at the end the continuous stanza breaks off into one last small stanza, this shows that the panic is over and the tribe can relax which comes through in the structure.

Both poems are different in their layouts, one is fast and portrays a ‘panicy’ state, whereas the other poem is slow and dream like.The tone of ‘Island Man’ is very dream like, as he is drifting from one culture to another, his Caribbean culture and his dreary London culture. The Caribbean seems a very vibrant colour whereas London culture is shown to be very grey and dull. To compare the tone of ‘Night of the Scorpion’ almost mocks the tribe and the lack of individuality in their culture.

‘Island Man’ shows that nobody really knows where their true home is until its gone and you realise that is where you belong and that is where your culture is.However in ‘Night of the Scorpion’ their culture shows through because they use they knowledge of their culture to cure the injured woman of their tribe. Overall both poems portray each culture in different ways.

‘Island Man’ is about a man who has left his culture in the Caribbean and struggles to find a new one in London. The Caribbean culture seems to be colourful, whereas London culture is dull and dreary. ‘Night of the Scorpion’ is about a tribe who are very much aware of their culture and use it to cure the woman who has been struck by the scorpion.


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