Jordan of family or society. In his poem, Walcott

Jordan BerryMr. ColburnEnglish Comp 101 January 2018A Far Cry From Africa: Essay AnalysisIn the poem, “A far Cry From Africa,” David Walcott uses figurative language to portray the theme of alienation by describing the inner conflict he faces as a result of being from two different racial backgrounds and choosing which to remain loyal to. The theme of alienation can be expressed as a feeling of detachment or withdrawl from a person’s values of family or society. In his poem, Walcott describes his feeling of alienation because his parents come from two different places. Although he does not distinguish which parent is from where, it is clear that one is from Africa and one is from Great Britain. Because of this difference, the author feels a sense of displacement due to the cultural and historical differences of his family’s background. This really becomes clear when he writes, “…how choose between this Africa and the English tongue I love?” It is clear that he prefers the English language and literature but still feels like this preference is a form of betrayal to his African background, one who’s culture he identifies more with. This continual grappling and conflict is portrayed throughout the poem. Throughout the poem Walcott illustrates the events of Africa’s history while both criticizing and defending the nature of both countries. Walcott introduces the poem with a description of Kenya. The first line “A wind is ruffling…” gives the reader the image of a peaceful setting. The nation itself is described as a “tawny pelt” comparing it to an animal, like a lion. This peaceful scene is quickly disrupted by “batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt,” this depiction of a bloody battle is the first instance of conflict in the poem. Walcott establishes a gruesome, bloody scene of the corpses of the African victims and the british ‘worms’ feeding on them. The british invading nature of the scene is compared to the millions of Jewish people that that were killed off during the Holocaust. Walcott writes, “Waste no compassion on these separate dead…to savages, expendable as Jews?” (6,10). This initial battle between the two countries, reflects on the conflict the poet faces within himself. Figurative language is used throughout the poem to provide the reader with a deep and colorful understanding of Walcott’s clashing emotions. This feeling of detachment is first introduced in the title “A far cry from africa.” The first three words: A far cry is an idiom, meaning something is very different from what was expected. In this case, his prefreence of the English ways over his African culture throws his brain into a game of tug o’ war. In lines 14-18, Walcott constantly refers the British colonials as ‘beasts’. He says, “From the parched river or beast-teeming plain. The violence of beast on beast is read….Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars…” This repetition is used to highlight their brutish actions by attributing violent and cruel characteristics. The next instance of figurative language that is present in the poem is personification. The poet personifies war in the sentence, “his wars dance”(18-19). It reflects that the people revel by enforcing authority. It also reflects that orders are followed without giving a second thought to them. The thinking ability of individuals is restricted. Another usage of personification can be seen in the phrase, “brutish necessity wipes its hands”.Works Cited Walcott, David. “A Far Cry From Africa” Selected Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.2007.