We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The Presentation of Alienation In Two Scavengers and Nothing’s Changed

The whole doc is available only for registered users
  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1199
  • Category: Change

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

Alienation is present through both of the texts although it is shown in dissimilar ways. For example Two Scavengers displays alienation in the withdrawal from living, giving the reader a sense of direction in the poem and supports the context of segregation. “A bright yellow garbage truck,” compared to the “elegant open Mercedes. ” Nothing’s Changed however, allows the reader to feel the evocative nature of past events. “I back from the glass boy again. ” This shows that the poet grew up here.

In Two Scavengers, the first part describes the under-privileged life of the scavengers and the second describes the beautiful Mercedes with an equally “elegant couple inside it. ” This contrast symbolises the huge difference between these two types of people, the working class and the upper class. This has a certain, unique effect on the reader. The desperation of the way it is written has an emotional effect on the reader because you can feel sympathetic towards the scavengers, who are never given an adequate reason why the scavengers are in their unfortunate position.

Nothing’s Changed, however, is written in six short stanzas, written in short vivid blocks, each one depicting an individual idea, conveying frustration and anger to the reader. Nothing’s Changed often uses ideas and memories to explore alienation. “I know, before I see them,” shows that the poet has been here before. This has a disconcerting effect on the reader as the poet knows something about the place that he is not telling.

The segregation of South Africa at this time also adds to the feeling of withdraw from life or significance, this is represented in the use of juxtaposition with the “haute cuisine” as opposed to the “working man’s cafe , selling “bunny chows. ” This difference overpowers the reader because they can feel emotional about each type of place. The “upmarket” inn, seems unachievable, because of the “guard at the gatepost,” showing you have to be rich, high class, and probably, white.

Again, this reinforces the hopelessness which affects the reader greatly. Two Scavengers also uses juxtaposition with the contrast between the two scavengers and the “cool couple” in the “elegant open Mercedes. ” The poem describes stereotypical differences between the rich and the poor. This shows the desperation and the unheard cry for help in which the reader can feel fortunate although guilty for the situation in which the scavengers find themselves in. The “odourless TV ad” withdraws reality from the scene almost cruelly for the scavengers.

This creates guilt for the reader, as the scavengers are viewing the beautiful scene in which they see the “cool couple. ” The differences between the times they get up in the morning “nine am” compared to “four a. m,” the way they are dressed and look, for example the young blond woman compared to the hunched backed gargoyle Quasimodo. This has a powerful effect on the reader as you can feel sympathetic towards the couple in the Mercedes and the poorer people being symbolised as ugly, and almost human. There are many key differences shown in both of the texts.

For example, the most emotionally stirring would be Nothing’s Changed, mainly because of the realism in the way he describes the area. As it is written in first person, you can feel emotion for the poet. “But my feet know and my hands,” shows that there is an almost painful acquaintance with a previous experience, this is very powerful and can disconcert the reader. The deep meaning to Nothing’s Changed is different to Two Scavengers because Nothing’s Changed is showing that the poet is within the segregation, feeling the force of it.

However, in Two Scavengers, it displays examples of the segregation, this isn’t so powerful. The reader can relate to both of these poems in different ways. Nothing’s changed is written more aggressively, with the “how, white, inward turning anger of my eyes,” which passes on the feeling of aggression to the reader, especially with the onomatopoeic words in the first stanza, “stones click,” “grasses thrust, “crunch in tall. ” The way, in which these words sound, for example, they are all aggressive verbs with harsh sounding consonants.

This shows aggression which is transmitted to the reader. These aggressive words are dissimilar to the calm, resigned feel to Two Scavengers, “the young blonde woman so casually coifed. ” Although, there is more detailed description in Two Scavengers, which helps convey the meaning, the stereotypical differences, to the reader, “like some gargoyle Quasimodo. ” This cruel description of the older man makes the reader see the controversy in the poem, and the “grey iron hair,” shows a sincere resilience to the remarks of the poet.

My final point is the “stoplight, waiting for the light. ” This shows submission, a thought opposing Nothing’s Changed, as the poet is feeling frustration, “to shiver down the glass. ” This frustration is transmitted to the reader and they feel inclined to try and do something about the situation in Africa at this time. A similarity could be the political feel to both of the poems. The idea of segregation in Nothing’s Changed refers to the differences in class for South Africa at this time.

Two Scavengers also shows this difference in stature with the couple sat in the elegant Mercedes, as the scavengers are “hanging on,” possibly to hope; probably false hope. This is very emotional for the reader as the reader can feel unable to help them. The way the poet says “about the same age,” shows that these two sets of people are similar in more respects although, they have had different opportunities in life, this can show an amount of misfortune, which adds to the feeling of guilt to the reader, who would be feeling a huge amount of sympathy towards the scavengers.

This is true as the reader is never given a justifiable reason why the scavengers are in their unfortunate position which is totally inequitable. I believe that both of the poems are trying to make the same point although in different ways. The uses of both juxtaposition, the idea of segregation and alienation show that the world is more separated than we believe.

Two Scavengers makes this point most clearly in “nine a. m. downtown garbage men. The use of downtown as opposed to uptown shows the division in San Francisco which is similar throughout the world. The differences between the eateries in Nothing’s Changed, the “upmarket, haute cuisine,” as opposed to the “working man’s cafe ” which serve bunny chows, a cheaply made curry pasty, shows that the poets both feel the same and are almost pleading with the reader to improve the morals present in the political systems around the world.

Both the poems have a powerful yet different effect on the reader as Nothing’s Changed is written aggressively and frustration is shown, a feeling which is given to the reader, although Two Scavengers tries to plead for sympathy. The poet of Two Scavengers writes very unsympathetically and cruelly, “grungy from their route,” which is a clever technique, almost using reverse psychology on the reader to get the desired effect. I believe that both of the poems are extremely well written and have enjoyed reading and studying them both.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59