Cultural Difference Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:56
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Compare and Contrast the Poetry of James Berry and John Betjeman, with particular reference to the Cultural Differences. Refer to at Least two Poems by each Poet James Berrys poems are written from the perspective of a lady named Lucy. Lucy moved to England because she had heard the streets were practically paved with gold there. She writes letters to her friend Leela in the form of poems. Lucy regrets her move to England in a lot of ways and finds it gloomy and cold.

She misses Jamaica and doesnt really like London but she is too proud to admit that, so her letters also contain a number of positive yet vain sounding points about the advantages of living in England, such as, An doctors free. Lucy writes of how she has, turned a battery hen, in the poem Lucys Letters because she feels trapped in London. She was used to a relaxed and friendly way of life in Jamaica so the culture in London came as a big shock to her. London is a lot bigger and much less friendly than Jamaica. In Jamaica everyone knows each other so Leela asked Lucy in a letter to her if shed ever met the Queen. Lucy is used to the unspoilt beauty of the Jamaican scenery so London comes as a big change. She describes it to Leela as:

A parish Of a pasture-lan what Grown crisscross streets. In Jamaica Lucy could leave her door unlocked but write of how she cant do that in London: I carry keys everywhere Life heres no opensummer. She sees the lifestyle as monotonous because every day seems the same. She feels in some ways that she doesnt really belong in London. In the poem From Lucy: Englan Lady she describes the Queen as being, Like she a space touris, because she is somewhat alienated from the rest of the population. Lucy feels she can relate to her because she feels alienated too. Lucy ends the poem with the Jamaican proverb, Bird sing sweet for its nest, meaning you should stick to what youre suited to.

When Lucy travels back to Jamaica, she realises it has changed and nothing is as she remembered it. She is glad to come back but feels she doesnt really belong there either anymore. Some things like the sun, the sea and the fruit they eat hasnt changed: I eat a mango under tree A soursop ripened for me A pawpaw kept. She appreciates the sun more after being in London for so long as well and she is pleased these things are as she remembered them. The landscape has changed but more importantly, the people have too. Everyone she knew has changed and she is no longer friend with everyone. She writes about her holiday in the poem From Lucy: Holiday Reflections:

I see Puppa is bones in the groun, Mumma cant see to climb mountn Lan. She knew her father was dead but it doesnt really hit home until she sees it for herself because in her mind he was still alive. She uses personification when describing the landscape, writing, Big fig tree gone as ghost. The one thing that hasnt really changed is Leela who is just as she remembered her. She is glad they are still friends though, even though Lucy has changed, finishing the poem by writing:

Too many sea waves passed between Us, chile. Let us remind the other, Length of time gets length of rope buried. Betjemans poems are named after counties and describe the country lifestyle he was used to when he was younger. His county poems are written in two contrasting sections. In the poem Hertfordshire Betjeman writes of how he was made to join his fathers shooting syndicate. His father thought he was a milksop after he accidentally fired a gun into the ground, saying:

How many times must I explain? The way a boy should hold a gun? In the second half of the poem, Betjeman writes of how that large, open countryside has been replaced with rows of identical and box-like houses. He writes of how the old flint churches and thatched cottages look, strange and ill. He sums this up by writing, One cant be sure where London ends, this relates to an earlier line in the poem, naming villages that used to be miles away from London which are now part of it. It caused his father great pain to see his son couldnt shoot, which contrasts greatly with the happy relationship between Leela and Lucy in Berrys poetry. Betjeman ends the poem with the words:

Far more would these have caused him pain Than my mishandling of a gun. This mean even though he was upset that his son couldnt shoot, it would have broken his heart to see the Hertfordshire countryside had been urbanised. It is also ironic that the ones who appreciated it were also the ones who destroyed it for the next generation. In the poem Essex, Betjeman writes as he looks at a colour plate book. The book contains pictures of Edwardian England. Betjeman describes it as being: Like Streams the little by-roads run Through oats and barley round a hill To where blue willows catch the sun By some white weathered boarded mill.

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