Justin Whitted Cry The Beloved Country Whitted 1 Essay

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Justin Whitted Whitted 1
Cook. E
June 14 2014 Is this Africa In the poem “Is this Africa” by Roland Tombekai Dempster, he compares Africa as he sees it to Africa as Europeans saw it when they first invaded the continent. The two perspectives and time periods have many contrasting characteristics, and Dempster uses the literary techniques repetition, tone, personification, and imagery to portray those differences. The author is a black male of African descent, who asks himself repeatedly “Is this Africa” as if he were lost in confusion, wondering how Europeans could have described Africa as a “continent of Darkness, a land of baboons, apes and monkeys”. The author uses repetition as a literary technique for the phrase “is this Africa” which is in the beginning of every stanza, consistently throughout the poem to put an emphasis on his feeling of awe and confusion, as he illustrates the contrast between the European’s description of Africa versus his own view. Repetitively every stanza ends with a question. But before any stanza ends he describes all of the prosperous things he sees in Africa. Afterwards, he repeats all of the blatantly uncharacteristic things Europeans describe, leaving us to infer their emphatic description of the people and places could not possibly be accurate. Imagery was also used as a literary technique in the poem. Europeans described the men in Africa as “men with tails”. In the line before describing the African people, Roland quotes the Europeans as saying Africa is just a “land of baboons, apes, monkeys, and cannibals.” Therefore by the Europeans stating that men have tails, they are connecting the Africans with animals as if they are indecent and unworthy of human treatment. In the following line the Europeans claim that the Africans are “only fit to be servants of other men.” Reinforcing the idea of the previous sentence that Africans are lesser and incapable of leadership or greatness. Personification was used by Dempster as a poetic device in the second stanza to describe