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

“Sugar Cane” by Grace Nichols Essay Sample

  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 866
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: poem

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

Our first poem “Sugar Cane” is written by Grace Nichols. She is of African origin, as we can see through her use of Creole. She is a black female, she utilises a violent and aggressive tone throughout the poem and it is formed in unconventional Verses.

Our other poem on the other hand uses a more polite tone and it is formed with a conventional standard and distinctive rhythm. William Blake is a white male and is of British homage, this can be seen through his use of Standard English.

Although both of these poems differ greatly they both share their common message of racial inequality. They just portray these messages in different ways that are both equally effective in capturing the audience’s attention.

In “Sugar Cane” the anti slavery message is conveyed through the personified sugar cane.

“His waving arms”

“Is a sign for help”

This quote tells us that the slaves aren’t in control of their own lives much the same as the sugar cane plants. The sugar cane is almost pleading for help.

William Black gets his anti racism views by writing about a “Little Black Boy” who is the subject of racism.

“And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face”

“Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.”

This quote shows us that the “Black Boy” considers his colour a burden.

Blake uses a more formal argument formed on an educated and civilised basis where-as Grace presents the image of the sugar cane growing through her use of Creole. It’s almost as though she is directly using the collective voice of the black people and this becomes very persuasive. She also has a good use of re

petition, which helps us understand the monotony of the slaves work. It also creates a kind of drama

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
showing that the sugar cane is only grown to be cut back down again.

“Slowly pain-fully sugar cane pushes his knotted joints upwards from the earth”

As shown above, this piece of the text describes the sugar cane growing and showing that it is struggling to breakthrough the earth. “knotted joints”, “painfully.”

There are some words that are common in both texts. References to “colour” occur in both poems. In “Little Black Boy” it is said that his colour “is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.” This shows, as I have already written, that the boy considers his colour to be a burden to him. In “sugar cane” “his colour is the aura of jaundice when he is ripe.” This shows that the black slaves are unhealthy because of mistreatment. This also shows the venerability of the slaves.

References to heat also appear in the two poems. “My mother taught me underneath a tree and sitting down before the heat of day.” In this case the heat is meant to represent God. In “sugar cane” the quote, “he suffer from belly work burning fever and delirium.” This shows that the immense heat of the day affects the slave and causes him to become delirious.

These poems both offer the same major moral message to their readers, that we should all have racial equality. This is shown greatly in “little black boy” through the idea that we all have the same God. We all share this common belief that we will die, be united in heaven and to all live eternally regardless of our colour or caste. “I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bear, to lean in joy upon our father’s knee.”

This shows that the black boy believes that for his suffering on earth, in heaven he will become more wise that the white boy and will protect him.

In the sugar cane the message is a little stronger. It shows how much of an impact we can have on other peoples lives.

“just before the hurricane strike smashing him to pieces.”

The white man is portrayed as the hurricane. This quote shows of the damage we are doing to people because they are not of our race. Both of these are strong moral messages in their own way, but the strongest one to me would have to be “sugar cane.”

Although “little black boy” has a strong religious message, it isn’t that affective to people who do not follow religion. Grace Nichols poem is much more assertive through its language and the use of Creole seems to mimic the collective voice of the black race. It shows exactly how much damage we can cause to each other without consciously realising it.

We can write a custom essay on

“Sugar Cane” by Grace Nichols Essay Sa ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

One Perfect Rose Poem

In her poem "One Perfect Rose" Dorthy Parker questions the actions of a man from her past and misleads the reader into believing this poem is a romantic tribute to a tender moment. Although this verse comes to us in a lighthearted, comedic style, the reader eventually wonders if Ms. Parker feels blessed or forsaken. Ms. Parker misleads the reader in the first and second stanzas into believing the romantic with word choices like "tenderly", "pure", and "perfect" to describe the rose and its sender directly influencing the readers initial reaction to the poem; as well as he way she writes the poem. Written ABAB format with four lines to each stanza and every other line rhyming, they are short, sweet, and melodic. The musical quality helps draw the reader into believing the poems purpose is a romantic recollection. The tense of the entire poem changes dramatically when reading the...

"Mirror" by Sylvia Plath

When I first read this poem it did nothing for me, but as the days passed I decided to give it another chance and when I re-read it I began to cry, literally cry. I felt like it was speaking to me and saying everything I wouldn't dare say. I guess there is always a poem like that for everyone, one that touches the heart. Sylvia Plath an American, beautiful, talented poet created such masterpieces in her time. Unfortunately Sylvia Plath committed suicide on February 11, 1963. The reason for her tragic death remains a mystery, but there are speculations that it was the outcome of her divorce and loneliness. Though she no longer lives, her poems live on and once in a while touch the hearts of those in need of a voice. The "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath is a deep poem that comes of soft, but when reading...

Era of Good Feelings

During the Era of Good Feelings, the country utilized the driving force of nationalism to unify itself through its time of prospering and developing as a nation. However, territorial and state rights were extremely imperative for the country\'s political agenda. The question of sectionalisms effect has not as often been discussed even though sectionalism was an influential factor in both economics and politics. Both sectionalism and nationalism are not mutually exclusive beliefs but have developed along with each other throughout history. Although they have both affected the United States in different ways during this era, they were both in equally important ways. Nationalism played a large role in the era, due to the fact that it defined it for the most part. This nationalistic attitude influenced the arts as well as the political and economic ideals brought about by this air of unity within the nation. The results of The...

Popular Essays


Emma Taylor


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