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NAME: Je-hiel Smith

FORM: 4-2
LITERATURE COMPARITIVE ESSAY
In the poems Dreaming Black Boy by James Berry and The Woman Who Speaks
by Lorna Goodison, the structure present is freeverse. Dreaming Black Boy is written from a
first persons perspective and speaks about the personas desire for his situation to change
whereas in The Woman Who Speaks a third persons perspective is used to amplify a
mothers aching desire for change. In both poems, the personas situation, striking images and
poetic devices are used to bring this across.
In both poems, the persona describes the dire situations. In DBB, the persona is that of
a child who relays his experiences of neglect and racism in his life. This is illustrated by Berry
when he writes that the persona felt ostracized in his class among his classmates because his
teacher does not show affection to him. The persona strongly desires his teachers
acknowledgement and it is seen where he says wish my teachers eyes wouldnt go past me
today In effect, he internalizes these feelings and it affects him because he starts to hold back.
In addition to this, he is stigmatized and restricted in physical movement because of his colour.
In particular, he desires to be able to travel every criss cross way of the globe In retrospect,
he yearns to be able to be educated to the best of tune up Additionally, this experience by the
persona is made worse because of plotters in pjs. He instead wishes that men would not hide
behind a faade but that they would instead stand against racism so that no other black person
would suffer as he did.
Similarly, in The Woman Who Speaks the persona expresses the deep sorrow felt by
the mother of a son who is now in the army and her fear for his inevitable death. The overbearing
influence of his employer threatens to destroy the bond that the mother shares with her son as she
served as both his mother and father being a single parent. The mother never set limits on what
her son could be and allowed him to dream to be anything he aspired to be. The mother felt
betrayed when the employer gave him one whole submachine gun for himself and this is the
first instance because no sincere father would give his son a hot and exploding death for bread
which is basically preparing him for his death or his bloody salary as stated in the poem. She
then purchases black cloth which is her way of preparing for his death. She spends all her time at
knee city and reads psalms for the employer in her deep sorrow for the loss of her son.

Both poems have very strong uses of imagery to create a vivid image in the mind of the
reader. An example of a striking image in Dreaming Black Boy is my inside eye a sun
which is a reference to a Paul Robeson song in lines 20-21. This is a metaphor which creates a
striking image of the personas desire to share his intellectual prowess for all to see. My inside
eye refers to the mind of the persona which he wishes will be like the sun and shine brightly
for all man to see. Likewise, in The Woman Who Speaks by Lorna Goodison, a striking
imagery used in the poem is she carried him like the poor carry hope in lines 9-10. This is a
simile which creates a picture in the readers mind of how much the woman cherished her son,
treating him like the poor treat the opportunity to get a visa or win the lottery.
A poetic device is a technique used in writing to further enhance the quality of writing
and how he message is conveyed to the reader. Use of poetic devices is evident in both poems. In
Dreaming Black Boy, an example of this is repetition. Repetition of the words I wish
emphasizes the personas yearning for a change in the way blacks are treated and his longing for
equality. Similarly, in The Woman Who Speaks allusion is a dominant poetic device. The
biblical allusion used in the poem helps the reader to better understand the poem by relating it to
well-known biblical stories. For example in line 41 which says She is prepared, she is done.
Absalom is a biblical allusion of the betrayal of David by Absalom his son which depicts the
mothers feeling of betrayal by her sons death. The poetic devices further enhance the poem,
making it more enjoyable for the reader.
In conclusion, both poems are very similar and exercise the use of various poetic devices
and striking images.