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The use of imagery in “Caged Bird” is central to its impact. Through vivid and contrasting images, Angelou effectively captures the stark difference between freedom and confinement, inviting readers to empathize with the bird’s plight. The poem begins with the lines:
“A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.”
In these lines, Angelou creates a vibrant image of a free bird soaring in the sky, engaging the reader’s senses and evoking a feeling of liberation. The bird’s ability to “leap,” “float,” and “claim the sky” conjures a sense of boundless movement and limitless possibilities. The imagery of the “orange sun rays” adds warmth and brilliance to the scene, enhancing the contrast with the subsequent description of the caged bird.
The poem then transitions to the caged bird’s perspective, exploring its restricted existence:
“But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.”
Here, Angelou uses imagery to depict the limitations faced by the caged bird. The bird is described as “stalk[ing] down his narrow cage,” which suggests a sense of confinement and frustration. The metaphorical “bars of rage” represent not only physical barriers but also the bird’s pent-up emotions and desire for freedom. By contrasting the bird’s clipped wings and tied feet with its defiant act of opening its throat to sing, Angelou highlights the indomitable spirit that remains despite the bird’s captivity.
The poem continues to employ vivid imagery throughout, illustrating the stark disparities between the free bird and the caged bird. The free bird is described as “named of the wind” and “trembling back to the sky,” invoking a sense of fluidity and grace. In contrast, the caged bird’s movements are restricted and confined: “his wings are clipped,” and he “beats his bars in vain.” These images create a stark juxtaposition between freedom and oppression, emphasizing the longing for liberation that permeates the poem.
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Cliff is Jimmy’s flatmate and close friend, and their contrasting personalities create an interesting dynamic throughout the play. Jimmy says that he is the only friend of his that still stays around especially after Hugh went abroad.
Cliff Lewis plays a significant role as one of the main characters. Cliff serves as the voice of reason and the counterpoint to the protagonist, Jimmy Porter. Cliff is of the same age as Jimmy. But unlike Jimmy, Cliff is short, dark and big-boned. In Act I, he wears a pullover and grey new but very creased trousers. He is teased by Cliff and Alison for not being able to take care of his new trousers. This is indicative of his lower class background which is supposed to be crude. Cliff is relaxed, easy and lethargic.
The stage direction also states that Cliff has the sad natural intelligence of the self-taught. This means that though Cliff might not have been educated like Jimmy, he still tries to ‘better himself’ as can be seen in his seriousness at reading newspapers in the play. Cliff is the foil of Jimmy in the play.
Cliff’s role in the play is multifaceted. He serves as a bridge between the working class and the middle class, embodying a more moderate and accepting attitude towards life. Cliff has a job, is content with his position, and has aspirations of running a sweet stall, which contrasts with Jimmy’s constant dissatisfaction and desire for something more.
In many ways, Cliff represents the ordinary, everyday person who tries to find happiness and contentment within the limitations of their circumstances. His presence highlights the contrast between Jimmy’s turbulent nature and the possibility of a more balanced and accepting approach to life.
Cliff Lewis plays a crucial role as a grounding and moral figure, providing a contrasting perspective to the play’s central themes of anger, frustration, and disillusionment.
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In the poem “Black Woman” by Leopold Sedar Senghor, the poet uses various literary devices to convey the beauty and strength of African women. One of the most prominent devices used in the poem is alliteration, which is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in words. The poet uses alliteration to create a musical quality to the poem, emphasizing the importance of the subject matter.
For example, in the first stanza, the poet writes “Naked woman, black woman” which creates a rhythmic sound that emphasizes the beauty and power of the black woman. The repetition of the “n” sound in “naked” and “black” adds to the musicality of the poem and draws attention to the subject matter.
Similarly, the poet uses assonance, which is the repetition of vowel sounds within words, to create a sense of harmony and unity in the poem. In the second stanza, the poet writes “Your laughter: a silvered laugh” which creates a soft and melodic sound that reflects the beauty and joy of African women.
Finally, repetition is used throughout the poem to emphasize the importance of African women and their role in society. The phrase “black woman” is repeated throughout the poem, emphasizing the subject matter and creating a sense of unity and solidarity among African women.
In conclusion, the use of alliteration, assonance, and repetition in “Black Woman” by Leopold Sedar Senghor creates a musical quality to the poem that emphasizes the beauty and strength of African women. These literary devices add to the overall impact of the poem and help to convey its message in a powerful and memorable way.
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In the play “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka, Baroka opposes the construction of a railway due to his personal interests.
Firstly, Baroka, the traditional leader of the village, does not want the railway to be constructed because he believes it will bring an end to his reign. The railway would bring in modernity and development into the village, which would threaten Baroka’s outdated and traditional rule. He is afraid that with modernization, his authority would be challenged, which is why he opposes the railway wholeheartedly.
Secondly, Baroka also opposes the construction of the railway because he believes it would disrupt the traditional way of life of the villagers. The railway would bring in new people and new ideas, which would challenge the traditional customs and beliefs that Baroka holds dear. He fears that the railway would bring change, which would cause chaos and conflict in the village.
Additionally, Baroka is a shrewd politician and businessman. He sees the construction of the railway as a potential loss to his business interests. As the chief producer of palm oil in the village, Baroka knows that the railway would bring in competition, which would negatively impact his business. Therefore, he opposes the railway to protect his business interests.
In summary, Baroka opposes the construction of the railway in the play “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka because it threatens his traditional authority, the traditional way of life, and his business interests.
WAEC Literature in English 2023 Question Solutions
1. Be very well prepared for the Literature examinations:
2. Use the recommended texts for Literature in English
3. Be confident in yourself
2. Ask God for guidance as you pray about your Literature in English exams:
3. Arrive early at the location of the Literature in English exams:
4. Carefully follow the guidelines on the Literature in English exam paper:
5. Use the WAEC syllabus
WAEC Literature in English 2023 Questions Exam Time
Tuesday 26th May 2023
2:00 – 4:30 am
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The poet’s diction in Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night” is powerful and evocative, leaving a lasting impact on the reader. Thomas carefully selects words and phrases that create a sense of urgency, defiance, and emotional resonance throughout the poem.
The poet’s choice of the phrase “do not go gentle into that good night” immediately grabs attention. The command “do not go gentle” implores the reader to resist surrendering meekly to the inevitability of death. The use of “that good night” instead of “the” adds an air of mystery and universality, suggesting a broader concept of the final journey.
Throughout the poem, Thomas employs strong and commanding verbs that intensify the emotional weight of the message. Words like “rage,” “burn,” “curse,” and “fight” emphasize the need for fervent resistance in the face of mortality. These choices infuse the poem with a passionate energy, urging the reader to confront their own mortality and embrace the vitality of life.
Thomas also employs vivid and vivid imagery to enhance the emotional impact of the poem. Phrases such as “wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight” and “grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight” create vivid mental pictures that provoke both awe and contemplation. These vivid images further emphasize the urgency and significance of the poem’s message.
Additionally, the poet’s use of repetition, particularly the refrain “do not go gentle into that good night,” reinforces the poem’s central theme. The repetition creates a rhythmic quality that enhances the poem’s emotional resonance, driving home the urgency and the call to action.
In conclusion, the poet’s diction in “Do not go gentle into that good night” is carefully crafted to elicit a powerful response from the reader. Through commanding verbs, vivid imagery, and skillful repetition, Dylan Thomas creates a poem that urges us to confront our mortality and embrace the fullness of life
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WAEC Literature in English Poetry Questions and Answers 2023/2024
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The play opens in the morning, near the village center on the edge of the market. The ‘bush’ school, that is, the village school Lakunle, the school teacher is nearly twenty-three years old, dressed in an “old style and worn-out English suit, rough but not ragged, but clearly “a size or two too small”. Sidi carried a pail of water on her head and Lakunle complains bitterly about such an act because she is at risk of shortening her neck and also because she has exposed her shoulders for everyone in the village to feast his lustful eyes on. Sidi defends such an action when she says at she decides to fold the wrapper high so that she can breathe, and Lakunle insists that she could have worn something on top as most model do. Sidi becomes furious and reprimands Lakunle to desist from being a village gossip and also calls him “the mad man/of llunjunle. because of his meaningless words, but Lakunle is undaunted because he feels that women’s brain is naturally small, women are the weaker sex, only weaker breeds pound yams, bend to plant millet. He foresees that one, two years to come when machines will do those things and he also hints at his intention to turn llunjunle around for good. Sidi becomes fed up with the meaningless dialogue and demands her pail back angrily but debunks the payment of bride price.
Part of Lakunle’s meeting with Sidi is to make known his intention to marry her and she insists that her bride price must be paid according to their custom and tradition and that marrying him without a price would make people think that she is no virgin and that would bring shame to her family.
But Lakunle resists the idea and describes it as a savage custom that is barbaric and uncivilized. He goes further to educate Sidi on the implication of payment of the bride price and his plan. Lakunle calls Sidi a bush and uncivilized girl who does not want to appreciate and accept civilized romance and ideology.
The introductory part of this play between Sidi and Lakunle shows the cultural gap versus modernity.
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