Why do you think that John Agard makes the choices he does in Half-Caste? Look at the questions and the possible answers that follow them. Rate the answers from 1 to 4 – one being the answer you think is most likely. In your book, and using the sentence starters below, write why you think that this is the most relevant answer.
I choseanswer _____ as being the most relevant becauseI think…. The quotation which supports this is…
1. Why does Agard ask why the term ‘half-caste’ is not applied to all mixed things such as the piano and the weather? A. To add humour to the poem. B. To show that the term is ridiculous. C. To show readers that even inanimate objects are treated with more respect. D. To show that there are lots of things in this world which are mixed, but also powerful. 2. Why does Agard use rhetorical questions in his poem? A. To show that he is speaking to someone who has used the term ‘half caste’ which he doesn’t like. B. To make the reading of the poem seem more personal to the reader. C. To make the reader question their own ideas, attitudes and beliefs. D. Because he is angry and he is demanding an answer. 3. Why do you think that Agard uses dialect in his poem? A. To get across the fact that he is half West-Indian and that is able to fit in with both societies (as he also uses Standard English) B. To make him sound more angry. C. To intimidate the person he is speaking to. D. To show that there is more to him than his appearance alone.
4. Why do you think that John Agard chose not to use any punctuation? A. He is rebelling against the Standard English system. B. He wants the structure of the poem to reflect the way that the poem is spoken. C. He does not need any punctuation, because the line-breaks break up the text. D. Because he is upset. 5. Why does Agard close the poem with “but yu come back tomorrow wid de whole of yu eye an de whole of yu ear and de whole of yu mind an I will tell yu de other half of my story”? A. To show that the other person (or the reader) is ignorant and needs to open their mind. B. To use the term ‘half’ to show that it is not he who is ‘half a person’ but rather the other person. C. To show that he is prepared to forgive people and treat them as human. D. So that he can write another poem about his story. 6. What would you say the tone of the poem is? A. B. C. D.
Sarcastic Angry Fed up Sad 7. Why do you think John Agard wrote this poem?
A. Because he hates being called Half-caste. B. Because he thinks that people who use this term are ignorant and he wants to explain to them what it means. C. Because he feels that people use words without really thinking about them first. D. To address an issue which is not often raised in poetic form.