Linton Hemingway's Inglan, A Bitch And Hills Like White Elephants

Better Essays

‘The text does not produce its meaning – the reader creates it.’ Do you agree? You should argue your case with reference to ONE OR TWO of the texts you have studied on this module.

Instinctively, this statement appears flawed for how can a text not produce its own meaning when surely it has been specifically crafted with an author’s intention? However, upon further reflection it is clear that readers do also, if not create, but prescribe meaning to texts based upon their own assumptions and experiences. It will be the purpose of this essay to analyse each perspective using the works of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s ‘Inglan is a Bitch’ and Ernest Hemingway’s ‘Hills like White Elephants’ as the two writers use extremely different methods in order to convey meaning and manipulate their reader’s interpretations. Meaning: “The significance, purpose, underlying truth, etc., of something.” As stated by Marlene Nourbe Se Philip, “I think we humans are cursed and blessed; the desire for meaning, to find meaning in all around us.” The reader's aim is to discover the meaning of a text, but not necessarily their role to create it. ‘Inglan is a bitch’ is surely proof of this. The poem is known to be an extremely powerful commentary on the treatment of African-Caribbean immigrants in the 1980s, a consensus created by the poet’s use of non-standard English. The poem is written completely in an unstandardized, phonetic, Jamaican patois which stresses the difficulties of being a black, blue

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