Review of City Johannesburg Essay

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Review of City Johannesburg This poem City Johannesburg is about a man called Mongane Wally Serote. He wrote about his life during apartheid. He wrote this because one day he got arrested and was left in prison for nine months. When he was finally released he was very angry. A couple of years later he wrote this poem. In this poem Serote speaks of the difficulties created for black people by the law which required them to carry a pass at all times, it also speaks of restrictions it placed on black people. We notice that at the beginning of the poem Serote speaks of life, but further down towards the end of the poem he talks about death. This is quite contrasting, as we notice that he…show more content…
It continues by saying that his pass is his life. These two concepts together show they are both as important as each other. This is because without his pass he has no life. It appears that Serote repeats the words 'Jo' Burg City' many times throughout the poem, this suggests that he was very familiar with the city as he has been there so long. The writer uses similes such as 'my hand like a starved snake rears my pockets'. This simile shows how nervous he is because he is looking for his pass, it also has a lot of depth to it because if you imagine a starved shake clenching onto a piece of food. In the same way you can imagine him clenching to his back pocket. 'For my thin ever lean wallet,' this quote links in to the previous one because it indicates his lack of money. Therefore it also shows his economic status in that city. The poet uses a lot of emotive language in this poem to try and make the readers understand the hardship for black people 'My death, That is so related to me as a wink in the eye' The quote 'the wink in the eye comes across as being emotive because it enables is readers to realise that his death could be as quick as a wink of the eye. This suggests that with every wink there could be danger of death. It is apparent that the poem is written with no structure this maybe because the poets feelings at the time were incoherent. When reading
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