Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes and Nothing’s Changed

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Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes and Nothing’s Changed

Two Scavengers in a Truck,

Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes (Lawrence Ferlinghetti) and
Nothing’s Changed (Tatamkhulu Afrika)

The American Constitution clearly states that all men are created equally and should have the same opportunities as each other. However,
Ferlinghetti believes this is not true. In his observation he sees the garbagemen or ‘scavengers’ tired and weary from their route, working hard but still in unavoidable poverty. Also using a word like scavengers he compares the garbagemen to rodents scrounging a living at the bottom of society. He then sees the ‘elegant’ couple in an
‘elegant’ Mercedes, loving their life, not
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The second contrast in the title is
‘Truck’ and ‘Mercedes’. This enlightens us further on the social status of the garbagemen and the elegant couple as a garbage truck is associated with waste and rubbish, but a Mercedes implies rich, powerful and stylish. This is an important comparison as the garbagemen and the garbage truck are dirty and smelly, however, the elegant couple are, like the Mercedes sleek, stylish and powerful.
Ferlinghetti then continues by saying what the four are wearing, the garbagemen in red plastic blazers, but the elegant couple, dressed to perfection. The man in a ‘hip three pieced suit’ and sunglasses, sat next to him is the woman so ‘casually coifed’ in a ‘short skirt’ and
‘coloured stockings’. Using words like ‘hip’ and ‘casually coifed’;
Ferlinghetti tells us that the beautiful people really are beautiful.
He then writes about their appearance using strong words like
‘gargoyle Quasimodo’ and ‘grungy’ for the garbagemen but for the beautiful people ‘elegant’ and ‘cool’ are the words he has chosen to best describe them. The phrase ‘gargoyle Quasimodo’ suggests an ugly disfigured man as a gargoyle is a beast carved in stone whereas
Quasimodo meaning almost finished or half made, was the disfigured bell ringer at Notre Dame Cathedral. This said Ferlingetti tells us of a striking resemblance between one of the garbagemen and the driver of the Mercedes. They both have
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