” This poem has many similarities with Taylor’s novel, like the title for instance. Both titles are alluding to strong forms of weather, which are typical of the weather in the U. S. A and Caribbean. Also, both are written in the first person narrative form, which creates more intimacy for the reader. However in A Hurricane Hits England the first stanza is written from the third person perspective: “It took a hurricane, to bring her closer to the landscape” Nichol’s has used an effective technique here; she has stepped out of her own situation and is speaking as an onlooker.
As readers we can relate to this perspective more because there is more explanation of the whole instance rather than just one view. She is explaining how such a terrible force can bring a feeling of bliss, so that we have some sort of understanding of the actual poem before we begin to read it. This poem is based on the hurricane in 1987 and her reaction to it. Erica Davis claims: “the hurricane brings her closer to England and yet further from her roots where she longs to be. ” This point is supported in the extract above.
Nichols cannot believe that such a beautiful force of nature that exists in her native situation is occurring in another place: “What is the meaning of trees, Falling heavy as whales, Their crusted roots. ” Here, she has focuses on a particular aspect of the environment (trees), she emphasises the power of the hurricane saying that it has the force to bring down objects that are as heavy as whales. She herself cannot understand the extreme intensity of the hurricane and why it is happening in England, this explains why there is a question mark at the end of the stanza.
They are a set of rhetorical questions, they have no answer, there are simply emphasising the mystery and awe that she is feeling. The technique that is evident in all Nichols poems is her use of powerful environmental imagery to portray her ideas. This technique is also evident in A Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. Like Nichols, Taylor also uses natural objects to convey important themes. Throughout the novel there is a particular focus on seasons: “it began to rain, a hard, swelling summer rain which brought a premature green darkness to the land and forced us to leave our hoeing. ” Taylor uses the weather to reflect a distressing situation.
This is evident in the words she has selected, like “darkness” and “swelling. ” This description contradicts the one we are presented with at the beginning of the chapter, where vibrancy and optimism were shown. It is interesting how she uses the weather and other surroundings to create an atmosphere for the instance that is about to take place. As the readers it makes us ease into the situation and helps us to grasp it better. In this case Mr Logan and Stacey are missing, Cassie and Mrs Logan are becoming apprehensive. The use of the extract above reflects the mood in the Logan house.
Taylor uses rain and darkness to convey mystery and the implication of danger that is going through the minds of “Big Ma”, Cassie and Mrs Logan. Both Nichols and Taylor explore similar issues that have affected them personally, the fact that both of them present a personal response already differentiates them. Nichols, has a passionate view of the stereotyping and prejudice behaviour that takes place and this is emphasised in some of her poems like, Of Course When They Ask for Poems on the Realities of Black Women, her whole outlook on judgement is much more bleak than that of Taylor.
The tension she feels is implemented in the techniques used in linguistic, structural and tonal features of her poems; this is evident in “Hurricane Hits England. ” In this poem the language, form, tone and structure all echo her inner thoughts of despair. Poetry allows us to portray our emotions effectively as the concise form conveys mood as well as the actual content. In poems a lot can be recognised from the structure and tone and changes in them, the implication of the poet can therefore easily be identified.
A novel offers us more of an explanation, and a more autobiographical and somewhat understandable point of view. For every opinion that is suggested there is a suitable explanation in the novel, for example, there is a reason to loath wealthy white people in the form of the Wallace’s, but one major difference between the two authors was in their view of the gap between black and white. Nichols considered white people to be from a distant race to her, when she moved to England she felt she did not fit in, there is a distinct element of vastness there.
While Taylor conveys a similar mood at times in her novel the equality and liberty is shown in the character of Jeremy (who belongs to the Wallace’s). The fact that Taylor used Jeremy to represent a liberal minded white person shows us that Taylor (despite her experiences) is not prejudiced against white people. For Nichols, there is an element of deprivation involved. She is being deprived of something she once had; this explains the intensity of her views.
However, for Taylor the situation is different, she never lived in an all black society, she never knew what it was like to be treated like a normal human being and so we can see there is more acceptance on her part. Discrimination and injustice against blacks was not abolished from Mississippi until the 1960’s and the events described in this book are taken from around 1933. Taylor was born and bred in a society, which was full of discrimination, and poor treatment and this is clearly shown in her novel.
It is apparent that injustice has been a disturbing part of both Nichol’s and Taylor’s lives; their literature shows evidence of their unfair individual and cultural treatment and their views towards it. It informs us about a controversial state of affairs and by analysing their literature we can see how far black people have come since the 1930’s. We can also see them moving forward in the present society, their dream towards liberation is slowly being accomplished.