Question Analysis Mongane Wally Serotes’s “Alexandra”
Section A-Topic interpretation
The question expects that I analyse the poem of Alexandra written by Mongane Wally Serote. The question requires me to focus on “place” i.e. a township in Johannesburg and context – in this instance the literary context would be during the apartheid years in South Africa and how people of colour especially the African people from the townships in this case Alexandra were discriminated against and had many of their human rights denied under the rule of apartheid period. In this essay i will attempt to analyse important points from the poem from the beginning to the end by discussing the above and paying special close attention to the use of the mother figure in the poem and the message not the poem.
Section B-List of main ideas
• Activist poetry poems that were written during apartheid
• The poem is portrayed to us in a geographical context, historical context as well as an emotional context
• The speaker of the poem creates an image to the reader, what his life was like during the apartheid times in South Africa
• Having a conversation with his “mother” telling her of how he feels
• Grapple with the problems of squalor, violence, death, destitution, exploitation and the Black People’s quest for identity and a sense of community.
• Tells of how people of colours freedom was limited under the rules of apartheid
• The town Alex represents a state of neglect under the apartheid system “dust burdening your nipples”
• Alexandra represents more than just a place, it is his home his comfort point
• The speaker's inner-child addresses his 'mother'; "Alexandra, my beginning was knotted to you, just like you know my destiny".
• Alexandra (the place) is forever connected to the speaker, just like a mother would be forever connected to her child.
• Metaphor, comparing the town of Alexandra to a mother who has to nurture her children.
• The personification of Alexandra (the...