Topic: Family, Life & ExperiencesEmotions

Last updated: April 18, 2019

Name: Shonalia Jhagroo Student Number: 62845276
Eng1501 – Assignment 01
Reference number: 7549NWFLSOT2N187IP48AK3TNQ7-138Question 1
The poet, Sipho Sepamla, was one of the poets who were often referred to as the “poets of the city”. Fittingly, in the poem “The loneliness beyond”, he describes the city life and how crowded it is in the city, yet people still feel alone. This is described in lines 17-19 (I’ve watched the multitudes rub shoulders And I’ve wondered what they do With the loneliness beyond;). In line 1, he compares how the people arrive at random conveys, in haste. People in the city live a very rushed life. In line 3 the word “torrent” also describes their rushed, overwhelmed lives. The word “maskless” in line 7 describes how tired the people are. They extremely exhausted that don’t have any expression on their face. In line 8 the word “maimed” tells us why they may feel so alone in this crowded city. People hurt others feelings or spirits. Sipho Sepamla compares the people in the city as cattle (Like sheep herded into a kraal – Line 14). Just as cattle are taken out into a field (city) to graze and later on they are gathered back together, so to the people in the city leave their homes in the morning, go to work or school and then back home in the evening.

In lines 1-3 the poet makes use of a similie. He compares the pattering raindrops to people. Just as raindrops patter randomly so to the people arrive randomly. Also, just as rain comes and goes so to the people come and go. It also conveys the haste with which they are moving. This gradual arrival of people ends in a ‘torrent’ which implies a rush.
By using the words ‘maskless face’ the poet describes how he sees the people of the city. The words suggest a lack of individuality because the people experience the same sense of hopelessness. The word ‘maskless’ describes how emotionally crushed the masses are. Due to their circumstances they are extremely tired that they cannot disguise their true feelings. Their raw emotions are evident.
.1 The irony in lines 17-19 is that, the speaker sees how lonely the people are, even though there are so many people together.
This shows us that even though one may be part of a crowd, one does not necessarily escape their loneliness. The loneliness isn’t physical or external therefore no matter how many people are around, the loneliness cannot be cured as it is coming from within. The crowd isn’t comforting.
The main theme of the poem is the lack of people’s individuality. This indicates that majority of the people (throngs of people) in the city feel confined in their homes (little holes of resting), even though it may be big. This is due to their loneliness, which makes them suffocated.
Question 2
In the play, The Road to Mecca by Athol Fugard, the are many themes portrayed. The theme that will be discussed is the theme of art and freedom, through Helens journey and how her community reacts to it. The mecca metaphor in the play speaks both to the freedom one can achieve through creativity and the journey personified in the artistic process itself.

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After Helens husband dies, Helen had a need for artistic expression. Helens community expected her to be the pious; however she found more inspiration, meaning and happiness in creating sculptures. Creating sculptures was Helens spirituality, rather than her going to a church. Helen creates her Mecca, which is a series of sculptures created by her. When creating the sculptures she does not ask anyone for their feedback therefore we can say that the sculptures are Helens expressions of artistic, individual freedom, her Mecca is symbolic of her religious freedom. Through Helens art she shows herself as a strong and independent woman.
Helens art consists of sculptures of figures such as owls, camels and wise-men, all facing east towards Mecca. Her sculptures can be seen as not only her struggle for artistic fulfilment but also her struggle of women and minorities for self-expression. Helens neighbours get suspicious of her eccentric sculptures. Also, Helen rejects Christian imagery for Muslim imagery in her artwork. This is also one of the reasons for the way Helen is treated in her community.

Helen comes from a Christian background, where girls are married at a young age and expected to start a family. When a woman becomes a widow, she is expected to go to church regularly and retire to a nursing home. However, Helen breaks all these society norms after her husband’s death. This obviously brings about a lot of gossip and many ridicule her. Although she faces all the negativity from the community Helen gains a sense of individuality. With the help of Elsa) Helen is able to remain at home and live her life the way she wishes to.

In the play we see how a widow seeks freedom of society norms. She finds happiness in creating sculptures and creating a Muslim imagery in her artwork. Even though her community expects something different from she continues doing what makes her happy. The play The Road to Mecca shows us how society norms can keep us from living our lives, especially as women. However when women remain head-strong, anything is possible.



Name and student number: Shonalia 62845276
Assignment topic: ENG 1501 Assignment 01
I declare that this assignment is my own original work. Where secondary material has been used (either from a printed source or from the Internet), this has been carefully acknowledged and referenced in accordance with departmental requirements. I understand what plagiarism is and am aware of the department’s policy in this regard. I have not allowed anyone else to borrow or copy my work.

Signature: S.Jhagroo
Date: 14 August 2018


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