The Concept of Culture in a Poem

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The word culture was derived from a French term, which was first copied from a Latin name ‘colere’ (Herbert 124). The word means cultivation and nurturing as well as tending to the earth and grow. The term culture also have been defined by different people differently. People like playwrights, authors and poets have distinctively explain the term according to their varied concepts and background based on their philosophies. For instance, if an author originate from the European countries or nations which were greatly influenced by European immigrants they will tend to set their literature work on western culture. The western culture which has it root in the traditional period of the Greco-Roman era will be well presented by such writers.  

Apparently, culture is a general word which characterized and acknowledge the characteristics of a given group of persons or individuals in a region. According to Kelly (44) is that cultural group constitutes people of different religion, social habits, region, arts, cuisine and music. Additionally, in most poems the term culture is defined as a shared patterns of interactions and behaviours, understanding and cognitive constructs which are learnt through civilization and socialization. Culture is therefore, seen as the growth of the group identity nurtured together by social patterns which are unique to specific groups. In addition, the cultural group may also be identified with its religion, type of food, clothes they wear, language, music, type of marriage and beliefs.

The essay herein presents the critical analysis of a literary work selected cultural aspects and concepts. The literary work selected is a poem and whose cultural components are covered in the essay. The components of the poem presented in the essay include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and region.

The cultural community representation in the poem can be illustrated using various components of culture. The cultural components include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and region. Race is the primary cultural community concepts created by the writer of the poem to describe the society in his text. The poet points out that different cultures are based on different races who origination are from one place or one region. For instance, the persona in the poem laments on how she is discriminated because of her skin colour (line 11-13). Her lamentations make the readers of the poem to realize that individuals like her are still suffering form racism in their own community. The poet uses such persona to show his audiences that even developed countries that are civilized and modernized are still under transition.

In a more critical view race can be explain as the biological identification of human sub-species with more distinguish anatomical traits. It can therefore, be argued that race cannot be used to discriminate people in civilized and rationalized society since it is a functional personalities of all people in a given region. It can also be argued that traits may also be shared by people of different regions such as individuals in different continents. In an instance, it can be argued critically that prejudice state based on black light colour skin which is mostly linked to Sub-Saharan African is also found in parts of the world. It can be found in world parts like New Guinea, Australia and Indian but not only in Africa. Therefore, the popular norm of viewing human races discriminate them by ignoring the fact that the anatomical traits can be found in individuals from others region should be stopped. From the augment above it can be stated that human races are primarily cultural created but not biological realities.

The ethnicity and gender of the community presented in the poem is more of modernized despite the existence traces of racism. The text represents cultural ethnicity of the community as one with selected and well-defined culture norms. Therefore, the literary work is seem not to group people into different groups and categories but it has generalized all people as one. For instance, the persona or voice in the poem recall how the rich and the poor persons’ used to celebrate together during public holidays (line 14). In a critical point of view is that the literary work represent the community culture as one which is generalized, modern and independence. The modernity and independency in the poem is seen when the lower-class, middle-class and upper-class ethnic groups are feasting and drinking together to identify their cultural traditions which is common. The modernity and independency is a way of moving from old to the new millennium, a point of societal transition.

The poem also presented the cultural community ethnicity as a subculture that shared same language, identical clothing style and food of the cultural group, hence indicating their independence. Additionally, the poem presents the community cultural gender as a modern one and not of the past. Kelly (45) argues that such community does not define its gender based on masculine or feminine of the different groups but define it as a mutual agreement between the groups in the community. In an example, “M’ father cooked, she doesn’t-my mother” (5) quoted from the poem. The reader realizes that community has moved from traditional way of defining gender in terms of roles to modernity. Kelly (45) also agrees that in a modernized cultural community all gender players the same role as equal parties which is happening in the community presented in the poem.

Sexual orientation, religion and region of the community presented in the poem is distinctive and exact like that of contemporary world. The literary work selected shows that the community tackled by the poet supports heterosexuality. It support the sexual attraction and emotional between individuals of different genders, male and female. Therefore, it is argued that in a moral cultured community sexual orientation should only be heterosexuality which is accept in the present world. By giving example of United States culture which allows heterosexuality and give it both complete social and legal legitimacy.

 In addition, religion in the poem based on the modernity. For example, “Tomorrow is the day, the day to worship” (20) quoted from the literary work. The community has a day they dedicate to worship or a day of player as the excerpt above illustrates. Although, the poet did not general present where the group gathers to worship, but a critical reader can state that communities is a modern world can either be Muslim, Christian or Hindus. The region in which the community presented in the poem might be originating is the Western countries especially the United States or United Kingdom. Wright (727) stipulates that it is only in West culture where the ethnicity groups have defined mode of dressing and lacks gender discriminations. It can also be argued that the region represented by the literary work selected is civilized and modernized, therefore, it cannot be in African or any other place but in West.  

The cultural community in the poem identify itself as a part of its individual’s self-conception and the self-perception. They culture is related to their ethnicity, social class, religion, generation, locality and nationality. The characteristics stated above are used by the general society to categorized community into place and interest. The cultural community can be characterized as the place community by the general society when members of the communities are brought together through the geographic boundaries. While, in terms of interest the cultural community presented in the literary work of the poet suit the category because they share the same interest and passion in the culture. The reader of the poem realize that the poet categorized the cultural community as both interest and place based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and region.

The culture group presented in the poem can be classified as both nation and global level community. In instance, “Tomorrow is the day, the day to worship” (20). The reader of the poem can critical analysis and realizes that the community is at both national and global level because the freedom of worshiping is permitted in the cultural group. The freedom of worship is allowed in a modern world in countries which are democratic and which encourages civilization among their citizens. Kelly (46) argues that within a larger society any cultural group that has freedom such as freedom of worship, freedom of association and assembly is classified as a national level community.

Additionally, the poem entirely addresses sexuality orientation which is also allowed in the contemporary world. The poet in line 42 of the poem states that families raised their children happily and they were living luckily. The reader realizes that the line portray the heterosexuality in a community. By, the community having heterosexuality it is can be categorized as a global level cultural group. According to Herbert (176) is that sexuality orientation is the most aspect used by different societies to categorize other societies as either nation or global level cultural group within the community. Hence, the cultural group in the literary work fits the category of both levels.

The ethical concerns to different individuals in the poem has been portrayed in mannered which the readers of all social classes can understand. By trying to introduce the concept of heterosexuality which is legal and legitimate in the cultural community in the text, the poet brings in the ethical concerns pertaining the community. The dilemmas of different character have been illustrated. For example, woman who is the speaker in the poem is in a dilemma two of either to go to festival with her husband or take care of her children. The decision she made is to remain with her children instead of going out her husband, which is a wise decision. The poet attempts to show his audiences that women are good decision makers than men in the modern world. Finally, is can said that the community which it culture was presented in the poem is from a developed or from evolving countries throughout the world. Despite of the challenges they are facing at different moments in their transitional period. Hence, transition is a critical and essential element in any society.

Work Cited

Albert, Herbert. “The Cultural Analysis of the Poem”. The Modern Critics of Literature.             2018. 123-178

Robert, Kelly. Analysis of Literary works: Poem. Modernity and Transition. Routledge.2015.         (2), 45-48.

John, Wright. Characteristics and Qualities of Community Culture: The Modern Literary           Works. 2014. (9). 134-789

August 21, 2023

Culture Literature

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