Analysis Of Tony Harrison's V By Tony Harrison

1027 Words5 Pages
Furthermore, Tony Harrison’s V explores the relationship between centres and margins through language. Harrison uses language in order to not only give voice to the working class, but also to challenge dominant ideologies and dominant voices which are bound up with the use of Standard English. Previously discussed in reference to The Lonely Londoners, Standard English is associated with power and elitism and thus ‘places as subordinate all the utterances that are literally or figuratively between inverted commas’ (). This is challenged in V. in which the privileged voice of the eloquent bourgeois poet () and the working class ‘skinhead’ argue. Harrison was concerned with issues of articulation and voice, this is clear throughout his poetry and he discusses this in an interview: ‘And that the idea of articulation, expression, became for me absolutely vital…show more content…
with its use of other languages and references to the poet Rimbaud (Harrison, ), the play Hamlet (), and composer Herman Darewski (). Although, the use of ‘high culture’ is not as dense as in ‘Them and [Uz]’, it’s still problematic. It forces the reader to ask whether Harrison can ever truly represent the working class background he comes from because he has been ‘internally colonized’ by high culture (Liang, 108). Harrison is unable to communicate the voice of the margins effectively as he is part of the dominant discourse and ideology of high-brow culture. Furthermore, his act of representing a working class experience begins to sound as though the poet is acting in a colonialist manner. The poet tells the working class figure that the only reason he writes this poem is to give ‘some higher meaning to your scrawl’: …in which the poet cultivated with the notion of divine inspiration holds the belief that a poet must shoulder the mission of scattering the enlightenments over the mankind “to give the higher meaning to the scrawl”, and to “give them a hearing”. (Liang,
Open Document