Composition

Headline

The headline of Andrea Levy’s article “This is my England” can be interpreted in several ways.

Firstly, this headline might suggest that Levy is presenting what England looks like through her eyes and her experiences of living in England, with its good and bad points. Levy discusses the prejudices that are still present in English society, as well as the positive aspects, such as multiculturalism. In this way, Levy highlights the conflicting feelings she has about being English:

I love that our national dish has become curry. And the view from London's Waterloo Bridge just takes my breath away. I hate being English when I hear what happened to Stephen Lawrence. When every day seems like a battle against racism, and hatred, and the quiet, polite hostility that holds many black and Asian people back from fulfiling their potential. I want to belong to anywhere but this place where I am made to feel like an outsider - not welcome, definitely not welcome at all. (ll. 189-194)

Another aspect of the headline is highlighted through the use of the possessive pronoun “my”. This points to Levy’s right to call England her home, “the only society I truly know and sometimes understand” (l. 184). In this way, she challenges those who are “appalled” (l. 200) that she considers herself English because they believe she has the wrong skin color. Levy has Jamaican roots, and Jamaica use...

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