Setting and speaker



The speaker of the poem “The British (serves 60 million)” by Benjamin Zephaniah is probably a persona of the poet, who is a British citizen of Barbadian and Jamaican descent. However, because the entire poem is a metaphor that associates the mingling of British cultures with a food recipe, the speaker seems to take on the role of someone offering indications about the right way to look at British society. 

Although we are not offered any explicit information about the speaker, we can determine some of the speaker’s traits from the comments and appeals made to the reader. Notably, the final comments that we find in the note and the warning show that the speaker is fair and passionate about social rights. We also notice that the speaker is explicitly outspoken against prejudice: "Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all.” (l. 27)


The setting of the poem is never explicitly mentioned, but it is clearly Great Britain. The speaker focuses not on the place itself, but on British society, and wants to point out that anyone living in Britain is a part of British society, no matter where they come from.


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