Comparative Study: The City Planners AND The Planners


Resource Pack for: A comparative study and analysis of ‘The City Planners’ by Margaret Atwood and ‘The Planners’ by Boey Kim Cheng

Created by Erika Jenkins


As a form of protest, literature and poetry in particular, serve to engage, influence and direct readers to a society’s values. Poets are often referred to as the ‘conscience of a society’ in that they dare to write the thoughts, feelings and protests that the ordinary man only dreams of being able to do.

Poets through the ages have been persecuted and silenced for the audacious ways in which they challenge the ‘wrong’ in society. Think along the lines of Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Tatamkhulu Afrika and John Agard – these poets wrote as the ‘voice’ of the societies they lived in, in the fight against the sentiments of racism and oppression. Poets like Wilfred Owen, Sigfried Sassoon and Vera Brittain were particularly vocal against the senselessness and futility of war. Our distinguished Māori poet Hone Tuwhare challenges a range of issues, including environmental concerns. So, whenever we think about a situation where oppression, inequality and war prevail, we are sure to find poets who take it upon themselves to conscientise society.