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Analyse "presents from my aunts in Pakistan" in terms of content, themes and language.

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Introduction

Analyse "presents from my aunts in Pakistan" in terms of content, themes and language Both of these poems are in some way about an individual experiencing more than one cultural identity. These cultures are either conflicted or they have merged together within the person. "Presents from my aunts in Pakistan" by moniza alvi explores her sense of a shared culture by using the experience of receiving ethnic clothes as presents from Pakistan. These colourful clothes are very exotic and beautiful and they signify something greater. For instance, peacock blue symbolises the attractiveness and boldness of the clothes. The term peacock blue suggests that the clothes are bursting with pride and only there for display. ...read more.

Middle

This is already a matter of internal conflict for her. The "satin silk tops" are things of beauty but she says she was alien in the sitting room whilst trying them on, indicating that the sitting room is in England where they look foreign. She also feels slightly intimidated by the clothes, saying "I could never be as lovely as those clothes" she then says "my costume clung to me and I was aflame. I couldn't rise up out of its fire" this implies she felt uncomfortable in the clothes and she thought she could never look as lovely as them, unlike her aunt Jamilla. ...read more.

Conclusion

The senders of the gifts ironically want boring m&s cardigans in return. "miniature glass circles" the tiny mirrors sewn onto the material, seem to be a way of recreating her identity in the country she left. However, all she sees is a fragmented picture of her. This reflects the way she feels. She tries to recall her parents' story of her journey to England by oat and uses photographs to help her visualise her birth place. The mirrors also reveal her aunts and how they live, and finally herself of "no fixed nationality" in Pakistan looking at the Shalimar gardens. The poem is written and laid out in a loosely arranged way. Perhaps this represents the way she is feeling "unfixed", not part of a culture, but hovering around two. ...read more.

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