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Analysis of Carpet-weavers, Morocco by Carol Rumens & Muliebrity by Sujata Bhatt

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Cambridge World Literature Critical Essay ?Carpet-weavers, Morocco? by Carol Rumens & ?Muliebrity? by Sujata Bhatt Bethany Tang 03.11.2011 Carpet-weavers, Morocco By Carol Rumens The children are at the loom of another world. Their braids are oiled and black, their dresses bright. Their assorted heights would make a melodious chime. They watch their flickering knots like television. As the garden of Islam grows, the bench will be raised. Then they will lace the dark-rose veins of the tree-tops. The carpet will travel in the merchant?s truck. It will be spread by the servants of the mosque. Deep and soft, it will give when heaped with prayer. The children are hard at work in the school of days. From their fingers the colours of all-that-will-be fly and freeze into the frame of all-that-was. Muliebrity By Sujata Bhatt I have thought so much about the girl who gathered cow-dung in a wide, round basket along the main road passing by our house and the Radhavallabh temple in Maninagar. I have thought so much about the way she moved her hands and her waist and the smell of cow-dung and road-dust and wet canna lilies, the smell of monkey breath and freshly washed clothes and the dust from crows? wings which smells different ? and again the ...read more.


The simile ?watch their flickering knots like television? asserts the innocence of the children, who sit staring at their work, completely mesmerized by the detail. On a deeper level, Rumen hints of the bleak world in which the children live, in which luxuries such as television are nonexistent, in which they are subjected to the atrocity of child labour. In the third stanza, the poet portrays the fact that the child weavers are not only being abused, their sweat and toil is also undermined. The carpets are merely chucked into the back of a truck for transportation to the mosque for followers and devotees to pray on. It is paradoxical that the children who have weaved the carpets are unable to pray for the welfare of themselves. These carpets are valuable, luxurious and religiously significant merchandise, described elaborately as ?the garden of Islam? (a grand design of carpets), ?deep and soft?, yet the children only receive a nominal amount of wages for their work. The poet?s sympathy towards these child carpet weavers reaches the climax in the last stanza. The first line ?The children are hard at work in the school of days? conveys the fact that the children are spending their days weaving carpets when they should instead be at school. ...read more.


In the eyes of the persona, nothing can fully justify the ?muliebrity? of the girl; nothing is comparable to her womanly qualities and femininity. A metaphor would simply demean her. It is not until the end of the poem when the title and theme ?muliebrity? is truly reflected. The positive lexical field of ?greatness?, ?powerful? and ?glistening? reveals her exuberance and vitality when she finds a ?promising? mound of cow-dung. Gathering cow-dung, to anyone else, is a monotonous, repugnant task; but what truly impresses the persona in the poem is the girl?s ? though still young ? sense of responsibility, satisfaction and contentment in contributing towards her family?s needs. This accentuates her muliebrity, her feminine characteristics. Both poems explore the labour of children in developing countries, yet from contrasting perspectives. In ?Carpet-weavers, Morocco?, Rumens portrays the exploitation of children ?in the school of days? and communicates the helplessness of these children who are unable to escape this situation. Irony is keenly felt through the discrepancy between the beautiful appearance of the children and the harsh reality which draws sympathy from the readers. On the other hand, in ?Muliebrity?, Bhatt considers the sights and smells associated with the girl, and her willingness to perform the lowest menial task, as something almost sacred. The realization is, that simplicity in this sort of life, rather than being decried, is what brings one real satisfaction and contentment. ...read more.

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