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Compare the methods used to show aspects of peoples lives in Night of the Scorpion with the methods used to sow aspects of peoples lives in one other poem.

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Introduction

Compare the methods used to show aspects of people's lives in "Night of the Scorpion" with the methods used to sow aspects of people's lives in one other poem. In "Night of the Scorpion" - Nissim Ezekiel we are able to see how a threatening moment allows a community to display their traditions to save a life. In "What Were They Like?" - Denise Levertov we see how devastation of war can lead to the deterioration of a culture. Both use structure to show peoples lives. "What Were They Like?" uses questions and answers, the fact that the questions are separated from the answers shows that the poet is answering the questions herself but is also separating herself as she doesn't want to be associated with the war against a peaceful nation. ...read more.

Middle

In "What Were They Like?" the tone of questions seem uninterested but then the answers are dramatic and emotive for example the people's "quiet laughter" is contrasting against "burned mouths". The word "burned" is a connotation of how their culture and lives were also "burned" along with the people who were actually murdered, as US soldiers killed innocent civilians. Similarly in the "Night of the Scorpion" the tone changes as we read and find out acout aspects of their lives. This helps alleviate the realism in the poem as it's a short narrative, which sounds like a speech where we are told what people did indirectly. The poet uses the word "May" a lot to show how he thinks the on-going prayers from the community is repetitive and unthinking, "May" also suggest the uncertainty he has of his Mother's survival. ...read more.

Conclusion

The alliteration 'parting with poison' helps the reader sense the dangerous nature of the sting, as the P sound is a quick and harsh tone. The use of the simile 'swarm of flies' in which he uses to describe the villagers suggest that they are not wanted due to flies being associated with annoyance. The poet describes the villagers as insects perhaps making an indirect link between them and the scorpion. In contrast hard hitting language, with no metaphorical resemblances, that we find in "What Were They Like?", helps to shows devastating effects. The poet has distinctively said 'the children were killed' immediately creates a feeling of sympathy from the reader, as the word 'children' is associated with innocence. In the last line the poet starts to question herself by saying 'Who can say? It is silent now', the poet builds up this hatred towards America for going to war with a peaceful nation. ...read more.

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