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Comparisons Between The Two Poems 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' & 'Search for my Tongue'

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Comparisons Between The Two Poems 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' & 'Search for my Tongue' In our poetry unit, we have been studying two poems from different cultures titled 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' by Moniza Alvi, and 'Search for my Tongue' by Sujata Bhatt. In this essay, I will be showing you how the writers use their own poetic devices within their work to their advantage and how the poets have used different themes to overcome in their own poems. To begin this essay, I will be presenting to you how Alvi and Bhatt have used different viewpoints within their poems to put across their message to the reader. In the poem 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan', Alvi chooses to present her work in the narrative viewpoint of the first person, reducing the chance of her poem being a conversational one. She then chooses to phrase her work in the past tense, so that she is getting the reader to ponder on the characters state of mind and explore into her past. ...read more.


Throughout both poems, the main issue is about how have both the poets adjusted to the change in culture and society. In 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan', the poet takes to the English culture almost instantaneously (e.g. fashion) even though she is subconsciously aware that she is Pakistani. In 'Search for my Tongue', the poet almost forgets her foundations and adjusts well. But, she finds her vernacular tongue towards the end of the poem which makes her feel guilty and angry at the same time for forgetting it. Yet, she only seems to feel bad when she remembers that she's not English. There seems to be a whole range of different cultures mentioned within both poems. In 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan', there is a mixture of different issues in the text including clothing, friends and presents. 'salwar kameez' is a Pakistani traditional costume, but she tends to be more interested in impressing her new peers, so she wears clothes from 'Marks & Spencer's'. In 'Search for my Tongue', the only theme that is dealt with is the differences in the languages. ...read more.


This effects how she views England and its status at the present. In 'Search for my Tongue', Bhatt uses irregular stanzas, which makes it more realistic and personal to the reader. She provides detailed images and uses a confessional tone. Bhatt also directly addresses the reader and uses Gujarati with a phonetic translation so that we can get to understand her ethnic qualities. Both poets have obviously felt, at some point, a loss of cultural identity because of their longing for a traditional life. In 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan', Alvi feels that she has lost her countries attitude and view on life. She then decides to opt for a more 'British' view on life and literally dumps her traditions. In 'Search for my Tongue', Bhatt feels she has lost her native qualities. Yet, she still uses Gujarati in her poem, so she obviously still has her vernacular language. In conclusion to this essay, 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' takes a more negative approach than 'Search for my Tongue' because it is all about the troubles that the family faced in England, where as 'Search for my Tongue' is all about the joy of settling within a new society but to still also remember your ethnic upbringing and traditions. ...read more.

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