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GCSE: Sujata Bhatt: from Search For My Tongue
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Poetry Analysis Tatamkhulu Afrika: Nothing's Changed, Sujata Bhatt: from Search for My Tongue, Tom Leonard: from Unrelated Incidents, Derek Walcott: Love after Love
It is a symbol of the divisions of colour, and class - often the same thing in South Africa. As he backs away from it at the end of the poem, Afrika sees himself as a "boy again", who has left the imprint of his "small, mean mouth" on the glass. He wants "a stone, a bomb" to break the glass - he may wish literally to break the window of this inn, but this is clearly meant in a symbolic sense. He wants to break down the system, which separates white and black, rich and poor, in South Africa.
- Word count: 4989
Sujata Bhatt has two main culturalidentities Indian and English, which are represented by her use of language.Her 'mother tongue' is Gujerati, and her English voice, an adopted, becomes a'foreign voice'. This is the conflict between cultural identit...
The echoing answer is always 'NO'. These poems can be linked as protest poems, poems that raise and to a degree complain about issues related to their cultural origins, but which could be universalised. Sujata Bhatt was born in India in 1956. Her family moved to America in the 1960s and she now lives in India. She writes in both English and Gujerati, her mother tongue. This poem is part of a much longer poem which explores these ideas in detail The poet describes the experience of living in a foreign country and speaking in a language which is not the mother tongue.
- Word count: 1235
Discuss the ways in which culture and identity are presented in 'search for my tongue' and 'presents from my aunts in Pakistan'
It is written as a reply to a question and the word tongue is used as a conventional metaphor for language. Next she says "I ask you, what would you do if you had two tongues in your mouth" the word 'tongues' re-awakens the metaphor by making us aware of its physical sense. Sujata Bhatt then repeats the words 'tongue' and 'could' several times in the next section, this shows uncertainty. Among this she includes some ideas of the tongue turning more organic, with the idea, "your mother tongue would rot, rot and die in your mouth".
- Word count: 1745
Where as Sujata Bhatt is of Asian origin, which may influence her take on writing. She was born in Ahmedabad, India in 1956. This means the backgrounds of both writers are very different, as Shakespeare lived in the UK and Sujata lived in India. Also the poems were written in very different periods of time. When Shakespeare wrote 'Sonnet 17', Elizabeth I ruled England - the Elizabethan Age. Bhatt wrote her poem in India, completely different time periods and ways of living. Both poets' fell very frustrated about writing but have very different reasons for feeling so.
- Word count: 1266
Write About How Sujata Bhatt and Moniza Alvi convey their views on different cultures in 'Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan' and 'Search For My Tongue'
She realises that not speaking a language does not mean that you have lost your cultural identity. In 'Search for my Tongue' I think that Sujata Bhatt does not like having to belong to two cultures. The line ' if you lived in a place you had to speak a foreign tongue' reinforces this point. The words 'had to' suggest the fact that she is being forced to speak German when she really wants to speak Gujarati. This implies the fact that she does not want to have to speak German but feels she has no other choice and would much rather be speaking Gujarati.
- Word count: 1617
'You mean when light an shadow Mix in de sky' However having a mixed cultural background could be an advantage because if you lived in one culture, and moved to the other you wouldn't forget parts of the other as quickly as you would then if you only had one culture because you would be used to having two in your life. This is a way in which the poems are linked in with each other because search for my tongue shows that it is easy to forget a part of your culture and half-caste tries to show that having two cultures is not a disadvantage.
- Word count: 879
The poem 'Search for my Tongue' starts off in the past tense but later converts into the present, towards the end of the poem. Secondly, it soon becomes aware to me that, whilst comparing both poems, the poets have used their work to portray their emotional status' in response to almost possessing dual cultures. In 'Presents from my Aunt in Pakistan', Alvi concentrates on cultural dislocation, which is unquestionably the poets feelings about her ethnic background. From quotes such as 'half-english', 'Marks & Spencer's' and 'salwar kameez didn't impress the schoolfriend', I begin to picture that she is caught in the middle of fashion and popularity in England and her original, cultural traditions.
- Word count: 961
However, by the end of the poem she seems to have built up confidence and she makes it clear that she is fed up of working hard, like when she says 'you can bake your bread and make your bed and answer your own front door.' She states that she is never coming back by saying 'But now you're on your own, my dear. I won't be there anymore.' I think the purpose of this purpose is to show that servants have feelings and that they are not just people that should be ordered around.
- Word count: 762
Explore the poets search for identity in 'Search For My Tongue', 'Unrelated Incidents', and 'Half-Caste'.
She sends a message of being alienated without her mother tongue, almost like being orphaned to her second tongue because she feels as if she has been rebounded onto it. She uses any metaphors to express her feelings and emotions about getting her mother tongue back; 'it grows back, a stump of a shoot, grows longer, grows moist, grows stronger veins, it ties the other tongue in knots, the bud opens, the bud opens in my mouth.' This is about the native tongue of hers coming back to her blossoming like a flower, by the end of the poem her
- Word count: 915
She explains these ideas in Gujarati. 3. She then translates her thoughts for us in English (so line 31-38 mean something similar to lines 17-30), showing that although her mother tongue dies during the day, it grows back in her dreams at night, becoming strong and producing blossoms. Try reading it aloud. Each line of Gujarati script is followed by a phonetic English version in brackets, so even if you don't know any Gujarati, you can still have a go.
- Word count: 887
Compare Search For My Tongue by Sujata Bhatt, Hurricane Hits England by Grace Nichols and Presents from Aunts in Pakistan by Moniza Alzi.
In 'Search for My Tongue', Sujata Bhatt compares the growth of her tongue to a flower growing, describing it as "a stump of a shoot" and "the bud opens". This use of imagery makes the re-growth of the mother tongue seem mysterious and beautiful, as well as portraying how the tongue grows back, thus likening it to the development of a flower. Moniza Alvi also uses imagery to make the presents from Pakistan seem exotic and interesting. In 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan', she describes the salwar kameez she received as "glistening like an orange split open", which relates it to something beautiful and metaphorical.
- Word count: 1285
It also reflects how she feels about her own identity. Contrastingly, in 'Island Man' Nichols uses a wide range of contrasting colours to show culture. In the poem the colour "emerald" is used to describe the island and the word "grey" to describe London. This contrast in colours builds up a contrast between the two islands. The Islands colours are bright and intense, to show the beauty of the place. By using dull colours to describe London the reader believes that the Island Man would be more contented in his own culture.
- Word count: 767
She also tried to think and dream both languages at the same time but she couldn't. She has dreamt in Gujarati and transliterated into English. At the end of the poem her feelings changes a bit because she describes over the night her confidence grows back even stronger than before, but while she dreams it grows back, stump of a shoot grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins, it tries the other tongue in knots. This means she highlights the difficulties being part of two cultures.
- Word count: 619
and in 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' when the poet says 'My costume clung to me and I was aflame' (Lines 22-23). These sentences show suffering, in 'Search for my tongue' the suffering is when the person in the poem can't decide what tongue, or language she should be using and she is suffering as she is trapped between two different choices and does not know which one to choose. In 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' the girl in the poem feels as if the costume that she is wearing from her original culture is setting her on fire as she is not used to it and does not feel comfortable in it.
- Word count: 650
Panic because she has a worry about losing the ability in speaking her mother tongue: 'if you had two tongues in your mouth, and lost the first one, the mother tongue,' Here the audience is given a negative imagery of the poet. In the first section of this poem, the poet shows the importance of her Gujarati culture and the fear of losing her mother tongue, which to her means losing her identity: she says; 'And if you lived in a place yu had to speak a foreign tongue, your mother tongue would rot, rot and die in your mouth'
- Word count: 1498
is like losing part of one's body. The poet's dream may be something she has really dreamt "overnight" but is clearly also a "dream" in the sense of something she wants to happen - in dreams, if not in reality, it is possible for the body to regenerate. For this reason the poem's ending is ambiguous - perhaps it is only in her dream that the poet can find her "mother tongue". On the other hand, she may be arguing that even when she thinks she has lost it, it can be found again.
- Word count: 3772
Compare the Ways that Culture & Identity are Presented in from 'Search for my Tongue' and from 'Unrelated Incidents'.
Search for my Tongue is talking to the reader. Both poems are very different on the content and what it is about. Unrelated Incidents is very much about if it was read in Standard English that wouldn't be taken seriously "Lik wanna yoo scruff". Also it is putting across that this is just what the BBC newsreaders are rejecting today. If it was re-written in Standard English it wouldn't carry the same "Trooth" because it would be just someone talking normally on the news.
- Word count: 610
Compare the two poems, 'Presents from my aunts in Pakistan' and 'Search for my tongue' - Both poems shows people thinking about their roots and how each poem conveys their thoughts and feelings.
She describes how it feels like wearing the 'salwar kameez' and how she longed for denim and corduroy. She's drawn to the loveliness of the gifts but feels awkward wearing them because she is more comfortable in English clothes. The poem is full of associated, sometimes contrasting images. An example of a contrasting image is '... of no fixed nationality staring through fretwork in the Shalimar gardens.' Fretwork is basically decorative carving and the Shalimar gardens is an ornamental ark in Lahore, her hometown. The girl describes how life in England differs from life in Pakistan. She talks about the salwar kameez as 'alien' but wanting cardigans from Marks and Spencer's.
- Word count: 1034
Looking at both "Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan" and "Search For My Tongue", there is a similarity between the poems because both poets have a shared experience of living between two cultures and these experiences led to the writing of the two poems.
are two salwar kameez which are both bright and colourful, embossed slippers which are gold and black which shows signs of richness and wealth, an apple green sari which was silver bordered which shows freshness and how beautiful the clothes were. She also got delicate jewellery and "Candy-striped glass bangles, snapped, drew blood." They hurt her, which shows Pakistan culture is painful to her. She describes her feelings towards the clothes "I tried each satin-silken top- was alien in the sitting room.
- Word count: 1687
Compare two poems from different cultures and traditions, "Search for my tongue" by Sujata Bhatt and "Presents from my aunts in Pakistan" by Moniza Alvi.
She is feeling sad and ashamed that she has forgotten who she is. Sujata Bhatt talks to you and continues to ask you questions through the first stanza: "I ask you what would you do If you had two tongues in your mouth" This involves the reader and makes him/her think about Sujata's predicament. "Presents from my aunt in Pakistan" is about a half Pakistani half English girl who is almost an outcast in both societies, as she cannot release her Pakistani side in England and vice versa. She will always be frowned upon by Pakistanis for being half English and vice versa.
- Word count: 794
'A piece of art, as well as being a creation to be enjoyed, can also be a mirror...If a country or culture lacks such mirrors it has no way of knowing what it looks like, it must travel blind' (Margaret Atwood).
National identity refers to the identification with one's nation. This nation does not necessarily have to be the one in which they were born in. It could be where their parents are from, or even a nation that one feels passionate about and recognises oneself with having characteristics and attitudes similar to people from that nation. National identity can also mean the nature and character of a nation as a collective body. Poetry should be as Margaret Atwood says a 'creation to be enjoyed'.
- Word count: 4444
This line also suggest to me that the poet accuses the reader to make the reader feel the same way as the poet do, to have two tongues and having problems to maintain them. The first stanza of the poem is telling us that the poet is trying to search or remember her mother tongue. This fits its title 'Search for My Tongue', searching for her mother tongue, which then she found in the second and third stanzas. She include her mother tongue lines to show to the reader that she has finally found her mother tongue thus making her not feel alienated from her own society any more.
- Word count: 1132
‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ and‘Search for my Tongue’ both show people thinking about their roots - How does each poet convey her thoughts and feelings?
There are quite a few similarities between the two poems. Both of the poems are about race, identify and roots. Sujata Bhatt does this in her poem by looking as language where as Moniza Alvi does this by associating race and identity with material things. The two poems are both autobiographical and written in first person. The shape of 'Presents my Aunts sent from Pakistan' is unfixed along one side, there are seven stanzas and they are in free verse. Moniza has done this to emphasise how her thoughts are unfixed between the two cultures.
- Word count: 1042
Compare the ways that culture and identity are presented in ‘From Search For My Tongue’ and ‘Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan'.
The first point I would like to make is how both the writers feel that they no longer belong to a country. They feel confused to their identity and how to behave. In 'From Search For My Tongue' Bhatt feels that she has lost her mother tongue because she has to adapt to another culture and language 'You could not use them both together even if you thought that way' which means that even though she wants to be able to speak her mother tongue as well as the foreign one she can't.
- Word count: 529
There are also contrasts in both poems, which illustrate the poet's point more so. The opening five lines of both poems make interesting reading. Island Man starts off with a very majestic and idyllic scene, with the waves lapping against the shore. It is in these first few lines that our island man shows a feeling of displacement, just in the environment he is in. The first stanza goes as follows:- '....wakes up to the sound of blue surf in his head the steady breaking and wombing....'
- Word count: 1115