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How can the arrival of something from another culture challenge someone's thinking? Discuss this with references of 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan.

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Introduction

How can the arrival of something from another culture challenge someone's thinking? Discuss this with references of 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan. The poet looks at the issue of a young girl who has been split into two different cultures. The two cultures have torn her apart, being in a western culture has also changed how she feels about life, 'I was there-of no fixed nationality'. This quote shows how Alvi's general feeling of not belonging, which is the idea that the poem explores. Although the poet comes from an Asian background, she desperately wants to be able to fit in and be able to wear the clothes, which her friends wear. Alvi describes that the school friend is not impressed by her wardrobe clothes, which is filled full of the Salwar Kameez. ...read more.

Middle

Also the presents from my Aunts also mirror how she feels mentally about the Pakistan culture. 'Candy-striped glass bangles snapped, drew blood'. Initially they appear beautiful, but they break to reveal themselves to have another less perfect side. Throughout the poem, it is clear that the Alvi has no clear sense of identity. 'I admired the mirror work, tired to glimpse myself in the miniature glass cycles'. Here, she is desperately trying to capture a real image of her nationality and who she really is. The central message is that she feels out of place, feels isolated, 'Of no fixed nationality's'. She feels that she's alienated. The use of similes and alliteration are placed all over the poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

She suggested that the clothes are too special and don't fit in, clothes let her down, she wishes 'for denim and corduroy'. The poet's attitudes towards her presents at the end of the poem are positive and negative. Positive feelings are that she admires the clothes, and wants to know about her past by the photo's she has and the presents her aunt has given her. She imagined her grandmother and aunt with salwar kameez in shaded rooms. A negative is that she feels uncomfortable, wants to be part of the western world. Trapped and can not get out and explore each culture in her own way, desperately trying to marry the two cultures together. Feeling very ambivalent, feeling two. Trying to fit in, but wants to be different, as she is a unique person. Fitting in here but 'torn apart' same as everything else. Created by Dale Hiscocks 10M ...read more.

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