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How important is language to the poets identities in Search for My Tongue and Unrelated Incidents?

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Introduction

How important is language to the poets' identities in "Search for My Tongue" and "Unrelated Incidents"? 'Search for my Tongue is about a woman who is from India who is living in an English speaking country. She feels she has lost her mother tongue because she can't speak to anyone in her preferred language. She wants readers to imagine how it would feel if they were in her position because all she can speak is other people's language in order to survive. She wants the reader to know that the language she is speaking is a stranger to her. She rejoices her language in her dreams and this shows that her language or mother tongue will never leave her. 'Unrelated Incidents' is also a poem about language and identity. The poem is about as Glaswegian poet from Glasgow. He is angry that the history of dialect in this country is linked directly to class because if you speak with Received Pronunciation you are supposed to be upper class, whereas if you speak with a dialect you are considered lower class. ...read more.

Middle

Similarly 'Unrelated Incidents' focuses on language and identity. The poem is long and thin like an autocue showing that he is newsreader. This shows that it's someone else's words and that he is becoming someone else. The poem starts off using elements of Standard English for example 'this is the six a clock news'. Then, when he gets angry his dialect becomes stronger, 'voice lik wanna yoo scruff, if a toktaboot thi trooth'. It's narrow and long to reflect the history of language, society and power and the narrow mindness of those who believe dialects are inferior 'scruff'. If you talk with a dialect you are scruff and inferior. In 'Search for My Tongues' the language begins simple and conversational and then becomes more descriptive as she moves into the dream. At the beginning it's very conversational, 'You ask me what I mean by saying I have lost my tongue'. This reflects what the poem is about. The extended metaphor is then introduced. The poet then uses alliteration like 'two tongues' which creates the feeling like your struggling and tries to make the reader actually experience this. ...read more.

Conclusion

'This is thi six o'clock news'. As the poem progresses the dialect becomes stronger and less Standard English is being used and he uses phonetics' toktaboot thi trooth'. The rules of punctuation are rebelled against 'thirza right way ti spell ana right way ti tok it'. The poet spells most words as he would say it and uses phonetics. He also rebels by starting a new sentence without a capital letter. The poem lacks any descriptive imagery because he is angry and frustrated. Repetition of 'scruff' is used because the poet wants to get across what he thinks of the news readers and the history of language. I think she has written the poem to show her feelings to other people and to put across her view. I agree with this because I think everyone should have there own personal view. I have learnt that no matter how long you speak a different language you will always remember your first language. I think he has written the poem to show to other people how he feels about news readers and the history of languages. I agree with this because again everyone should have their own views. I have learnt that the way people speak is not a way to judge people. Josh Hartley ...read more.

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