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Present From My Aunt And Search For My Tongue Comparison

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i) Compare the poets description of conflict in 'Presents from my aunts in Pakistan' with one other poem. 'Presents from my aunt in Pakistan' was a poem written by Moniza Alvi. Alvi was born of mixed nationality, with her father coming from Pakistan and her mother coming from England. Moniza's poem expresses her confusion in her search identity. In contrast Sanjita Bhatt's poem, 'from search for my tongue' is also about coming to terms with a different culture. In 'search...' it is about the poet's original language that is central to her identity; whereas in 'presents...' it is how she dresses and her family customs that are central to her identity. The first stanza in 'presents...' describes the clothes sent to Alvi by her aunts in Pakistan. Two 'salwar kameez' outfits. The beautiful vivid colours are described with the simile, 'glistening like an orange split open'. ...read more.


'Lost the first one...and could not really know the other'. The second language seems to be alien to the original language and the writer demonstrates that she can't fully understand a completely different culture. Alvi states in her poem that she would rather dressed in western fashions, feeling that the Pakistani clothes are too beautiful for her to wear. 'I could never be as lovely / as those clothes'. She wanted the 'denim and corduroy' that were typical of England. In search for my tongue, the poet argues that you cannot use both 'tongues together', and that 'your mother tongue would rot and die in your mouth'' and 'you had to spit it out'. This suggests that the second language has made the first seem as being disgusting. The shorter third stanza of 'presents...' focuses on a camel-skin lamp owned by her parents in which she admired the colours which she describes with the simile 'like stained glass'. ...read more.


Positive and negative diction is juxtaposed throughout to contrast the two cultures and show the potential problems that could rise. Both poems use metaphorical language to show their ideas on their identity and language. Alvi uses metaphors like 'there was a conflict, a fractured land', to show her own feelings of not fitting in. However in Bhatt's poem, she uses metaphorical language to describe her mother tongue growing back like a flower, 'every time I think I've forgotten...it blossoms out of my mouth. This defines her real self and also portrays an image of a bursting flower in the readers mind. The word gives positive significance. In conclusion both poems are very similar in expressing the difficulties with being stuck with two cultures. The theme of the value of life, without its conflicts is eventually conveyed towards the end of Bhatt's poem. However the teenage girl in 'presents from my aunts' feels she does not know her 'real' identity and is still left feeling 'alien in the sitting room' frustrated with her internal conflict. ...read more.

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