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'Search for my Tongue' and 'Night of the Scorpion'

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Introduction

Compare the two poems 'Search for my Tongue' and 'Night of the Scorpion' in what ways do the poems emphasise the distinctiveness of their cultures? In this essay I will be comparing the two poems 'Search for my Tongue' by Sujata Bhatt who grew up in Pakistan and 'Night of the scorpion' by Nissim Ezekiel who grew up in Africa. 'Search for my Tongue' is based on the author's experiences as she has moved from Pakistan to England. Bhatt is concerned about forgetting her own language Gujerati. In the poem Bhatt shows this concern by saying "if you had two tongues in your mouth, and lost the first one, the mother tongue, and could not really know the other." The way she uses commas splits up the phrases giving the impression of confusion and concern, because she does not want to loose her mother tongue. Night of the scorpion is about a night when Ezekiel was younger, when his mother is stung by a scorpion. In this poem he shows a fight of good and evil by using religious imagery. ...read more.

Middle

I think Ezekiel uses this structure because it gives a long verse which gives the impression of a long night, and the three lines at the end give a bit of relief for the stressful night. Search for my tongue is only one stanza but it is split into three sections by a chunk of Gujerati in the middle. The Gujerati sandwich shows that Gujerati is in the centre of her life and she hasn't forgotten her mother tongue so it is very important to her. In 'Night of the Scorpion' the peasants use incantations, which suggests a simplistic belief system. The line "My father sceptic, rationalist, trying every curse and blessing" shows that his father obviously believes in western rationalism but in the heat of the moment he decides to try every thing including Easton culture. I think the point of the poem is that Ezekiel's mother recovers. However in the poem Ezekiel is also challenging western culture, because western culture tries to explain everything but we don't know if Ezekiel's mother would have got better without these "blessings" or if it was the "blessings" that saved the mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

She tries to make us feel the same way she does by putting Gujerati in the middle so we have to read it and we don't know what it means, but she helps us by putting the words into sounds so we can try to read it. At the end of the poem she shows growth like a plant by saying "grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins" which is very visual, she also says "the bud opens in my mouth" and "it blossoms" showing the appearance of flowers blooming. This shows she's happy as life is renewing itself. Night of the scorpion tells us a night, which he is unhappy about, because his mother has been stung by a scorpion. The poem is like a short story telling us the battle for his mothers' life, a battle of good and evil. In the end his mother lives and she says "Thank god the scorpion picked me and spared my children" which shows her love for her children as she has been through awful pain and she could have said how evil and terrible this scorpion was. ...read more.

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