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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'

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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' For my essay I am going to compare 'Search For My Tongue' by Sujata Bhatt and 'Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan' by Moniza Alvi. 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' is autobiographical. It is set in England where the author talks about and describes the presents that she receives from her Aunts who live in Pakistan. 'Search for my Tongue' is written while living in Germany but during her life Sujata Bhatt has had to speak three different languages. These are: Gujarati, English and German. She writes how she feels at the way that she has to lose or forget her original language which is Gujarati and only speak the language of the country that she is living in which is currently Germany and then she realises that although she has to speak German on the streets she doesn't have to speak it at home and she doesn't have to write or think in German. She realises that not speaking a language does not mean that you have lost your cultural identity. ...read more.


It seems the same for Moniza Alvi in 'Presents...' She also has written her poem in an irregular structure. Once again there is no obvious reason for this and again I think that she feels out of place or irregular in the situation she is in. She is in a country and a culture that she does not feel that she really belongs to and possibly she feels that this is irregular or she may just feel out of place. However even though she is not really part of the English culture she does not feel part of the Pakistani culture either and she feels very very put of place. 'Presents...' is written in seven irregular stanzas and in free verse. However 'Search...' is written in three long stanzas. The first and last are written in standard English while the middle one is written in Gujarati with a phonetic translation underneath which shows how she belongs to two different cultures. The whole of 'Presents...' is written in Standard English. I think she has done this because even though she is more part of the Pakistani culture she feels that she belongs more to the English culture. ...read more.


Search for my Tongue is more Bhatt describing how she misses her Indian culture and feels stuck with the German one. Both writers appear slightly fed up with where they are now. In 'Search...' the lines; 'If you lived in a place you had to speak a foreign tongue', underline the fact that she doesn't want to be part of the culture that she is currently in and she misses her original culture. The lines; 'Your mother tongue would rot, rot and die in your mouth', shows how she misses her old culture and feels she is almost being forced to forget it. In 'Presents...' the line 'I could never be as lovely as those clothes,' makes you realise that she thinks that the clothes and the culture are both lovely and wonderful but she feels she would never fit in with them. Both of these poems are wonderful. They both portray a search for cultural identity, and while one seems to find hers the other appears to end her poem at a point where she is still at the beginning of her quest. Overall my favourite poem is Presents from My Aunts in Pakistan but I also really enjoyed reading 'Search for my tongue'. By Matthew T. McMahon ...read more.

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