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Isabel Allendes novel City of the Beast and Anna Akhmatovas poems I Am Not One of Those Who Left the Land and Why Is This Age Worse..? feature various literary techniques that illustrate their views about political and/or social oppression

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Introduction

Comparative essay Isabel Allende's novel City of the Beast and Anna Akhmatova's poems I Am Not One of Those Who Left the Land and Why Is This Age Worse..? feature various literary techniques that illustrate their views about political and/or social oppression. Allende's novel reflects her view that the Indian civilisation has been subjected to ongoing social oppression by the West in their attempt to exploit its natural resources, while Akhmatova's poetry reflects the horrors associated with Stalin's political oppression. Allende and Akhmatova both adopt an ironic tone, a strong writer's voice and use juxtapositioning to reveal their view of political and/or social oppression. Both Allende and Akhmatova use irony to explore the theme of political and/or social oppression. Allende constructs the character of Ludovic Leblanc to represent Western attitudes towards the Indian 'primitive' civilisation. Initially he is very critical and fearful of the Indians, who he views as primitive and barbaric cannibals that need to be controlled. He warns, "Worse will be the Indians. They are brutal warriors, cruel and treacherous" (p54). ...read more.

Middle

She proudly states: "I am not one of those who left the land/to the mercy of its enemies" (Line 1-2). In the poem Why is This Age Worse..? Akhmatova expresses the people's "grief and dread" and the history of self-destruction that has defined her country. This is symbolised using paradox and alliteration in the lines "have we not fingered the foulest wounds/and left them unhealed by our hands?" (Lines 3-4). Allende also uses the writer's voice to reveal the racial discrimination and social oppression of Westerners towards the Amazon Indians, who were forced to accept their religion and culture: "They could not understand the simplicity of the foreigners' religion; they said it was the same story over and over, while they had many stories of gods and demons, and spirits of sky and earth" (p81). The writer's voice comes through clearly in City of the Beasts where Allende positions her reader to reassess western views and attitudes towards civilised races and a history of colonisation and exploitation. Both Allende and Akhmatova employ the writer's voice to expose their negative views towards social and political oppression at the hands of the powerful. ...read more.

Conclusion

"straighter than you... more proud..." (Line 16), "Their flattery leaves me cold" (Line 3) is juxtaposed with her sentiments: "dark is your path, wanderer; wormwood infects your foreign bread" (Lines 7-8). Set in a climate of long-standing political and social oppression, Akhmatova's poems suggest that leaving one's country "to the mercy of its enemies" (Line 2) is a fate worse than death. Juxtaposition is uses by both Allende and Akhmatova to compare the oppressed and the oppressors. Isabel Allende and Anna Akhmatova express their views about political and social oppression by adopting an ironic tone, using a strong writer's voice and exploiting the technique of juxtapositioning. In her novel City of the Beast Allende positions her reader to realise that the Indian civilisation has been historically oppressed by the West for the sole purpose of exploiting its natural resources. Akhmatova's poems I Am Not One of Those Who Left the Land and Why is This Age Worse..? reflect the horrors associated with Stalin's political oppression and the strength of those who did not abandon Russia. The theme of political and social oppression affects so many people that it continues to provide writers with inspiration for their literary work. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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