Language used to show different people in different cultures
‘Night of the Scorpion is set in a Mud hut, located in a village against a rainy night. The speaker is the poet which explores the Hindu tradition of reincarnation. The speaker appears to have a disbelieving attitude towards the culture explored and doesn’t believe in reincarnation. One recurring theme in Night of the Scorpion is the strength of the memories of the event as the speaker is able to recall the night the scorpion bit his mother perfectly which emphasizes his love for his mother.
‘Blessing’ is set in Dharavi, Mumbai against a background of a dry drought against a background of dehydration. The speaker is an omniscient narrator and tells of a municipal water pipe bursting to the release of fresh drinking water. The speaker has a celebratory attitude towards the events and cultures explored. One recurring theme in Blessing is the struggling nature of the villagers who have little water all year round before being finally blessed.
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Throughout blessing, various techniques are used to give a sense of a celebratory attitude. For example the title itself – ‘blessing’.
The title itself is an extended metaphor for water which clearly emphasizes the importance of water and also the preciousness. Blessing can also be associated with the religious imagery used in the poem: ‘kindly God’. This puts forward the idea that they see this gift of water as a gift from God who has blessed them on this hot day where water was desired and evidently needed.
Further, we get a sense of the dryness through the strong simile which strikes us in the opening stanza.
‘the skins cracks like a pod’
This similie is particulary effective as for skin to crack, extreme hot weather is required which reinforces their cultures weather, being dangerous and dry.
Throughout Night of the Scorpion, the poet uses imagery to present a negative image of the peasants.
At the beginning of the poem, he describes the peasants as a ‘swarm of flies’
This idea of ‘flies’ emphasizes the fact that the peasants are annoying; they are a nuisance and irritating. Further, flies tend to feed off dead things which mirrors onto the idea that they are feeding of the mothers pain, which has been bitten by the scorpion.
The poet adds to the impression of the peasants are irritating as they ‘buzz’. The onomatopoeia used here is effective as it allows a reader to almost imagine the idea of the peasants being irritating.
Similary, both poems explore religious cultures. Blessing describes the water as ‘the voice of a kindly god’ and in Night of the Scorpion, their belief in reincarnation reinforces their religious beliefs. Once the municipal pipe bursts in Blessing, it is then when the water is described as precious and also further acknowledged as precious when calling the water ‘silver’ – rare and elegant.
Concluding, both poems use language effectively to portray their cultures however Blessing appears to be more affective as it uses various techniques which together create a very powerful and vivid image of the celebrations happening once water is blessed into the community.