How Successfully The Writer Of An Unknown Girl Presents Her Feelings About The Countries She Visited

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An Unknown Girl – How Successfully The Writer Of ‘An Unknown Girl’ Presents Her Feelings About The Countries She Visited

An Unknown Girl’, a poem detailing an English women’s experience in India, focuses on the themes of cultural identity and the contrast of east and west. The Englishwoman whom this poem is centred around appears to be fascinated by the native Indian culture she encounters during her time in the country.

The western invasion of the east is a key theme in this poem and is produced by regular contrast of tradition. For example the writer describes the dummies in the shop windows to have ‘western perms’. The dummies, which are designed to display desirable and new style, all have ‘western perms’ showing that this new style is now considered not only normal but fashionable in India, despite it contrasting with more traditional hair styles. The personification of these dummies also helps to further the point of the west invading the east.

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           The infiltration of the west into traditional eastern society is portrayed in a negative light in this poem.  The references made to western things are often things that are not natural such as the western perm of the beauty pageants where the competitors wear make-up. The presentation of the West as unnatural helps to reinforce the idea of the West ruining traditional Indian culture.

Feelings of loss are another recurrent theme relating to the loss of tradition from western onslaught, the loss of contact between the poet and the ‘unknown girl’, and indeed, the ...

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