• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Problems faced by the personas in the poems

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the problems faced by the personas in each of the poems you have read. Discuss language, tone and structure. "Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan" illustrates the problem of a 13-year-old girl, originally from Pakistan, living in England. Although she lives in England, her family still pressure her into wearing her Eastern culture clothes. This however makes her feel uncomfortable, for even though she likes them she feels she isn't worthy of them for cannot classify herself as entirely from that one culture. It is as if she is torn between the two cultures of England and Pakistan, and feels an outsider wherever she goes, hence creating her problem of no real sense of belonging. Throughout the poem the language demonstrates the persona's problem, and one way this is done is by mentioning her salwar kameez and by describing its meaning to her. Firstly she describes it physically, mentioning the various colours it consists of such as "peacock-blue", "gold and black", "apple-green" and "silver-bordered", and even uses a simile and says its "glistening like an orange split open". These descriptions and comparisons are all positive, indicating how she does like the salwar kameez and finds it beautiful. The images of an orange split open and a peacock are both very attractive, creating pleasant imagery in the reader's mind as they imagine the sari being compared to these things. ...read more.


This over time makes her feel that her new 'tongue', or language, is taking over her mother tongue which perhaps was a link to who she is. The fact that she is losing this makes her feel a different person to who she was when she only spoke her one native language, Gujarati, hence how she feels she has lost her identity. Throughout the poem the persona uses the metaphor of a tongue representing language, and creates the image of two tongues in her mouth, fighting to such an extent that her mother tongue is eventually killed and must be 'spat out'. This descriptive metaphor conveys how she feels the two languages are incapable of being used together, and, against her will and out of her control, her second language eventually overpowers her native language until it becomes out of her reach. The language used demonstrates her problem; an example of this is where she uses the metaphor of the flower in the final stanza. Through this metaphor she explains how whilst she dreams her mother tongue thrives and grows ever stronger in her mouth, and illustrates this process through the image of a flower in its early stages of life. She says, "It grows back, a stump of a shoot / grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins," showing how she sees her mother tongue as a growing plant, an attractive image, suggesting she sees Gujarati as beautiful and thriving. ...read more.


from my Aunts in Pakistan" feeling lost for she doesn't feel she can classify herself entirely from either of the cultures she's torn between, and the persona in "Search for my Tongue" feeling that her second language is becoming dominant over her native language. Overall, "Search for my Tongue" is preferable over "Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan" for even though it uses various techniques to portray different ideas, those of "Search for my Tongue" come across as more effective, and that the latter was also easier to understand. The fact that the persona in "Search for my Tongue" used her native language as well as English is very effective for it allowed the reader to put themselves in her position, allowing a better understanding of her view. Also the layout said poem appears more meaningful than that of "Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan", for although they are both free-verse and representing chaos, the 'sandwich' effect in "Search for my Tongue" helped express the persona's point further by showing English is now becoming the dominant language to her. The fact that the persona in "Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan" brought the modern world into the poem was a positive technique, for example by mentioning Marks and Spencers, the poem was easier to relate to, although overall it came across as more complicated than "Search for my Tongue", and in the latter her problem was in fact expressed more effectively. Dana Sammut ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Moniza Alvi: Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Moniza Alvi: Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan essays

  1. Comparing and contrasting 'Presents from my aunts in Pakistan' by Moniza Alvi, and 'Search ...

    Most of these presents are things that are only, mostly worn in Pakistan. After receiving these gifts, she feels that she is very different from everyone else surrounding her, like friends from school. This is cause she dresses differently to others.

  2. 'Presents from my aunts in Pakistan' by Moniza Alvi, and 'Search for my tongue' ...

    Even though the two poems are similar in most ways, these poems differ from each other quite a bit. Firstly, Moniza Alvi's poem, 'Presents from my aunts in Pakistan' is based on a young girl, who feels as if she is the odd one out, as she is living in

  1. Presents from my Aunt in Pakistan and Search for my Tongue comparison

    whereas Search for My Tongue don't tell us where she came from and leaves it a mystery. The words used in the poem Presents from My Aunts in Pakistan are more vibrant than words used in the poem Search for My tongue.

  2. Other Cultures Poems

    In Nothings changed, it represents a society where rich and poor are divided. In the apartheid era of racial segregation in South Africa, where the poem is set, laws, enforced by the police, kept apart black and white people. The writer looks at ways to change this system, and shows how they are ineffective, making no real difference.

  1. People and culture

    I thin Denise Levertov wrote the poem in this way because it shows that there are two different speakers to the poem and it draws a clear line between then to avoid confusion. I also think it is written in this way to show that there is a bombardment of

  2. Through my essay I attempt to explore three poems about nostalgia by three different ...

    (6 / 10) In the third stanza in "Piano" the poet informs us that all the present time the singer's efforts to attract his attention are in "vain" as he is a captive of the world of the past and his childhood memories.

  1. English Literature Poems

    In 'Hurricane' the poem is structured to show to build up the climax. The first stanza shows the emotional detachment of the author to the hurricane. In the poem each paragraph shows the progression to contentment as well as acceptance.

  2. Comparing three poems, discuss the theme of life in other cultures.

    The use of similes and metaphors are mostly used in lines (lines 1-39) where the content is describing how beautiful the clothes are. The poet uses colours and fruit to enforce a mood across to the reader of the poem.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work