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Search For My Toungue and Hurricane Hits England Comparison

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i) Compare the way poets use description in 'from search for my tongue' and one other poem. 'Hurricane Hits England' is a poem by Grace Nichols. The poem is about the problems of belonging to two cultures and the effects of memories and experiences from her past. In contrast, Sanjita Bhatt's poem, 'From Search for My Tongue' is also about coming to terms with a new life and different culture. In search for my tongue it is about the poet's original language that is vital to her identity, whereas in hurricane hits England, it is the reminiscence of hurricanes from her native Caribbean that affects the poet. The hurricane makes the poet reminisce about her native Caribbean. From the very start of Nichols poem, the audience is given the impression that the person hasn't quite connected with her new country. 'It took a hurricane, to bring her closer to the landscape'. ...read more.


The second language seems to be alien to the original language and the writer demonstrates that she feels that she can't fully understand a completely different culture. In hurricane hits England, a hurricane is being described in the south of England, using negative diction such as 'howling', 'rage' and 'fearful'. This suggests that the storm was an upsetting and frightful scene when in fact she feels reassured as it reminds her of her childhood in the Caribbean. In search for my tongue, the poet argues that you cannot use both 'tongues together', and that 'your mother tongue would rot and die in your mouth' and 'you had to spit it out'. This suggests that the second language has made the first language seem as being disgusting. Whereas, In hurricane hits England, the character tries to talk with the hurricane using goddess names such as 'oya' and 'shango'. ...read more.


The hurricane represents her inner turmoil and so becomes a sympathetic poem. In conclusion both poems are very similar in expressing the difficulties with being stuck with two cultures. The theme of the value of life, without its conflicts is eventually conveyed towards the end of each poem. The poem uses an extended metaphor in which the mother tongue is described as a growing plant where it says "grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins'. 'The bud opens in my mind' and 'it pushes the other tongue aside'. Plant imagery is also used; the final line "it blossoms out of my mouth" portrays an image in the reader's mind of a bursting flower. The word gives a positive significance. In hurricane hits England the character finally realizes that despite all the turmoil, al that matters is being alive and having a place on earth and this is shown in the very last line 'the earth is the earth is the earth'. This is the 'sweet mystery' of life. Her 'frozen lake' is now broken and she feels closer to England than every before. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The response here is for a question that asks about the poems 'Search For My Tongue' and 'Hurricane Hits England' with particular reference to how the readers are made to feel. With an excellent use of a range of appropriately ...

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Response to the question

The response here is for a question that asks about the poems 'Search For My Tongue' and 'Hurricane Hits England' with particular reference to how the readers are made to feel. With an excellent use of a range of appropriately and accurately used terminology, this answer retains good focus on the question proposed, with perhaps a little too much analysis in favour of 'Hurricane Hits England' and slightly less convincing arguments made about 'Search For My Tongue'. The balance is important, and had the analysis for the latter poem been up to the standard of the former, than this answer could achieve a high B/low A grade easily. As of now, the answer rests just over the B grade boundary.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown is above average and discusses at an appropriate level of detail both literally and contextually about the language and poetic devices used in order to create emotions in the reader. Perhaps a more explicit commentary on the use of emotive language in 'Search For My Tongue', particularly, could improve the extent to which the candidate shows a holistic understanding of the poems, and because the emotive language is so subtle in 'Hurricane Hits England', to comment on that to a considerable depth would also provide the examiner with every indication that this candidate is very adept at analytical writing.
As it stands. the commentaries on the language and the themes of identity and memories of home are evident, as is the structure of the answer, which helps assemble the analysis into a cohesive format with the use of the PEE (Point, Evidence & Explanation) formula. The quotes used are entirely appropriate and lead on to some convincing explanations, though some do need work as there are impressions given that further analysis has started and then been cut off mid-stream ("‘If you live in a place you had to speak a foreign tongue’. Here there is a suggestion that some people would not be allowed to speak their own language. (sic)") - this section could see an elaboration of the explanatory sentence, which could go on to be more specific about the inability to speak one's own language (Gujarati) in somewhere that only an extreme minority would recognise (like the UK, in this case) and the consequences of confused identity this proposes. The candidate would then discuss how Bhatt fears that if she is to become British, her Gujarati will die, just like her "mother tongue". This level of analysis is that which is required of the top band candidates and shows a deep-set understanding of the individual words and phrases chosen to create a specific effect on the reader.
There could be a greater establishment of context as well. The candidate has not considered the social and historical factors that influenced the writing of these poems such as the The Great Storm of 1987 and the British-Indian relations as trading partners. This latter context could be touched upon as India delivering it's culture to the UK in so many ways in modern times (even as commonplace and as clichéd as curry), and yet Bhatt still longs for her true nation. Contextual analysis is very important to those candidate aiming for particularly high bands of marks as it shows that the work and studying has been taken outside of the classroom and has been conducted independently. The advantage of this is that is shows examiners that there is a very highly-refined understanding of the poems but also an enthusiastic incentive to look further than the textbooks and do your own research, which can only fortify your essay response.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fair. It is by no means perfect, and there are some very basic rules of grammar and Standard English that the candidate appears ignorant of. One such standard is that the titles of any published work must be written in either italics or, more commonly, inverted commas, like so: 'Hurricane Hits England'; not "hurricane hits England (sic)". Also, it would be a good practice to ensure that the candidates are aware of the name of the poets - "Sanjita Bhatt" did not write 'Search For My Tongue', but Sujatta Bhatt did. These are very simple mistakes, but they lower the understanding of the poems because the candidate is showing that they are not paying full attention to the poems or their respective poets.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 15/03/2012

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