Analysis Of The Poem ' The Welsh Critic Who Doesn 't Find Me Identifiably Indian ' By Arundhati Subramaniam

Analysis Of The Poem ' The Welsh Critic Who Doesn 't Find Me Identifiably Indian ' By Arundhati Subramaniam

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Throughout ‘To the Welsh Critic Who Doesn’t Find Me Identifiably Indian’, Arundhati Subramaniam argues that the “the business of language”, or the language that one speaks, should not dictate one’s identity. This becomes crucial in her poem as she uses this argument in response to a Welsh Critic, who does not identify her as being Indian. The poem substantiates her perspective of language through various techniques. For instance: Subramaniam reinforces the critic’s cultural assumptions in a defiant tone; she questions him, repeatedly, about language and eventually she challenges him, insisting he should explain to her how he would receive her as “Identifiably Indian”.
Subramaniam’s hint towards opposition to the critic’s vision of language is vivid, right from the first stanza. Initially, she foreshadows an argument through her choice of words in the first line, “you believe you know me”. The fact that she has used “believe”, already suggests that she is going to disagree with how the critic remarks whom she is. More so, it appears that this line carries, a confident tone, which may confirm that she is not afraid to disagree with the critic.
Following this fearless comment, Subramaniam begins to re-create the Welsh critic’s statements, showing the critic’s prejudice opinion of her being identified as English and not Indian. We hear his assumption from the critic’s paraphrased words, “English Lit Type’ that infer Subramaniam is identified as English since she has studied and is well versed with English literature. According to the poem’s description, the critic provides further evidence of her being considered English by revealing how Subramaniam reads ‘Keats’ poetry. This ‘Keats’ refers to John Keats whom was a British poet tha...

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...damant about deciding one’s identity through language, then perhaps she should go along and decide where every single person belongs in terms of identity and why. This may imply that, at this point, it doesn’t matter or bother Subramaniam as to what the critic thinks about her identity and who she is because perhaps Subramaniam sees this whole concept of language as being a pointless method to identifying others.
It is evident that, throughout this poem Subramaniam uses vivid examples to display how she believes that the “Welsh Critic” is wrong in using language to dictate one’s cultural identity. Subramaniam imitates the critic; she reviews the critic’s concept of language and she ends off challenging the critic, almost as if it doesn’t really phase her as to what the critic’s theory of language is. Thus, she argues with these methods defying the critic completely.

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