From Moniza Alvi's poetry, how do we learn about the challenges of

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From Moniza Alvi's poetry, how do we learn about the challenges of living between two cultures? Moniza Alvi writes many poems based on the difficulties she faces whilst living between two cultures and I am going to explore these difficulties through the following poems: - "The Sari", "Throwing out my Fathers Dictionary", "an Unknown Girl" and "Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan." Firstly, I am going to discuss her poem "The Sari" which is a metaphorical poem telling us what happened to her in early life. The poem begins, "Inside my mother I peered through a glass porthole", which creates an image of a baby in the womb. It then continues to say, "the world beyond was hot and brown", which suggests that she was born in Pakistan. The second stanza represents her Pakistani life consisting of a father, servants and animals; "They were all looking in on me - Father, Grandmother, the cook's boy, the sweeper-girl, the bullock." This shows us the differences between the Pakistani and English culture and also what her life would have been like if she had stayed in Pakistan. The phrase "the bullock with the sharp shoulderblades" uses a repetition of soft consonants suggests a feeling of calmness at being somewhere she knows she belongs. The third stanza links her Pakistani and English roots, "My English grandmother took a telescope and gazed across continents", giving the notion that her Grandmother wishes for he upbringing to be in England. The use of the word "gazed" in particular gives an impression of great eagerness. The third stanza begins with her journey from Pakistan to England; "All the people unravelled a sari. It stretched from Lahore to Hyderabad." This suggests that the unravelling sari is showin... ... middle of paper ... ...ttempts to recreate herself in their culture. As you can see, Pakistani beliefs are very different to those held by the English. Moniza Alvi's poetry is deeply influenced by her cultural influences. This is obvious because the majority of her poetry is based on the difficulties of living between two cultures. Her poetry is also influenced by fashions in writing. Her style is very modern and contrasting to pre-20th century poets, and this enhances younger reader's appreciation of the text. In conclusion, Moniza Alvi was privileged to have lived between two cultures because it meant that she was welcomed into two communities and had the opportunity to experience different ways of life. However, all good things come at a price and for this she suffered the issues of not knowing where she fit in, which values she held and having high family expectations.

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