The Ways in Which Culture and Identity are Presented in Search for My Tongue and Presents From my Aunts in Pakistan

The Ways in Which Culture and Identity are Presented in Search for My Tongue and Presents From my Aunts in Pakistan

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The Ways in Which Culture and Identity are Presented in Search for My Tongue and Presents From my Aunts in Pakistan

In this essay I aim to discuss the ways in which culture and identity
are presented in 'search for my tongue' and 'presents from my aunts in
Pakistan'

The first poem, 'search for my tongue' is written by a woman called
Sujata Bhatt who was born in nineteen fifty six, in Ahmedabad, India.
She emigrated to the United States of America in nineteen sixty eight.
She is a very successful poet and translator of Gujarati and English
and if that was not enough she is now living in Germany.

Search for my tongue is a very unique poem as it suddenly changes from
English to Gujarati half way through. The poem is about language and
the effect of language when living in a different place with people
speaking different languages. The word 'tongue' means two things. The
first is the language one speaks and the other is the more obvious
tongue in your mouth. Although this poem may have autobiographical
content, its concerns have a much wider relevance.

The first paragraph of 'Search for my Tongue' is written in the second
person, which suggests a level of detachment.

"You ask me what I mean by saying I have lost my tongue"

is the first sentence of 'Search For My Tongue'. It is written as a
reply to a question and the word tongue is used as a conventional
metaphor for language. Next she says

"I ask you, what would you do if you had two tongues in your mouth"

the word 'tongues' re-awakens the metaphor by making us aware of its
physical sense. Sujata Bhatt then repeats the words 'tongue' and
'could' several times in the nex...


... middle of paper ...


...or where we
really belong. It ends without a clear view. She is still an outsider
looking in and never being a part of it.

Both of these poems discuss the struggle of being part of two cultures
and both poets have had to deal with this in there own life, so they
are both autobiographical poems. 'Search for my Tongue' starts off
very negative, but as the poem goes on it becomes more positive, like
a seed emerging into a flower. 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan'
starts off more positively but as it goes on it gets quite glum and
negative.

My personal view of these poems is that they are both very fascinating
in a very dull, boring way. It made me think closer about the struggle
people deal with everyday over changing cultures. My favourite poem
was 'Search for my Tongue, as it was shorter and easier to digest.

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