Comparing Cultures in Heaney's Opened Ground and Roy's The God of Small Things

Comparing Cultures in Heaney's Opened Ground and Roy's The God of Small Things

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Comparing Cultures in Heaney's Opened Ground and Roy's The God of Small Things


Many authors use experience in their lives to influence their writing. In the cases of Seamus Heaney and Arundati Roy, the experiences in their life and the experience that their countries went through shape their poems and stories in unimaginable ways. For example, Heaney puts into his poetry many experiences that his country, Ireland, went through. These experiences include the rise of war in Ireland between the Catholics and the Protestants and also the influence that England has on the situation in Ireland. Roy on the same note brings into her story, The God of Small Things, experiences that India went through after British rule and the fear of communism that arose in certain parts of India after the British made India a free nation. Through both of these authors’ writings, readers can see the effect that English rule had upon both of the different nations and the aftermath of the English influence on both India and Ireland.

In Heaney's book of poetry entitled Opened Ground, Heaney shows the readers many different ways in which English rule and influence effected and changed the lives of different people in Ireland. For example, in Two Lorries, Heaney describes a man who is a coal deliverer and his love for Heaney's mother. As the poem progresses, we can see a metamorphosis in the lorry. As the political situation in Ireland escalates and war between different religious factions grows more immanent, the lorry changes from a man who falls in love with Heaney's mother to a raving political and religious war type man who needs to become involved in the skirmish between the religious groups and by doing this eventually blows...


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...e and have their morals and institutions put on them or become a communist nation and be told everything that must be done and not have many choices.

Both Heaney and Roy do a very good job to show and discuss how their culture and English culture have both effected and made their cultures what they are today. Heaney shows us that the English have given much of their culture and morals to many of the Irish but also shows us how the other people of Ireland were effected by English Rule. Roy also shows us how the English affected Indian culture and how Indian families were affected by both the English rule and how post English rule affected the lives of many people throughout India. With their own styles and writings, Heaney and Roy give us a good look into how both Indian and Irish cultures are today and how they were back in the time of English rule.

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