Compare the ways in which the poets present conflict in ‘Presents from my aunts in Pakistan and other poem.
Both poets write about their inner conflict about where they live and how it has affected them. They write about how they have struggled living where they live, and sadly both poets end with no resolution. In ‘Presents from Aunts in Pakistan’ the narrator sums up her feelings about no sense of identity or nationality and in ‘Not my business’ the narrator expresses his concern that people may not care about other people’s situation, as long as they can carry on with their own lives as normal. Yet it can happen to anyone.
Both poets use structural devices to enable the reader to gain greater understanding of the narrators feelings for e.g. in ‘Not my business’ it is shown visually that the poet is distancing himself from other peoples situation apart from the last stanza where he is not able to distance himself from the situation as it has come for him, this technique reinforces the message that we cannot ignore injustice just because it does not affect us, as it is short sighted because, eventually injustice affects everybody. Also in ‘Presents from Aunts in Pakistan’ free verse is used to emphasis the authors conflict to define and expresses her feeling about her identity, at the beginning she describes the contrast between the Pakistani and English culture in every way possible, for example the bright colours of the salwar kameez, “peacock blue and another glistening like an orange split open” this symbolises the Pakistani culture but at the same time it shows the conflict between the two culture and how she doesn’t belong to just one culture.
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In ‘Not my business’ the write uses repetition to justify his point about his ignorance towards the situation where people he knew were getting taken away. He uses very colloquial language when expressing his opinion, he says ‘what business of mine is it so long they don’t the yam from my savouring mouth?’ this emphasises the point that food is very important to the speaker, and that he is Turing blind eye to the situation, This repetition creates a sinister tone and also builds up the tension for the reader, it is inevitable the character speaking will also be taken. The poem “Not My Business” also has a rhythm to it, it contains four stanzas. Three of these stanzas are of equal length and structure (first four lines, then 3 indented lines).
This creates a slower rhythm, possibly because of the theme of the poem and the urgency of each stanza has to sink in, the rhythm also shows the speaker view on injustice and emphasizes the state of mind the speaker is in. He will stand back to defend his own but will not defend others because he believes it is ‘not my business’.
Also in ‘Presents from Aunts in Pakistan’ The writer uses enjambment to highlight key ideas of her belonging for example ‘sailed to England’ this suggests that she is part of the Pakistani culture as she remembers her journey from Pakistan to England but at the same time she knows that they are not her memories, its someone else’s memories, and makes her feel out of place. In ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ the writer uses irregular lineation to express her feelings about her conflict with her identity; this technique indicates her struggle to find where she belongs and who she is.
Language devices have been used by the poets to convey their messages, such as, in ‘Not my Business’ smile is used to compare the normal people of Nigeria to the people who were ruling Nigeria, and how one had the power, for example ‘beat him soft like clay’ this device creates an image of someone being treated brutal that the people in Nigeria had no strength physically or mentally, and the people of power were treating them as if they were a mannequin with no flesh or blood. In ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ she shows that feels uncomfortable about being half Pakistani, she uses lexical choices of words to create a sense of distance towards the culture “I tried each satin-silken top- was alien in the sitting room” the use of simile indicates that The present from her aunts makes her feel out of place, and she doesn’t like wearing the clothes from Pakistan, she feels as if she is someone out of the world, this also shows her inner conflict about who she really is.
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In ‘Not my Business’ the poet uses personification to create this image of how violent and inhuman the society are, for example ‘stuffed him down the belly of a waiting jeep’. The choice of vocabulary is very forceful and hostile, the jeep is personified to imply it is a monster, the captive is going to be swallowed. In this poem, The victims are all given names to increase their vulnerability and to elicit sympathy, for example ‘Akanni’ ‘Dandladi’ and ‘Chinwe’ the writer has done this purposely to make it more dramatic and personal it shows that these were people the speaker knew, but the choice of violent language shows the poets is actually angry about what is happening. The writer also uses personification to describe the brutal faith the people who had control were doing however, he doesn’t use their name, this shows that people in Nigeria knew who they were, and that they had the power, he uses personification to suggest how unexpected these people were and how they would just pick on whoever they like, for example ‘the jeep was waiting on my bewildered lawn’ this creates an atmosphere of shock, as it is very astonishing. The writer uses repetition to shows the recurrence of how people in Nigeria just learnt to except how others were treated as long as it wasn’t them for example ‘no query, no warning, no probe’ this shows that ‘Chinwe’ was repeatedly being absent , but people didn’t care that she was unfairly treated, and that people were easy to be replaced.
‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ the techniques used show that she does not think that she fits in to either culture. She uses lexical choices of words to create a sense of distance towards the culture “I tried each satin-silken top- was alien in the sitting room” the use of simile indicates that The present from her aunts makes her feel out of place, and she doesn’t like wearing the clothes from Pakistan which shows the conflict she has about being born in Pakistani. For example ‘there was a conflict, a fractured land’ this suggests that the split in Pakistan is compared to her confused identity, split between England and Pakistan. The writes uses alliteration to emphasis her feeling about not recognizing her identity ‘consider the cruelty’ this also emphasis the cruel sound in the letter ‘c’, this technique suggest that when she came to England she lost her Pakistani culture. She writes in the first person, so the reader knows that these are personal memories Lots of the images are about emotional pain, to reinforce the emotional conflict she is feeling about her identity for example ‘candy-striped glass bangles, snapped, drew blood’ this shows the beautiful in the Pakistani culture but how painful it is to be part of both culture.
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In conclusion both poems highlight the conflict they have being part of a certain culture, ‘Not my Business’ talks about the inner and the outer conflict and uses languages devices to make the readers visualize the conflict within the culture. However, ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ is more about the inner conflict she has with herself about her identity.