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Big World and The Immigrant analysis

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“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice”, is a well said quote by Steve Jobs that is thoroughly connected with the aspects of identity. Also “The Immigrant”, a poem by Afzal Moolla has the theme of a diminished identity running throughout the whole poem, whereas similarly, “Big World” by Tim Winton has the aspects of a façade identity. Studying these texts has unfolded my understanding and knowledge about identity. Moolla uses highly a negative tone in the poem as shown when he describes the immigrant as a “rotten prejudice” and also words like “fungal anger.” This extensive imagery builds an image of “decaying” in the readers mind. This depicts that the immigrant has been facing difficulties throughout his life and has been unpleasantly welcomed by the society. Change of place is a major factor in this text that has been used to craft the immigrant’s identity to an isolated and alienated identity. This change in identity has been forced upon. Similarly, factors like past experiences also outline ones identity. “Viral threat, reeking odour”, this description continues the extended metaphor of “decaying”. “Decaying” is the motif of the poem as, if an individual doesn’t receive love/acceptance, he will eventually metaphorically ‘rot’ or ‘decay’. The immigrant has had to face the loss of his personal and cultural identity and put on a new persona.

“Big World” a story about two failed high school students who have very contrasting identities but have been buying the myth of similarity. The title “Big World” itself is symbolised for the fact that there is always someone else to replace the current satiation. The narrator thinks they’re both “alike” but are they really? The narrator is more of a “city boy” whereas juxtaposed; Biggie is more of a “country boy”. The narrator always dreams of “pissing off north to find some blue sky” which symbolises freedom whereas Biggie is from Angleus and wants to stay there. The narrator doesn’t see Biggie in his future which is shown when he clearly states “I don’t see Biggie in my future”, whereas Biggie still thinks that they are ‘best friends’ and will be together for the rest of their lives. The narrator’s mother calls them as “Lenny and George”, this intertextuality reference made by her suggests that both of them are dependent on each other. The narrator, referenced as George is known as the “smart” one whereas Biggie referenced as Lennie, a man who takes time to respond to things but is physically fairly tough. Throughout the text, “the kombi” is used as an extended metaphor to represent freedom and escape. Towards the end of the text, the ‘burning kite’ foreshadows the demise of the kombi. It also symbolises disappointment and broken/uncompleted dreams. To conclude, both the texts, “The Immigrant” and “Big World” are both deeply connecting through the aspects of a lost and diminished identity.

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