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Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan and Hurricane Hits England

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 723
  • Category: Hurricane

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These two poems explore the difficulties of belonging to two different cultures. ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ is told through a young schoolgirl’s voice, who was born in Pakistan and now lives in England. The poem uses the different clothes from each country to express her mixed emotions and feelings about who she is and where she belongs. ‘Hurricane hits England’ is told through the voice of a woman who has moved from the Caribbean to England and is feeling home sick. A hurricane which hits England finally makes her feel peace.

The language and the imagery describes both the hurricane and her emotions. The messy structure of ‘Presents from my aunts in Pakistan’ reflects her emotions. The stanzas and lines look uncontrolled just like her emotions. Also the lines are pulled in to two different directions on the page, just like her emotions are being pulled from one culture to another. ‘Hurricane hits England’ appears to be more organised at first sight, however it is similar to ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ because it also is arranged in stanzas all different lengths and follows no set rhyme or rhythm.

The overall tone in the poem ‘Hurricane hits England’ is an acceptance that England is now her home and an understanding that she is still herself no matter where her home is. ‘The blinding illumination’ shows how shocked she is by the way the hurricane has brought the understanding through the damage. The hurricane has cut the power which means she is sat in darkness but a light has switched on inside her. However the tone of ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ is very different from the tone of ‘Hurricane hits England’.

The voice of the poem, explains how she feels ‘alien’ which clearly shows she feels loneliness and isolation from both her English and Pakistani cultures. The final line in ‘Hurricane hits England’ uses repetition to make the tone of acceptance stronger for the reader. ‘That the earth is the earth is the earth. ‘ Stressed her understanding that no matter where she is she can feel at home as long as she remembers who she is and where she comes from.

In ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ the colours of the Pakistani clothes are repeatedly described ‘peacock blue’ ‘orange split open’ and ‘apple green’ are all detailed descriptions of the clothes which reveal the girls fascination with them. The simile used to describe her ‘salwar kameez…. glistening like an orange split open’ creates a picture in the reader’s mind of bright and exotic clothing that glows almost as if it was real for the reader.

Even though the tone of ‘Hurricane hits England is more positive than the tone of ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ the images created by Grace Nichols (The author) are much gloomier than those in ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan. ‘ The simile ‘like some dark ancestral spectre. ‘ Compares the hurricane to her Caribbean roots, it’s like a member of her family from her history has come to help her. The persona in ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ is trying to find out who she truly is. She explains how she, ‘tried to glimpse myself in the miniature glass circles’ which shows how she is using the clothes to explore her two cultures.

On the other hand in ‘Hurricane hit England’ the line ‘O why is my heart unchained’ shows how the hurricane has helped the persona accepted her move to England and that she no longer feels ‘Chained’ to the Caribbean Both poems have a strong sense of confusion and conflicts of culture for each persona. However ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ uses clothes where as ‘Hurricane hits England’ uses the weather to show these conflicts within her self ‘Trees being unrouted a metaphor of her being unrouted from her culture and thrown into English culture leaving a gap in her life.

A further difference is that the persona in ‘Hurricane hits England’ accepts and understands her position by the end of the poem where as the persona in ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ is as confused at the end of the poem as she was at the start. The resolution in ‘Hurricane hit England’ creates a much happier feeling than the expression of confusion in ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan. ‘

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