(Original post by bsblitter)
Can someone plz tell me what they think of this poetry essay....thanx in advance.
Compare the methods used to show aspects of people’s lives in Night of the Scorpion (page 9) with the methods used to show aspects of people’s lives in one other poem. (27 marks)
In both Night of the Scorpion and Blessing, the faith of the people is what allows them to deal with the situation despite the hardship they face in the beginning of the lack of water and of the “scorpion” that poisons the mother.
In Night of the Scorpion, there is a belief that it is god who sends them the problems they face although they receive this with an open heart. In Blessing, the peasants recognise that it is the “voice of a kindly god” that can bring them back water. The idea of it being the “voice” suggests a lack of force and no need to even move which highlights both their belief in the omnipotence of god but also that perhaps the god is forgetting these people and not generous enough to give them just his voice. This ambiguity makes the readers feel sympathy for the peasants in the same way the peasants in Night of the Scorpion are felt sorry for because it was “steady rain that drove” the scorpion. Again, this highlights the fact that the driving force is known, god, and that they know he is the one capable of driving him back and yet they are weak and powerless against this. The reference to the “steady rain” suggests that there was an underlying threat throughout of this happening thus emphasising how helpless they are, they knew for “ten hours” that this would happen and yet they could not act to stop it.
Despite this, they still have strong faith in the rescue that will come to them by God. This can be seen in the structure of both due to the extended use of punctuation which implies, although they pass through emotional times, they are able to control themselves. They are somehow punctuated by their faith so they do not worry too much of the scorpion and also do not forget that the water is a “blessing” from god in Blessing. In Night of the Scorpion, the peasants “buzzed the name of God a hundred times”. By comparing the peasants to bees that “buzz”, they are bing reminded that like other creatures and animals, they are also the creation of god and thus providing them with hope that he will save them. The “buzzing” is also continuous and limitless to highlight how strong their faith in their god is. The fact that they know the detail of it being “a hundred times” and the fact that it is the first thing the peasants do once they have “come” suggests maybe that they are familiar with these experiences and so know how to deal with them and are confident that this method works. In Blessing also there is “a congregation: every man woman child” once the water pipe has burst. Here the religious reference of the “congregation” highlights how occupied they are with their religion and its involvement in every aspect of their life. We find out why they are having a congregation. The lack of punctuation in the list of “man, woman and child” highlights the speed at which they are moving to the water and how like they are lost in a rushing crowd, they are also blurred in the sentence. It is as if the whole of society is coming to thank god for his gift which is why there is also a repetition of religious language in “a roar of tongues” that can be interpreted to metaphorically represent the choir in the church.
The simplicity of their lives and their satisfaction can also be accounted to their religious faith. In Night of the Scorpion, at the end of the poem, the mother “only said thank God the scorpion picked me and spared my children”. This heightens the amount of faith that exists among them because the mother, with her selfless nature, believes that god saved her by sparing her children. In terms of structure, the word “god” is present between the “mother” and the “scorpion” to show that he is the only one who can solve the problem because he stands between her and the scorpion to protect her. The ending of Blessing also highlights how strong the faith of these people is in their religion. Despite the fact that they recognise that they have “small bones” (which may be used to highlight that they are more bones that flesh due to malnutrition and it is their bones which stick out) and that the light is “flashing” in warning and threat that this will not last, they argue that the blessing is still “singing” over them and keeping them hopeful.
In conclusion, it is evident that there is extended reference to religion and religious experiences throughout and this comes out due to the difficult times that the people pass through. It is this strong faith that makes them able to deal with difficulties and allows them to accept the situation welcomingly as it is.