AQA English GCSE Poems from different cultures, please read and mark :) Watch

intellect212
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Below is an AQA English GCSE essay. I'd be grateful if you can mark it. Criticisms accepted

Compare the ways in which the poet presents confusion about identity in ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ with ways confusion about identity is presented in other poems?

Confusion about identity often concur different things to different people. For me, my identity is British, but for others it could be a conversion of more than one identity. Sometimes our identity sets us free. Sometimes it has a hold on us. This is evident in ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’, in which the persona feels torn apart from her heritage, her actual identity over the identity she yearns for, the one she prefers. On the other hand, in ‘Hurricane Hits England’, Grace Nichols depicts the concussion of her past metaphorically chasing her future. The presence of her identity attacking her new found one. She depicts her confusion as an abyss.

Firstly, structure is used by Alvi and Nichols as a physical representation of their identity. ‘Presents…’ is structured with varied lineation, swiftly darting across the page. This show the hard and almost painful feeling she holds about the confusion of her identity. It’s as if the words on the poem are cutting past each other, back and forth. Yet, the only conflicting cause is putting the persona’s mind in a constant upheaval. The varied lineation showcases the demand and energy she gives into both her traditional identity and the modern one. It’s as if the old traditional identity is out of date, an antic; however, the new one she yearns for is high fashion and chic and that is what she wants to be part of.

Comparatively, Nichols portrays her physical representation of her confusion as an unorganised, unstructured poem. The stanza’s are of different length and there is no particular structure to it. This, I find is a successful portrayal of her inner confusion. Her confusion on not knowing what she is, what her new identity will be. The extended metaphor of a ship out on the stormy sea can be pictured on the structure of the poem. The poem is curved to one side as a result of the end of the sentences. This leaves a subliminal picture of a boat that only those who deeply feel and understand for her will see.

Additionally, language is used as means to depict and illustrate the persona’s confusion of identity. Alvi makes use of metaphors and violent diction to subscript the pain she goes through, constantly battling against her confusion and the demands of the two cultures she’s torn against. She describes her traditional clothes as “candy stripped bangles, drew blood”. This imagery portrays the harmful side to her traditional culture. It supresses her, never sets her free. This could be the reason why she often finds it “alien wearing it”: however, the ideal of being torn is taken to a new level as she also feels worthless compared to the traditional clothes; “I could never be as lovely as those clothes”. The feel of worthlessness to her traditional clothes could be an inner reasoning for allowing her to wear modern clothes as she “longed for denim and corduroy”. Her confusion could be because of guilt. Does she feel guilty because her “Aunts chose an apple-green sari” or does she like the plainness of modern clothing?

On the contraire, Nichols’ use of an extended metaphor of the engulfing uproar of the sea and “ the howling ship of the wind” could be all an embodiment of her feelings and the confusion of her identity. The imagery of the ship is so advanced and surreal, sometimes it could seem inanimate to her, the gush of the confusing “howling” within her. Moreover, she describes the wind as being “fearful and reassuring”. The use if an oxymoron indicates the split mind state the confusion of her identity had left her. Maybe the wind and storm is a reminder of her home in the Caribbean, and thus why she finds it reassuring. She is at the mercy of the hurricane: “O why is my heart unchained?” she finds it comforting to know that she can familiarise herself with the hurricane. It sets her free.

Attitudes and feelings are used in both ‘Presents...’ and ‘Hurricane Hits England’. In ‘Hurricane Hits England’, the persona struggles to come to terms with her confusion as she feels both sensitive and distraught. On the other hand, in ‘Presents…’ the persona feels as if her tradition is too good for her so she chases after the modern culture yet, she doesn’t fit into that. She feels out of place.

To conclude, both Alvi and Nichols present confusion of identity in the most intriguing and thought evoking way. To me, I sympathise with Alvi more as she feels hurt and abused by the traditional identity. However, Nichols’ saying of “the earth is the earth is the earth” is the greatest and most honest depiction of those that have suffered from identity problems. Wherever they go, they will always find themselves.
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intellect212
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Anyone ?
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TheFootyKing19
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Pretty Good - I'd say a Solid A! Room for improvement - Exam on the 16th...Keep it up and good luck
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intellect212
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(Original post by TheFootyKing19)
Pretty Good - I'd say a Solid A! Room for improvement - Exam on the 16th...Keep it up and good luck
Thanks, you too!
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