Character Analysis: Laila

652 words - 3 pages

The poem “Laila” from Terrain Tracks by Pervi Shah has the theme of disillusion through travel. It is an interpretation of “Layla” by Eric Clapton, who states, “What'll you do when you get lonely And nobody's waiting by your side? You've been running and hiding much too long.” The poem is written dramatically through the eyes of the main character of Laila. She is characterized as Arabic descent, as shown through her Arabic descendent name and her hair being recognized by others as a significant feature, “a black bell” that “surrounds her”. By using the metaphor or a black bell, this shows how the hair calls a great amount of attention and is easily detected. Shah insists that Laila’s hair is beautiful, as it is similar to a “rose”. The author places other body parts, such as her cheeks and neck in lower case, in order to emphasize that people only really see her black strands and thus associate her with a culture. The meaning of “Laila” was carefully chosen by Shah. Her name means “night beauty” and usually refers to a darker complexion and dark hair.
Laila’s character is unstable, as she is known as “the wandering woman”. She is often related to a flower. Like a flower, Laila must be able to grow from being an innocent “bud” to a well developed woman. The flower that’s inside her is an allusion to her own potential, remained unseen as “in the whisper of petals” refers to how no one can hear Laila, or even see beyond the obvious. Flowers are a reoccurring symbol in the poem, but they decay throughout the narrative. In the beginning the mentioned flower is a full “rose”, only to then become “petals” then a “last seed” and finally the “garden of locks” with the conclusion that her love will “not sown to bud”. ...

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