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Analysis Of The Poem Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan By Moniza Alvi

733 words - 3 pages

“Presents from my aunts in Pakistan” is a poem written by Moniza Alvi. The poem talks about the melee of living in two different cultures. Throughout the poem the writer depicts her puzzlement and frustration of being torn between two cultures. Moniza Alvi explains her awareness of all the challenges that she will undergo for being multicultural. After receiving presents from her aunts, Alvi realizes that she didn’t know much about her other half Pakistani culture. She only needs to know who she really is. In this essay, I will explore how the poem conveys the different themes and ideas about life differing from one culture to another.
The main idea behind the poem is cultural differences. Alvi, tried to assimilate into the English culture, and instead she started not accepting her Pakistani roots and was worried mostly about her friends’ judgment. “My salwar kameez didn’t impress the school friend who sat on my bed, asked to see my weekend clothes”. In this quotation Alvi is trying to explain that even though she liked her salwar kameez, she couldn’t wear it since it didn’t amaze her British friends. This shows that Alvi was concerned about what would impress her friend and didn’t want her background to be different, which is because of the cultural differences between the English and the Pakistani clothing style.
One of the foremost themes that is shown in the poem is struggling with identity. Alvi states her struggle and frustration when trying to discover her real identity from all the differences between her father’s Pakistani culture and her English mother. There is a huge gap between the English culture that Alvi lived in and the Pakistani culture that she never knew about. Nevertheless Alvi valued the Pakistani culture and tried to understand it more through the presents she received from her aunts in Pakistan. Alvi points out to being an “alien” , “half English” and having “no fixed nationality”. These statements demonstrates the idea of how the teenage girl is struggling with identity and how she considers herself sometimes Pakistani and other times were she feels British. “candy-striped glass bangles snapped, drew blood”...

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