This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

How Does Moniza Alvi Explore The Concept Of Identity In An Unknown Girl?

2185 words - 9 pages

Alvi also employs the use of end-stopped lines in key moments of the poem to highlight key aspects of identity. At the height of the poem, when Moniza Alvi is feeling deeply connected to her culture, she claims she has “new brown veins.” This is the first end-stopped line we encounter in the entire poem, and Alvi uses it to accentuate her connection to this newfound aspect of her identity. The “brown” she if referring to is the henna that someone is making on her hand of a peacock. The henna, as well as the peacock, is symbolic of India, and the Indian cultural identity, as henna is something associated with India, and the peacock is the Indian national bird. The fact she has “new brown veins” shows the magnitude of how the speaker has been impacted by her hennaing experience, as the brown, of the henna and the peacock, is inside her, meaning that the Indian cultural identity is within her. Not only is it within her, but it has become her “veins”; it is necessary for her to live, as we need our veins to carry the blood to our body. This illustrates to the reader how significant the speaker’s experience was, as not only has it affected her, but has become crucial to her very survival.
The other utilization of the second and last, end-stopped line occurs at the lowest-point of the novel, when the tone shifts from comfort and happiness to sadness and longing. The speaker describes how the henna “will fade in a week.” The henna continues to be symbolic of India, and the Indian cultural identity, which the speaker does not want to lose. The use of the end-stopped line accentuates her sadness that she will eventually lose this new aspect of her own identity, as when something fades, it is a sadder event than when something is gone altogether, as it lasts longer and lengthens the sad experience of loosing something. The reader can connect the sadness of, for example, a family member ‘fading’, as knows it would be much more depressing than if a family member died quickly, as the experience is dragged on longer. This expressed to the reader the sadness the speaker feels about the fact she will not have this experience of encountering her identity forever. The speaker goes on to add she will be “longing for the unknown girl.” In this case, the “unknown girl” represents the new identity she encountered, the cultural identity of India, which she will miss and ‘long’ for, further adding to the longing aspect of the tone. The speaker will miss the newfound identity she encountered in the bazaar, as evidenced by the sad, longing tone created in this section.
Furthermore, Alvi uses the manner in which the poem was written to convey to the reader how significant this experience of encountering a forgotten aspect of her identity, as well as a new cultural identity, was for the speaker, and how the she desires to hold on to it. The poem is written with mostly enjambed lines, in one stanza, with no official rhyme or rhythm to it. This format reminds the reader of a...

Find Another Essay On How Does Moniza Alvi Explore The Concept of Identity in An Unknown Girl?

How does John Boyton Priestley explore the issue of social responsibility in 'An Inspector Calls'?

1520 words - 6 pages John Boynton Priestley was a socialist. He believed that whether we acknowledged it or not, we are in a community and have a responsibility to look after others. I believe that he wrote 'London' to highlight these beliefs and share them. In writing this essay, I intend to show how Priestley explored the issue of social responsibility.In 'London' the initial meaning of the play seems to be finding out who might be responsible for the death of Eva

An Unknown Girl Coursework Essay

900 words - 4 pages that this culture is a part of her and is a part of her identity. Moniza Alvi is torn between two worlds, and two cultures. The layout of the poem is centered, in the middle of the page. She doesn’t know her own identity; this poem is about finding herself. As the poem goes on, there is a few repeated lines, but one line changes each time. As time goes on and the poem’s chorus changes, so does she. The “unknown girl” at the end of this chorus

A Comparison of Two Poems Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan by Moniza Alvi and Search for my Tongue by Sujata Bhatt

1107 words - 4 pages , the poet sets us straight, telling us that her background will always be cemented into her identity. Throughout both poems, Moniza Alvi and Sujata Bhatt both tend to use the same language effects and devices. In 'Presents for my Aunts in Pakistan', Alvi focuses more on the darker side of the cultural change. She may well be experiencing denial and may also be searching for her true identity. This effects how she

How does Dickens in his portrayal of Miss Havisham explore the theme of isolation?

1139 words - 5 pages worth. Pip achieves this realization when he is finally able to understand that, despite the esteem in which he holds Estella, one's social status is in no way connected to one's real character. Drummle, for instance, is an upper-class lout, while Magwitch, a persecuted convict, has a deep inner worth.Perhaps the most important thing to remember about the novel's treatment of social class is that the class system it portrays is based on the post

"How does Alfred Hitchcock explore the duality of human nature in the film Psycho?"

1771 words - 7 pages , and as she does so, the audience sees how uneasy she feels, the tension in her expressions, and we hear the imaginary voices she is hearing in her head, about what may be happening because she has taken the $40,000. Marion is thinking about what the consequences of her "theft" were, and what is happening back in Phoenix. The audience hears the voices in Marion's head, the voices of Marion's boss, her sister, what Marion is thinking. The audience is

The Concept of Identity

2426 words - 10 pages The Concept of Identity To answer this question, it is important to first understand what is meant by identity. Identity concerns both self-identity and social identity. It is best understood not as an entity but as an emotionally charged description of ourselves. It is about the personal and the social as well as about us and the relations of others. It has been argued that identity is wholly cultural in character and does not exist outside of

How does Shakespeare Explore Elizabethan Ideas of Kingship in 'Hamlet?

2096 words - 8 pages In what ways does Shakespeare explore Elizabethan ideas of Kingship in 'Hamlet'?Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' is described by many as the most famous play in the English language and praised as his greatest tragedy. 'Hamlet' is different to other tragedies, because of its Christian, rather than pagan imagery as with other tragic works.In Hamlet, Shakespeare addresses many issues, but one of the most prominent being that of power and the role of a King

How does Oscar Wilde explore self love in "The picture of Dorian Gray"

686 words - 3 pages How does Oscar Wilde explore self-love in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'?Oscar Wilde explores many different types of love within his novel. The most notable form shown is self-love; this is the most apparent form due to the blatant narcissism and conceit shown by the main character Dorian and others within the book. Dorian's aesthetic beauty is expressed very early on in the book "clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a

How does Shakespeare Explore the Theme of Words and Silence?

1112 words - 4 pages more authority than he does and he despises the way Don Pedro casts a shadow over him. The contrast Shakespeare uses between a ‘weed’ and a ‘rose’ shows the audience how much Don John wants to stop pretending to be someone who he isn’t since it’s better for his ‘blood to be disdained’. As a comparison to Don John, Shakespeare makes Hero use her words as an act of defence. During the wedding scene Hero protects herself by saying, ‘Oh, God defend

How Far Does the Concept of a Green Belt Have Continuing Relevance in the 21st Century?

1011 words - 5 pages ntroduction Definitions, Purposes & History of Green Belt Green belt or greenbelt is defined as an area that is reserved for undeveloped or agricultural land to protect the urban areas of large cities. It is an essential element of national planning policy to control the development of urban areas. Green belt is usually laid out in Local Plan by local planning authorities (Green Belt UK Politics, 2009). Green belt have a series of significant

Explore how Family Relationships are shown in ‘An Inspector Calls’ and the Relationship Cluster of Poems.

1560 words - 7 pages how siblings grow apart as they move closer to their friends and away from their brothers or sisters. This essay will explore the differences and the similarities between the Birling family in An Inspector Calls and families in the Cluster of Relationship Poems; Nettles, Brothers, Praise for My Mother, Sister Maude, Harmonium, Born Yesterday and more. One aspect found in the Birling Family from An Inspector Calls is how Mr and Mrs Birling ‘baby

Similar Essays

How Does Moniza Alvi Explore The Concept Of Identity In “An Unknown Girl”?

2301 words - 10 pages “An Unknown Girl” by Moniza Alvi is a free verse poem about the author’s experience getting her hand hennaed in an Indian bazaar. Throughout the poem, Alvi makes use of structure techniques like end-stopped lines, occasional rhymes, language, imagery, and changes in tone to explore different aspects of the concept of identity. Moniza Alvi uses the format of the poem to illustrate how the speaker’s identity is split between East and West. The

Compare How Nichols And Alvi Explore The Issue Of Identity In Hurricane

1018 words - 4 pages Compare how Nichols and Alvi explore the issue of identity in Hurricane Hits England and Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan In this essay I aim to compare the two poems Compare how Nichols and Alvi explore the issue of identity in “Hurricane Hits England” and “Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan” In this essay I aim to compare the two poems “Hurricane Hits England” by Grace Nichols and “Presents From My Aunts In Pakistan” by Moniza

Question: Many Texts Explore Ways In Which Identity Is Threatened. Explain How At Least One Text You Have Studied Does So

961 words - 4 pages Texts explore how identity is threatened and the ways in which it can be altered. The debut novel by Fred D’Aguir, The Longest Memory, explores facets of life on the Virginian plantation in the 1800s for various groups. The protagonist, Whitechapel’s story is told not only through events, but polysemic voices and epistolary structure. Texts such as The Longest Memory explore identity and how it can be threatened through the portrayal of African

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

733 words - 3 pages 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” in this quote Alvi is representing her struggle through garments and