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The Unknown Girl Essay

  • Submitted by: cynyoona
  • on November 25, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 769 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "The Unknown Girl Essay" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Unknown Girl Essay
Question: Explain how Moniza Alvi uses specific poetic techniques to create meaning.
Moniza Alvi, the poet who wrote the “Unknown Girl” has based this poem around the theme or meaning of discovering her cultural identity as well as trying to develop a sense of belonging with her culture. As a Pakistani girl grown up in England for most of her life, she has related the poem to how she’s trying to discover her cultural roots. This desire of discovering her inner culture has been portrayed through the use of poetic techniques like similes, metaphors and antithesis throughout the poem. Moniza Alvi’s use of similes in the poem has emphasized her feeling of developing a connection and urge to be part of her culture. This is clearly shown in the line, “I am clinging to these firm peacock lines like people who cling to the sides of a train”. This line has shown how she is so desperate to experience her culture and she will do anything to be part of it and even hold onto anything that relates to her inner culture. The use of the word “clinging” shows her desperation as it is almost as if she if fighting for it. The “peacock lines” are the henna which refers to her culture. She has compared keeping her henna to people who cling to the sides of trains which is reference to her culture. This clearly reflects her desperation in an attempt to hold on anything that is related to her culture and almost feels as if she is physically grasping her henna. She wants to hold on this memory of getting henna as she feels that it is so important. Her desire for a sense of belonging is clearly evident in this line. The use of metaphor also has helped in building the feeling of her discovering her cultural roots. The metaphor used in the poem, “I have new brown veins” has portrayed her feeling a bond with her culture. This line has a dual meaning where it is a metaphor for the new henna through the words “brown veins” as henna is brown and is patterns with lines which...

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