Poem Comparison

Compare the ways in which two poets from this selection explore the idea that your own identity is closely linked with your culture using “Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan” and “Hurricane Hits England”.

Both “Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan” and “Hurricane Hits England” explore the idea that your identity is closely linked to your culture. In “Presents from my Aunts...” it expresses how the clothes hurt her however she loves them, a bit like how living in England is difficult for her, it hurts her. However she loves the country. Although she loves the clothes, they don’t belong in the English culture, they don’t fit in.

“was alien in the sitting room.”

Not only does she say the clothes are alien, but it expresses the fact she sees herself as an alien to England. Later on in the poem it talks about her journey from Pakistan to England.

“Prickly heat had me screaming on the way.”

This shows the reader that she the negatives of England began early. Also people may see it as though she was screaming because she didn’t want to go and she was screaming, and still is, to get her identity, her culture, her life back to the way it was.

She then goes on to describe how women are kept in shaded rooms away from males, something that happens in her culture, where she comes from. She later states:

“and I was there - of no fixed nationality”

This shows the reader that she is confused about where she comes from, as part of her is based on England’s culture, the other Pakistan’s.   She doesn’t feel as though she is either, as thought she is stuck in the middle.

“staring through fretwork at the Shalimar Gardens.”

This proves to the reader that she feels as though she is an outsider, looking in on other people.

In “Hurricane Hits England” Grace Nichols uses the hurricane to describe the characters relationship with her culture. The character sees the hurricane as her cousin, something she knows and has seen before.

“It took a...