The poet explores the relationship between cultural identity and language. When you speak a language you likewise learn its culture. Lines 19 and 20 amount up the style. Which language has not been the oppressor’s tongue? When another nation is the conquerer, that nation brings its language and culture to those who are conquered.
‘ A Various History’ remains in 2 linked parts: lines 1-18, then lines 19-29. The very first stanza draws the link in between western and Indian culture as Pan, the Greek god also exists through Indian gods and goddesses that stroll freely.
She explains the distinction as well in the way Indians treat books with much regard, in order not to disturb or offend Sarasvati or the tree from which the paper comes. Stanza 2 returns to the idea of a foreign language; all languages, it says, have when been the language of an intruder or an oppressor, however regardless of this there always comes a time when more youthful and more recent generations not only speak the oppressor’s language however they really come to enjoy it.
TONE (Tone implies the attitude of the poet).
Initially the tone is critical of the culture of the west (e.g. the method the west does disappoint respect for books). Later the tone is accepting. She states that once people have taken in the brand-new culture, the later generations enjoy the language and culture.
The poem is divided into two verses with each dealing with a various concept on language and culture. The visual plan of lines vary in the 2 verses. In stanza 1, the different indented lines provide a wavy look to suggest possibly the idea of gods strolling easily and to match the humour in the verse.
The 2nd verse has all the lines indented likewise as the author conveys the serious message that all languages are enforced by the oppressor.
The rhythm matches the content. The enjambment (run-on lines) in stanza 1 gives a light-hearted, tripping rhythm. In stanza 2, the rhythm is insistent as the poet uses rhetorical concerns and the state of mind turns serious.
POINT: Stanza 1 starts by comparing the Greek and Indian gods. Next the poem concentrates on the reverential attitude towards books in India.
Great Pan is not dead;he simply emigrated To India| Meaning- Pan the Greek god of nature also exists in India. The effect is that cross-cultural links happen. | Here, the gods roam freely Disguised as snakes or monkeys | The poet refers to Indian gods in the form of snakes or monkeys. | And it is a sinto be rude to a book(repeated 4 times) | By repeating ‘it is a sin’ the effect is of persuasion and emphasis. Repetition in a pattern of three or more is a persuasive device. She uses strong words ‘shove’, ‘slam’, ‘toss’ to stress that ill-treating books is sinful to the Indians because they have a reverence for knowledge.| You must learn how to turn the pages gentlywithout disturbing Sarasvati, without offending the treefrom whose wood the paper was made|
The word ‘without’ is repeated for emphasis. In India, books are handled carefully ‘gently’ to show respect for Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of Knowledge, and for the trees where the gods are. | *Pan- In Greek religion and mythology, Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, mountains, hunting Sarasvati – the Hindu goddess of Knowledge presides over the arts and is frequently worshipped in libraries.
POINT: Stanza 2 the poet states that every while every language has come from the conquering nations and is at first resisted, it is later embraced by the future generations.
Which language has not been the oppressor’s tongue?| This rhetorical question ( a question that does not need an answer because the answer is obvious) contains the main idea of the poem – all languages have once been the language of an invader or an oppressor. | Which language Truly meant to murder someone?| The repetition ‘which language’ is another rhetorical question which does not need an answer as it is obvious that language does not intentionally kill people.| that after the torture, after the soul has been croppedwith a long scythe swooping out of the conqueror’s face-| The poet now explains that it is the soul or the culture that is destroyed by the conqueror.
The metaphor of the ‘long scythe swooping out’ is an image of the brutal destruction of the culture of the oppressed and replacing it with the culture of the conqueror. | the unborn grandchildrengrow to love that strange language| The poet concedes that ironically over many generations, the oppressed people come round to speaking the conqueror’s language and what is more to embracing its culture. She points out the irony of history.|
Cite this essay
A Different History by Sujata Bhatt Notes. (2016, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-different-history-by-sujata-bhatt-notes-essay