Analysis of A Different History by Sujata Bhatt

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A DIFFERENT HISTORY
A Different History written by Sujata Bhatt portrays the loss of language and cultures after colonization in India. This poem describes the bitterness and sadness Bhatt felt about her mother tongue and cultures. Bhatt explores the idea of history, culture and language throughout the poem.

Bhatt uses two enjambments in the poem. The first enjambment talks about the book, which represents the culture and the way people should treat the books. The tone of voice used in the second enjambment is more aggressive and critical, as it described the period of colonization when the cultures and language were taken away by the conquerors. There is no rhyme utilized throughout the poem. This shows that Bhatt wants to show how serious and complex the problem is, wanting the readers to think of the loss of mother tongue and one’s culture. Moreover, an irony is used throughout the whole poem. Bhatt, who cries for the loss of language, used English to write the poem. This indicates that she is one of those ‘unborn grandchildren’ who ‘grow to love that strange language’ creating a sense of sadness, because even the author herself cannot speak Indian but uses English – the ‘strange language’.

‘Great Pan is not dead; he simply emigrated to India’ tells that the cultures and religions are transmitted across the globe. ‘Great pan’ symbolizes the pantheism existing in Indian religion where everything has a god in charge of it, even human. Bhatt talks about the culture and lifestyle moving with people by implying that God Pan is not seized to exist but simply moved to India. This also indicates the similarity between the religions of the Eastern and the Western due to the constant transmitting of cultures and lifestyles. ‘The god roams freely, disguised as snakes and monkeys’ portrays the acceptance of new religion and cultures in India. ‘God’ represents the new cultures and lifestyles. Snakes and monkeys were worshipped during the past time, as Indians...
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