How does the poet explore the idea of contrast in “A Different History”?

Topics: Poetry, Western world, Western culture Pages: 3 (1011 words) Published: November 10, 2013
How does the poet explore the idea of contrast in “A Different History”? Sujata Bhatt expresses contrast in the title of the poem; “A Different History”. The word “A” is an indefinite article which shows transience which means you can change it whereas the word “History” means that it’s usually a fact but the history is “A Different History”. In the first two lines, it is written “Great Pan is not dead he simply emigrated”. The word “dead” is permanent whereas “emigrated” is transient. The persona is exploring the idea that spiritualism is dead whereas Sujata says it has just moved. It could also mean that because the spiritualism is dying in the western world, where Pan came from, he is moving to India where religion is very important and strong. In line twenty eight, Sujata says “the unborn grandchildren”. This creates a cycle from death to new life. We are all a part of the human cycle and there is no beginning an no end to the human cycle. Sujata also uses contrasting words such as “sacred” and “sin”. These words mean completely opposite things and it shows that the persona is confused. The repetition of “s” also known as sibilance leads to an image of a snake from the Garden of Eden which reinforces the negative effect of the destruction of knowledge. In lines four and five it is written “Here, the gods roam freely, disguised as snakes and monkeys”. This shows juxtaposition because how can the gods roam freely if they have to disguise themselves as something else. There is a sense of mystery, otherwise known as enigma. Snakes are silent, shy, and sly and they will only attack if they are being bothered and monkeys are active, cheeky and playful. They represent Gods because they are mischievous like the snakes and monkeys and Gods are capable of anything such as putting you in heaven or hell. On line six it is written “every tree is sacred”. Trees make paper which makes books which give us knowledge and this symbolises the Tree of Knowledge from the Garden...
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