An Unknown girl. Revision flashcards

Sarah Holmes
Flashcards by Sarah Holmes, updated more than 1 year ago
Sarah Holmes
Created by Sarah Holmes over 5 years ago
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Description

A set of flashcards to help learners revise key aspects of Moniza Alvi's poem, An Unknown Girl

Resource summary

Question Answer
True or false? This poem is semi-autobiographical True: Many of Alvi's poems are semi-autobiographical and present a version of herself who is struggling with cultural identity
What is hennaing? It is the process of creating temporary tattoos with plant dyes. It is traditional in some Asian cultures for women to have intricate henna tattoos for special occasions such as weddings and religious celebrations.
What is the image tattooed on the speaker's hand in the poem? A peacock.
Why is the peacock image symbolic? It symbolises pride in her Asian roots and a desire to show them off.
In what way can the hennaed peacock be read as a metaphor for her cultural identity Like her sense of connection to her Asian roots, once away from the bazaar, the tattoo will quickly fade. It is also possible for the speaker to choose to show or conceal her Asian identity as the tattoo is on her palm.
Which phrase is repeated throughout the poem? 'An unknown girl'
Why is it significant that the girl remains unknown? Because she represents the Asian part of the speaker which she is struggling to know herself
What figurative device does Alvi use a lot in this poem? Metaphor. This poem is typical of Alvi's work in that it focuses on cultural identity and uses lots of very vivid metaphors to represent this
What does Alvi mean when she says: “I never feel entirely at home in England, and of course I’m not part of the Asian community at all” That she does identify very strongly with either her English culture or her Asian culture. She is stuck somewhere in between and struggles to come to some definitive sense of her self culturally.
True or false: Alvi wants to reconnect with her Asian culture True: She wants to reconnect with her Asian culture which has a very strong appeal to her buts he is aware that it will only be superficial, like the tattoo
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