An Unknown Girl Poem

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Moniza Alvi presents the identity of the speaker in her poem, “An Unknown Girl” through the use of various language techniques like metaphors, imagery and repetition. One way the poet explores the identity of the speaker in An Unknown Girl is by showing how the poet is exploring the culture in India. The first line of the poem, “In the evening bazaar …” describes the setting of the place and it’s atmosphere as chaotic but lucid which shows how the poet is exploring. The repetition of this phrase throughout the poem mainly highlights that the poet wants to tell the reader that this trip is important to her because she won’t be able to truly discover the Indian part of her and that she is trying to cherish every single moment of it. This is done by continuously reminding us of her location. The use of traditional Indian vocabulary in the poem such as “bazaar”, “henna” and “kameez” proves to us that she is trying to fit into the crowd because she feels alienated amongst the people there. But the poet is also again trying to give a fascinating atmosphere of the surrounding to help the reader to picture the scene of the market, almost giving a curious or mysterious tone further emphasised by the line, “an unknown girl”. This might highlight the main idea of this poem that she is trying to find herself while in the country she is trying to get to know. Then she points out how “a peacock spreads its lines…” which almost seems like the henna is becoming alive and is
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