Analysis Of Patience Agbabi's The Refugee Tales

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Refugee Tales by David Herd and Anna Pincus is a compilation of stories that give light to those who are branded 'refugee' and elucidate the dehumanizing situations they were forced to face through it all. Patience Agbabi's "The Refugee Tales" is an compelling poem of Farida's life and to add to that, as a refugee. Rather than writing as a simple story or narrative, she decides to write it as a crown of sonnets, as a way to make it more engaging in a way of changing the typical sentence structures. The author is able to formulate the story of the speaker's life and experiences into a poetic, hard-hitting tale to read about. By doing so, it makes readers feel drawn in as the tale was not written like the others-directly making it stand out from…show more content…
/ You already have a story of the torture / I suffered in my war-torn homeland" (Herd, 125) which starts off the tale with a serious undertone and showcases a glimpse of the dehumanizing actions the author experiences, particularly within the last line where she defines her birthplace as a 'war-torn homeland'. She starts it off similarly to the previous passages, where they convey their traumatizing encounters, but she chooses to address the character as 'you', which strips down the invisible wall between you as the reader and the speaker as it gives the feeling of being spoken to directly. Furthermore, the repetition of 'refugee' is significant as she knows that that is what she is labelled as, either by 'you' or the interviewer. Whether or not she has a job, family and an education, she will be labelled as a refugee which of which have negative connotations behind the title. The speaker uses 'you' with an underlying, accusing tone as a way of telling other people that they do realize and recognize that society labels them as…show more content…
At the end of the first sonnet, she says "Christians, Muslims, we bake the same flatbread" (125) and repeats it again in the beginning of her next sonnet, "Christians and Muslims break the same bread" (126) The speaker begins talking about herself as if she was just conversing with a friend and it brings to light that in this way, she humanizes herself to the interviewer; showing that she, too, had an ordinary life and thinks like everyone else which society seems to forget about refugees. As she continues to describe her life, she reveals how she went to school, how she "started [her] banking career" (126), and how she has a large family, reminding me that she was in the same position as most people until things started to change. With Farida's life quickly spiraling into chaos due to the changed government, she still refused to leave her homeland and family and continuously shows her dedication to stay in a broken country. I found the lines "why should I be treated as stranger, as refugee / in the country I was born" (127) particularly memorable as it begins to demonstrate the beginnings of dehumanization and how quickly it can all change for someone who was living a happy life not so long before that. As the situation continues to worsen, she, who was dedicated to her homestead and
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