Dothead By Amit Mammadar

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Amit Majmudar’s poem “Dothead” demonstrates the stigma that the speaker experienced—as well as what many foreigners still undergo—while living as a child in a different culture by utilizing figurative language and a shift in tone from descriptive to agitated. This poem begins with a discussion format to portray an expressive tone in which he tells both his grammar school peers and the reader what his mother’s “dot” truly is (1). Though the speaker sees this colorful mark as something beautiful, the speaker’s fellow classmates see the red dot as a figurative “Chernobyl baby” because it is so strange and unfamiliar to them (5). While this dot—more properly named a bindi—has a significant meaning that the speaker understands, the other schoolchildren are unaware of this knowledge and begin to laugh at the sight of such an absurd-looking object (11-12).…show more content…
The speaker’s description of the friends he sits with at lunchtime as “the white kids” highlights the growing disdain for those people ignorant of his family’s Indian heritage (15). The speaker’s ensuing discussion with his classmates subtly reveals how annoyed the speaker is becoming based on the attention to detail in which the speaker remembers this seemingly innocuous conversation (17-19). Before the others can berate the speaker with more cruel questions, the speaker used a ketchup packet to create red circles on his face to frighten the others sitting nearby. Indeed, this action displays the growing belligerence the speaker feels as a minority in the school environment (24-25). The poem’s angry tone especially emerges in the speaker’s desire to see his fellow students cower with “their flesh in little puddles underneath” (28). In short, the social embarrassment the reader suffers through leads to the speaker to have a negative
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