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The Right Word
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The Right Word

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  • 1. The right word Imtiaz Dharker
  • 2. Themes and ideas• Initially the poem seems to be about terrorism and societies views and perceptions about ‘terrorists’ and the confusion and fear. As the poem goes on we see the writers mind go from uncertainty to certainty as from a political view ‘one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter’ to a more humane view ‘I saw his face’ removing the fear. The poem makes us question the ‘labels’ and names we have given to terrorists and our attitudes towards them.
  • 3. Language• The use of questions suggests a poem full of doubt, by saying the words are ‘waving, wavering flags’ it suggests nothing can be pinned down with certainty. By first of all saying the boy ‘lurks in the shadow’ we get the idea of someone bad who needs to hide but the second verse provides us with a more likeable line ‘taking shelter in the shadows’ portraying a more vulnerable character than the first verse. Repetition of ‘in the shadow’ leaves the characters identity unknown until the writer sees there face.
  • 4. Structure• The poems lines are uneven length as the narrator thinks different ways at each verse of the poem. There is no rhyme in the poem but ‘outside my door’ is repeated with the change in the word ‘the’ with ‘that’ ‘your’ or ‘my’.
  • 5. Form• Narrative poem: Narrative poetry is poetry that has a plot. The poems that make up this genre may be short or long, and the story it relates to may be simple or complex. It is basically a poem which tells a story which I think this poem does.• The poem does not have a particular structure as there is a variation in the amount of lines per verse. There is also no rhyming throughout the poem, also making it seem like the poem does not have a clear structure and that it is free verse.
  • 6. Imagery• At first the person outside the door is called a terrorist so you straight away get the image of a bad person inside your head, someone you’d be scared to have outside your door. But as the poem progresses the terrorist changes different words showing how different people may view or call the same person we call a terrorist. At the end of the poem the person who some thinks looks like a terrorist turn into a child, someone who could be anyone’s son and to them is not a terrorist, but to others he may look like one.
  • 7. Voice• The narrator of this poem is someone who knows there is someone outside their door that may be seen in many different ways to different people. At the beginning they seem to be sure of who it is outside the door but then the voice gains some distrust in itself and wonders if the words they are using are the right words to describe this person, it shows this by saying “Is that the wrong description?”. The narrator gives the impression that they are scared to open the door, it shows they are scared when they say “God help me.” something people say when they feel helpless.
  • 8. Audience• The narrator is talking to everyone, everyone who has a different view on who terrorists are and what they are called. Some people call them freedom fighters as they believe what they’re doing is good. Some other people don’t see them as bad people as they are the parents of them, they’re just their children, their son. The voice of the poem is talking to everyone, showing how everyone has a different view of the people in the War.