Night of the_scorpionppoint

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Night of the_scorpionppoint

  1. 1. Night of the Scorpion L/O: Learning about the context and main ideas of the poem.
  2. 2. Nissim Ezekiel Nissim Ezekiel was born in Bombay to Jewish parents in 1924. He was raised in a Hindu culture and was influenced by atheist views. As a Jew living in a Hindu society Ezekiel was something of an outsider. ‘Not being Hindu I cannot identify myself with India's past as a comprehensive heritage or reject it as if it were mine to reject’. He wrote about modern India and the little mysteries of everyday life.
  3. 3. The Night of the Scorpion • What is Night of the Scorpion about? • The poem is about the night when a woman (the poet's mother) in a poor village in India is stung by a scorpion. Concerned neighbours pour into her hut to offer advice and help. All sorts of cures are tried by the neighbours, her husband and the local holy man, but time proves to be the best healer - 'After twenty hours / it lost its sting.'. • After her ordeal, the mother is thankful that the scorpion stung her and not the children.
  4. 4. Reincarnation The Hindu belief in reincarnation is in Night of the Scorpion. This is the idea that when individuals die the spirit leaves the body and is reborn into a new body. A person’s new self on reincarnation is determined by the good (or bad) things he or she has committed in his or her preceding life.
  5. 5. What Happens? There are three main parts to the poem. Do you know what they are? The first one has been done for you Lines What is happening? 1-7 The scorpion comes into the home to escape the rain and stings the poet’s mother
  6. 6. First person Night of the Scorpion The poet’s mother I remember the night my mother was stung by a scorpion. Ten hours of steady rain had driven him Scorpion is just Trying to stay dry to crawl beneath a sack of rice. Parting with his poison - flash Alliteration Religious imagery Stung the mother
  7. 7. Religious imagery to show The scorpion is demonic Scorpion is afraid and risks the rain to get away from the people Sets the scene of diabolic tail in the dark room – by showing it’s a poor Indian house he risked the rain again. The peasants came like swarms of flies and buzzed the name of God a hundred times to paralyse the Evil One. Symbolic of the Devil – capitalised To make it a name Simile which makes the peasants seem panicstricken and illogical
  8. 8. Superstition shows how ill-educated the peasants are With every movement that the scorpion made his poison moved in Mother's blood, they said. May he sit still, they said. May the sins of your previous birth be burned away tonight, they said. Sounds like a prayer, but having the same word At the start of so many lines makes this reaction Seem repetitive and unsympathetic Talking about reincarnation – they think she will die
  9. 9. Reincarnation again. Religious imagery May your suffering decrease the misfortunes of your next birth, they said. May the sum of evil balanced in this unreal world against the sum of good become diminished by your pain. Pain is seen as a way of cleansing the soul before the next life
  10. 10. Shows the superstition about the afterlife May the poison purify your flesh of desire, and your spirit of ambition, They think that she is going to they said, and they sat around die. on the floor with my mother in the centre, the peace of understanding on each face. More candles, more lanterns, more neighbours, Repetition of more insects, and the endless rain. the word more
  11. 11. My mother twisted through and through, groaning on a mat. The event was so serious that his father My father , sceptic rationalist, tried anything to save her. trying every curse and blessing, powder, mixture, herb and hybrid. he even poured a little paraffin upon the bitten toe and put a match to it. Desperation.
  12. 12. Repetition Personification of the flame/ alliteration. I watched the flame feeding on my mother. I watched the holy man perform his rites Chanting to tame the poison with an incantation. Time was the only After twenty hours healer. It lost its sting. Shows the nature of a mother’s love. My mother only said Thank God the scorpion picked on me Separate stanza concluding the and spared my children. story. The mother is rational which contrasts with the villages.
  13. 13. Imagery Look at the description of the village peasants. What does the imagery suggest about them? The Images they ‘came like swarms of flies’ they ‘buzzed the name of God’ They threw ‘giant scorpion shadows /on the mud-baked walls’ They ‘clicked their tongues’ Notes on the images

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