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Home » » What is the critical appreciation of Night of the Scorpion?

"Night of the Scorpion " by Nissim Ezekiel is a poem that goes into the themes of community, superstition, and the power of love and sacrifice. The poem is set in a small Indian town where the speaker's mother is assaulted by cockatoos and the locals work together to console her through rituals. 

The poem begins with a detailed description of what the night sky will offer. A scorpion, propelled by rain, enters the house and injures the mother. What will happen next? This imagery, paired with the use of sensory elements, effectively brings the reader into the present moment and builds tension as the reader progresses to a heightened state of tension. 

Despite the father's efforts to explain the issue and seek medical attention, the villagers rely on traditional customs and prayers, believing they are the only way to rescue the mother. 

The poem emphasises the contradiction between modernity and tradition, since superstition has always hampered scientific understanding. Ezekiel's portrayal of their behaviours and reactions offers insight into rural Indian culture. Despite their disagreements, the locals work together to help the poor family. 

The depiction emphasises the value of compassion and mutual support in human society, especially under difficult circumstances. Despite her grief, the mother remains calm and humble, eager to give in and let go. This representation of familial love and sacrifice enriches the poetry by emphasising the human spirit's resilience in the face of hardship. 

Furthermore, "Night of the Scorpion" encourages meditation on the nature of suffering and how people cope with grief and misfortune. The mother's pace in the face of suffering and the father's continuous support show the power of love and resilience. Through their example, the poem provides a profound reflection on the human experience and the eternal links of family and community. 

Ezekiel's use of language and images is equally impressive. The poem's descriptive descriptions and powerful language help the reader immerse themselves in the story. The flame feasting on my mother and the swarm of flies in the poem are visceral, giving the impression that they were written for someone who will never be able to shake their guts. 

In conclusion, "Night of the Scorpion" is a timeless masterpiece that readers appreciate for its universal themes, stunning imagery, and profound analysis of the human condition.


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