Living Space - Imtiaz Dharker

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  • Living Space
    • Faith and Worship
      • "not enough straight lines"
        • the building the slum dwellers reside in is made up of waste materials and is not well built and they are putting there faith in this dangerous and unsafe building to house and protect them
      • "nothing is flat or parallel"
        • the building is lopsided, unsafe and not really fit for living in, but the slum-dwellers put their faith in it and live in the building, despite the conditions
      • structure and form
        • There are many lines that are significantly longer than others, creating a visual representation of the structure described in the poem
          • "beams balanced crookedly"
          • "whole structure leans dangerously"
      • "dared to place/ these eggs in a wire basket"
        • they have such a huge amount of faith in their structure that they leave eggs hung on the edge of an unsteady beam, one of many in the unstable structure
      • "leans dangerously towards the miraculous"
        • the building is so close to collapsing and falling over that it is a miracle that it has held up for so long, yet the people living in it are still faithful that it will continue to protect and home them
    • Sense of Place
      • title
        • "Living Space" implies that the place the slum-dwellers are living in is not so much a house or a home as it is just a place for them to live
      • "someone has squeezed/ a living space"
        • implies that they have managed to make the most of a small and unsafe situation, and created a living space, as apposed to a house or home
      • "slanted universe"
        • the people living in the slums live in a place that is unfair and unjust, the class system in Mumbai is prominent in society (think - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer
        • also relates to the unstable, slanted buildings
      • "gathering the light"
        • the people living in the slums are always in search of hope and believe that what the future holds could be wonderful
      • "thin walls of faith"
        • the people in the slums know that they don't have much, but what they do have keeps them faithful and happy in what little they do have
    • Context
      • the poem was written about slums in Mumbai where people built there own homes from scrap materials such as corrugated iron, wooden beams and tarpaulin
      • people who move to the slums are often in search of a new and improved life, shown through the theme of faith
      • there is also a large amount of inequality between classes in Mumbai
      • celebrates the existence of these living spaces


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