At the Border, 1979

HideShow resource information
"It is your last check-in point in this country!"
The direct speech in the first sentence of the poem, straight away creates a personal relationship with the reader. The punctuation of the exclamation mark adds extra emphasis and a sense of urgency.
1 of 20
"...last check-in point..."
This suggests control by officials and is the final step to being free/ home. It could possibly be interpretated to being a metaphor for society and being judged.
2 of 20
"...grabbed..."
This is a harsh word - Choman Hardi didn't just use the phrase: 'We took a drink.' The word 'grabbed' suggests desperation and urgency to leave.
3 of 20
"...taste different."
The family expects that everything will be different once they enter a different country. This is where the imagination plays a part - they only think things will taste better - it gives a sense of patriatism
4 of 20
"...thick iron chain."
The word 'thick' on its own sounds important and significant but an 'iron chain' on its own is easily overcome. The phrase altogether could be a metaphor of shackles - like a prisoner? It shows that the border is an artificial, man-made division.
5 of 20
"My sister put her leg across it."
This is a complete juxtaposition to the previous line - this time it shows how insignificant the border is physically.
6 of 20
"...told her off."
This response is unthreatning and makes the guards seem silly for caring about something trivial.
7 of 20
"My mother informed me: We are going home.
The caesura makes the mother's announcement seem grand and significant. The phrase itself is in italics and again emphasises its importance.
8 of 20
"...much cleaner...more beautiful...much kinder."
These phrases link to her view that "everything would taste different." It expresses her passion of patriatism but also suggests a prejudice view. The tricolon emphasises these views.
9 of 20
"Dozens of families..."
This shows the extent of people affected.
10 of 20
"I can inhale home..."
The word 'inhale' is personified and gives an obvious sense of relief. It is highly dramatic, as it could suggest that it is as important as breathing or perhaps it is life saving - like an inhaler.
11 of 20
"...standing...comparing..."
The verbs here sound calm and logical compared to the adults' behaivour
12 of 20
"...autumn soil continued..."
This line links with line 4 - natural qualities remain the same and divisions are imposed by people.
13 of 20
"...with the same colour, the same texture."
The repetition of 'same' emphasises that nothing is that different; humans have created the divide of borders.
14 of 20
"It rained on both sides of the chain."
This is a simple statement of fact - unlike the adults, she's unaffected by emotions.
15 of 20
"We waited..."
This shows the family at the mercy of official rules.
16 of 20
"...our papers were checked..."
The passive construction keeps the controllers anonymous and powerful.
17 of 20
"...thoroughly inspected."
Again the passive construction keeps the controllers anonymous and powerful. It shows an untrusted interegation - a judgement.
18 of 20
"...muddy homeland."
The word 'muddy' makes his reaction seem exaggerated, as the land is described as nothing special.
19 of 20
"...the chain was removed... the same chain of mountains encompassed all of us."
The repetition of 'chain' gives two views of the border. The first 'chain' gives a negative view; it is controlling. But the second 'chain' is shown in a positive light - gives a sense of security.
20 of 20

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

"...last check-in point..."

Back

This suggests control by officials and is the final step to being free/ home. It could possibly be interpretated to being a metaphor for society and being judged.

Card 3

Front

"...grabbed..."

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

"...taste different."

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

"...thick iron chain."

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all AQA Anthology resources »