Night of the Scorpion

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"Night of the Scorpion" is a poem by Nissim Ezekiel included the AQA Anthology.It starts in a house at night where it is raining and a scorpion in order to take some shelter comes to the house. This poem is about how the scorpion stung the poets mother and how he escaped and the mothers love for her children.

The poem opens in a way that suggests reflection—the speaker remembers (and, is so, older now) the night his mother was stung by a scorpion,it bit the mother because of its predatory impulse, that hid beneath a bag of rice to escape from the rain. The speaker specifically remembers this night because there was a reason it was memorable. The speaker manages to suggest that the scorpion is demonic with its "diabolic" tail. The scorpion then flees the scene and has to risk the rain again. A picture of a religious village is created by what the neighbours do ("buzz the name of God"). It is also implied that they live in a caring, close-knit village by the fact that the neighbours feel welcome at all. The speaker is displeased by their arrival, comparing them to flies (unwanted and irritating). They tried to provide reasons and many relied on superstition to guess what the problem was. The villagers tried to find the scorpion but they couldn't. By saying," With candles and with lanterns throwing giant scorpion shadows on the sun-baked walls." the speaker is implying there is still evil haunting the house, even after the scorpion had left the house. Many things were tried to help the mother's pain but none worked. The speaker watches, helpless. The speaker's father who was sceptic and rationalist, tried to save his wife by using powder, mixture, herbs, hybrid and even by pouring a little paraffin upon the bitten toe and put a match to it, this reflects to one of the village peasant saying, "May the sins of your previous birth be burned away tonight." Which the father tries to do;Not for burning her sins but to burn away the poison residing inside the mother. The speaker watches the vain holy man performing his deceptive incantations but he cannot do anything to stop it. After twenty hours, the mother is okay and says that she is glad she was stung and not her children, displaying her overwhelming love and motherly affection for them. It came from a religious background and Nissim wrote this poem trying to give the impression of anger.

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