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 that hid beneath a bag of rice to escape from the rain. The speaker manages to suggest that the scorpion is demonic with its "diabolic" tail. The scorpion then flees the scene. 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. Much was done in an attempt to save the silently suffering mother. The speaker watches, helpless. The speaker's father who was sceptic and rationalist, tried to save his wife by pouring a little paraffin upon the bitten toe and put a match to 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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