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What is the theme of the poem "Night of the Scorpion' by Nissim Ezekiel

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rachnagoyal | Student, Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted July 15, 2010 at 3:12 PM via web

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What is the theme of the poem "Night of the Scorpion' by Nissim Ezekiel

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 15, 2010 at 7:56 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that there could be several themes to this poem.  I would say that one of the most overriding in my mind is the helplessness that loves ones feel when someone close to them is dying.  There is an overall sensation of helplessness when the mother gets stung by the scorpion.  The villagers come by and essentially are fairly worthless in alleviating the mother's pain.  The father, skeptical of all of this, can only watch to see his wife endure pain.  In a way, he is helpless as well because his skepticism and faith in Western medicine also does not necessarily help his wife.  The pain of this is the inescapable  fact that she is dying and there is nothing he can do to stop it.  The ending of the poem reveals this helplessness when the mother says that she is glad it was her who took this and not the children.  The overwhelming feeling of hopelessness in the face of such an awesome adversary such as death is a major theme I get out of this poem.

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