What is "Oranges and Lemons" by Sujata Bhatt about?

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"Oranges and Lemons" by Sujata Bhatt is about the speaker's reactions and observations on a visit to the Anne Frank House. She begins by saying that it is her second visit, that she has come to the house alone (implying that she was in company the first time), and that...

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"Oranges and Lemons" by Sujata Bhatt is about the speaker's reactions and observations on a visit to the Anne Frank House. She begins by saying that it is her second visit, that she has come to the house alone (implying that she was in company the first time), and that this meant there was something missing from her experience.

One of the major themes of the poem is the way in which one's experiences of a place may be altered by the presence of others, particularly strangers. The schoolgirls in the museum are age thirteen to sixteen, which is to say that they are around the age Anne Frank was when she was writing her diary.

The speaker does not say that the experience she had is either better or worse than the solitary one she sought, only that it is different and unexpected, giving rise to new reflections. Like the diary that made Anne Frank such an important figure, the poem seeks to preserve an objective record of what happened and to suggest why such experiences matter.

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