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Shvoong Home>Books>Poetry>Summary of Nissim Ezekiel's-' Night of the Scorpion' Review

Summary of Nissim Ezekiel's-' Night of the Scorpion'

Book Review   by:akso6o175     Original Author: Andy Kester Sawian
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'Night of the Sorpion' is a poignant poem that evokes the strong hold of superstition within our social psyche. Ezekiel recalls the night when his mother was stung by a scorpion. With the onset of the monsoons, the ten hours of warm and steady rains had compelled the mysterious scorpion to crawl into the house and hid itself beneath a sack of rice in the dark store room. Without any mercy, it raised up its lethal, venomous and diabolic tail and stung Ezekiel's mother in one of her toes while she was busy in the store room unaware. Then it left her helpless in the dark store room and went out into the rain again. Almost all the peasants in the neighbourhood came in with a high spirit of concern. They entered the residence like swarm of flies and chanted loudly, the name of God for more than a hundred times to paralyze the evil sting of the scorpion.They came in with lanterns and candles and created giant shadows of the scorpion on the mud baked walls. They searched for him but he was not found. They clicked their tongues and said that with every movement that the scorpion made, the venom moved in the mother's blood. She laid at the centre of the of the floor of the room with the peasnts surrounding her. Their first chanted prayer was for the scorpin to remain still. Secondly, they chanted that her present suffering decrease the misfortunes of her next birth. Thirdly, that the sum of evil balanced in this unreal world against the sum of good become diminish by her pain.
As the mother twisted, rolled around and groaning in pain, more neighbours came in with more lanterns and candles, while the rains show no signs of stopping. Ezekiel's father on the other hand, is a man of science and he tried to create an antidote out of every powder, mixture, herb and hybrid plant. He's not superstitious and tried to treat the sting using a scientific method. He even poured a little paraffin on the bitten toe and lit a match to it. The flame was feeding on the mother's toe and everybody in the room was watching it. The holy man was also performing his rites to tame the poison with the charms of an incantation. It enacted in elaborate detail, how people react under similar circumstances. Finally after twenty hours the venom of the sting lost its power. The mother was overjoyed with a huge sigh of relief. She only thanked God that the scorpion picked on her and spared her children. The reaction of the mother, which stresses her maternal feelings above all ritualistic practices, imbues the poem with a rare warmth.
Published: June 16, 2010   
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  1. Answer   Question  :    who's mother she is? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    What is the point of using the word ,buzzed,? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    Buzzed is the continuous humming sound which is from the peasants in the neighbourhood came in with a high spirit of concern. They entered the residence like swarm of flies and chanted loudly, the name of God for more than a hundred times to paralyze the evil sting of the scorpion. Friday, March 28, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is the superstitious belief View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    How does this poem appeal to people? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    personification of the lines in the first extract View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    personification if lines in the first extract View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what typicall indian scene was in the poem ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    it was a maternal scene shown over her. the poet's mother was jst like typical indian mothers and above all she cared for her children even after facing death Sunday, December 09, 2012
  1. Answer   Question  :    Compare the ways in which the peasants the priest the father and the mother all react to the incident ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    everybody except the father was supertitious. they prayed for the scorpion not to move so that the poison do not rise. but the father was scientific nd made some sort of medicine from herba nd applied on the bitten toe Sunday, December 09, 2012
  1. Answer   Question  :    They believe that as the scorpion moves the poison also moves in the blood of the mother. And they say that this is suffering is due to the sins by her made by her in her previous birth. View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    What about mother? View All
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