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In The Midst Of Hardship Theme Essay Graphic Organizer

In The Midst of Hardship by Latiff Mohidin

In the Midst of Hardship by Latiff Mohidin

At dawn they returned home

their soaky clothes torn

and approached the stove

their limbs marked by scratches

their legs full of wounds

but on their brows

there was not a sign of despair

The whole day and night just passed

they had to brave the horrendous flood

in the water all the time

between bloated carcasses

and tiny chips of tree barks

desperately looking for their son’s

albino buffalo that was never found


They were born amidst hardship

and grew up without a sigh or a complaint

now they are in the kitchen, making

jokes while rolling their ciggarete leaves

SYNOPSIS (OVERALL)

This poem is about a family who faces  hardship whereby their son’s albino buffalo is nowhere to be found. A flood occurs and they go out to find the buffalo. They reach home early in the morning without the buffalo and yet there is no  sign of despair in them. Meanwhile, they can still crack jokes and roll the cigarettes.

SYNOPSIS (ACCORDING TO STANZA)

STANZA 1

They returned home at day break and headed for the stove. This is probably because they were hungry. However, I have also received some feedbacks saying that they went straight to the stove to dry themselves as they were drenched with the flood water. Their clothes were soaking wet and tattered. Their bodies were covered with scratches and wounds. Yet, they did not display any signs of being worried.

STANZA 2

They were out in the flood the whole day and night. They were surrounded by dead animals and parts of trees that had been destroyed by the flood. We know that the animals were already dead because of the phrase ‘bloated carcasses’. They searched desperately for their son’s albino buffalo but were unable to find it.

STANZA 3

They were born into poverty and difficulty, but they do not complain about their suffer. Instead, they sit in the kitchen, cracking jokes while smoking cigarettes. This shows that they face difficulties all the time and this time there is no different. They have inner strength that makes them strong to face any hardship poses to them.

SETTING

The setting of the poem is in the house.

THEMES

  • Being resilience when facing hardship
  • Family love
  • Acceptance of way of life

MORAL VALUES

  1. We should learn to accept problems in life with a positive outlook.
  2. We must attempt to face and solve problem.
  3. Facing hardship is part and parcel of life.
  4. If we face a problem, do not feel despair.

TONE, MOOD, ATMOSPHERE

  • Understanding and sympathetic
  • Acceptance of situation

POINT OF VIEW

  • Third person pint of view.

LANGUAGE & STYLE

  • Language is simple and easy to understand.
  • The style is simple with no rhyming scheme.

POETIC DEVICES

  • Imagery – Gives picture of poet’s thoughts e.g ‘soaky clothes torn’ and ‘legs full of wounds’
  • Alliteration – e.g. ‘but on their brows’
  • Symbols – e.g. ‘horrendous flood’ and ‘bloating carcasses’
  • Diction – e.g. ‘stove’ and ‘brows

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Poem: In The Midst Of Hardship (original Malay version)

Dear All,

This poem will be of interest to Malaysian English language secondary school teachers (and students too) especially those who are teaching or learning Form 4 English Liteature Component.

It's the Malay version of the poem : In The Midst of Hardship by Latiff Mohideen.

I usually find for translated works such as poems, the original meaning may be lost or at best distorted and inaccurately translated.

Anyway, do enjoy the Malay version.

Rodney Tan

-------------------------
Malay version of In the Midst of Hardship

Dalam Bencana
Mereka pulang ke rumah
waktu subuh hari
dengan pakaian robek basah
menghampiri api tungku
lengan mereka penuh calar
kaki mereka penuh luka
tapi di kening mereka
tidak kelihatan rasa kecewa
Sehari semalaman
mereka mengharungi banjir
berendam antara bangkai ternakan
dan serpihan kulit tumbuhan
kerbau balar si buyung
masih belum ditemui.
Mereka dilahirkan dalam bencana
tidak ada keluhan dan kutukan
kini mereka berjenaka di dapur
sambil menggulung rokok daun.


Latiff Mohideen 
1978


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