Flashcards in Honour Killing Deck (25):
Recall the first stanza:
(At last I'm taking off this coat,)
At last I'm taking off this coat,
this black coat of a country
that I swore for years was mine,
that I wore more out of habit
Born wearing it,
I believed I had no choice.
Recall the second stanza:
(I'm taking off this veil)
I'm taking off this veil,
this black veil of a faith
that made me faithless
that tied my mouth,
gave my god a devil's face,
and muffled my own voice.
Recall the third stanza:
(I'm taking off these silks, )
I'm taking off these silks,
these lacy things
that feed dictator dreams,
the mangalsutra and the rings
rattling in a tin cup of needs
that beggared me.
Recall the fourth stanza:
(I'm taking off this skin)
I'm taking off this skin,
and then the face, the flesh,
Recall the fifth stanza:
what I am in here)
what I am in here
when I squeeze past
the easy cage of bone.
Recall the sixth stanza:
what I am out here, )
what I am out here,
at my new geography.
What is the title?
The title is an oxymoron- is there honour in killing.
What does 'At last' in the first stanza mean?
She has been deceived for years.
What is the 'coat' in the first stanza?
-Extended metaphor of undressing (metaphorically personality) undressing of who she really is.
-The coat could also represent her country and how instead of the country protecting her, she doesn't feel safe anymore and has to show the true reality of her country,
What does 'black coat' in the first stanza mean?
Colour symbolism – black – death. Alliteration of C – aggressive.
What does 'I wore more out of habit than design.' mean int he first stanza?
Almost not a choice – BORN into the culture.
What does 'I believed I had no choice' in the first stanza?
She was brainwashed.
What does the 'veil' in the second stanza represent?
Death imagery – marriage (divorce)
What does 'me faithless
to myself' in the second stanza mean?
Paradox – ironic statement – her faith has made her faithless. Tone of sarcasm and irony.
What does 'my god a devil's face' in the second stanza mean?
Paradox – she is demonstrating that she isn’t condemning God or faith. She is condemning man’s interpretation and manipulation (religion)
What does 'muffled my own voice.' in the second stanza mean?
Onomatopoeia – relatable – soundscape. CONTEXT – lack of voice for women .
What does ‘Dictators Dreams’ in the third stanza mean?
Clothing that binds her to her culture – told what to wear. Plosive ‘Dictators Dreams’ – aggressive. Lack of freedom for women.
What does the 'womb' is the fourth stanza?
Womb represents women’s role in culture as a vessel to carry new life. Insignificance.
When does the tone change?
The tone changes in the fifth stanza 'Let's see'.
Tone changes with a change of anaphora. Air of positivity of self-discovery
What does 'easy cage of bone' in the fifth stanza mean?
Cage = prison-like. Squeeze – hard to bypass your culture and see who YOU are.
What does 'out here' in the sixth stanza mean?
She is finally away from her culture/nation.
What does 'making, crafting, plotting' suggest?
Verbs – her productivity – trying new things
What does ' new geography' in the sixth stanza suggest?
Her new self (through discovery and exploration)
What is the poem about?
Dramatic monologue of a particular event – 1999 in Lahore woman was shot dead by her family in a lawyer’s office – her crime? Wanting a divorce. Pakistan as a nation stood by the killing. Not condemned.