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Apply your Understanding and Analyse the Language Techniques Used in the Poem 'Tissue' by Imtiaz Dharker

In this worksheet, students will analyse the language devices used in the poem 'Tissue' by Imtiaz Dharker. They will also gain an understanding of the wider context of the poem.

'Apply your Understanding and Analyse the Language Techniques Used in the Poem 'Tissue' by Imtiaz Dharker' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Power and Conflict: 'Tissue'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

For this activity, you will need to turn to the poem 'Tissue' by Imtiaz Dharker, which can be found in the Power and Conflict section of your Anthology.

 

 

tissue

 

The speaker in this poem uses tissue paper as an extended metaphor for life. She considers how paper can 'alter things' and refers to the soft thin paper of religious books, in particular, the Qur'an. There are also real-life references to other lasting uses we have for paper in our lives such as maps, receipts and architect drawings. Each of these items is connected to important aspects of life: journeys, money and home. These examples demonstrate how important but also how fragile paper is.

 

In the following questions, you will be asked to analyse the language devices used in the poem.

tissue

 

 

In order to identify the language devices in 'Tissue', we need to understand the meaning of the poem. Read the poem and match the questions to the answers below:

Column A

Column B

How are images altered when you look at them throu...
They are very important to people and are treated ...
Books are made from paper and paper is fragile; ye...
It is fragile and can be easily broken
Why are some books "smoothed and stroked" as pages...
They are blurry and unclear
In what way is human life like tissue paper?
They have the ability to contain information that ...

Now that you have read the poem 'Tissue', which summary below do you think best explains the poem?

 

The poem discusses the importance of money. It has no real value, but controls everyone's lives

The poem discusses the role of paper. It records human history and is used to shape civilisation and to control lives, but is fragile

The poem discusses the importance of books and how the printed word has changed the world

Let's recap your knowledge of language devices so that we know what we are looking for in the poem.

 

Poetry book and time piece

   

 

Match the language device to the definition.

Column A

Column B

Alliteration
Comparing two or more objects with the words 'like...
Simile
Direct comparison of two things without using the ...
Onomatopoeia
Words beginning with the same letter sounds
Metaphor
Describing an inanimate object or animal with huma...
Personification
Two words placed together with different meanings ...
Oxymoron
Words which sound like the effect they describe

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue':

 

"If buildings were paper, I might feel their drift"

 

What language device is being used here?

 

Simile

Metaphor

Onomatopoeia

Alliteration

In the third stanza of the poem 'Tissue', the poet uses language devices to describe how a religious text is not just a book, but a treasured heirloom and connection to family.

 

Read the quotation below and underline two words where the poet has used tactile verbs to describe how people feel about the religious text.

\"Pages smoothed and stroked and turned transparent with attention\"

Read the following quotation from the poem 'Tissue':

 

"Through the shapes that pride can make"

 

Building blocks shapes

 

What language device is used here? Choose one from the list below.

 

Metaphor

Personification

Simile

In stanza four of 'Tissue', the poet uses language to describe how light and fragile paper is.

 

The poet uses something called a lexical field - a group of words that all relate to the same theme of air.

 

Lexical field  = the way of organizing related words and expressions into a system that shows their relationship to one another.

 

parcel floating

 

Read the following extract from 'Tissue' and underline any language that you think is part of this lexical field.

 

 

 

\"If buildings were paper, I might feel their drift, see how easily they fall away on a sigh, a shift in the direction of the wind\"

In the sixth stanza of Tissue, the poet uses a simile to describe to the reader how society is too concerned with money. She believes that life would be better if we would value simple pleasures instead.

 

kite

 

 

 

The following quotations are all from the poem 'Tissue'. Choose one quotation that you think is an example of a simile.

 

"The sun shines through their borderlines"

"Might fly our lives like paper kites"

"Fine slips from grocery shops"

"Let the daylight break through capitals"

On the last line of the poem 'Tissue', the poet uses a language device called direct address:

 

"Turned into your skin"

 

Direct address = The name of the person (normally) who is being directly spoken to.

 

What point do you think the poet wanted to make with this language device?

 

Human life is precious

Human tissue is fragile

A human's life is brief

All humans return to the earth eventually

Re-read the quotation from the last question:

 

"Turned into your skin"

 

hands together

 

Can you explain the language device used in this quotation?

 


For this question, you will have to write your answer using the PEE format - Make a point, give an example, explain with deeper detail.​

 

  • Question 1

tissue

 

 

In order to identify the language devices in 'Tissue', we need to understand the meaning of the poem. Read the poem and match the questions to the answers below:

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

How are images altered when you l...
They are blurry and unclear
Books are made from paper and pap...
They have the ability to contain ...
Why are some books "smoothed and ...
They are very important to people...
In what way is human life like ti...
It is fragile and can be easily b...
EDDIE SAYS
The poet uses tissue as an extended metaphor for life; tissue in all its meanings — paper, human skin and organs, plans for our future written on paper, maps printed on paper, buildings designed by architects on paper plans. The variations are many. Tissue can also refer to the makeup of the human body and we are all fragile just like tissue paper.
  • Question 2

Now that you have read the poem 'Tissue', which summary below do you think best explains the poem?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The poem discusses the role of paper. It records human history and is used to shape civilisation and to control lives, but is fragile
EDDIE SAYS
The poem discusses the role of paper. Paper records human history and is used to shape civilisation and change lives, but it is fragile. This idea is used throughout the poem in an extended metaphor (when a single metaphor is used in multiple ways).
  • Question 3

Let's recap your knowledge of language devices so that we know what we are looking for in the poem.

 

Poetry book and time piece

   

 

Match the language device to the definition.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Alliteration
Words beginning with the same let...
Simile
Comparing two or more objects wit...
Onomatopoeia
Words which sound like the effect...
Metaphor
Direct comparison of two things w...
Personification
Describing an inanimate object or...
Oxymoron
Two words placed together with di...
EDDIE SAYS
Well done if you managed to match them all! Language devices are a great way for poets to create imagery and tone. They also get you more marks in the exam, if you can identify them! Remember to always look out for language devices and try to use them when you are analysing a quotation.
  • Question 4

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue':

 

"If buildings were paper, I might feel their drift"

 

What language device is being used here?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Metaphor
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "If buildings were paper, I might feel their drift" is a metaphor, as a paper structure would drift, but also we use the phrase 'catch my drift’ to explain what someone means or stands for. It becomes clearer in the fourth stanza that paper is being used as an extended metaphor for human fragility. Our lives are controlled by 'paper' yet it is so easily destroyed.
  • Question 5

In the third stanza of the poem 'Tissue', the poet uses language devices to describe how a religious text is not just a book, but a treasured heirloom and connection to family.

 

Read the quotation below and underline two words where the poet has used tactile verbs to describe how people feel about the religious text.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Pages smoothed and stroked and turned transparent with attention"
EDDIE SAYS
The verbs 'smoothed' and 'stroked' are used to describe the action of how someone touches their religious text. The poet is again making a point here about how something as important and influential as a religious text, is printed on something as fragile as paper.
  • Question 6

Read the following quotation from the poem 'Tissue':

 

"Through the shapes that pride can make"

 

Building blocks shapes

 

What language device is used here? Choose one from the list below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Personification
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "Through the shapes that pride can make" is an example of Personification, as it describes how pride is given a form and a human ability to do something. It also creates the suggestion that we or society as a whole is this ‘pride’.
  • Question 7

In stanza four of 'Tissue', the poet uses language to describe how light and fragile paper is.

 

The poet uses something called a lexical field - a group of words that all relate to the same theme of air.

 

Lexical field  = the way of organizing related words and expressions into a system that shows their relationship to one another.

 

parcel floating

 

Read the following extract from 'Tissue' and underline any language that you think is part of this lexical field.

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"If buildings were paper, I might
feel their drift, see how easily
they fall away on a sigh, a shift
in the direction of the wind"
EDDIE SAYS
By using this lexical field, the poet creates a repetition of the idea that everything is as fragile as paper, even buildings. They too can be destroyed as easily as something floating on the wind.
  • Question 8

In the sixth stanza of Tissue, the poet uses a simile to describe to the reader how society is too concerned with money. She believes that life would be better if we would value simple pleasures instead.

 

kite

 

 

 

The following quotations are all from the poem 'Tissue'. Choose one quotation that you think is an example of a simile.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"Might fly our lives like paper kites"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "might fly our lives like paper kites" is an example of a simile, as it creates an impression of innocence and flying Kites connotes a childlike sense of happiness. Comparing these two things together suggests that if we changed our approach to material ownership, we would regain that childhood peace of mind.
  • Question 9

On the last line of the poem 'Tissue', the poet uses a language device called direct address:

 

"Turned into your skin"

 

Direct address = The name of the person (normally) who is being directly spoken to.

 

What point do you think the poet wanted to make with this language device?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Human tissue is fragile
EDDIE SAYS
The final line uses direct address 'your' to include the reader and to create a sense of ownership. It makes the link between paper and human tissue, which highlights that humans are as fragile as the world they have created. This line could also suggest that humans are complicated, like the things they have created!
  • Question 10

Re-read the quotation from the last question:

 

"Turned into your skin"

 

hands together

 

Can you explain the language device used in this quotation?

 


For this question, you will have to write your answer using the PEE format - Make a point, give an example, explain with deeper detail.​

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Example paragraph: In the last line of the poem, the reader is asked to think about how all of the points raised in the poem can also relate to them. The poet uses direct address when she says that all of the examples can be "turned into your skin" which means that everything she has described can happen to the reader. The poet is suggesting that instead of being in conflict with the world around us, we can create a sense of shared identity and focus on what is really important.

Although the whole of this question is marked out of 30, for this answer the student will only be making one point (AQA recommends that a student makes 3 comparison points throughout the essay) so we will mark this answer out of 6.
In order to gain full marks on this question the student should have written an extended paragraph that follows the PEE structure.
You should find a point, an example and an explanation.
The paragraph should include a quotation, language technique and some evaluation

Try it ---- OR ----

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