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Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Key Themes in the Poem 'Tissue' by Imtiaz Dharker.

In this worksheet, students will examine how the key themes are presented, and evaluate their effectiveness, in the poem 'Tissue' by Imtiaz Dharker.

'Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Key Themes 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.

 

The poem 'Tissue' by Imtiaz Dharker reveals the power of paper, and how it can be used for many different things. It is about the fragility and power of humanity, which is used as an extended metaphor all through the poem. The speaker, in the 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. There are also real-life references to other lasting uses we have for paper in our lives, for example; maps, receipts and architect drawings.

 

paper

 

The poem focuses mainly on the themes of religion, power and the fragility of life.

 

In the following questions, you will be asked to think about how the writer presents these key themes and evaluate their effectiveness.

tissue

 

 

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the themes in the poem 'Tissue' we need to understand the meaning of the poem. Match the questions to the correct answers below:

Column A

Column B

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

 

tissue

 

 

Now that you have read the poem 'Tissue', which summary below do you think best evaluates the themes of 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

A main theme running throughout the poem is religionDharker presents the idea that religion (in the form of books) is one of the most powerful uses of 'paper'.

 

The poet uses a lexical field to create this impression of religion, with words such as: "light", "koran" and "shines".

 

What effect do you think the poet was trying to create?

 

The poet wishes that religion was recorded on something stronger than paper

The poet wanted to create a sense of the love and care that people have for religious books

The poet believes that we put too much importance on religion

Dharker further evaluates the effect of religion with the following quotation from 'Tissue',

 

"Pages smoothed and stroked and turned transparent with attention"

 

 

 

reading

 

 

What is the effect of this quotation?

 

Religion is so important that the books are read many times

The pages of religious books are fragile

Religion is so important to some people that they will treat their religious book with love and care

In the last two questions, we evaluated the effect of religion and the power that it can hold. 

 

In 'Tissue', Dharker explains that the power of paper is linked to other things too.

 

The following words are all part of a lexical field: "Capitals", "Monoliths", "Grand" and "Mountains".

 

Evaluate the effect that the poet was trying to create by using these words throughout the poem. Fill in the missing words from the explanation.

Religion is so important that the books are read many times

The pages of religious books are fragile

Religion is so important to some people that they will treat their religious book with love and care

Dharker further explores this idea of power with the following quotation from 'Tissue':

 

"Paper that lets the light shine through, this is what could alter things"

 

 

morning light

 

 

Evaluate the effect of this quotation. Choose one evaluation from the list below.

 

Paper is so thin that it lets light through

Paper has the power to change things and record our memories

Things look different when they are produced on paper

Dharker creates the theme of instability and develops the idea that what we see as powerful, does not last forever. Although value is placed on buildings, maps and money; they are all less powerful than nature.

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue' and fill in the blanks to evaluate the effect that the writer was trying to create here.

 

"Raise a structure never meant to last".

Paper is so thin that it lets light through

Paper has the power to change things and record our memories

Things look different when they are produced on paper

The poet further explores the theme of instability as she links it to a range of ideas associated with 'paper' or 'tissue'. 

 

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue',

 

"Might fly our lives like paper kites"

 

 

kite

 

 

Evaluate the effect that the poet was trying to create here. Choose one evaluation from below.

 

The poet uses a simile to compare what life could be like if we put less importance on money and more importance on simple, childlike activities

The poet creates the idea that money has the power to create great happiness like a child flying a kite

The poet creates the impression that everything enjoyable is linked to paper- even kites are made of a paper like material

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue' which explores the idea that material things can disappear, but human beings can outlast them.

 Can you evaluate the effect of this quotation on the reader?

 

"Turned into your skin"

 

 

people

 

 

For this question, you will have to write your own answer using the PEE format - Make a POINT, give an EXAMPLE, EXPLAIN with deeper detail.

Dharker uses another quotation which is effective is exploring the theme of human essence:

 

"How easily they fall away on a sigh"

 

skyscraper

 

 

How does the poet feel about the buildings we create?

 

For this question, you will have to write your own answer using the PEE format - Make a POINT, give an EXAMPLE, EXPLAIN with deeper detail.

  • Question 1

tissue

 

 

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the themes in the poem 'Tissue' we need to understand the meaning of the poem. Match the questions to the correct 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

 

tissue

 

 

Now that you have read the poem 'Tissue', which summary below do you think best evaluates the themes of 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

A main theme running throughout the poem is religionDharker presents the idea that religion (in the form of books) is one of the most powerful uses of 'paper'.

 

The poet uses a lexical field to create this impression of religion, with words such as: "light", "koran" and "shines".

 

What effect do you think the poet was trying to create?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The poet wanted to create a sense of the love and care that people have for religious books
EDDIE SAYS
The poet wanted to create a sense of the love and care that people have for religious books. In the first three stanzas of the poem, religion is described as an extremely important part of some people's lives. The poet makes the point, however, that all religious books are fragile and the paper eventually becomes 'transparent' or thin through the constant turning and touching of the pages.
  • Question 4

Dharker further evaluates the effect of religion with the following quotation from 'Tissue',

 

"Pages smoothed and stroked and turned transparent with attention"

 

 

 

reading

 

 

What is the effect of this quotation?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Religion is so important to some people that they will treat their religious book with love and care
EDDIE SAYS
The verbs "smoothed" and "stroked" create the impression that the paper that religious books are printed on is very important to some people. The fact that they treat the pages with such care, shows that the information they hold is valuable and important.
  • Question 5

In the last two questions, we evaluated the effect of religion and the power that it can hold. 

 

In 'Tissue', Dharker explains that the power of paper is linked to other things too.

 

The following words are all part of a lexical field: "Capitals", "Monoliths", "Grand" and "Mountains".

 

Evaluate the effect that the poet was trying to create by using these words throughout the poem. Fill in the missing words from the explanation.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Throughout the poem, paper is compared to the things that people view as important or powerful. Words such as "mountains" and "grand" suggest the power that can be held on paper. Powerful buildings, built to impress, all start from a piece of paper. The poet creates the impression that people use paper to create "grand designs" which are the start of impressive things such as "capitals" and "monoliths".
  • Question 6

Dharker further explores this idea of power with the following quotation from 'Tissue':

 

"Paper that lets the light shine through, this is what could alter things"

 

 

morning light

 

 

Evaluate the effect of this quotation. Choose one evaluation from the list below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Paper has the power to change things and record our memories
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "paper that lets the light shine through, this is what could alter things" creates the impression that even the most delicate kinds of paper can record the most important details - of family life, national borders or financial transactions. Specifically, the word 'alter' suggests that paper has the power to change important things.
  • Question 7

Dharker creates the theme of instability and develops the idea that what we see as powerful, does not last forever. Although value is placed on buildings, maps and money; they are all less powerful than nature.

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue' and fill in the blanks to evaluate the effect that the writer was trying to create here.

 

"Raise a structure never meant to last".

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "Raise a structure never meant to last" creates the impression that although paper can be the starting plan of large buildings, these buildings will not last forever. This is a reference to the idea that buildings can always be destroyed by nature and conflict.
  • Question 8

The poet further explores the theme of instability as she links it to a range of ideas associated with 'paper' or 'tissue'. 

 

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue',

 

"Might fly our lives like paper kites"

 

 

kite

 

 

Evaluate the effect that the poet was trying to create here. Choose one evaluation from below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The poet uses a simile to compare what life could be like if we put less importance on money and more importance on simple, childlike activities
EDDIE SAYS
In this quotation, the poet uses a simile (a comparison using 'like' or 'as' to create a vivid image) to suggest that our lives are not always in our control, but more like kites being blown by the wind. Specifically, the word 'fly' is used to describe the highest state of happiness that people can feel. The poet is saying that instead of money, this happiness can be found in more simple pleasures.
  • Question 9

Read the following quotation from 'Tissue' which explores the idea that material things can disappear, but human beings can outlast them.

 Can you evaluate the effect of this quotation on the reader?

 

"Turned into your skin"

 

 

people

 

 

For this question, you will have to write your own answer using the PEE format - Make a POINT, give an EXAMPLE, EXPLAIN with deeper detail.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Example answer: The poet creates the idea that people are much more valuable and long-lasting than anything made with paper. It is the human 'tissue' that she explains with the quotation "Turned into your skin". This supports the theme of human essence, as it makes the point at the end of the poem that although all of the ideas in the poem have been created by paper, it is actually humans who have thought them up. The buildings, maps and books might all disappear, but ideas created by people will continue. These buildings can also "fall away on a sigh", which means that they should have less importance than 'human essence'.

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 the 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

  • Question 10

Dharker uses another quotation which is effective is exploring the theme of human essence:

 

"How easily they fall away on a sigh"

 

skyscraper

 

 

How does the poet feel about the buildings we create?

 

For this question, you will have to write your own answer using the PEE format - Make a POINT, give an EXAMPLE, EXPLAIN with deeper detail.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Example answer: The poet creates the impression that another thing which is started as plans on paper, buildings, are not as powerful as we think. The poet uses personification to explain "how easily they fall away on a sigh" which gives buildings a much less powerful and more fragile, or human, description. The point the poet makes is that we shouldn't place such value on things that can be easily destroyed.

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 the 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.

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