2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

"Narrative Symbiosis": "Cracked Portraits" and "Story of a Silence" as a Duology in Agha Shahid Ali's Half-Inch Himalayas
Ella Youmans
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

While every poem by Agha Shahid Ali is an autonomous work of art that can stand on its own, "Cracked Portraits" and "Story of a Silence" are two poems whose meaning is greatly expanded when read in tandem. "Story of a Silence" reads like a sequel to "Cracked Portraits" by carrying on the story and delving deeper into the characters. "Story of a Silence" focuses on Ali's grandfather and the relationship between him and his wife. Read alone, the reader cannot understand the reason for the tensions between them, only the consequences. However, when read as a sequel to "Cracked Portraits," the question "why?" is answered. This essay will analyze the techniques Ali uses to tell an emotionally impactful narrative made all the more powerful by the coupling of these two poems.

Keywords: Agha Shahid Ali, Cracked Portraits, Story of a Silence

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -5
Location: MG 1000
Time: 10:30

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