Summary of the Book Memories We Lost – Notes
- Summary of the Book Memories We Lost
- Analysis of Memories We Lost
- Plot of Memories We Lost
- Memories We Lost Synopsis
- Themes of Memories We Lost
- Memories We Lost Set Book
- Memories We Lost Setbook
- Main Themes in Memories We Lost
- MEMORIES WE LOST
By Lidudumalingani Mqombofhi
About the Author
The author Lidudumalingani was born in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa in a village called Zikhovane.
Lidudumalingani is a writer, filmmaker and a photographer. He grew up herding cattle and moulding goats from clay and later grew fond of words and images.
He writes about music, art, culture and films for the Mail, Guardian and Africa is my country.
He has published in literature journals Chimurenga chronic and pufrock and the second short, sharp story collection Adults only.
He currently lives in Cape Town
Memories we lost is a biography. The life of a sister seen by a younger sister.
The story is about mental illnessghigpphrenig and its effect.
It is first described as this thing that takes the narrator’s younger sister. Over time it robs the sister of the ability to speak and remember hence the title Memories we lost. The title is a reflection of loss and regret.
The story is set in South Africa, indeed the author Lidudumalingani is a South African. A number of South African indigenous words are used in the story.
The story Memories we lost is about challenges brought by mental illness to the victim and those around them.
The mental illness is_schizophrenia. It is a mental disorder
Characterized by many symptoms. It causes a breakdown in the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions. There are many causes Of the disease and hereditary is one of them. It’s No wonder the disease runs in the narrator’s family. The narrator’s father was a scherophrene.
Events and actions in the story rotate around a sick sister. The sickness is terrifying and attacks without warning.
The narrator tells us that after the attack is over she would mumble c prayer and would embrace the sister for a long time. This suggests% . the reader that the illness is horrific and painful. In one of these attacks the sick sister screams and disappears intr, the night. All men and boys go out in search of her The men Or boys disoriented and peered shuffled in the dark and split into smc groups as instructed by a man ” Pg 1 0. Hours later they return bu without the sister. It is the mother who returns the following dot carrying the daughter. In a different episode as the narrator is telling her sister a story, she is seized by an attack and knocks her head on the wall so much one so hard that she bleed profusely. An effort to shield her from doing this fails because of the abnormal strength that the sister has during an attack. The episode is so memorable to the mind of the narrator and says, “The smell of blood lingered after many sunsets had come; even after the rain had come ” Pg 1 2. The disease makes the sister violent and destructive. This is evident ir a case where she flung a desk across a room smashing the glass window. In yet another moment of attack the ill sister pours hot porridge on the sister’s chest causing her a lot of pain and harm. It is due to the disease that the narrator’s sister drops out of school and cannot continue with her schooling ‘This thing, this thing that took over her followed her to school and had to drop out ‘ This makes the narrator who loves the sister so much to absent himself from school. Eventually suffering the same fate The narrator spends much time with the sister playing e g drawing sketches. It is while narrator is in school that she learns about schizophrenia. She comes to understand that it is what the sister was suffering from. She further learns that there is not medication for the disease and has no cure. The medicine she was taking was of no help. The sisters secretly decide not to take the medicine anymore “The first thing my sister and I got rid of was her arsenal of medicaitrion ” Pg 1 3,
Henceforth they buried all the herbs and the narrator demonstrated to the sister how to fake taking medication drinks.
Like any good mother, the mother has made many attempts to have the girl cured. She has used herbs, modern medication, prayers and even consulted.
The younger sister tries as much as possible to bring the sister to be her old self. In one such episode the sisters are playing in the rain.
They are happy and the disease appears to have ‘left’ the sister ” We jumped in the rain in that moment, my sister returned; she smiled and laughed. That day we began to form new childhood memories, filling the void left by one that had been wiped out ” Pg 1 4
The mother sees them in this state and she imagines that the disease was going to come again. She organizes for another ritual to cure the daughter. This time round she organizes for a Nkunzi (witchdoctor)
from another village famous for baking people on a fire from cow dung and wood.
The narrator is aware that effects of ritual is unknown as dangerous ritual and says “l had not heard anyone who had survived either ”
She could not allow this to happen to the sister. The both ran away to the unknown place. Just like the father before them the two sisters are escaping from their village and the people. The want to put enough distance between themselves and the home memories and secrets that stamp them as belonging to a family known for mental illness.
But at the end hope is on sight, for after walking the whole night they reached a town and a hospital in sight. They knowingly fifteen each other grip.
She is a sister to the mentally ill sister. The narrator and the sister have no names because they symbolize or represent others like them who love and live with mentally ill relatives.
The narrator is loving or affectionate. She loves the mentally ill sister despite her state. This is unlike many families where the mentally ill have no one to take care of them. When the sister ‘comes out’ of an attack she is always there for her “The embraces I remember, were always tight and long as if she hoped the moment would last forever ” There seem to be a very strong bond of love between the two sisters.
The sibling’s relation is loving and cordial. They even discuss their physical growth including the emergence of the sister’s growth.
The narrator is curious inquisitive when she hears the mother and the uncle discussing the sister’s illness in the morning she crouches near them to hear what they are saying. She is quite protective and protects the sister from the wrath of
Nkunzi a sangoma who ‘bakes’ patients with mental illness. They run away to another village. The narrator emphasizes with the sister. When called by an old aunt from the house, the narrator says, “we hugged tightly, my sister and I wiped each other’s tears ” She is inseparable from her sister, “the only way to have me turn away from her would be to cut us apart ”
The narrator is courageous because she walks throughout the night with the sister alone in the villages as they are fleeing even with the dogs barking. She is religious and prayful. When the sister came out of an attack from mental attack she says “I stretched my arms out in all directions, mumbled two short prayers ”
THE SICK SISTER
Most of the things we know about her are told by the sister. She is mentally ill and because of this she is violent. She hauls a desk breaking the window in a class. She also violently harms herself by hitting her head against tree trump until she bleed. She pours hot porridge on her sister. But she also loves and her relation to the sister is cordial and loving. She is also secretive and emotional because she cries the whole night of the ritual but does not want the brother to know “…and she sunk her teeth in the pillow so that she would not cry.
THE MOTHER _
She is determined. Her determination to have the daughter healedj of the mental illness is admirable. She tries all forms of reme including prayers, herbs, witchdoctors etc. We also see this determination when the daughter has a seize illness and runs away at night. All the men and boys return wi the girl hopeless.
The mother comes far much later the following day after finding the daughter “…only returned home when the sun was up in the sky the next day, carrying my sister on her back.
She is a loving mother and her love is illustrated by the efforts she makes to make her daughter cured. She trays prayers, herbal medicine, modern medicine and witchcraft
She is paranoid fearful. On seeing her two daughters play in the rain she fears the disease might come back again, she calls the entire village for another ritual
There is only a mention of the father. He was a schizophrenia just like the daughter is but nobody mentions it. He left one day never to come back. He was this mysterious and escapist because he was running away from the village and the people.
- 1. Effects of mental illness
The author looks at mental illness and especially the effect on the victim and those living with a mentally ill person.
The mentally ill sister first loses her speech “The first thing that this took from us was speech ” Pg 8. The sister is not coherent and speaks in a language that was unfamiliar, her words trembling as if trying to relay unthinkable revelations from the gods.
The disease has affected the thinking or the mental faulty of the sister in such a way that she cannot remember. Thus the disease takes away all her ability to remember “memories faded one after the other until our past was a blur”
Mental illness appears to have horrifying and dehumanizing effect on the victim. The attacks tear her apart so that when she regains herself she is totally different “Every time this nothing took her she returned altered, unrecognizable as if two people were trapped inside her.
The whole community is affected by mental illness. When the sister runs away due to the disease attack everybody is concerned and men.
The ritual to be performed by the Sangoma is attended by all the
Villagers showing it is a concern for everybody.
When the writer writes about mental illness the description is so viv, It is as if you are right there with the victim. He describes this illnes, that the nameless protagonist calls this thing. Mental illness is a harrowing mindless and violent disease. It’s n only the disease but the cure for the illness “The next day my sister would be taken to Nkunzi to be ‘baked’. had heard of how Nkunzi baked people. He would make a fire fro-cow dung and wood and once the fire burnt red he would tie the demon possessed person into a section of the zinc rooting then place it on fire. He claimed to be baking the demons and that the perso would recover from the burns a week later. I had not heard of anyon who died but I had not heard of anyone who lived either “The reade is saddened by the fate of those African countries who suffer fro mental illness, how they are caught in violent superstition. The story brings out the reality in any African countries where ther are no facilities for the mentally ill. What serves as cure is often times cruel beyond telling of it. The mother does not understand why the same disease that afflicte her husband now afflicts her daughter. She doesn’t know the disea is hereditary. People had come to believe that baking people from a fire by d cow dung and wood would release them off demons. This leads death of patients rather than cure them “I had not heard of anyo who had died but I had not heard of anyone who had lived either ” LOVE AND EMPATHY Memories we lost is a troubling piece depicting the great between two siblings in a beautifully drawn landscape. Memories we lost is more than a story about mental illness. It between siblings who show great love and feeling towar other despite their faults. The narrator organizes for her and her sister to flee not only she cannot allow her sister to be ‘baked’ but helps her to r from the village to escape the embarrassment as shame of
IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION
The elders refer to the disease as this thing and say it is the work of the devil and demons. Narrator says, “None of them knew my sister;
none of them cared ” The villagers are ignorant of the fact that the disease as a medical condition and should be treated as such.
The writer uses powerful images with the writings that are inspiring. The mental illness is not called by the name but this thing to show how embarrassed and shameful it is but also to portray ignorance of a community. The team returning from the search is described as ‘morphed into defeated men’ and ‘their bodies slouched as if they had carried a heavy load ‘to show the fatigue and frustration after the search from the sick girl. The modern building and a hospital that the narrator and the girl see after a sign of hope that finally the sister might be cured of her disease. After the sister hits her head on a tree continuously and she bleeds, the narrator says the bloodstain remained visible on the wall long after my mother scrubbed it off; long after she had applied three layers of mud and new water paint. The writer shows how horrible the incident was and that it will never be scrubbed in the narrator’s memory. USE OF SYMBOLISM
The disease symbolizes a nation that once suffered schizophrenia of apartheid and just like the sister the country is trying to understand it and cure it. The nation is trying to understand and heal a national disorder. After the night’s sleep, the sister will wake up once the sun is up and
*alk again to somewhere. This symbolizes a better South Africa.
USE OF SATIRE
Both the community and the religion are satirized for instead looking for a cure the community goes for medication that is ver.
dangerous like calling the Nkunzi to ‘bake’ a living person. This endanger the girl more than cure her.
Religion is also satirized because even after much prayer it is providing a solution.
2.How much land does man need
By. Leo Tolstoy
When Tolstoy died at the age of 82 from pheumonia, he may have been the most famous man in the world. He was the leading RUSSian novelist in the world.
Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 the wealthy aristocratic parents. He was orphaned at the age of 9 and thus grew up under the care of aunts and uncles.
He once served in the Russian army during the Crimean war lt is the suffering that he witnessed during the war that heeped to bring out his serious, morally questioning nature.
Tolstoy greatest works are war and peace and Anna karennia regarded as the finest novels ever written.
Although Tolstoy was a pacifist, a Christian and an aristocrat his books were never banned. His rural grave is a major Russian tourist attraction and his house in Moscow is now Tolstoy museum.
The title is a question Pahom tries to get as much land ashe could, However, at the end he dies frying to get this land and is buried in a grave six feet by three. The end of the story answer the question, How much land does a man need, that six feet is all we require because when we die we do not carry anything with
The setting is in Russian countryside. Events rotate mainly arotmd
Pahom met his death in the Bahkir’s land.
How much land does a man need? Is one of the est moral tales that
Written in 1886 the story tells about Paho who is corrupted by materialism and greed and eventually dest yed by greed.
The Protagonist Pahom is a peasant. At th eginning we are told he owns ‘1 23 acres of land pasture'(page ) and a big house animals and a family (of five) but he is not conte ed.
One day a passing dealer informs Pa m that he had bought 1 300
acres of land at 1000 roubles and ev n goes further to show Pahom the title deed.
The dealer creates the impression at the seller (the Bashkirs) are simple minded who own large tracks f land.
Pahom makes up his mind that he was going to buy land from the
Bashkirs. He buys presents for them and with a servant makes a seven days journey to the land of the Bashkirs to take as much land for a low price.
He gives the Bashkirs the presents he had bought for them. The chief informs him that as a token of appreciation, he would be rewarded with whatever he wanted. Pahom chooses land.
Their offer is very unusual; for a sum of 1000 roublles, Pahom can walk around as large area as he wants, starting at daybreak, marking his route with a spade along t he way. If he reaches his starting point by sunset that day, the entire area of land his route encloses would be his, but if he does not reach hs starting point he would lose money and receive no land.
Pahom is happy with the arrangement and decides he will start the following morning. He is so excited by the idea of owning large tracks of land that he cannot even sleep. He ‘onlky dozed off just before dawn’pg 22.Before sunrise he is taken to the hillock and shown the spot he will start at sunrise.
Pahom takes a spade to mark the land and as soon as the sun
OPpears he starts walking towqrds the medow. He walks fast and at certain point has to take off his coat and shoes because of the heat and so that he can walk faster.
He walks straight and far until the hillock and the people are no longer visible. He stops to takes water and luch. After the meal he starts walking but is soon very exhausted and sleepy because its is too hot.
When he thought he had walked enough and should start to go boo he is tempted by o damp hollow “It would be a pity to leave thos out… Flax would do well there”.Greed makes him not to turn when would have been very necessary to do so.
By the time he makes up his mind to go back to the hillock, the sun i:
overhesd and he is exhausted. By this time he is very tired, the temperatures are very high, his feet are cut and bruised and the legz are failing him. He regrets having walked too far.
Because of serious pain and exhaustion, he throws away everything else he was carrying, coat shoes, flask and his cap.
Fear of not achieving his goals makes him to start running, this i’,despite the heat, dehydration and pain.
At one point he is aware that strain will kill him “Though afraid of death, he could not stop” He ran on and on. This is the climax of the story when he decides to keep going even though he is dying.
He dies of exhaustion once he reaches the top of the hill. The Bashkirs exclaims “He has gained much land “But he is dead. The servant quickly buries Pahom using his own spade that he used to mark the land.
Only six feet of land is needed to burry him. Six feet of land is how much land a man needs because every man dies in the end.
The only fully developed character in the story How much landdoesa man need is Pahom. The author intends his readers to focus entirely on the peignt of Pahom as he seeks his fortune.
He is a peasant who keeps frying to gain more land and never seems to have enough.
He is a dynamic character who is well developed even tough negatively. At first he is content with his life but then he becomes greedy and ambitious in his persuit of wealth (new land)
Pahom is an industrious and a hardworking person. He owns 123
qcres of land on which he farms and ‘the number of cattie kept increasing’ pg 21 .1t is this trait that makes him 90 to the Bashkirs search of new landsBut Pahom is also greedy and materialistic we are told that ‘he wpnted wider and more fertile lands and had an desire to 21.
He kept on thinking of one thing ‘How can I have more land. Because of greed and materialism he goes out the Bashkirs land in search of cheap land. At the Bashkirs he becomes carried away by his greed and covers a distance that is too much for him and is responsible for his own demise. Pahom is rustling to return to the hillock before sunset, dying in the process. He knows that he is dying and considers stopping but he doesn’t because of greed. Pahom potrays the nature of greed in humans.
pahom is also a very generous person this is seen when he buys presents for the Bashkirs and are happy with him ln fact as a token of appreciation of the generousity the Bashkir’s chief offers to give him any reward he chooses.
He is also a determined person because when he makes up his mind to get the Bashkir’s land he makes a seven day journey to their land, he even buys presents for the Bashkir’s.
The Chief of the Bashkir’s.
He is a static character who does not change or develop.
He is appreciative and thankful of the presents given to him by
Pahom and because of this he make; a goog deal with Pahom about how much land he can get from their tribe.
For accommodating Pahom and offering him land he is very hospitable and generous.
Not much is revealed about the dealer but it is apparent that he is sincere and honest. He even shows Pahom his tiltle deed to proof his point.
Pahom the main character reflects the characteristic of greed. Tolstoy through Pahom want to tell us that greed does not pay and might lead to self destruction.
Pahom the main character has enough of what one requires in life ln fact he is rich, he owns 1 23 acres of land, a family and land but is not contented. He goes out in the Bashkir’s land to look for more at g very low price.
The author wants to show that what we have with us does not set, -satisfactory, and it keeps us to look for more. Pahom become; carried away with his ambition and greed and loses contentme, even though he already has land to make him happy. On his trip to the Bashkir’s to find land, he has an opportunity to gain land as much as he wanted. After paying 1000 roubles, he told to make a mark and walk as much but be back by sunset and aj the land he would have covered, would be his provided he was back by sunset. But Pahom full with greed walks beyond his limit. On reaching he is running short of time he starts running so as to get back to the starting point. Unfortunately he dies of exhaustion just when he was about to reach the starting point. Greed leads to self destruction. He is buried by his servant and at the end the only land he requires is 6 by 3 feet big enough for his grave. The end of the story teaches us that greed does not pay and how much we actually need in life. After death we do not carry anything with us. STYLES.
- Use of parables. Tolstoy story is a parable.
Like the parables of Jesus a parable parablesrt simple tale that has moral lessons. Like Pahom many people in the world today believe that we need material things and wealth in order to be happy. Such people often waste their tiem to gai more for themselves. The author tries to tell us that we should not have greed on materials that are meaningless but do things that are worthy. The story concludes with a moral lesson that the only thing Ne need in the end, is a little piece of land. Thus we should learn to be content with what we have having more doesn’t always make you happier and greed can consumr and destroy your life. At the end Pahom gets a titting end. Use of irony When Pahom dies and is buried by his servant the author describes his grave as being six feet as all the land he needed. Six feet is unexpected answer to the title of the story.
Use of Dialogue.
There is a dialogue between Pahom and the dealer.
“Is it true there is a place where land sells such cheap there must
“It could not be look at this title deed” pg 21
The dialogue brings out the honesty of the dealer and the inquinsitive and greedy nature of Pahom.
There is also the dialogue between the chief of the Bashkir’s and
The dialogue brings out the greed of Pahom and the Chiefs genoristy.
- LIGHT: By Lesley Nneka Arimah
Lesley Nneka Arima was born in United Kingdom and grew up wherever her father was stationed to work. This was sometimes in
Nigeria or even out of Nigeria. She has been published in the New
Yorker and Granta. Her story, the light was winner of the 2015
commonwealth short story prize for Africa. Her work has received grants and awards from Commonwealth writers, AWP, the Elizabeth
George Foundation, the Jerome foundation and others. She is currently living in Minneapolis.
The Light touches on key issues, which revolve around education and parenting. Having grown up separated from her mother, Nneka understands what this kind of schism can do to relationships: Mother to child and wife to husband.
The story handles effectively the themes of separation, parenting, technology and emancipation. It is an exciting story about expectations for both teenagers and young couples. The author ridicules parents who abandon their parenting responsibilities and expect their children to be straight. Therefore, the story is about how good relations and understanding can be maintained between parents and the teenagers in our modern society.
Lesley Nneka Arima revolves around Enebeli’s family. Enebeli ha, sent his daughter to the world expecting her to maintain her innocence “dew”. He lives with his daughter in Nigeria while his wives studies master’s in Business Administration in America. Enebeli and her daughter go through a lot when his wife is out including blooming of their daughter who apparently gets shocked by her first menstrual cycle and being summoned in school for a case involving his daughter who is accused of writing a love letter to a boy. Enebeli promises to chastise his daughter and assures the head teacher that the same would not happen again. The wife and the husband keep communicating through Skype and the mother plays her role of nurturing her daughter. The relationship between the mother and the daughter is smooth at first but soon changes and none is excited as before. This comes when the mother m reprimands the daughter in attempt to make a better woman fro her. During the first holiday, Enebeli’s wife comes home but has with her visa during the return journey. This leads to a decisionstudies that at she would never come home again until she finishes h finishing studies however, Enebeli’s wife decides to live there. She goes with her daughter. SETTING The story is set in Southern Nigeria. It is set in modern times as seen by use of advanced technology in communication; the Sk ype. It is set in contemporary Africa, as it addresses contemporary themes like THEMES education, emancipation, parenting and technology a) Education in the hope to emancipate and liberate Africa, education Is critical. Enebell’s wife goes to study her Masters degree its America. She hopes to get a good job when she gets badt, This translates to good pay and increased living stcmciar*”,i, Enebeli takes his daughter to school to
learn and grow. This has effects however as she comes back changed. Among other things she learns how to write love letters.
- a) Parenting
The author addresses the theme of parenting as a role of every parent. It should not be left to either the male or female parent.
Light’ is a warm story, beautiful and deeply felt. Fluid and delightful, its theme of parenting across continents will strike a chord with readers throughout the world
Enebeli demonstrates poor parenting when he still washes dishes and cooks for her daughter who is now fourteen (p 29)
He does not teach her responsibility as they still share house chores.
On the other hand, Enebeli’s wife does not spend quality time with her daughter and yet expects her daughter to be morally upright.
The few attempts he makes over the phone to teach her manners only widen the gap between them.
- b) Change
It is said that change is inevitable and it is as good as rest. Change is the act or instance of making or becoming different.
When Enebeli sends his daughter to school he did not expect her to change. According to him, she is well brought up and appropriately cultured. However, she soon changes and learns how to write love letters. As a result, he is summoned by the head teacher to discuss the changes in her daughter.
Similarly, Enebeli’s wife goes to the USA to study so she can get a good job back in Nigeria. Her taste changes and she looks for a job in the US and comes for her daughter.
TECHNIQUES AND LANGUAGE
- Narrative voice and point of view
The author has used third person narrative voice to narrate the story.
This is the omniscient narrator.
Enebelis parenting ways are smartly highlighted through thi.
narration voice. He loves his daughter to an extent that he still cook.
for her even when she is fourteen. He takes her to the salon for hair to be relaxed. This use of ‘He’ pronoun makes the narrator small president, who is ruling the world of the story, making it vividly described one.
This is the kind of narrator who is able to get in the characters thoughts and feelings besides narrating on events that happen on places where ordinary people would not venture. He is all knowing and reveals to the readers the thoughts, motives and intentions of different characters. He gets into the mind of characters and reveals to us their intentions.
The author has used a number of metaphors and similes to develop aesthetic and fantastical descriptions that can be quite memorable.
Among them, include:
“would shrivel like a parched plant”
“he massages the cream into her scalp like lotion”
“feathery clumps that swirl into the drain like fuzzy fish”
“an elephant of mistrust and awkwardness”
“she strings his virtues out like Christmas lights”
The quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in, literature or speech.
The author uses humour to ease the rather sad mood prevailing in the
Story. She uses humorous expression as though saying, this is so funny but take it with a lot of seriousness. For instance:
“Buki, I love you. I will give you many sons” (p 29)
“It happens two or more times before the girl learns to paw notes better”
We expect the girl to Stop writing love letters after -be reprimands her but she only learns how to pgss them segre4′
He appears to be comical. However, he is concerned, remorseful and Loving. He loves his daughter to an extent that he still cooks for her even when she is fourteen. He takes her to the salon for her hair to be relaxed (P.29)
He is also depicted as being a true Domineering man. When his wife wants to go with the daughter, he refuses the idea and stands firm on the decision. Enebeli’s wife
She is depicted as being a caring and a loving mother, She is indeed helpful, supportive and a concerned lady, who cares for her daughter and although she is away tries to bring her up in the right way (p 32)
- Discuss the character traits of the following characters
*1* Enebeli’s wife
*1* Enebeli’s daughter.
- Discuss the theme of Emancipation as brought out in this short story.
- What are the effects of distance relationship to good parenting
- Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.
- Our parents get a lot of challenges when it comes to balancing career and parental responsibility. It is like serving two masters at a go. Discuss some of these challenges.
- My Father’s Head ,By: Okwiri Oduor
Okwiri Oduor, the author of My Father’s Head, was born in Nairobi
Kenya. She has won a number of prizes among them the 2014
prize. She has also written a novella, The Dream Chasers, which highly commended in the 201 2 Commonwealth Book Prize. Speaking about herself Okwiri Oduor says, “l am an African writer and so what next? I am interested in fullness of the human experience like creating characters that are dynamic, that are real people, which have strengths.
My Father’s Head was published during post-colonial Kenya. During this period, Kenya, like any other African continent, is struggling with post-colonial evils ranging from poor governance to corruption to poverty. Themes of violence, religion, death, memory and heritage have prevailed in this prizewinning short story. The mention of the
1998 bomb blast on the Kenyan embassy is a proof of violence against human race in post-colonial Africa. This short story presents a recollection of painful and repressed memory. The members of the said society are relinquishing in abject poverty and the old have no willing family members to take care of. They live in a home for the old people.
This story starts interestingly as a simple story but later proceeds in complexity as the narrator tries to recall her father. Seemingly, the narrator cannot remember the head of her father. The narrat0(‘
Simbi, works in old peoples’ home. She starts to think about her father when the one Father Ignatius visits the home. His coming reminds her so much of her father, but never the head. The figure of the priest acts as a trigger that prompts the narrator’s journey to search for her
Due to loneliness, Simbi, the narrator, has distorted images of the people she has encountered. She has been away from home for a long time and silently mourns the death of her father. It is for this reason therefore that the people she relates with are presented a faceless and to an extent nameless. As readers, it is only by description that we get to know them. Thus vivid description, as a literary technique comes in handy. It is therefore no surprise to the reader that no matter how hard she tries, the narrator cannot remember the shape of her father’s head. It is after meeting the priest from Kitgum that she eventually gains enough courage to summon the image of her father from where it has been buried deep in her memory. She tries to draw her father on a piece of paper.
However, “his head refused to appear within the borders of the paper ” The picture of her father therefore remains unfinished for a long time because it has no head, only a face. After trying in vain, the narrator recreates a head for her father and still acknowledges that, “in the end, he was a marionette and my memories of him were only scenes of a theatrical display ” In the end, she summons her father back so she can remember but then he does not leave and she is forced to face all the memories she has of him and her childhood.
My Father’s Head is set in Nairobi, Kenya. The narrator is working in a home for the old people in the outskirts of the Kenya’s capital. It is in this home that the narrator draws all her childhood memories of her father.
The visit by Father Ignatius triggers her desire to draw her father’s head. Through flashback, we get to know the prevailing situation in the country including poverty. It is in the home for the old people that we meet Bwibo, a friend to narrator through whom we learn that the narrator’s father was a good man.
Religious practices or so demonstrations of religious inclination-1
prevail throughout the story. The old people receive an importer H religious visitor from Immaculate Conception in Kitgum; Fathe. I
Ignatius. The father says, “The Lord be with you, and they responded, “And also with you ” These expressions can only be found II in religious circles. They show believe in a certain deity. The old I people also prayed and sang praise songs to God. Father Ignatius I preached about love during his maiden sermon: Love for self and I love for one’s neighbours.
- a) Death
Death always brings such painful and traumatising experience to I human beings. Throughout the story, the narrator is secretly mourning I the death of her father. Actually, the narrator mourned at the I thought of her father’s death. She says, “it was the first time I I imagined his death, the first time I mourned ” When the narrator I mentions the death of the mail carrier, Pius Obote, who had died four I years ago, her father, is adversely affected. She says, “my father I pushed his cup away and said, ‘if you do not want me here drinking I your tea, just say so instead of killing-killing people with your I mouth ‘” The narrator’s father also mourns the death of the one I
Sospeter, the son of Milkah, who taught agriculture in Mirere I secondary.
- b) Traditions and superstition
Theme of tradition, peoples cultural believes and practices, is alsol developed. For instance, the narrator says, “I had wondered if myfl father really had come from a long line of Obawami, if his people 3
would bury him seated in his grave with a string of royal cowries 1
round his neck ” When a visitor comes home, heshe is treated wef.
To an extent, the family slaughters a sprightly cockerel for the visft^.
All these are practises that distinct this community of people
TECHNIQUES AND LANGUAGE USE
- o) Narrative voice
The author has used first person narrative. The narration of written works explicitly refers to themselves using “l”. This is critical as it allows the reader or the audience to see the point of view (including opinions, thoughts and feelings) only of the narrator and not of other characters. The story starts, “l had meant to summon my father only long enough to see what his head looked like ” The reader has to believe exactly that because the narrator has said so.
- b) Vivid description
Vivid description appeals to our senses of sight, smell, feel and touch. The author describes events, characters and situation to engage the reader emotionally. For instance, those who delivered the news of the accident the narrator’s father’s life was vividly described “They described the rest of his body with a measured delicacy: how his legs were strewn across the road, sticky and shiny with fresh tar ” The people in the old peoples’ home are also vividly described “The old women wore their Sunday frocks and the old men plucked garlands of bougainvillea from the fence and stuck them in their breasts pockets ”
- a) Humour
The author uses humour to ease the rather sad mood prevailing in the story. She uses humorous expression as though saying, this is so funny but take it with a lot of seriousness. For instance:
“.the old people sat down and practised their smiles ”
“.the old people gave him the smiles they had been practising ”
It is extremely humorous that people can actually practise how to smile while smiling is a reflex action.
Another example is how this man is described: .the man whose one-roomed house was a kindergarten in the daytime and a brothel in the evening ”
The outhof hos used o number of metaphors and similes to oesthetic ond fantastical descriptions that can be quite memoro, Among them, include:
“Smiles that melted like ghee”
“Smiles oozed through the corners of their lips”
“Exploded in the flaring tongues of fire lapping through chinks in stained gloss”
“They smelt slightly fetid, like sour cream”
“He was the cold yellow stare of an owl”
- a) Simbi
Simbi is the narrator of this story. She is giving us all her child hood experiences with her father, as she welcomes him to her house. Her –
naivety and easy going disposition increases the entertainment and aesthetic value of this masterpiece.
Generouslwelcoming: she welcomes her father to her house and you have offered me makes her some tea. Her father says, tea ”
Nostalgic: she misses all the moments she shared with her father during her childhood and tries to bring them back. However, she hos lost all the memories and even when she tries to draw her father on paper she can only remember his clothes and not his head. She says, “His head refuses to appear on the paper ”
Nciive: She thinks her father has shapes- circles, triangles anc squares on his eyes. She does not realise that those are reflections. She actually says, “l had wondered how those shape had got inside my father’s eye*’
Mournful: Throughout the short story, Simbi mourns the death of father ond spends time trying to ecall what his
- b) Bwibo
Friendly: Of all the workers around the old peoples’ home, the narrator formed an easy camaraderie with her.
Convincing: She convinces Simbi that she cannot remember her father’s head because he was a good man and according to her, “good men never show you their heads; they show you their faces ”
Sympathetic: She feels for the narrator because she cannot remember her father. She tries to console her for the lost memories of her father by telling her that it was all because her father was a good man. Pessimistic: she does not believe that the narrator will receive a warm welcome when he goes back to her home. She tells her to anticipate a negative welcome from her people when she visits.
- a) The narrator’s father
He is a loving and a caring man. He loved her daughter and both shared beautiful moments. He could make visits to her house once she requested so.
Chauvinistic: He shows dominance of the male gender over the female gender when he tells his daughter to untie his shoelaces.
Selfless: He would live his duties unattended to help a fixed neighbour. Sometimes could hear a neighbour saying, “Johnson, there is no time to put on clothes; iust come the way you are ”
The narrative gains its momentum through him. He is the vehicle of communication and the mirror that reflects the world of reality as depicted by Okwiri Oduor. The narrations aesthetic beauty is seen through his bildungsroman and his daughters too.
- What kind of a person do you think the narrator’s father.
- The narrator says love is not for the old. Do you agree with he, point of view about love? Explain
- Discuss the following themes as brought out in this short story;
Memory and Heritage
- In note form, highlight the challenges people face when the, return home.
- Write notes on the character traits of:
Simbi, The Narrator
Father Ignatius!* Bwibo.
- Identify the cases of hyperbole and explain them and thei effect to the masterpiece.
- THE UMBRELLA MAN
BY SIPPHAR THAGIGOO
Siddhartha Gigoo is an Indian author and film-maker. He studie
English Literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, in New Delhi
India. His short story ‘The Umbrella Man’ is the Asia’winner of th
Commonwealth Short Story prize of 201 5.
He has books of fictions under his name: These are, The Garden oi solitude (201 1) and
A fistful of Earth and Other Stories (2015).Furthermore he has book of poems entitled “falland other poems” and “Reflections ”
The story happens in an asylum for mentally challenged persons. Thi is a hospital for the confinement of people who have a menta breakdown and thus they have to be kept in isolation, in solitary sod that they are treated and to improve on their health condition $0k;
is a member of this asylum facility.
“The Umbrella Man” is about an inmate, Number 7, living in a mental asylum. All he possesses is an umbrella with yellow-and-Red stripes.
Number 7 suffers from unknown psychosis. He yearns for rain. During evenings, he strolls in the asylum compound, carrying along the
Yellow-and Red striped umbrella hoping to experiencing rainfall.
In a confinement with little freedom, he is the only one allowed to walk and saunter out of the gates but still in the confinements of the asylum. He is allowed this limited freedom because of his obedience and calm disposition.
Number 7 speaks to a ghostly, imagined child in his cell every night.
While strolling around, he picks an imaginary conversation with his only friend The Puny little fellow. They have a discussion about rainfall and how they have waited for it. The puny little fellow points out how rain can be destructive. He does this till one day when he is set free, he unfurls his umbrella and sets off beyond the gates of the asylum, towards a world he has never seen before, the only thing he leaves behind are the wet footprints.
There are moments in one’s life when one experiences an inmate-inan-asylum-like feeling, as though one has been magically transported to an asylum. This can be as a result of a temporary aberration of the mind or by crafty intrusions of our own secret personas. One can imagine oneself living in an asylum, bereft of worldly possessions. It’s a very depressing thought, so it’s natural human tendency to invent hope, to cling to something, to long for something. The solitary man chances upon an umbrella, clings to it and yearns for rain.
The mentally challenged inmates, together with Number 7 are locked up in an asylum where their freedom and movement is limited. It is only in the evening that the inmates are allowed to go out of their ‘
wards and stroll about in the asylum’s compound. The freedom ended at the wall. Be ond the wall there was nowhere to go.
The story captures the emotions of Number 7 and the other inm, in the asylum. Number 7 yearns for rain to fall. He strolls eve’ evening with his umbrella with the hope of it raining. He gets exciterof at the sight of clouds. In his solitude, he finds something to cling on; the umbrella, his only companion and playmate. He is melancholic and finds peace in the yellow-and-red striped umbrella which no one knows how it came% be in his possession. The lonesome nights also lead Number 7 to speak to a ghostly, imagined child, whom he prays for every night and also soothes to sleep. It is in human nature to have different emotions and feelings; a feeling of belonging, a feeling of companionship and possession. Number 7 finds time to talk to the mysterious puny little fellow. When he comes to the meeting point and does not find him, Number 7 wonders if the puny little fellow would appear.
LOVE FOR ONES POSSESSION
Number 7 adores his Yellow-and-Red striped Umbrella, which is his only companion and playmate. He does not go out without the umbrella, no one knows how he came to own the umbrella but they have become inseparable. He takes leisurely walks with it in the evenings. The umbrella was the most beautiful thing in the entire asylum. It brought smiles on his lips. Through the windows of wards fellow inmates look at Number 7 in awe and wonder as they wanted to hold the umbrella in their hands, they wanted to be in its shade. Inmates do not have other wldl possessions apart from two sets of clothina or y
Due to emotional instability and mental disturbance, Number 7 with others are put in a mental hospital asylum, for treatment and care.
Mentally challenged fellows are put in isolation to necessitate their care and treatment.
Due to his mental state, Number 7 has a conversation with mysterious ant, and also chats at night with an imaginary, non-existent child. He feels its obligation to ensure the well being of that imaginary child.
He soothes the baby, lulls it and even prays for the child.
More so Number 7 walks in the evenings with an umbrella yet it doesn’t rain.
NATURE VALUE OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
The place has not experienced rain for quite a while now. Rain has evaded the place for several months. Number 7 waits for the rain, he longs for it. But still nature is bountiful, flowers are growing, bees are present. Nature has miracles. It can rain without announcing it.
Number 7 strolls in the narrow avenue hedged with tall eucalyptus trees for leisure, and stumbles against a bench, where he sits, it is his favorite place.
Number 7 is full of hope every time, when evening comes he ventures out with the yellow-and-red striped umbrella, with the hope of it raining. He is fascinated by the thought of rain; he in fact gets excited when clouds gather. When asked by the barber if it will rain, Number 7 answers full of hope that it will soon.
At night he prays for the child and hopes that some powers would heed his prayers and bestow grace on the child.
Sociable: In his imaginary world he becomes friends with the lit*,.
puny fellow with whom they have a hearty talk about re –
and how nature is bountiful and full of miracles. Prayerful: he prays in silence for the child being convinced that some powers should heed to his prayers and bestow grace upon the child. Contradictory: On the last night in the asylum facility, Number 7 is not concerned about the following morning that he is to be free. He is the same as other days as he talks to the imaginary child.
Caring: He takes care and soothes the child to sleep. He always worries and frets over the child “…all he wanted was a peaceful sleep for the child ”
Inquisitive: he questions the little puny fellow on what makes him to delay to come to their meeting point. He wants to know about his where about. Obedient: his obedience and calm disposition has made the doctors to write a positive report about the assessment of
Number 7’s condition. This enables the committee to agree to his release. Little puny fellow
Accommodative: He does not show displeasure with the coming of
Number 7 despite the fact that he is a distraction. Number 7 talks about rain, nature and hope with him “… he did not betray displeasure, knowing that the man had come for a friendly chat ”
Industrious: He beseeches Number 7 to let him to carry on with his work for his fellows may think he is more interested in gossiping with a stranger than attending to his work.
Cautious: He notes that though they long for rains to come, the rains can be quite destructive towards hapless fellows like them
Observant: notices that Number 7 never ventures out without the umbrella.
The story is told from a third person point of view, where the narrator gives us the story from what he observes.
The area in the asylum that is allowed for movement is described as
“…the wall around the one hundred and twenty-square-meter compound ninety something yards in the narrow avenue outside the gates that ended at another wall. Beyond that brick-and —stone wall was a vast darkness ”
this brings out the picture of the confinement of the inmates in the asylum, the place with limited freedom.
The umbrella possessed by Number 7 is described as a yellow-andred striped, beautiful Umbrella. It was the most beautiful thing in the entire asylum. More beautiful than the bed of wild flowers along the wall.
Number 7 converses with the barber about rain which shows Number
7’s fascination with rain.
Dialogue between doctors and Number 7 reveals change in the state of Number 7’s health such that he is free to go.
The dialogue between Number 7 and his friend the puny little fellow, z reveals Number 7’s anticipation for freedom and the little puny fellow’s fear of destruction that can be brought about by rain,
The little puny fellow, the cnt talks with Number 7 about the of nature, how nature is bountiful and full of miracles.
Number 7 is greeted by a small puddle when he steps out of his when he is allowed to leave the asylum like him, the umbrella too had not seen the battering
The dance of raindrops on the nylon of the umbrella seemed distant dream; it seemed impossible for it to rain. It shows th significance of the umbrella can only be truly seen when it rains.
Number 7 is always moving out with the Yellow-and-Red striped umbrella with the hope of it raining yet still he wonders of what use is hope.
He yearns for rain and yet when it rains he walks slowly in th compound busy avoiding splashes from rainfall.
The rain is symbolically used by the writer to indicate the getting wel by the inmates, as Number 7, more so it is the freedom that Number has been yearning for.
You talk of freedom 1 thought you cared for the rain.
rain can be destructive.
The wild bush represents the uncertainty of life
The Yellow-and-Red striped umbrella symbolizes the calt disposition, the change in behavior of Number 7 such that the doctor are able to write a favorable report to facilitate the freedom
no one was attracted to the dainty beauty of fri$
1 . With reference to the story “The Umbrella Man, ” discuss the truthfulness of the statement, No condition lasts forever.
- Citing examples from “The Umbrella Man, ” discuss the character traits of Number 7.
- The writer has employed the use of vivid description and dialogue in the story “The Umbrella Man, ” discuss these stylistic devices and give their effectiveness.
- Mentally challenged patients should be put in isolation. Do you agree?
- Natural environment offers solace to lonely souls. Discuss.
- The will to live is necessitated by the never giving up attitude.
- The President
By Mariatu Kamara
Mariatu Kamara is a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in
Armed conflict, author and survivor of the civil war in Sierra Leone.
She was born and raised in the small village of Magborou in the year 1986 in the West African country of Sierra Leone. She was raised in a polygamous household. At a very young age, she was sent to live with her father’s sister, Marie and her husband, Alie. The village was invaded by Revolutionary United Front rebels, who cut off both of her hands. She fled her native country in 2002 and received asylum in Canada.
Events of the story take place in Manarma, a village in Sierra Leone, where rebels attack. Kamara had moved to Manarma as they are informed that this village would be safe from the rebels’ attacks.
She in turn recounts her living with her father’s sister Marie and her husband Alie in Magborou village. Later she moves to the capital city, Freetown after her hands are cut off by the rebels. She stays in q camp for amputees.
Eventually, Kamara moves to Toronto in Canada, where she is
In by well wishers.
It’s a time when the country is experiencing political violence unrest.
The story opens up where the narrator, Mariatu Kamara is capture d by rebels who want to overthrow the government because it i corrupt. She waits for the rebels to kill her. Her hands are cut off, ius like other many captives as a means of sending a message to th president and those who vote for him. Kamara faints and when sh comes to, she escapes to a different village. From there she finds he way to the capital city, Freetown aboard a truck.
She realizes she is pregnant and recounts how she was impregnate in a rape ordeal by Salieu who orders and threatens her not to tel anybody about it, although at that particular moment she has no clu what has happened to her.
She also recalls on the events on the day the rebels attacked th village. Her cousins Ibrahim and Mohamed are captured and tie while Adamsay, the last daughter of Marie is dragged away by her hair. During the attack many people are killed while others are amputated.
Kamara is reunited in Freetown with her cousins and Aunt Marie and her husband Alie whom she had lived with since she was a child. They stay together in an amputees’ camp, which is full of filthy litter, dirty bodies and rubbish. They fend for themselves by begging on the streets. Kamara gets a baby boy, Abdul, who dies later from malnutrition.
There is information of well wishers in Freetown and other countries like Canada who are willing to take in and help children affected by the war and violence. Kamara is taken to Toronto Canada by Bill, who offers her food and shelter. Later she is taken in by a Sierra
Leonean family of Kadi and Abou.
She yearns to better her life by acquiring education such *at she is in position to help her family back at home. She is helped by Kadi to enroll in an English as a Second language course (ESL) to learn the
English language and also be able to commcmicate She graduates from ESL with a Diploma.
She is enrolled in high school where she encounters more challengers in writing for the lack of hands, but her undying spirit makes her not to give up. She eventually manages to attain Cs.
Rebels attack manarma village where they kill many people and also amputate others. They cause violence for they want to overthrow the government they claim to be corrupt. Kamara is amputated by same rebels. More so there is a camp for amputees in free town with over 400 amputated people.
Marie and Alie hide and flee to Freetown to escape the havoc caused by the rebels. Furthermore, many families are taken in at
Toronto Canada by Kadi and Abou Nabe to escape the violence in
The violence caused by the rebels leads to a lot of suffering to the people. Some are left handicapped and cannot fend for themselves; others are forced to relocate from their homes, while it also leads to poor living conditions like in the amputees’ camp and also begging on the streets.
Mariatu Kamara, together with young Asian women, grandmothers from the Middle East and men from Southern Africa are enrolled in an English as a second Language course where they learn the language. She graduates with a diploma. Later she is enrolled to a high school. She finds it difficult but with her endurance she manages to attain Cs. She gets a laptop to use to aid in her studies.
Kamara hopes to better her life through education such that she able to support her family back at home.
Kamara is raped by Salieu who leaves her pregnant and threatens
Rebels have no regard for human life as they kill people and maim others mercilessly. There is a camp for amputees in Freetown.
Children are made soldiers and be involved in such barbaric activities as killing and torture which is not appropriate to their development.
Most people in Manarma are attacked by rebels and are while others are amputated. Kamara is amputated, Adam z taken away. In addition Ibrahim and Mohamed are capture d, tied. The displaced and amputated people are forced to pathetic conditions such as what is witnessed in amputees’
which is full of filthy litter and full of dirty bodies. They are force t s:
beg on the streets to get what to eat.
War has taken toll on innocent, children and women.
IMPACT OF WAR ON CIVILIANS
The hatred and animosity among citizens leads to unrests violence. This leads to suffering of people. Violence facilita, ?
deaths of people, Injuries and torture such as cutting of people:
hands (Kamara) displacement of people from their homes such
Marie and Alie, Kamara and more families that end up in Canadt
More there is it facilitates poor living conditions like the filth, amputees camp in Freetown.
CHILDREN IN WAR
Most children suffer during war. Some are made children soldier:
like those who capture Kamara are her age mates while other:
endure atrocities; Kamara as a child has her hands cut off. Adamsab
Ibrahim and Mohamed are captured by rebels which in itself i:
THE POWER OF HUMAN SPIRIT RESILIENCE
The human spirit is undying, enduring and resilient. Despite atrocitie that Kamara undergoes, she doesn’t lose the zeal to live on. She ho:
an indomitable spirit to overcome adversity. When Kamara regain:
consciousness after her hands are chopped off, she picks herself up
The amputees in the camp do not have hands but still they are able to feed and wash themselves. Kamara learns to cook, tie shoe laces, up zips and even goes to school to learn to better her life despite the
Well wishers cannot sit and watch human rather help to take in victims of such violereag acquire educations.
Humans have the inner strength to push on
CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION
Mariatu Kamara (Narrator)
Ndjve: She does not understand what Salieu has done to her after he forcefully has intercourse with her. She blatantly that she only knows that only women get babies but not girls. More she doesn’t know that pregnancy is as a result of sexual
Resilient enduring: Rebels cut off her hands, but this does not deter her from going on with life. She doesn’t lose the zeal to live on.
She has an indomitable spirit to overcome adversity; she picks herself up and ensures she moves to safety. Kamara learns to cook, tie shoe laces, do up zips and even goes to school to learn to better her life despite the lack of limps. She learns
English Language as a second language and graduates with a diploma.
Thoughtful: She minds about the welfare of her family back at home and wants to study and be in a position to assist them.
Optimistic: she undergoes a lot of challenges in the hands of her captors; she lives in pathetic conditions in the camp, but still hopes of making it in life through acquisition of education. She
I need to get education and better my life ‘
Fearful: She fears going to school as she will be alone among strangers. She is also worried of how she would write without 1 was afraid of making a fool of myself ‘
Itiumane: despite Kamara’s tender age, he forces himself on her leaving her pregnant and more so intimidates her not to
Infimidating: Orders Kamara not to reveal to anyone about the rape the ordeal.
Kadi and Abou Nabe
Hospitable: they offer shelter and food to Kamara after she has come from Freetown, and stayed with Bill. They also bring in more family members to Toronto to escape the violence back
PPortive: Kadi takes the initiative to enroll Kamara to the English as a send Language course where she graduates with a diploma.
Concerned: His family reads about girl, Kamara and her suffer –
war ravaged village of Manarma, in a newspaper Gr and thereafter he wants to find her and offer her he’-
providing money for food and clothes. Helpful: Offers to take Kamara from Freetown to Toronto Canada I act which facilitates her to get education and humanita I assistance.
Cruel: They mercilessly cut off hands of their victims, for instant I
Kamara’s, as a way of sending a message to the presider I whom they see as corrupt, yet the children have nothing to a I with the presidency ‘… I remember asking myself, “What is c I president”…’
Inhumane: They kill people during their attack on Manarma village I they torture their victims by cutting off their hands anc 1
taunting them. One child soldier tell Kamara… We are net I going to kill you go to the, president as* the president to give you new hands.
LANGUAGE USE STYLE
This story is told from a first person point of view by Mariatu Kamarc who narrates to us her ordeal in the hands of her captors in the war torn village of Manarma and her escape to Freetown ana eventually her life in Toronto Canada.
Kamara recounts her ordeal in the hands of Salieu who fchimself on her leaving her pregnant. She also recalls her stay
Marie, her father’s sister and Marie’s husband Alie in Magb village.
The amputees camp is described as ‘… was a size of a foot field, was filthy wit litter, the smell of rubbish, dirty bodies, bring out the pathetic conditions that the people in the camps wr living In.
The laptop she Is bought for is described by the narrator as ‘…
computer was special with a mouse shaped like a big ball so that I car easily manoeuvre it the key board was L
oam Dialogue _ – ra converses with the rebels who want her to ch Karr 10 h ent before leaving punis m ‘You must choose a punishment before you leave, ” he said *ke what?” I mumbled: Li Which hand do you want to lose first?” He asked. This dialogue brings out the cruel nature of the rebels. There is dialogue with the female doctor, “…you are pregnant “You 0 e going to have a baby ” k ” , :But there must be a mista e, I said “Only women hove babies, not girls ” This points out how nave Kamara is. Sarcasm Mariatu is informed by the child soldiers that her hands are to be chopped off so that she would not vote for the president, then they sarcastically refer her to go to the president who should provide her with new hands. We are not going to kill you. We want you to go to the president and show him what we did to you. Ask the president to give you new hands ” REVISION QUESTIONS 1. Political instability and violence breeds misery. Discuss 2. A friend in need is a friend in deed. Discuss this statement in light of the story “The president” by Mariatu Kamara 3. Tribal conflicts and hatred have far reaching consequences the society way effects that conflicts have on the s share in the 4. The less privileged in Discuss al 5. Describe the devastating misfortunes of the mighty in society innocent, children and women irit 6. No power is stronger than human sp 7 Window Seat By Benjamin Branoff Bseniamin Bronoff is a Tanzanian writer. His short story, Wind?vi Sent, is featured in the third volume of Tell me, My Friends, which univects stories and plays written by students and staff a h ers’tY of Dar es Salaam.
The narrator, a foreigner, is in a public transport daladala in Dar es Salaam, moving from Miimani via goes to Posta down town.
This story tells a humorous story of a young man, a boards a daladala from Mlimani via Mwenge to the town. The foreigner meets many people who squeeze the small van, including a beautiful Tanzanian girl who behinds of the foreigner.
The mzungu is seated next to a window, in a daladala travei’ng to down town. The minivan is meant to carry about ten people but 24 people are squeezed in it.
The road they are on is in a deplorable condition, full of poth&m dust which fills the van.
The narrator expresses how he desires to be with Monique, French girl he has met in college and she also stays across courtyard in downtown.
He changes vehicles from the minivan to a bus to head to Posto
Town. The bus is also overloaded and overcrowded like was.
Among the passengers there is a young lady, probably some age as the narrator. She is quiet beautiful and because of narrator’s lustful nature, he forgets about desires the Kanga lady.
The bus is stopped by a police officer who allows go after taking a bribe — he wastes a lot of time foe attendants to whom time is moriey.
The vehicle picks up another passenger, a who ho.
to sit. Mzungu offers his seat to the woman ho on the insistence of M,zungu she takes the seat.
stands throughout the req of the iourrzy,
There is a lot of squeezing and holding on one another the passengers. The vehicle stops at points to drop and pick more passengers. In an instance, when the vehicle stops, Kanga, a passenger holds on the waist of Mzungu, Mzungu is.
carried away by the feeling he gets from Kanga holding him on the waist. He feels Kanga’s other hand slowly slipping off his
Afterwards when the vehicle stops, Kanga alights in dismay of
Mzungu who thinks of having her give him the world’s biggest secret.
She waves to him and leaves mzungu in a blissful existence. Mzungu drifts to his world of love, a world of fantasy. He dozes off only to be awakened when all passengers have alighted.
Mzungu is to pay his fare only to realize his wallet is missing, it has been stolen.
- UWLESSNESSON THE ROADS.
Vehicles should always follow traffic laws on the roads for safety. In his story however, law and order is not followed as it should be.
To start with, the public transport vehicles are so much overloaded.
Passengers are literally packed. Conductors carry excess passengers as the narrator says a mini-van meant to carry ten passengers now carries twenty five of them. It even becomes worse when it comes to rush hour where they carry twenty eight with others drivers also bribe the traffic policemen in order to get away with crime. Even when things seem to be okay with the vehicle the
POIicemen solicit for bribes to an extent of removing the car keys fie ignition. The bribe here is a very powerful voice that the ponce use to silence the adamant drivers.
passengers suffer on roods, The no to commit to o Iono rood becouso of they don’t veem to core or they ore used to it.
tip loudly when the policemen toke bribes but, “ep tt even because of overloading thol mokos it to rob rhe narrator.
Poverty is Olso portrayed in this Story. The people ot the bus said to be in sandals and others barefoot. This means afford better shoes. The passengers could be suffering he overloaded dalodalos because of poverty. This is bee-cuz pay less money for fare.
The narrator describes Kanga that she hos a trim figure cowed by a lifetime of hard work and deprivation of luxurie.
that she cannot afford luxuries. We also think that “hot her to steal from the narrator is poverty.
The aggressiveness of touts in town is also a sign of poverty. This P.
society where one must struggle to make ends meet. That’l why t'”
scream and shout and also convince people to take their daladalc: –
Corruptii is also evident in this Story especially on the roads pocmerc were wpposed to guarantee zafety on the ond collude driver, in order to escape facing 10…
seem to have token bribes as their bea”se even if the vehicle has everything right force by toking keys from ignitim.
The narrator enters into a relationship with Monique the French girl in campus. He says that he gave her an unordinary smile and she returned it. At the bus station he sees her but never gets to talk to her. He regrets never getting to fix a date with her that day. The narrator treats this relationship so casually and he is not serious about it. He says that he conjured up the smile for her and when she is through
%ith it he can conjure it up for someone else “A man only has so many smiles ” When he meets Kanga in the van he seems to also fall in love with her. He flirts with her and even imagines one part of
Kongo’s body. He loses his mind when Kanga grabs his trousers. He goes wild with imagination about himself and Kanga and does not realize that he was being robbed. When he meets Kanga, the narrator says that he had forgotten about Monique. He says, ‘…I drift in the world of my new love. Le felle is over and done with. Kanga is in. This shows how casuals he treated his relationships with women considering that he only met
Kanga in thedaladala.
The word Mzungu means a white man. The Africans call them this to mean he is from the white race. The Africans see this man, (the narrator) as more superior than them and use even a spectacle that he is using public transport. When the guard greets him at the city
Chuo everybody turns to see him. Africans perceive the white men as rich and wealthy that’s why Kanga robs him in the vehicle. The narrator chooses to date Monique a French girl because she is from their race. He says, I should be with the French girl Le fille because
French women absolutely like American men.
CHARACTER AND CHARACTERIZATION
When he meets Kongo, the narrator says that he had forgo about Monique. He says, drift in the w or Id of my new love. L# *
is over and done with. Kongo is in”. This shows how casuals he treat*
his relationships with women considering that he only met Kang’
This leads to his wallet being stolen yet he things of Kongo’s touch as a sign of desire for him.
He respectfully greets the old woman who moves to the back ro from the front one. Observant: Has a clear picture of how the vehicles are overcrowded and squeezed passengers, he gives a clear description of the dust on the road and also describes how bumpy the ride is.
Stubborn: couldn’t let the vehicle go on unless a bribe is paid despite finding no fault with it.
He picks the bribe and smiles and waves for the vehicle to proceed with the journey.
Tactful: she skilfully holds on to Mzungu as if supporting herself fro’
plunging forward only to rob him.
Opportunist: waits at the squeezed moment and movement by the vehicle to rob Mzungu’s wallet
ANGUAGE USE STYLISTIC DEVICES
- VIVID DESCRIPTION.
The author makes use of vivid description which makes his own interesting and leaves an impact the readers’ minds. He describes sitting position in the daladala very clearly lamina wet of sitting, fatal position. My knees are wedged between my abdur n and the sit in front of me. I am trying not to jab the guy in froro of with my knees ‘ This is very clear and we can even see that positi”t our minds.
Another example is the way he describes the way peopie squeeze themselves during rush hours. The way the narrator describes girl
‘Kanga’ appeals to our sense of sight and we are left seeing a very beautiful African girl with short hair in our minds ‘… She looks my age though am not sure; it is hard to tell. She wears a kanga ‘igh”y wrapped around her. She is slim but not starving slim, she looks healthy. She has been moulded by beautiful genes and by a of never ending work and deprivation of luxuries ‘ find her face she is really beautiful ‘
- I.SE OF OTHER LANGUAGES LOCAL mALECT AND SW
This is the use of Swahili words as well as Frereh words
Mzungu-Whiteman, Daladala-public transport, Mayai – eqg te felle-French word meaning girl and so many other is to show that environments and setting of the story i e. Dar es
Tanzania is known to majority use of KiswahiE and there are some tourists but we learn that Mmique is a city campus.
The lady a massage m form of Engli words and even
- HYPERBOLE The author uses the use of exaggerations in order to emphc, point. The narrator says that at the bus stop, a million feet chuff and out of my window. This emphasizes the big number of peopre the bus stop. He also says of Kanga’s trim figure that she has be, mounded by beautiful genes and by a lifetime of never ending and deprivation of luxuries ‘ This emphasizes the fact she has always work 4. PERSONIFICATION Personification is also used by the author for clearer description. The narrator says that the side of the road dances with grass and dirt in a mesmerizing spell. He also says that ‘I know I have left Chuo when the grass becomes clumsy and allows the dirt to dance with the road ‘ Dancing is a human attribute but has been given to both road and dirt 5. REPETITION Repetition is also used in this story as well as for emphasis author repeats the word feet successively at the bus station “FP, with sandals, feet with shoes, bare feet” He uses this to illustrate the poverty level of the people. There is also repetition of the word burns for emphasis, the garbage takes burning i e it really never stop_i rings of fire. And it burns, burns, burns “
- IRONY is also employs by the author in this story. It is ironical for the passengers to smack when the drivers give out bribe but they never toke any action against them. They seem to disapprove it but don’t take any step despite being piled up in the daladala.
narrator also ironically thinks that Kanga has fallen in love with him and when she touches his jeans on the waist he thinks that she is touching him to stop herself from lunging forward but he didn’t know that he was being robbed.
- g, WUES
“…She is too far to justify me running foolishly like a knight in a shining amour ”
- Discuss the major literary devices employed in the story.
- Discuss the major issues highlighted by the writer in the story.
- Public transport sector is a menace in the country. Highlight issues brought out from the story with the situation in the country.
- Discuss moral decay as brought out in the story.
- ALMOST HOME
Almost Home is an impassioned story of great warmth and hurnanity that manages to stay the right side of sugary. It puts a human face to one of the great challenges of our present time;
terrorism ad illegal migration.
McKinley is from Irew, d. His “Elysium Nevada’
nominated Best New Play, Irish Theatre 2010. He written for BBC Radio a and RTE and —as twice +.ortfisted
Hennessy Literary Award. His most recent work, Crusader, ” was staged in Dublin, 2013. His story, Almost he second prize in he Bath Short Story Award.
We meet Ali aboard c ship in Ireland, ready to be ferried deported to Morocco. The events shift to France aboard a vehicie
+ere Afi tries to escape from Slattery and Tarrant. From Franz go *trough Spain and take a ferry that that they are to use take +em to Tangier in Morocco.
AE M060uz is in a ship with Slattery and Tarrant who are taskec deporting Afi from Ireland to Tangier Morocco. Ali is ileqci ‘vnigrant in Ireland. Aji tells people that he is a medic:
gudent and has his face book showing a picture of him, an eage yang man standing outside the college of surgeons with a bend*
of books; two of which are telephone directories.
While in Ireland he works hard in order to meet “s needs. He for two Egyptian brothers, slicing kebab meat, powercars, scrubs pots and wipes down tables.
AE warned sternly by Tarra”t to behave himself or else wifi them. They travel aboard a to France c service statim near while eatirtg he rushes to the Frere and pleads to save him frmt the abdiors but
Slattery explains frings to her “‘derstands and Ali is taken baci
comes out clearly that the government has attempted twice to deport Ali by air, and on both occasions, Ali was disruptive and alarmed other passengers by claiming to be a terrorist with a bomb that he will use to blow up the plane.
He attempts to escape once more when they reach Salamanca in
Spain. He request for a bathroom only to run away and jump under c moving trailer, endangering his life. He is caught by Tarrant, as he tries to hobble around a furniture van. Hi is tied with the plastic cuffs.
They take a ferry that is to take them to Tangier, Morocco. Just when they are almost arriving to their destination, Ali jumps off the ferry into the water and drowns.
Ali Mahfouz is an illegal immigrant in Ireland. Ali migrates illegally from Morocco when he is seventeen years old. He lives in Georges street where he says its people were very kind to him. Ali lies to the people that he is a medical student; his face book picture even shows him standing outside the college of surgeons holding two voluminous books which we learn that they were telephone directories. Ali makes many friends everywhere and instantly. These people give him gifts and allowed him to sleep on their sofas. Ali struggled so much to make it in Ireland. He did odd jobs there among them selling
Christmas trees door to door. He does not want to go back home.
When a professor of Trinity College gives him two hundred Euros to buy a ticket to Tangier he buys an iPod instead. Many attempts also by the soldiers to deport him have been futile. Tarrant and Slattery are trying to deport him this one more time.
RESISTANCE TO DEPORTATION
Deportation is the eviction of foreign persons back to their countries. Tarrant and Slattery are soldiers who are here to de
Ali but Ali shows resistance because he doesn’t want to go back.
determined to make it Ireland.
We learn that a university professor earlier gives him two
Euros but he buys himself an iPod instead. Tarrant explains to woman at the service station that they have tried to deport Ali twit by air but he has been disruptive and he alarmed the 0th passengers by shouting that he was a terrorist and that he blow the plane by a bomb that he had.
Ali tries to escape Tarrant and Slattery at the service station.
rushes to the French woman and pleads with her to save him from t abductors but when Slattery explains things to her she understan and Ali is taken back to the car.
In on other attempt to resist deportation Ali dangerously ducks do’*
a moving trailer barely dodging the moving wheels but finds himse on Tarrant’s fists on the other side. When they see Tangier harb finally Slattery pats Ali on the shoulder and tells him ” Almost horn
Ali knows that he would reach home without doubt despite all effort to escape. He thinks about three years in prison and suffering that his mother and sisters WOUld go through in order save him from being eaten alive in iail. Ali therefore makes dangerous decision; to jump into the sea just to resist deportation.
POVERTY AND LACK OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Ali’s mother and sisters live in cramped apartments in Beni Makac
This indicates that they are poor. Ali also says that they had rais the two thousand Euros to spirit him out of the country with difficul but he had not paid them even a cent. This was in an attempt to
Ali get opportunities in the Ireland but he was deported with anything and to top it all he WOUId have to go to jail. This shame a fear causes him to jump into the sea.
cHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION
Deceitful: he tells people that he is a medical student and even puts a picture on face book that shows him at the surgeons’ college with college books yet the books are only telephone directories. He only does menial jobs in Ireland.
In addition he walks with little white buds in his ears as if he is listening to music from the iPod yet he doesn’t even know how to load the gadget with music.
Hardworking: Ali does all kinds of jobs in Ireland to cater for his upkeep. For instance he slices kebab meat; while working for two Egyptian brothers, also he power-washes cars, scrubs pots and wipes tables.
Sociable: He makes many friends when he just arrives in Ireland.
He is quite charming and makes Slattery to laugh all the time despite being in a serious situation.
Stubborn: He has been warned by Tarrant not to cause any problem while they travel yet he attempts to escape twice.
Furthermore, the government has tried to deport him twice, where every time he is disruptive on the plane threatening of blowing up the plane with a bomb in his possession.
Despite all these he still lives in Ireland.
Sarcastic: Tells Slattery and Tarrant that they are travelling in style and that they are on a mighty journey yet he is being deported.
Determined: He attempts all means to prevent his deportation. He threatens to blow up the plane twice; he attempts to escape from Slattery and Tarrant in France and Spain. As last resort he decides to drown himself in water provided it is away to escape from being deported.
Observant: He is keen enough to note that Slattery has good Fre
Ali also notes that Slattery has no wedding band despite him being in mid-thirties and handsome.
DNvsioned: Ali loses hope with life in his country because of pove scxh that his family is cramped together in the apartment, then imagines of life in prison, lack of food, clothing and having to pay bribes. This shame and fear causes him to jump into the sea.
Jovial: He is charming and laughing all the time when Ali cracks jokes.
Tactful: He manipulatively talks the French woman out of her thinking of helping Ali. He manages to convince her that any interference will mean they — Slattery and Tarrant will leave Ali to be the responsibility of the French government.
Aggressive: He blocks Ali into a corner before barking orders to him, and threatens to smack him if he tries any nonsense.
When Ali attempts to escape in Spain, he hits him to the
Serious: He does not get involved in laughter when Ali cracks jokes that leave Slattery in stitches. He remains stony faced as strict: orders Ali to go back where they were when Ali runs
The author uses personification a great deal in this story. This is very effective because we get a clear description of events. In the first paragraph, it is said that the Oscar Wilde ferry rested in the
Welford harbor. Resting being a human attribute has been given to the ferry.
Other examples include; The room hummed as the turbine span. The sound of the ship as it moves becomes very clear here, humming. The tiny fish seemed inquisitive. Inquisitive is also a human attribute given to fish to make the description clear.
Dialogue has also been exploited by the author to make the story more real and to break the monotony. There is a dialogue also between Tarrant, Ali and Slattery also with the woman at the service station. In some of the dialogue made we learn about the character traits of the soldiers being tough and Ali being defiant and sarcastic.
Moroccan rain is metaphorically to have the light touch of a tiny baby’s fingers but Irish rain was a smack from an open hand, watery assault. Tarrant’s fists are said to be wall made of bone and skin.
All compares Ireland to a man. Ireland is like a man who in” people to his house for a fist and then discovers he doesn’t hj enough food. The ferry is said to cut the Mediterranean Sea like scissors. Tk shadow cast by the boat looked a dark cloud on a grey sky. All the*
have been used effectively. They show us the actions more vividly.
USE OF SUB STANDARD ENGLISH AND OTHER LANGUAGES
Ali knows how to speak standard English but he uses broken Englishfi annoy the soldiers and also in his attempt to resist deportation h says; “I want say thank you Ireland”I have so happy in Ireland. Mm times happy, people good, weather good, guiness good.
There is also the use of French. Ali also uses so Irish expressions whid are not Standard English; “Soft day, did your Mummy make any rnort like you *
The title ‘Almost Home’ is symbolic. It symbolizes death. It is believed that Ali did not go back home as he should have, but he dies in the sea when he drowns himself. Ali talks of a man who invites people to his house for a feast and when he discovers that he doesn’t havi enough food he tries to hide his anger and humiliation by shouting, cursing and forcing them out into the night. This man symbolizes
Ireland because they allow illegal immigrants to come and stay in the country then hunts them down in order to deport them. The different two types of rains in the two countries symbolize their different challenges to survival as Ali says it is easy in Morocco than in Ireland.
Poverty and lack of employment largely contribute to illegal migration. Discuss Immigration is nobody’s best choice. Whys Compare and contrast the character traits of Slattery and Tarrant. Discuss the traits of All as brought out in this story. What factors contribute to people migrating illegally to other countries? Dialogue has played a key role in character and plot development in the story. Discuss. Disillusionment is detrimental to human living. Discuss 9.The Folded Leaf by Segun Afolabi Summary of the incidents Segun Afolabi’s ‘The Folded Leaf, is a short story that was shortlisted for Caine Prize 2015.it boasts of its urgency to address burning contemporary issues in Nigeria. Bunmi’s voice introduces most of the characters through whom the narrative will move forward. While characters like Bunmi, Samuel, Tunde and Mrs Kekere are introduced with peculiar health challenges, others like Bola, Papa and the Ejiofohs accompany them; and together, they form the narrative backbone with Bunmi as the main narrator. The story is about a Christian community comprising of various family members who in spite of health challenges have had to contend with the reality of their being, and to live a normal communal Christian life. But when after a strong resolve of collective contributions, they set out on a journey to Lagos in search of healing, from a man of God who doesn’t seem to have answers to their questions, a new reality which will alter or question the basis of their Christian faith and practice is unfolded.
- a) Religion
The author explores the role of religion in our daily lives portrayed in the contemporary Nigeria and the larger Afri
Religion is used to brainwash the followers of some deities that f more superior to the others. Churches in the urban area a portrayed to be superior to churches in the rural areas. It is throu this portrayal that we see villagers, worse still the village preache like Reverend Abbe and Reverend Okulaia leading th congregation to a point of donating towards Mrs. Eiiofoh, Mr
Kekere, Bola and Bunmi among other travellers, for their journey
Lagos, going to seek for healing from pastor Fayemi “P.92”
The issue of religion is becoming a melting pot in Nigeria, and Afric at large. Religion seems to rob the individual of choice. Religi extremist leads to hypocrisy, obsession, aiienation and fear. It through this religion that people lack self acceptance. Not until the get robbed of their money, do they come in terms with their physica challenges. Bumni the narrator, who cannot see, begins t understand her own life and accept it after having made a Ion journey to lagos city to be attended by pastor Fayemi’s church, vain
The narrator, Bunmi begins to come to good terms with her life, an self-actualization is seen whereby she accepts that her physic impairment is God given, therefore appreciates reverend Abb who prays for people, even when they have paid no mone
(p 94)Prayers are not left aside in all the doings. The faithful’
travelling to Lagos; gather for a prayer led by Reverent Ab before setting off for their journey to Lagos.
‘Bless Samuel, tamer Jehovah, “today, today, please- send him new )
prayers are perceived as a tool of spiritual healing, nourishment a) Poverty and class barriers
Another theme that comes out clearly is the class stratification in the contemporary Nigeria. The story adroitly brings to light, the ever existing gap between the rich haves and the poor have no’s right from the village to the suburbs of the capital, Lagos, people are seen to be poor, compared to those who lives in the urban centers.
Mrs. Kerekere pleads with the policemen on their way to Lagos, that they are not rich (P.84). In fact, the money they are spending on their way to Lagos is a donation from their local church that alone, they couldn’t manage to afford it.
Comparison is made with the urban people who are very rich.
Daddy cool is better known in the account of his helicopter and
Gulfstream jet, and his homes in Florida and Switzerland and somewhere in the Caribbean (p 81 )
Afolabi is trying to imply that there are multiple ways of viewing life, in different apheres, by using the narrative voice of the blind narrator Bunmi to elaborate on the theme of perception:
Appearance to me may not be your own appearance. And my own understanding of own self, may not compare with other people’s perceptions. But do any of us identify the same thing in exactly the same way? Is the colour blue the same? And does the leaf smell?
Bola thinks sometimes. So don’t worry, he says. And Bola’s right about most things
In trying to avoid authorial interference, Afolabi tells his through this blind twelve-year-old whose narrative power inheres her strong stimulus, curiosity, perception and scepticism; a narr who relies on interviewing skills like probing, prompting, scoop and interrogation to account for the plot’s progression.
TECHNIQUE AND LANGUAGE USE a) first person narrative voice
This narration has been told from the perceptive of a first person narrator. The ‘l’ narrator is therefore the protagonist in the story and he narrates the events as he experienced them. This kind of narration makes the events to be quite immediate to the reader and hence, it becomes engaging to read. Segun Afolabi also uses present tense instead of the usual past tense we would expect in a story about events that happened in the past it is as if he is giving commentary on the event. A rapport therefore between the narrator and the reader is created.
- b) Suspense
The feeling of worry or excitement that a person develops when the)
develop a feeling that something is going to happen is what is callec suspense. The folded leaf creates some desire to know whad happens to Bumni, Sam and Mrs. Kekere who are on their way tc meet pastor Fayemi for healing.
Throughout the narration, the reader is kept gluedto the text, to see how things will end. Even the village preacher, reverent Abbe is wishful that God may bless, heal and lead them to the capital, Lagos.
“Bless Samuel, father today, today, please- send him new )
- c) Contrast
This is a literary technique in which the author sets two people, events or objects in opposition to each other in order to show
Afolabi uses contrast as a technique to drive in his thematic concerns with ease. Reverent Abbe is a servant of God in a village church, who prays to people to gain hope and restoration without pay. She leads a very humble life and she is depicted as a true believer, who loves her congregation. Her church donates whole heartedly to finance the long anticipated journey to Lagos The author contrasts her with pastor Adejola Fayemi, or Daddy Cool as he is better known on account of his helicopter, jets and lavish lifestyle. His followers deny Bumnis’ access to seeing him, even after paying all the money they had carried to the church.
- a) Use of dialogue
Afolabi uses dialogue richly to develop his characters and themes.
He reproduces the exact words that characters are supposed to have spoken.
Cases in point are as follows;
‘What do you have inside?” a voice demands from outside the bus.
police, ” Bola whispers
“Just people, ” the driver says “we go Lagos.
‘How many of you?” (p 83)
This conversation reveals the experience the narrator and the other travellers face as they travel to Lagos. This and many other dialogues are used to foreground the thematic concerns and enliven the plot development.
- b) Local idiom
The author uses local language. Since this story is set in the both
Nigerian suburbs and Nigerian city, Lagos, the use of local dialect makes it easy not only to identify the setting, but also to give it a local flavor. The following are examples of local dialects used; agbada, which means a four-piece attire worn by men; eshayu, which means thank you, na so meaning yes, it’s true; among others.
Characterization a) Narrator
The narrator is a blind twelve-year-old whose narrative power is inheres in her strong will and introspecting personality. She is an examining girl who is young, honest and hopeful that she will receive healing after attending the church service in town.
She is indeed determined to meeting pastor Daddy Cool and therefore becomes too obnoxious, on learning that it will not be possible.
The story end when she is more strong and ambitious in spite of all the happenings that she has started to understand that at least she has life, a good one for that effect.
- b) Reverend Abbe
Reverend Abbe is a pastor who is depicted as a servant of God, leading a true deity church. So loving and caring she is that she organizes her church members in the village for donations to the narrator’s journey to seek healing.
She is a committed and dedicated Christian that though a deacon she is, members of the church prefer her to reverend Okulaia, who the reverend-in-charge is.
She is trustable that the narrator says that she is complacent having her as a clergy, who prays for people without asking for money from them (294)
- c) Pastor Adeiola Fayemi.
He is portrayed as a fat cat tycoon, leading a wealth life. He runs a church in the Lagos capital. Religion seems to rob the individual of choice.
Religious extremist people really suffer a lot through him, making him an exploitative person. Not until they get robbed of their money, do they come in terms with their physical challenges. Papa has given out all the money that had been contributed, and denied access to the pastoral place pulpit (p 90)ln this case therefore, Afolabi’s story represents the new face of pseudo-Christian practice in Nigeria, through him, which is hinged on the gospel of healing (miracles) and prosperity.
- Discuss the following oral techniques in the story:
- a) Use of songs b) Humour and comic relief c) Exaggeration d) Dialogue
- Put the following excerpt in its immediate context.
I have always been blind. How they appear to me and my understanding of myself, might not compare with other
- Describe the character traits of Pastor Feyemi as exhibited in perception.
- HITTING BUDAPEST
By NoViolet Bulawayo.
The short story “Hitting Budapest” by NoViolet Bulawayo follows six
African children on their trip to steal guavas from a rich neighborhood. The author has structured the short story in three scenes marked by suspension points. The first scene presents the trip to Budapest; the second focuses on the way back, while the third marks a strange incident when the children discover a hanged woman in the bushes of Paradise.
The story also follows the plot elements, having an exposition, a rising action, a climax and a falling action
NoViolet examines convoluted issues of social inequality and inadequate access to resources in such an amazing way through her creative determination and imagination to improve the material conditions of her characters. Africa is the richest in the world in terms of natural resource endowments, despite this poverty wracks havoc in most, if not all, parts of the continent where apparently children and women are the most affected. Summary of incidents
The story is about five young girls, mostly pre-teen, moving from their shanty town of Paradise to the estates of Budapest in search Of guavas and anything that matter. As they make their tourney towards
Budapest they converse as all children do. It is through this that we get to know that Chipo, a girl of ten years, has been impregnated her grandfather.
At Budapest they met a white woman of 33 years who had just come from London, eating ice-cream. They looked longingly at this icecream only for her to throw what is left of it into the dustbin and take a picture of them. On their way back they shared their dreams with each other: to travel to America, get big houses and cars. Whereas
IMF is a street at Budapest, AU is a street at Paradise, the shanty town. The kids steal, eat and go back to the shanty to meet a dead woman dangling from a tree. Their hunger allows them to conquer their fear of death and they steal her shoes so they can sell them in order to buy bread. But the real story is in the class divide, in the loss of innocence, immigration, violence, defilement, poverty, extreme hunger, and dejection.
Initially, this story reads as a metaphor where some Africans in search of better lives travel abroad. Again, Paradise and Budapest represent the economic duality that we have in most countries where extreme poverty exists side by side with all the skyscrapers and glass-houses. However, as the story unfolds, the metaphorical view changed.
Back at Paradise, the children went to ease themselves in the bush where they saw a woman dangling from a rope-a possible suicide.
The children decided to remove the shoes the dead woman was wearing and sell them for bread.
Published in 201 0, the short story “Hitting Budapest” by NoViolet
Bulawayo is set in an African country, most likely Zimbabwe, the author’s native country.
Time and physical setting
The time setting is during guava season and the action spans over a day in the lives of six children. The main physical setting is the rich neighborhood Budapest, but also the way to Budapest from the shanty town called Paradise.
Budapest is depicted in detail by the narrator to show the between the poor area they come from and the richness of nearby neighborhood.
Buf not an ordinary country – it looks like everybody woke up one day and closed their gates, doors, and windows, picked up thei passports, and left for better countries. Even the air is empty; no burning things, no smell of cooking food or something rotting.
iust plain air with nothing in its hands. Budapest is big, big house;
with the graveled yards and tall fences and walls and flowers and green trees, heavy with fruit (p 98)
The social setting in “Hitting Budapest” presents several aspects related to African society and the world society in general.
The interactions and conversations between the children show their lack of education as they have no knowledge about human reproduction, but also the commonness of incest and rape among poor Africans (Chipo is pregnant with her grandfather) (P. 98)
The main theme of the short story “Hitting Budapest” by NoViolet
Bulawayo is poverty and its dehumanizing effects, which is enhanced through the motif of the gap between the rich and the poor. The author’s intention was to show the consequences of poverty experienced by African children and to bring a critique to those who turn a blind eye on the gap between the rich and the poor, hinting at the idea that it is Western states and organizations who bare most of the responsibility for it.
- J) Effects of poverty.
The short story explores the dehumanizing effects of poverty through the setting and characters.
The action takes places in a poor African area (probably Zimbabwe)
and shows through symbolical setting elements the crude reality of the gap between the rich and the poor. The characters are
African children (Basta, Chipo, Godknows, Sbho, Stina, and Darling)
who have no other option to calm their hunger but to go to neighboring rich area (Budapest) and steal guava fruits (p 98)
The fact that the children go there frequently suggests that stealing for survival has become something very common, part of their everyday lives.
poverty makes these children to steal even to a dead woman, on their way back to paradise.
- l) Defilement
To defile is to violate chastity of a person. Defilement is a major burning factor in most African states today. Defilement becomes a bee sting in that case where the molesters go for children under the age of eighteen years. It becomes a child sexual abuse when an adult or older adolescents use a child for sexual stimulation. This indeed ruins the Childs life and is against the children rights in many countries of the post colonial Africa.
NoViolet Bulawayo did not demean the fact of existence of such people in the society, People who are child molesters. Chipo, a girl of ten years, has been impregnated by her grandfather. Chipo, a young efficacious girl who used to outrun everybody in Paradise, has something in hers stomach, put there by her grandfather (P.97)
However, indiscipline and immoral behaviors in the society should not go unpunished. Hitting Budapests victim does not go unpunished. He becomes a guest of the state.
To avoid harsh circumstances at home, Africans cross borders and dangerous water masses to go to the west. They do low paying jobs or even sometimes illegal ones.
Godknows’ uncle left for London long time ago. Now, he does not even write (p 1 01) Basta dreams of going abroad after school, actually to Paris. Darling too, dreams of going to America once she grows up. These children have been fed with the societal believe that
West is good, not knowing that Africa is rich enough to sustain its people, in terms of resources, once utilized well.
Today, Africans are not captured by the slave traders but by the
COIonial and post independence governments. These governments have created conditions that forces Africans to go abroad.
Techniques and language use a) First person narrative voice child narrator.
The author uses first person point of view by a girl called Dari.
who is also part of the actions unfolding.
As a result, the narrator has limited knowledge on the events and the other characters, and only depicts what happens, based on what she observes:
And there, squatting and screaming, is Godknows. He is also pointing ahead in the thick trees, and we see it, a tall thing
“What’s that?” somebody, I don’t know who, whispers. Nobody answer (P. 104)
She tells the story as an eye witness, this making the rider to make the episodes in the narration more immediate to the reader. This allows the author to keep aesthetic distance and give the story an illusion of obiectivity.
- b) Contrast
The language of “Hitting Budapest” by NoViolet Bulawayo is simple and easy to follow, though it initially is ambiguous due to the contrast in the names and places which do not seem to match. The names Of the characters suggest an African setting, while the names of place suggest Western places. However, as the story unfolds, the meaning become clearer.
People living in the Budapest are very rich. Mello looks pretty, jewellery, smooth brown skin and she does not have a scar to that she is a living person. They have enough to eat. The houses clean and big (P. 1 01)
The children are leading a shnty poor live in their village, paradise
Theirs is to steal Guavas from the villagers. They even steal shoes a dead woman.
- c) Dialogue
NOViolet Bulawayo uses dialogue richly, intertwined with narrative
Making the story more appealing and dynamic. Many passage, times, the dialogue is simple and humorous:
“What’s one day? Tomorrow? Thursday? Next week?”
‘Can’t you see her stomach is still small? The baby has to grow ”
“A baby grows outside. That’s the reason they are born. So they grow “(p 97)
The narrative passages, on the other hand, are quite detailed and descriptive, helping reader’s better grasp of what is happening nd there, squatting and screaming, is Godknows. He is also pointing ahead in the thick trees, and we see it, a tall thing dangling in a free.
“What’s that?” somebody, I don’t know who, whispers. Nobody answers because now we can all see what it is (P. 104)
- a) Humour
Despite the seriousness of the incidents presented, the story is executed with a lot of humour it is effective as a means of satirizing social foibles such as poverty.
The worst thing about guavas, all those seeds gets you constipated when you eat foo much. When it comes to having a natural call, we get in so much pain, like trying to give birth to a county (P. 7 04)
the woman’s twisted mouth finishes chewing. I swallow with her.
do not remember my feet ever looking like that, maybe when I was born (P. 00)
The most important characters in the short story “Hitting Budapest” by NoViolet Bulawayo are the six African children, Darling
— the narrator, and the British woman. In what follows, we will look at the narrator and the British woman separately and then at the all six children as a collective character.
Darling is the child-narrator of the short story and one of
African children. From her outer characterization, we only find that she is nine years old and has an aunt who lives in America.
Though we do not know how she looks like, we can assume that as poorly dressed as the other children and equally needy.
The girl’s inner characterization is built through her narrative and her perspective and attitude towards the events she is experiencing.
Darling comes across as a simple girl who has gotten used to the reality of her poverty which pushes her and the other children to steal.
She is depicted as being remorseful in the way she decides to write a apology letter to Mello while in the correction centre. She is a determined girl who learns very fast how to read and write. Being comical can be senseless without her. She is the kind of a girl who gets soo much pain after eating guavas as if she is giving birth to a country.
She presents the poor and down trodden in the society. She knows nothing, but oppression and poverty.
2) The British woman
The British woman is an episodic character in the short story. Her name is Mello.
From her outer characterization, we find out that she is 33
looking and wealthy and that her father is a native, good-
Her inner characterization is constructed through her interactions with the children. Initially, she comes across as curious when she approaches them. Then she proofs to be friendly, and social. She decides to even take the children a photo. She seems egocentric in the way she eats alone, as the children stand there gazing at her admiringly.
3) The African children
The African children form a collective character in the short story, as most of their actions are done in group, although their different identities are also indicated.
The outer characterization of the children indicates their names and ages and the fact that they are Africans (through the names):
In terms of inner characterization, all the children share some common traits. They are all forced by hunger and poverty to resort to stealing.
They are depicted as being immoral. They have stolen all the guavas in paradise and now, they’ve gone to Budapest to do it again. They are careless in the way they spit guavas everywhere on their way back to paradise. They make the place to be dirty all round.
Poverty lacks meaning without these children. They resolve to go stealing guavas for their satisfaction. It is through these children that we get to learn about other themes like immorality, immigration, social class and marginalization.
- Bad company ruins a child’s good reputation. Discuss
Activity assertion with reference from Hitting Budapest by Noviolq
- Identify and explain the use of the following styles:
- a) Rhetorical question b) Vivid description c) Hyperbole
- Peer pressure can lead to bad behavior. Identify some of the bad behavior that students in school can engage on, as a result of peer pressure.
- Discuss the recurrent motif in the text.
1 1 . MISSING OUT: By Leila Aboulela
The short story missing Out by Leila Aboulela was published in
Granta in 2010 a time when Sudan, the country of origin of the story, was unstable politically, socially and economically. During this period chaos are all over the country and the sky fire red. The civil servants are underpaid and therefore strikes and go slows by the workers are common. It is such factors that drive Leila into writing about a classic situation: that of an immigrant couple (Sudanese in
London). Having been born to a Sudanese father, brought up and schooled in Sudan, Leila understands the plight of Africa as o continent and at the same time celebrates and champions for the values that have held the African continent together. By the use Of scarce characters, Leila uses a couple, Maidy and Samra to represent both sides of African continent: the pros and cons of living in Africa. Maidy embraces the new culture while Samra retreats more and more and becomes withdrawn and isolated from the reality of life around her.
In this story of love, culture and alienation, Leila still for trading our culture with the western one but yet retain the pros of our
She is not totally opposed to adapting what is good from the own.
culture ‘Missing out’ depicts its originality by the fact that author uses religion that is widespread in the country of its origin:
Sudan. The author’s own experiences, especially while at the, niversity, influenced her writing. She pursued Economics at the university, which she found difficult due to high baccalaureate scores and math being a particularly strong subject under the dedicated tutelage of her mother. Other than her personal life and the biographical, which have been major influences and sources of inspiration for her work, Aboulela’s literary influences include writers such as Naguib Mahfouz and Tayeb Salih. She also admires works by
Doris Lessing, J.M. Coetzee, Ahdaf Soueif, Anita Desai, Chimamanda
Ngozi Adichie and Abdulrazak Gurnah.
‘Missing Out’ is an emotional and moving story of love, culture, alienation and a longing for home by one of its characters while the
Other character blindly sinks into the new culture and hence he is alienated. It’s a story of Maidy, a young and ambitious Muslim man living in London. It’s a wondrous story that moves rather swiftly, giving the readers the character’s conflicts without unnecessarily dwelling too long on their problems. This quick pace helps the author to state, though not explicitly, that the story is not about Maidy, but about a sort Of young, ambitious Muslim caught between modernity and tradition. Majdy is sympathetic and his conflict is a universal one, charmingly rendered.
e Story revolves around a young man from Sudan who joins college in London. During his first term, Maidy writes home citing he would not make it and that he would give up and return.
entOuragernent from his mother, who strongly believes he can make it. Maidy weds Samra as the mother advocates.
This is made to make him concentrate more on his studies and deter him from marrying a white and losing taste of his culture the beauty of his country. Samra learns that Maidy has religion as he doesn’t observe the mandatory prayers and in tries to win him back. Samra is nostalgic and has refused to adapt to new life in London and observes he duties as a Muslim woman. On the other hand, Maidy sinks into the new culture and all he sees looking at his origin country, Sudan, is negativity and backwardness. He tries to discourage Samra but she stays aloof and gets excited when it is suggested to her that she was going to spend holiday in Sudan.
Maidy later calls home and announces that he desired to remain in
London even after his studies. This is ironical as from the beginning he had always expressed attachment to his mother country.
The setting of this story shifts from London to Sudan. This could be a deliberate move by the author to compare and contrast life in Sudan and in London. London is depicted as developed politically, socially and economically. Life in London was swift and ‘interfered’ with normal life. Maidy argues, ‘here in London praying was distraction, an interruption ‘p 1 12 London was civilized. Life was easy. Samra wondered how one can buy meat already cut up for her. The author observes, ‘every Obiect she touched was perfect, qualify radiated from every little thing 13) London is so developed that even Samrc longed to be ill in order to take medicine which was so seducing. The author says, ‘even the pharmacies were stocked so full of medicine inso many different colors and flavors that she almost longed to ill ‘(pl 13)
Sudan on the other hand is depicted as underdeveloped. Although life in Sudan is still and rhythmic, many elites like Maidy find it ra retrogressive. Unlike in London where begging is illegal, in Sudor beggars are all over. Child labor is a common practice in third world countries as inferred in this story ‘Shooing away the baref00
children who passed by with loaded trays trying to sell her che gum, hairpins and matches ‘ (P. 1 08) for the elites like Maidy Sud and by extension African Continent is underdeveloped.
MOidy thought Samra would be grateful to him for rescuing her from the backwardness of Khartoum. Chaos is in the city and strikes by the civil servants prevail. This is the plight of Africa.
It is said that change is inevitable. Many traditions of people, particularly Africans change when they go to abroad. This is clearly shown by Maidy who abandons his culture e g the mandatory Islamic prayers. He says, “here in London praying was distraction, an interruption ‘ It is no wonder his mother gets really shocked when she learns about the sudden change of her son. Additionally, he even sees the very fabric of traditions that have held his life together as
‘backwardness’ and retrogressive. It is in that view that Maidy thinks that Samra should be grateful for saving her from ‘the backwardness of Khartoum ‘
Maidy was hardworking back in the days. He was brilliant and always came to the top of his class. He even had appeared on a newspaper at sixteen. In London, Maidy loses his hardworking spirit and ‘in his first term at college in London he complained that studies had become hard ‘
The plight of Africa
Leila Aboulela is concerned about the staggering poverty and underdevelopment in Sudan and the inability of African governments to function at the level they ought to. African has resources but is taken away from the Africans. Sudan is underdeveloped. Children at tender age who ought to be in school are in the streets busy hawking to feed their families ‘Shooing away the barefooted children who passed by with loaded trays trying to sell her chewing gum ‘ (p 1 08)
Africa is suffering from civil wars. Sudan is politically unstable.
Samra’s teacher says, ‘you must be relieved that you are here, all that
War and famine back home.
The place of women in the society.
This is clearly a patriarchal society that believes in the male over female. It is clear that Maidy’s mother is left with the responsibility of taking care of her son. Parenting has been left to women. The relationship between Maidy and Samra is domineering one. That could be the reason why Maidy uses abusive language on his wife. She is not supposed to question her husband’s behavioral changes. She is not supposed to question him for not doing his prayers and when she does Maidy calls her stupid.
TECHNIQUES AND LANGUAGE USE.
The author has employed third person narrative mode, where every character is referred to by the narrator as ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they’. This makes it clear that the narrator is an unspecified entity or uninvolved person in the story. This kind of narration brings out the thoughts and intentions of different characters hence their character traits are fully developed. A third person narrator is omniscient and omnipresent. Such narrator has knowledge of all times, people, places and events and this makes it possible to shift the plot from
London to Khartoum, Sudan. Even then the narrator’s knowledge is
“limited” to the characters, that is, the narrator cannot describe things unknown to the focal character. Local dialect
To keep it original, the author has used local dialect to avoid the story been confused with European literature. Use of local dialect also helps the reader to determine the physical setting of the story.
The author has used certain local words among them tobe, zed
Inshallah, ka ‘ba and Qibla
Maidy is a humorous character. He gets lazy with prayers and says that it’s because life in London is swift. He tells Samra not to cover her head with a tobe because he didn’t want to be associated fanatics and backwardness: His culture.
It’s also humorous that when Maidy complains of studies being difficult for him his mother saddles him with a wife. Ironically this to’
Irony is a strange, funny or sad situation in which things happen in the opposite way to what you would expect. It is ironic that Maidy, who does so well in his secondary education certificate, goes to study abroad but complains of studies being hard on him on his first term.
There is irony when Maid)’ calls home to complain about studies and his mother instead marries him to Samra. One wonders whether marriage makes studies easy or complicates the state of the learner.
It is therefore not a surprise that Maidy abandons obligatory prayers completely.
It is ironic that Maidy expects Samra to show gratitude and appreciation for saving her “the backwardness” of Khartoum but instead she continues to be nostalgic about the same backwardness and eventually travels back home during the holiday.
Maidy asks Samra to take a leave to Sudan so he can also take a break from her but soon after leaving, he feels hollow and empty.
CHARACTER AND CHARACTERISATION
This story like any other short story uses scarcity of characters and this has given the author the opportunity to explore the characters into details giving us their character traits. Each character plays a significant role that clearly can’t be overlookedMaidy
He is loving: He shows love and care to Samra. He shows her around and does everything possible to make her happy and comfortable in her new environment; London. He gives her his attention despite his busy schedule.
He is supportive: He supports Samra to settle in her new environment. He buys her a mat to use during her obligatory prayers.
He is alienatedDetached: He is detached from his culture. He blindly copies the western culture. He abandons the very fabric of his
Culture that holds him together: the obligatory prayers. It is no
Wonder that he views the practice of his people back in Khartoum, Sudan as ‘backwardness ‘
e is abusive: He calls Samra stupid and sees her as retrogressive for observing her obligatory prayers.
He is immoral: He sees it as an opportunity to bring other women in his matrimonial bed when Samra travels to Sudan for holiday.
Majdy represents the elites who go overseas either to study or work there and fail to ever return to their countries: The plight of Africa
Africa suffers from brain drain. Such are the people who appreciate more the western culture and abandon their own. According to Majdy, African culture is inferior to western culture.
She is religious: She observes her religious duties in a foreign country and even urges her husband to create time for prayers in her busy schedule. She is resilient: Unlike her husband who is changed by his surrounding, Samra remains as religious as she left Khartoum. She still observes her religious duties despite the fact that life in London is swift. She is naive: Amazed by the kind of development there is in London especially in the field of medicine, Samra is so much seduced by the color and flavor of medicine that she wishes to fall sick that she may use them. She is loving: As a typical African woman, Samra takes care of her husband and it is no wonder he feels hollow and incomplete when she goes back to Sudan for a holiday. She represents Africans who stick to their cultures and admonishes it so much that they actually value it even when in oversees. As a typical
African woman, she adores and cherishes her husband. She represents African women who stand up for their marriages and families. MAJDY’S MOTHER
She is caring: She calls her son to check on her. She gets worried when she learns that her son thinks of dropping because studies have become hard and encourages him to work harder. She is generous: when her son does well in examinations back ^
Khartoum, she throws up a party for him. She invites the villagers te come and celebrate with her.
She is selfish: She only thinks of herself and not her son. When he announces that he will stay in London she only complains about her being left alone other than looking at the advantages her son will get.
She is hopeful: She hopes that things will not remain dark in Sudan and speaks of a better future. She says, ‘But what if things improve here, son? If they strike oil or make lasting peace.
She represents citizens who endure hostility and poor standards of living in their African countries with the hope that ‘things will improve ‘ As a mother, she shows love, care and good will to her son. She wishes the very best to him.
- Compare and contrast the character of Maidy and Samra
- The university students were demonstrating. Do you think demonstrations can solve problems? Discuss.
- Discuss irony as used in this story.
- Discuss the theme of religion
- Maidy’s determination to remain in London symbolizes running away from the culture of his people. Discuss.
- NO NEED TO LIE
BY Rolf Schmid
Rolf Schmid’s “No Need to Lie” is an extraordinary account of a remarkable life. The author describes his rough painful struggle
With cancer in the both Kenya and Germany. He became a celebrated restaurateur and sportsman and after acquiring
Kenyan citizenship, he represented his new home in judo, polo, Weightlifting and pistol shooting, excelling in all four of them.
He also still got time to emulate his childhood idol, Ernest Heming w as a passionate big game hunter in the African bush. Tragedy through cancer which almost killed him, but sheer determination, and the hand of God saved him. After this ordeal, he ventured become a world champion power lifter in the masters over categories. For this and all his previous achievements in sports, he was bestowed with the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya by His
Excellency President Daniel arap Moi.
Rolf Schmid has surmounted many barriers in life but a diagnosis of throat cancer came as a terrible blow to the prominent chef.
Summary of Incidents
Rolf schmid narrates in biographic way his long painful struggle and fight with cancer. As he battled all those negative emotions, Rolf made a vow to himself that he would not let the disease take him down. After all, he was only 50 years old (p 22)
It was not an easy fight. The surgery, chemotherapy and medicine took a heavy toll on him. He had lost all appetite for food. However
Rolf knew that if he did not put something into his tummy, his recover)
would be severely compromised. The terrible sores inside his mo made any contact with food a painful ordeal.
To counter this, he resorted to inserting a long pipe into his gulle through which he poured in food in liquid form.
But the battle with cancer was not the cue to take things easy watch life pass by. More than anything else, Rolf’s battle with c sums up his character: A never-say-die attitude in the face seemingly insurmountable challen
The well schemed masterpiece ends with Schmid landing back to
Nairobi where he was accorded a hero’s welcome, after having been treated at the Katharinen hospital in Germany. He rejoices together with his wife Asmahan and their children. He felt himself a victor and thathe was beginning a new life.
“No need to lie” is set in Kenya. Rolf Schmid had obtained a Kenyan citizenship after staying in Kenya and working as a leading chef in
Nairobi. Places like Langata road in Kibera are mentioned in the short story where he could drive on his way to and from the job.
(p 1 31)
After the treatments in the Nairobi hospital proved to be ineffective, Rolf was referred to Katharinen Krsnkenhaus hospital in Germany, where he went with Roland for further medication. This makes the setting shift from Kenya to Germany, then back to Kenya, seeking medical attention for his cancerous condition.
The events are taking place between late December and early
January. His medication journey begun January 8, after his personal
Doctor, Mrs. Van Enk’s coming back from Mombasa, where he had gone for the Christmas celebration. It begins at the Caren Surgery.
Themes a) Struggle to survive
One Of his greatest battles in life was cancer. At 50, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. A fighter with a black belt in judo and a Weightlifter, Schmidt vowed the disease would not put him down.
He SUrvived having gone through surgery, chemotherapy and no appetite and COntinued to forge on with life, with gusto.
- a) Burdens of sickness
There is nothing that burdens Rolf, than his encounter with the throat cancer. It came after he had decided to cut weight, so that at least he, could lead a better sportsmanship life. Little had he known that he would be sick and the weight would cut down itself automatically, until the day he met Mrs. Van Enk, his private Doctor.
He was informed that his medical condition needed a lot of urgency, Dr Rupani agreed that he had to admit him and take a biopsy. After ‘
the test, it was affirmed that he was having cancer and not Aids.
(P. 1 25) the greatest problem that exposed him to more harm was that his condition was in an alarming third stage, which was second to the last stage. He realized at a very late stage that he was cancerous.
The grotesque look of the people in the radiation ward made him scared more than before. After it he become malnourished, with his skin, sagging. As if this is not enough, he was still to undergo four more chemotherapies. He says that he endured four chemo sessions for the four Saturdays preceding. He lost half of his hair and most of his beard.
In his last cancer chemo, he got sick, something that made him dismiss all the clinics, the diagnosis and prognosis. He therefore decided to go to Germany. He fought his tears back as he saw his wife Asmahan cry at the airport, as she was bidding him good bye. He had to undergo a series of treatments befor getting back to his normality.
- b) Love and friendship
Rolf Schmid is a man that makes the definition of the word friendship easier. He receives a lot of attention from his native wife and native doctors too, who are assisting in his critical condition Whatsoever.
His greatest treasure was his children.
His wishful prayer was that he was going to live and see his children grow up, play more polo, do more sculptures and be With Asmahan, His sickness really affected her wife a lot. She is seen weeping, full of tears; she tells him that God is going to be with him. That he has to remember to chant a prayer daily (p 132)His children and
Asmahan were there ready to receive him after his treatments. They rejoiced together. He was indeed thankful in the way he appreciated the staff at the Germany hospital. He feels troubled, that he did not get time to appreciate Roland, who had taken a lot of core during his sickness time, for he died a year later, of a tragic occident, before their meeting again (p 1 35)
Techniques and Language Use a) Point of view
This short story is written in the first person narrative voice. The “l” narrator is therefore the protagonist in the story and he narrates the events as he experienced them. This kind of narrative voice makes the events look very immediate to the readers.
It enhances aesthetic distance, that degree of separateness between an author and the events they present in the story. The first person narrator also helps create rapport with the readers through the informal use of humour, despite the depressing situation presented at hand.
- b) Dialogue
This is a verbal exchange between characters. Dialogue is used to develop characters and themes in the “No Need to lie”.
quite a number of dialogues throughout the text. They make us
COmprehend the thematic concern and the plot at large.
- c) Rhetorical questions
A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in which a stat formulated as a question. The question is not supposed answered, or if answered, one is expected to agree With the speaker without any contradiction.
On my way to Dr Rupani’s, my head did not stop spinning. Fee had finally gripped me. What if it is HI V? Can I live with thought of being on death row? What about the stigma?
This shows the kind of tension and fear as Rolf had as he travelling to Karen hospital for diagnosis.
Was I going to live? How bad was it? Did I have a chance? Too many questions went an answered (P. 3 )
These and other rhetorical questions give us the actual suspense created. They make the audience glued to the eyes. That the reader cannot keep the text aside, not until they have read up to the last dot.
- a) Local dialectsinformal language
The hallmark of Schmid, successful use of language is his deployment of simple English throughout. This gives the story c relaxed informal tone. It is as if the narrator is telling it to his peers.
Ndume-a male animal
Bwana — sir
Alhamdulillahi-praise be to Allah the most high
Bismillahi — it’s an Islamic exclamation meaning in the name Of their God.
This gives the story a local flavor, making the writer to create his mental picture to the audience.
- Rolf schmid
He is our narrator in the text. He is the one who had fallen victim of cancer. Cathartic effect is really developed on him by the reader, after seeing the struggle he undergoes with the treatment of cancer.
He is depicted as being assertive. He refuses to be killed by cancer.
He has a strong will and power to withstand all the woes that abides by the medication process for cancer.
He is determined, ambitious and indeed devoted.
- Dr. Rupani
Dr Rupani is quite resourceful. He admits Rolf and takes care of him in the Nairobi Hospital, together with the nurses as he is undergoing the chemo and the radiotherapies.
Asmahan is Mr. Schmids wife. She is depicted as being a caring and a loving wife to him. She is indeed helpful supportive and a concerned coastal lady, who gets to be attentive to the husband all the time.
She is quite emotional in how she really sheds tears as she bids the husband a good bye as he was flying to Germany for the further treatment.
Further she is depicted as being a religious woman who proposes that her husband be praying all the time while undergoing treatments at the hospital in Germany.
This is a Helpful, supportive and caring character.
He is dutiful; he has taken it upon him to ensure that his friend is healed. He takes him to hospital abroad.
- Is the title (No Need to Lie) appropriate? Discuss.
Activity ii. Compare the medication process in the first world the third world countries, with reference to this short story.
iii. Identify the use of suspense from the story and explain effectively it has been used.
- Identify and discuss two major themes from the text.
- Hierarchically, show the stages for battling with cancer.
13THE HANDSOMEST DROWNED MAN IN THE WORLD
BY Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” is a short story written by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1968.
Originally written in Spanish, the story was translated into English in
1 972, and was published with a collection of Mrquez’s short stories entitled Leaf Storm and Other Stories
The Latin American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez presents a true masterpiece “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”, with events occurring in a small fishing village. It’s a coastal, cliff-side town, a desert like cape with no flowers, and so little land that the inhabitants have to throw their dead over the cliffs and into the sec rather than bury them in the ground. The inhabitants are a simple group of people, who believe in myths as strongly as what they see with their eyes. It’s such a small village, that the all the men combined fit into seven boats, and there are only about twenty houses
Summary of incidents
Handsomest Drowned Man in the world” opens with a group of children playing on the beach of a small fishing village. In the waves a dark and slinky bulge is approaching. It turns out to be a drowned man, covered in seaweed, stones, and Dead Sea creatures.
(p 1 38).This drowned man has a huge impact on the village, which is changed forever by his arrival.
The men head to neighboring villages to see if the dead man belongs to one of them, while the women clean off the body and prepare it for a funeral. They will make their houses bigger and stronger and better, and dig for springs in their courtyards, and paint their houses bright colors to make Esteban’s memory eternal, and plant flowers on their cliffs so that years from now, sailors going by will see the colors and smell the scents and know that there, on those cliffs, is Esteban’s village.
Mrquez never specifies the time or place of his story, but the action takes place somewhere in Latin America. We know that we’re dealing with an isolated village, with no real modern technology, livelihood.
that its relies on fishing for
The scenery changes from start to end. At the story’s beginning, the village is simply a desert like cape with no flowers. Later we’re told that it’s arid and windless. This is a dry, ordinary, boring place to live.
It’s so ordinary, in fact, that the drowned man, a truly extraordinary guy’ has no place in it. Esteban is incompatible with the village as it first exists. And so with his arrival, Esteban transforms the village into place as extraordinary as he is.
“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” explores the which human beings overcome personal isolation through collective community. In this story, common beliefs in the fantastic bring together the members of a small fishing village.
The men, women, and children of this community are united by their common desire for self-improvement. Together, they imagine a better future for themselves, a future in which they are as extraordinary as the myths in which they all believe.
The drowning man therefore becomes a true tablet for isolation to the villagers
2) Men and Masculinity
Masculinity is narrowly defined in “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World ” Size, strength, and attractiveness are all synonymous with masculinity in this story. However, non-physical traits like compassion, humility, leadership, and modesty are also associated with the notion of what it means to be a man. A true man is defined on his physical appearance, and their physical muscle.
That, the man would not have drowned in their village, because theirs is a shanty village and therefore unable to accommodate such a handsome gigantic looking man (P. 41 )
The highest ideal of masculinity is shared and admired equally by both men and women in this story.
“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” explores the transformative effect of one dead man on an entire village. It argues that a truly great person has the power to change othersO inspire them to be better, to make them want to be extraordinary. It’s interesting that, in this story, the villager’s transformati00
originates entirely from within. The dead man is dead, after all’
which means the villagers are responsible themselves and for the
“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” means for a person to be great, and what effect such a person can
Those women, who went for flowers, to a far village, now that theirs an arid zone, came back with their friend, women from the neighboring villages. On seeing how handsome the drowning man was, they admired him a lot. They went back for more flowers.
Admiration can be directed toward, but at some point, the story teaches us, it turns inward, toward the self, and manifests as a desire for self-betterment.
Techniques and language use
- Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Gabriel Garcia Mrquez presents this work, full of sea imagery, from the title on forward. When the dead body first approaches the shore, the kids playing think he is a whale; then, a ship. He even looks like some sort of funky sea monster: “when his body washed up on the beach, they removed the clumps of seaweed, the jellyfish tentacles, and the remains of fish and flotsam, and only then did they see that it was a drowned man” (p 138). And shortly after, we’re told that “he had the smell of the sea about him and only his shape gave one to suppose that it was the corpse of a human being, because the skin was covered with a crust of mud and scales”. The women use a sailto make him a shirt.
They suppose that, if he were alive, “he would have had so much authority that he could have drawn fish out of the sea simply by calling their names”. And later they imagine “his soft, pink, sea lion hands” as he’s “stretched out like a sperm whale” (p l0).
What we see is that the drowned man is an obiect of the comes from it at the start of the story, and he is returned at the the sea, where the fish are blind and the divers die of nostalgia.
connection between the drowned man and the sea highlights his as an almost supernatural figure of mythology. He doesn’t quite belong in this world, our world.
The first thing we hear about the village is that it’s made up of twenty-odd wooden houses that had stone courtyards with no flower!
on the end of a desert like cape. Now jump to the women’!
speculations about the drowned man’s abilities: He would have put much work into his land that springs would have burst forth fron among the rocks so that he would have been able to plant flowers the cliffs.
Immediately we’ve got contrast between the world of the villagers and that of the drowned man. His arrival is like a splash of color against their grey landscape. If the village is dry and colorless, the drowned man brings with him the possibility of lively springs and bright flowers.
And sure enough, this possibility is soon realized. As the women prepare for the drowned man’s funeral, they go to get flowers from neighboring villages. They return with other women who could not believe what they had been told, and those women wer back for more flowers when they saw the dead man, and they brought more and more until there were so many flowers and so many people that it was hard to walk about
They were going to paint their house fronts gay colors to make
Esteban’s memory eternal and they were going to break their backs digging for springs among the stones and planting flowers on the cliffs so that in future years at dawn the passengers on great liners would awaken, suffocated by the smell of gardens the high seas.
This is a far cry from the desert like cape we first met at the beginning of the story.
ThirdPerson (Limited Omniscient)
might be tempting to label this story is told from an omniscient point of view. After all, the narrative gets into the heads of many different villagers at many different times. But realize that all the information get is from the perspective of the villagers we are limited to their we know what they know, and only what they know. At first, the children playing think the drowned man is a ship, and then a whale.
We don’t know he’s a man until they realize he’s a man. The villagers never know where the drowned man came from, so neither does we.
They think he is called Esteban, so for the purposes of the story, he is
This is a style in writing which the writer refers to a statement or quotations of incidents to clarify a point
When the men came with the news that the drowned man was not from the neighboring village, the women, with iubilation, chanted in the midst of their tears, “praise the lord, ” they sighed “he’s ours” this makes us to comprehend their social set up under the religious perspective.
The Story alludes to Homer’s Odyssey — mentions the Sirens “Some sailors who heard the weeping from a distance went off course, and
People heard of one who had himself tied to the mainmast, remembering ancient fables about sirens”
Refers to the crying during Esteban’s funeral and the crying is like the ring songs of the sirens. Esteban is a “myth”
Characterization a) The Drowned Man (Esteban)
Although he is a stranger-and a dead stranger at that*steb plays a central role in the villagers’ lives. He does not speak, yethis j face and his body speaks for him, telling the villagers how sorry he is to be such a bother, large and cumbersome as he is.
They intuit that he is ostentatious, stoic, dignified, kind and considerate, yet authoritative enough to command the fish to jump into his boat when he is fishing. The women of the village find him
“speaking” to them in other ways, making them compare their husbands to his splendid size and handsome features.
They are certain that he would be have been embarrassed of his huge size and the inconvenience it caused those around him, and even now, the hassle it’s causing the villagers in trying to bury his huge body. The drowned man is given an honorary family and a beautiful funereal ceremony.
- a) The Women
The women respond to Esteban with care, then admiration, then longing, and finally, ownership.
We know more about the women of the village than we do about the men, simply because we spend more time in their perspective. Much of the characterization of the drowned man comes from the women. That is, it isn’t the drowned man being characterized as much the women’s idea of the drowned man that is described.
They are the ones who see his physical prowess and then imagine his character. They imagine the life he would have led, and the way he might have fit into their village. And it is the women who give to the drowned man the name of Esteban.
Therefore, this makes them to be hard working in the way they dedicate themselves towards seeking flowers, welcoming, observant that the drowned man is Esteban and concerned, with his welfare of getting a proper burial.
- b) The Men
Men are perceived as being concerned and dedicated. They carry the drowned man from the beach to the nearest house. On noticing that he is heavier than any man they’ve ever seen. They wonder if the water got into his bones, or if maybe he kept growing after he died.
They also recognize how embarrassed the drowned man must have been of his size during his life, and they “shudder” at the thought of
“Esteban’s sincerity ” They have begun to gain focus. At the funeral, the women and the men are aware of the smallness of their village in comparison with the greatness of the drowned man. They vow that, from now on, they will work to make their village worthy of Esteban.
Activity l. Superstition is rampart in our contemporary society. Discuss with reference from this story.
- Identify two instances of similes and show their significance in the story.
- Discuss magical realism, with reference to the story above.
- How did the villagers come to know of the drowned man?
- Construct sentences using the following words from the passage to show their meaning:
- a) a) Mainmast b) Grumbling c) Frivolity d) Fantasy e) Pecking
- 1 STONES BOUNCE ON WATER.
By: Dilman dila
Dilman Dila, the author of this short story is a Ugandan writer and filmmaker. He is also a social activist. He has written several shori stories. Dila has had several short stories published in both online and print magazines over the years. Most of Dila’s short films have appeared in several international film festivals, including Clermont”
Ferrand in France, Durban in South Africa and on SKY TV.Summaryd the events
Events begin in Meg’s house, who is married to Joe Paulson a man they met in London as she was doing her studies. They have invited guests who are enjoying themselves with the African climate. It comes to an open up that peter and Chelsea are drawing something on board. Winnie is quite aware in the way she reacts. She even
Chelsea off that she is having an affair with her husband peter
She keeps on being suspicious that someone is planning to assassinate her, now that she is the chairperson of a charity board. A charitable organization that worked to improve the health and education facilities of the Simon’s county. The charity group is quoted as not paying tax, and making a lot of money (p 1 48)
Meanwhile, Winnie says that she is not comfortable with Simon the narrator being their cook as he can poison her. This comes after her taking a sip of Meg’s intoxicated tea mistakenly. This makes Simon and all the other cooks sneak out and away not to come back for job, leaving behind food in the cooking stove (p 1 53)
That morning, Winnie goes missing. She had locked herself her room clone but they couldn’t find her in the morning. The case is reported to sergeant Pascal Kivumbi, who investigates only to learn that she had been killed and dumped on the pond. It becomes clear that indeed it was a plan between Peter, Tim Chelsea and the Paulson to exterminate her (p 1 63)
This short masterpiece is taking place in a fancied independent
African state. It is in a shanty village whereby some good food is rare for VIPs. There is a nice pond whereby people who have been killed are normally thrown. The pond is associated with magic, bringing magical realism to a reality, in Dilman Dila’s work.
Simon, the narrator vividly describes the events in a past tense form, making “Stones Bounce on Water” enjoyable.
This is an act of deliberate killing of another human being. The theme
Of murder is quite open in the story. Winnie is dead. She has been killed by her friends for their own selfish gain.
‘Winnie starts to suspect of her being killed as the story unfolds
She felt it at very first time when Chelsea proposed of another honey moon in Africa.
“Winnie nearly dropped her cup at Chelsea’s remarks. The scowl returned. To hide it, she put the cup on the table and reached for a hanky to wipe her face ” (P. 1 46)
She even said it publicly that someone was trying to kill her.
“Someone’s trying to kill me!”(p 1 48)
At the end of the day, she disappears, only to be recovered at the dead dumping site, according to Simon, that is the pond.
Betrayal is fully identifiable in this story, in the way Winnie’s death being plotted. Winnie turns out to face betrayal from her friends, worse still to her husband.
Everyone turned to Winnie, for she’d dropped her spoon and her face had lost color. She was struggling to keep the food in her mouth.
She lost the battle and dumped the stuff into the napkin on her lap.
“Is that where you’ll deposit my body?” she said.
This implies that Winnie is indeed sensing the betrayal from far. Many people, including me, believe these three conspired to murder without the cooperation of the Paulsons. I became firmly convinced Of this last night, after BBC radio reported that Peter had married
Chelsea. Tim was the best man. The Paulsons skipped the wedding ‘(P 162-163)
This is Simon, the narrator, who puts things clear that betrayal was at its peak in Winnie’s death.
- I) Greed
This is actually the excessive yearning or desire for more than it’s needed. This is especially desire for money, wealth, food, or other material possessions.
Tim and his friends yearn for Winnies chair ship, and wealth to a point of eradicating her.
‘The Yard discovered that Tim called a poacher in Kenya shortly before Tim came to Uganda, but they couldn’t prove that the poacher provided Tim with the dart gun ‘ (p 1 62)
However, their greed doesn’t succeed.
“The publicity hurt the Paulsons charity so much that it ceased all activities two years after Winnie’s death. They now live a quite life in their mansion. They are volunteer teachers at a local school. I don’t work for them anymore ” (p 1 62)
Winnie’s lawyers fought to prevent Tim, Peter and Chelsea from inheriting her money and Gala, but after the trail, there was no reason why they couldn’t.
This is a pretense of holding beliefs, feelings, or opinions that one does not actually possess. When one applies criticism to others, or actually the moral self contradiction in that case whereby you plan good things with your ‘in-quotes’ friends leads to hypocrisy.
innie is living with friends who in deed are foes and at the end of the day decides to kill her. As illustrated below:
“Peter, ” Winnie hissed, “when I die the police will question you first.
You won’t mention that we quarrel every day, will you? You won’t mention that we quarrel every time we go to bed, so I better publicize it (P. I 52)
This illustration now clearly indicates that peter is cheating on
Winnie, with Chelsea “Shut up!” Peter shot out of his chair, banging (tis fist on the table at the same time. He upset a glass
You won t shut me up! You are cheating on me with Chelsea!”
“Oh Winnie!” Chelsea said “Don’t you Oh Winnie me!” (P.l 52)
Techniques and language use a) Narrative voice
First person narrative voice is a narration that has been told from the perceptive of a first person narrator. The T narrator is therefore the protagonist in the story and he narrates the events as he experienced them. This kind of narration makes the events to be quite immediate to the reader and hence, it becomes engaging to read. Dilman Dila also uses present tense intertwined with the usual past tense in this story about events that happened in the past. It is as if he is giving commentary on the event. A rapport therefore between the narrator, Simon, and the reader is created.
- b) Vivid description
One of the ways through which an author can make hisher works to be tangible, enjoyable, and memorable and eye catching is by using vivid description. It’s through vivid description that the thematic concern of a story floats in the reader’s sea. Below are some of the descriptions in the story. At this time of the year, the hundred feet wide pond had green slime on its surface. Flowery vegetation draped the mountain of rocks that formed a ring around the water. White stones pocked the muddy shore. Several bird species flew about, chirping and singing to add beauty to the scene. We followed the cop to the pond. It looked like a paradise that morning. The encircling cliff of white rocks draped in vegetation stood clear against a blue sky, casting a shadow that offered solace from the sun’s heat rays. Where there was no slime, the water sparkled in calmness. The birds chirped louder than ever, and darted about in larger numbers than I’d ever seen (PI 59)
- a) Dialogue
A series of dialogue has been employed in this story. This is discourse between two or more characters in a work of art.
“l am Sergeant Pascal Kivumbi, ” he said ”
Sub County Police
– a title that doesn’t exist-“Where is the missing
That question scared the people on the porch more than his appearance did (p 1 54)
Dialogue creates a sense of immediacy in the text, and an illusion of reality. It appears as if we are listening to the narration a video watching it, making the story appeal to almost all the senses.
Characterization i) Winnie
Winnie is a character who appears to be quite suspicious, “Just paranoid! Why did you go with that cook to the pond? He’s the cook, Tim! He can poison my food!”
She seems probing and observant in this excerpt “He took you to that pond to show you where you can deposit my body after he’s poisoned me! Didn’t he?”
The flow of events in the story gains momentum through her.
- ii) Simon
Simon is the narrator of Stones Bounce on Water. He is a cook who is working at Meg’s home, together with some two other young men. He spears to be comical. However, he is concerned and remorseful; in the way he is deeply concerned by the death of Winnie, and finds all the details, even after Winnie’s death.
iii) Sergeant Pascal Kivumbi
Sergeant Pascal is an ambitious, self driven man, who is committed to Performing his duty as a police officer. He works with a lot of
C Ompetence and prowess. He is a hard working, confident man, who doesn’t give up, not until he gets to find out the route course of innies death.
In line with the war, children are also recruited into war as soldiers.
Mostly this is done against their will and they end up missing on their childhood. Kamara is tortured and eventually amputated by child soldiers who are her age mates. She pleads with one child soldier to have mercy on her as she is his age but the child soldier hears none of that. Victims of violence and conflicts are forced to live under pathetic conditions. Kamara, her cousins and aunt have to live in a camp for amputees in Freetown. This camp is full of filthy litter and full of dirty bodies. More so they are forced to beg on the streets to get what to eat. Children who undergo such violence like what Kamara goes through have psychological torture. Kamara mentions that she is enrolled in high school before she is swallowed by thoughts of her past and family. It’s very clear that conflicts, which are mostly fueled by hatred has detrimental effects on innocent, children and women. They are the ones who suffer the greatest brunt of such. They suffer a lot, they are handicapped, displaced from their homes, are forced to live in pathetic conditions and some even lose their lives.
LDiscuss the traits of Ali Mahfouz as brought out in this story ALMOST
HOME by Barry McKinley.
Ali Mahfouz is the main character in the short story “Almost Home”.
He faces an imminent deportation from Ireland. He exhibits a lot of traits as he attempts to fight back against the deportation. The writer paints Ali as deceitful. He tells people that he is a medical student and even puts a picture on face book that shows him at the surgeons’ college with college books yet the books are only telephone directories. He only does menial jobs in Ireland for survival but he has not gone to study medicine.
In addition he walks with little white buds in his ears as if he is listening to music from the iPod yet he doesn’t even know how to load the gadget with music.
Ali is Hardworking as he does all kinds of jobs in Ireland to cater his upkeep. For instance he slices kebab meat; while working for tw
Egyptian brothers, also he power-washes cars, scrubs pots and wipes tables.
When he just arrives in Ireland, Ali makes many friends. He is quite charming and sociable. He Makes Slattery to laugh all the time despite being in a serious situation this brings
Ali is Stubborn, He has been warned by Tarrant not to cause any problem while they travel yet he attempts to escape twice.
Furthermore, the government has tried to deport him twice, where every time he is disruptive on the plane threatening of blowing up the plane with a bomb in his possession. Despite all these he still lives in Ireland.
With all the attempts to be deported from Ireland, Ali tries all means to prevent it from happening- He threatens to blow up the plane twice; he attempts to escape from Slattery and Tarrant in
France and Spain. As a last resort he decides to drown himself in sea provided it is a way to escape from being deported. This brings out his determined nature. Ali Observes keenly enough to note that
Slattery has good French. Ali also notes that Slattery has no wedding band despite him being in mid-thirties and handsome.
Ali loses hope with life in his country, he is disillusioned, and this is what makes him to opt and go to Ireland and seek a better life. Because of poverty, his family is cramped together in the apartment’
Ali imagines of life in prison, lack of food, clothing and having to pay bribes. This shame and fear causes him to jump into the sea.
Ali manages to stay in Ireland as an illegal migrant due to his deceitful nature, and he determinedly avoids being deported
- THE UMBRELLA MAN by Siddhartha Giaoo
Discuss the stylistic devices employed in the above story and give their effectiveness. Siddhartha Gigoo has used language distinctively in order to pass across his message. More so he has employed various styles to necessitate character development and flow of the plot. This story is told from a third person point of view, where the narrator gives us the story from what he observes. The narrator gives us what number seven does and what other inmates do in the story. This facilitates the development of the story. The writer has used vivid description extensively to bring out the picture of the confinement of the inmates in the asylum, the place with limited freedom. The area in the asylum that is allowed for movement is described as “… The wall around the one hundred and twenty-square-meter compound ninety something yards in the narrow avenue outside the gates that ended at another wall. Beyond that brick-and – stone wall was a vast darkness ”
The umbrella possessed by Number 7 is described as a yellow-andred striped, beautiful Umbrella. It was the most beautiful thing in the entire asylum, more beautiful than the bed of wild flowers along the wall. Dialogue has also been used. Number 7 converses with the barber about rain which shows Number 7’s fascination with rain. There is dialogue between doctors and Number 7. This conversation reveals change in the state of Number 7’s health such that he is free to go. He has been obedient and shown a calm disposition to facilitate his release from the asylum. The dialogue between Number 7 and his friend the puny little fellow reveals Number 7’s anticipation for freedom and the little puny fellow’s fear of destruction that can be brought about by rain.
- Discuss the major issues highlighted by the writer in the story
WINDOW SEAT by Benjamin Branoff.
Every writer sets out to pass a certain massage or communicate a particular issue to the audience through their work of art. This is the main reason why stories are written. Benjamin Branoff highlights a few concepts in the story “Window Seaf ‘To start with, the author addresses the issue of lawlessness on our roads. Vehicles should always follow traffic laws on the roads for safety. In this story however, law and order is not followed as it should be. For instance, the public transport vehicles are so much overloaded. Passengers are literally packed. Conductors carry excess passengers as the narrator says a mini-van meant to carry ten passengers now carries twenty four of them. It even becomes worse when it comes to rush hour where they carry twenty eight with others standing. The drivers also bribe the traffic policemen in order to get away with this crime. Even when things seem to be okay with the vehicle the policemen solicit for bribes to an extent of removing the car keys from the ignition. The bribe here is a very powerful voice that the police use to silence the adamant drivers. The passengers suffer on these roads. The narrator says that one learns no to commit to a long road because of discomfort. However, they don’t seem to care or they are used to it. They even smack their lips loudly when the policemen take bribes but they don’t take any step. It is even because of overloading that makes it easy for Kanga to rob the narrator.
Poverty is also portrayed in this story. The people at the bus stop ar*
said to be in sandals and others are barefoot. This means that cannot afford better shoes. The passengers could be suffering in silence in the overloaded daladala because of poverty. This is because they pay less money for fare. The narrator describes Kanga that shehaso trim figure probably caused by a lifetime of hard work and deprivation of luxuries. This shows that she cannot afford luxuries.
We also think that what made her to steal from the narrator is poverty.
The aggressiveness of touts in town is also a sign of poverty. This iso society where one must struggle to make ends meet. That’s why they scream and shout and also convince people to take their daladala. Corruption is also evident in this story especially on the roads where the policemen who were supposed to guarantee safety on the roads take bribes and also collude with drivers in order to escape facing the law. The corrupt police officers seem to have taken bribes as their rights because even if the vehicle has everything right they force the drivers’ submission by taking the keys from ignition. The word Mzungu means a white man. The Africans call them this to mean he is from the white race. The Africans see this man, (the narrator) as more superior than them and use even a spectacle that he is using public transport. When the guard greets him at the city
Chuo everybody turns to see him. Africans perceive the white men as rich and wealthy that’s why Kanga robs him in the vehicle. The narrator chooses to date Monique a French girl because sheisfre#*
their race. He says, ‘I should be with the French girl La fille becau*
French women absolutely like American men ‘
Major issues that can be related to our day to day lives are highlighted in the story. Such issues such as corruption, poverty and lawlessness on our roads need to be dealt with for better life.