Conflict and Contradiction Childhood has always been a time of a persons formation. They say that experience a child has had in this age plays an important role in his or her future, in his/her attitude towards the world around them and towards people. The period is considered to be turns point in whole their lives. Family and parents are those people who help a child to understand the world. They can influence his or her opinion and help to overcome difficulties. If there is a lack of contact with parents, if a child is alone in his fears and troubles there is a risk for him to grow up a rude, ill-natured or reserved person. The plot of the both stories takes place in small settlements.
Main characters live and grow up in rural areas. There is a lack of social life in the places like those. But a great power of Nature and good people they met helped a young girl and a boy to survive and not loose the belief in the beauty of life. The Cure for Death by Lightning is a story of Beth Week. She lived on the poor isolated farm of Turtle Valley, British Columbia. She was fifteen.
It was the age when the girl is neither a child nor an adult. It was the age full of conflicts and contradictions. In the book two different worlds influence Beth greatly. Her experience is a result of interaction of those worlds. Both the father-daughter relationship and the woman-house-nature relationship are strong markers. that stands as a marker of the boundary between nature and civilization.
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(Levy) Both worlds are like .war zones, refugee camps, and sites of resistance (Levy) for young Beth. The heroine in that difficult age of self-contradiction could not find a home for herself and came to conclusion that her own home is no longer a safe space. As the boundaries of home are undermined by abuse, the difference between inside and outside becomes unclear, blurring the distinction between events in the external world, and imagined worlds.(Levy) Beths father was an abusive man. Beth saw the way he treated her mother and it cost her anger followed by a long despondency. The girls father treats himself bad not only with her and her mother but towards town people. Thats why her house .is marked as abnormal by town gossip.
(Levy) Beth meets the darkness within her own family. She is forced into convention by her fathers and mothers behavior; though her freedom-loving nature looks for the strength to refuse their influence. She tries to escape from ‘civilization’ of house and town; though she is told about the Indian reserve: You heard things then, about the reserve, how white women were raped, how children were beaten (Anderson-Dargatz, 46).
Beth got lost in her feelings and emotions. She found herself much happier with the Native Americans. They were close to nature and could feel its beauty.
Through Beths eyes we can see the West Coast landscape, full of beauty and mysteries. The beauty of wild nature was mixed in with realistic harshness of life on the farm. Beth is drawn to the reserve where she is tolerated rejecting the town where she is a pariah. (Levy ) Anderson-Dargatz shows several ways that form Beths attitude towards men. From the one hand she follows her father’s incest compulsion; from the other hand she has a salvation from the ‘civilized’ world in the form of cruel but natural Coyote. In the novel Coyote seems to symbolize the breakdown in ‘white’ civilization( Levy) Betha Moses, a woman from Nation Reserve, tells Beth how they, Indians, treat towards white people: “Did you know your ancestors, you white people, came from Coyote? You are his children.
Motherhood is Womanhood: The Identity of Woman in Buchi Emechetafs The Joys of Motherhood Danielle Grant Let it be known that Buchi Emecheta, the author of The Joys of Motherhood, does not consider herself a feminist. She has said herself that she identifies much more with the term gwomanist. h Whatever you call it, Emecheta clearly identifies with the plight of the Nigerian Woman in her novel The ...
That’s why you act like that. Always greedy. Got to have everything for yourselves. Always got your mouths open, yipping and yapping. Always chasing your tail, round and round. Rush, rush. Always telling fibs.” (Anderson-Dargatz, 165) In deadly reality of the male violence around her, Beth felt herself isolated and afraid.
In her imagination there was no place for a good man. She was pursued with a cruel reality (her father) and an Indian spirit, Coyote. Beth is offered the two explanations of the presence of evil in the world. “Mrs. Bell said all dirt was evil, and it was a Christian woman’s duty to scrub evil away . .
. Evil was what crept into your night dreams and made a sinner of you. . . . A woman must guard against the evil men brought into the house on their boots.” ( Anderson-Dargatz, 16) Betha describes Coyote as “not a bad guy exactly. .
. . But he’s a clown, a scary little clown, like that Hitler. . . .
Always beating his women. Stealing women. Killing women. . . . He doesn’t know about shame, not until the end” (Anderson-Dargatz, 170) Beth begins to understand that Coyote does not exist separately. He represents something homeless that is always looking for human hosts.
He moves .restlessly from (male) body to body, invading and possessing. (Levy) Beth heard Coyotes moving, roaring for her. She seemed to see his footprints or sometimes trials of blood and so on. This fear rose up just as her life became unbearable. For Beth Coyote represents her father animal embodiment: When they had their fill, the shadows sighed, came together, and took the form of my father. (Anderson-Dargatz, 264).
Beths mother and father were guilty in all Beths contradictions: her father constantly humiliated her; and her mother did not help her understand the pleasures, strength and satisfaction of womanhood as well as its trials. Beth had to struggle with her fears in a cruel world herself. She wanted to be independent from woman-house indifference of her mother, cruelty of her father and Robert Parker’s sexual humiliation, from conventions of the town inhabitants for whom her family was outcasts.
Dec 10, 2002 Chicano Lit Prof. Roberto Cantu Final Paper Clemente Chacon The book I chose for my research paper is Clemente Chacon by Jose Antonio Villarreal. This book deals with existential circumstances about a boy, which grows up on the Mexican side of the border and through crossing into the United States, he slowly rises into a high position in the Anglo-American business world. What is ...
She found refuge in friendship with Native people: Nora, her mother Betha Moses and Filthy Billy. Emboldened by their loving attention and her own growing need for independence, Beth ventures further and further from the oppressive atmosphere of her home, defying her father’s rules and her mother’s passivity and braving a world turned dark by a war far away and by inexplicable acts of violence erupting in her once peaceful community. (Levy) Her mother kept a scrapbook. That was her private record. The scrapbook was for her mother like a sanctuary of feeling and secretes. Like her mother Beth creates her own diary a private place, a safe place in which to sort things out (Anderson-Dargatz, 287).
Beth wants to find a place where nobody can invade. The half-Native girl Nora and Beth decided to rebuild a winter house on the reserve. The girls thought that it would give the freedom from convention of their oppressive household. “It’ll be our house. No-one can find us. We’ll bring stuff there.
Food and blankets and things, and make a house. It’ll be hidden” (Anderson-Dargatz, 133) Nora embodied Beths wish for freedom. But at the end of the story the girls followed different ways. Nora .exchanges her house for the whole world while for Beth home is a habit, posited somewhere between natural (Levy) The main heroine understands that her home is not the best place for her but she cannot break connections with a world of reality. ‘”It’s home … I don’t know anything else”‘ (Anderson-Dargatz, 283).
There is an analogy between Beth and the blood turtles.
Beth, like turtles, is not really free from convention. The turtles on the road were killed while trying to reach their homes (a place to lay their eggs).
Like turtles, Beth returns to her ordinary life. But she struggles with dignity for love in such an emotionally poor society. She cannot overcome reality and convention though she has obtained new experience that will be helpful in future. The main character of the next book Who Has Seen the Wind is Brian Sean MacMurray O’Connal. The author W.O. Mitchell made an attempt to find harmony within oneself and the world one lives in through following the life of a boy from a little settlement, Saskatchewan town.
A MATTER OF DAYS Some people believe that animals have an intrinsic right to liberty and, therefore they conclude all zoos are inherently wrong. In the early 1960's, parents sent over 14, 000 Cuban children to the United States unaccompanied - dubbed by the press Operation Pedro Pan (Gannon 133). The children who fled the country left due to oppression and the communistic ideals of their leader ...
Every day was full of new emotions and feelings for little Brian. As Mitchell wrote in the preface to the book Brian tried to understand “ultimate meaning of the cycle of life”. To him are revealed in moments of fleeting vision the realities of birth, hunger, satiety, eternity, death. They are moments when an inquiring heart seeks finality, and the chain of darkness is broken. (Mitchell, preface) In the beginning of the story Brian was only four. He had a lot of questions and often found himself confused and bombarded by the contradicting forces around him.
He wanted to find the right way out but soon understood that the only right way is inside his soul. Brian’s search for truth, for meaning in death and therefore in life, is central to his education. In each of these phases Brian is confronted with the basic elements of human experience: birth and death, love and hatred, freedom, confinement and responsibility, judgment and mercy. (McLay) When Brian was a little boy his father taught him something about the world around the boy. Though Brian’s father did not explained everything truly but he played an important role in helping Brian understood birth, death and the true meaning of life. The death of his dog, Jappy, was a real shock for him.
Brian thought that the dog would be always doing the things that he had always done. For the first time the boy felt pain and emptiness inside his shattered soul. When his father died Brian was only ten. He had a difficult time. The boy did not know how society expected him to act. For many children fathers mean the world, they begin to cry losing their fathers.
But he did not want to cry. “It was like getting a licking and trying to make yourself cry so you wouldn’t get it so hard.”( Mitchell, 238).
But after a while the boy understood that his father had gone forever. Reality strokes him and finally he felt grief and cried. He thought that his father was his mentor throughout each happening about birth and death. His fathers death was a bitter truth for Brian.
The author shows two main forces that have influenced and formed Brians attitude towards the world around him: the people who inhabit the prairie and the inhabitance of the town. One of the founding messages in W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind is that the ideal citizen must help bridge the gap between the dialectical tension of rural and urban environments; between society and the vast Canadian prairie. This connection is in attempt to find harmony within oneself and the world one lives in. (Robertson) Mrs. Abercrombie and the fanatical Rev. Mr.
Both Wes Moore’s grew up without their fathers in their lives. Wes Moore’s father was taken away from him at an early age due to illness. His father had acute epiglottitis. Until the death of Wes Moore he had a close relationship. While The Other Wes Moore’s father choice to be absent from his child’s life. In the book we read that he tried to see The Other Wes Moore one ...
Powelly were typical representatives of the town’s “ignorance, sterility and insensitivity” (Hulet, 66).
Mrs. Abercrombie was active in church work, the Red Cross, Daughters of the Empire, the Eastern Star, the library board, the local relief committee for the unfortunates of the dried-out area. Through those committees she picked her way with a deliberateness that brooked no contradiction. By virtue of her rings, the dignity of her husband’s work, a trip they had taken to Europe six years before, and a certain conscienceless insensitivity to what others thought, her social position in the town was unassailable. (Mitchell 57) Mrs. Abercrombie embodied the world of convention that Brian was expected to join. But his little soul was against it.
The extreme opposite to Mrs. Abercrombie was St. Sammy. He was a homeless crazy man. He lived out in the prairie. St. Sammy symbolized the freedom and openness of the land for young Brian.
He taught the boy to respect the nature. He represented the power of simplicity. Once, St. Sammy explained to Brian his understanding of the Biblical creation story. He told that God created a man because “there ain’t nobody fer to till this here soilHe took Him some top soil n made her into the shape of a man” (Mitchell, 227).
According to his point of view humans were not created to rule above all things on the land but that they were born out of the soil themselves. St.
Sammy believed that humankind had no supremacy over nature. Brian noticed that the man had been alive as he had never been before, passionate for the thing that slipped through the grasp of his understanding and eluded him. If only he could throw his cap over it” (Mitchell, 229) The main character always looks for a way to escape from reality. Since he became older, the prairie became a very special place for him. He thought it was “the best place to feel God and be inspired by Him is on the prairie” (Mitchell, 15) St. Sammy and his Uncle Sean helped him and taught how to respect the land and work with it.
Sammy, the main character in John Updike's short story A&P, is smitten with the three bikini clad girls that have just entered the store. He is so distracted that he double rings the HiH o crackers and hears about the mistake from the register conscious customer. Judging from the descriptive narrative of the girls and their attire, Sammy is quite overwhelmed with all the desires of a nineteen ...
Brian’s Uncle Sean was a farmer. He did not take care of political or social actions; but he had a strong belief that people all together would be able to change something for better. Look at the garden I had n that wasn’t luck n irrigation did it! An’ if we got the whole district n if we did something n all of us n to help ourselves, mebbe we could git help! (Mitchell, 243) But Uncle Sean “does not want Brian to lose his ability to communicate with society, with the townspeople, by becoming imbalanced in his behaviour” (Hulet 75).
He understood rather well that .the land is just as consequential as the town. (Hulet 75).
Brian was lucky because there were a lot of good townspeople who were good citizens and helped him to understand conflicts between freedom and convention, between town and nature, between a real citizen and conventional one.
Townspeople like Mr. Hislop, Milt Palmer, Miss Thompson, and especially Mr. Digby are supportive and tolerable in regard to the people and places around them. They are very crucial to the town’s stability. Without citizens like them the young Ben would never have been released from the confinements of school ( Robertson) But the person who influenced Brians mind most of all was Mr. Digby. He had a good sense of morals. He tried to explain the cycle of life and how human beings can incorporate with nature.
But, most of all, he taught Brian how to treat to people around him. While Brian was a small boy, at school, Mr. Digby taught him very friendly how to behave with his teacher Miss MacDonald “We . . . want to help you.
You want people to like you, don’t you?” “You want to get along with people. You want to grow up to be . . . Miss MacDonald is your teacher now. You must do as she says. It’s like — it’s like .
. .” “You do what your mother tells you,” he pried. “You don’t disobey her.” (Mitchell, 37) Good people and the great love to his native land gave Brian knowledge life. At the end of the story Brian was a growing and maturing young man. He had only just begun his search in discovering the true meaning of life; but the chain of darkness is broken. And Brian will come of age, choosing to become a soil doctor to serve his community and his country.( McLay)
The Role of the Ideal Citizen: W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind. University of Calgary, 2002. http://irena.blackmill.net/509/essays/robertson.ht ml Catherine, McLay. Biocritical Essay: The W.O. Mitchell Papers Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1986. http://www.ucalgary.ca/lib-old/SpecColl/mitchell/b iocrit.htm Gail, Anderson-Dargatz. The Cure for Death by Lightning. Anchor, 1997.
Hulet, Tera Lyn. The Sense of Place in W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind. A thesis presented to the Department of English, Brigham Young University, August 1978. Mitchell, W.O. Who Has Seen the Wind. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1972. Sophie, Levy.
‘This dark echo calls him home’ Writing Father-Daughter Incest Narratives in Canadian Immigrant Fiction. UTPJOURNALS, University of Toronto: Quarterly. Vol. 71, 4, 2002. http://www.utpjournals.com/product/utq/714/714_lev y.htm.