Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell Essay

Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell Essay

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Beka Lamb, written by Belizean author Zee Edgell, is an influential novel written in 1982. The novel is created around Beka and Belize; she is an adolescent who lives in an adolescent country. Beka struggles with day to day growing pains of a fourteen year old girl living in Belize during the 1950’s. Affected by normal adolescence, Beka also faces the complications of the Belizean society and culture, which is struggling with the move from colonialism to independence. Zee Edgell wrote Beka Lamb to consist of seven months of Beka’s life; however within the seven months Beka’s life changes drastically.
Belize has some of the same social hindrances today as they did in the 1950’s, almost 63 years later, such as gender inequality. Beka, the protagonist, has a best friend name Toyce who is a seventeen year old girl attending school with Beka. Both of them attend a Catholic Private school, until Toyce became pregnant during her last year of school and is expelled. However, Emilio, the boy who impregnated Toyce, did not face any consequences. Toyce’s pregnancy, abandonment of Emilio, and expulsion from school led Toyce to her own demise after suffering mental issues. The chain of events which led to Toyce’s death is prevalent because it displays that gender differences in Belize, which also affected Beka. Toyce was left alone, pregnant and uneducated while Emilio continued his education to become a success in Belize. Toyce was Beka’s idol at the beginning of the book, but her death caused Beka to reevaluate her life and decisions. In fact after Toyce’s death, Beka won a writing contest, which gave her a feeling of accomplishment and relief. Beka realized that she could be more than a Belizean living in poverty and living her life thoug...


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... strive to be great. This support system is lacking for many young women in Belize; therefore, this is an important part of the conclusion because it shows growth.
The novel Beka Lamb is both symbolic of Belize’s growth to independence and young girls fight for her innocence and success. Beka experienced a lot of growth and pain in the seven month picture the reader is given. During the seven months Beka went from failing every class, lying, stealing, and overall disappointing her family, to an upstanding student and writing contest winner. Beka lost a friend who she idolized, but with her loss she gained independence and a new perspective of her capabilities. Over all, Beka transformed into a new young woman despite her trials and tribulation. I believe Beka is symbolic to the growth of Belize as the author intended to give the reader a glimpse into her country.

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