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In the book Nectar in sieve teaches us a lot of things is strong , but one of the most easily seen his how the family were able to stick together ,even through the hard times. Through the times of drought which was the hardest times ,even though teo of the sons died they did what they could to , for there family even if it meant stuffer for me. Which both sons did till they died. When Rukmani and her family had a terrible time with the bad season for farming and lack of food, they do not try to do anything to solve their problem. Instead they just thought times will be better soon even though they know it is not possible.Times are not be better for many months. Meanwhile you will suffer and die, you meek suffering fools. Why can't you people cry out for help?? (Markandaya Nectar In a sieve, pg. 48) No matter how many times Kenny told them to beg for help but still they never listened. Most people in India starved and died,
Lawino has never been to school because she is a girl and girls were not suppose to go to school. They are supposed to learn to be good wives to their husbands. Mothers educated their daughters about cooking cleaning and etc. Lawino only learnt from her mother. Her mother only trained her the ways of the Acoli. She does not know how to cook on the electric stoves, but only the Acoli stoves. She doesn't know how to dance the white mans dance but only the Acoli dances. She doesn't know how to tell time but only knows it by instinct. And because she does not know the western way she cannot understand the western culture. Her husband Ocol thinks that Lawino is like a small dog, a puppy. He compares her to a puppy because a puppy is fragile and young and does not know anything much.
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Another important image of animals that is also in the book is how Ocol tries to become what he is not. A black person cannot become a white person even if they try, because the skin is always there and everyone can see. If you are trying to be what you are not, you are only deceiving yourself. The African is black and always remain black no matter what. This is why Lawino says:
" The graceful giraffe cannot become a monkey"(page 50)
Lawino is trying to say that even though her husband is trying to be what he is not, he will always be an Acoli. Even if he can read and write in the white man's language and eat and talk like the white man, he can never change his blood and his black skin color. Ocol is trying to be what he calls modernized. And because of this he thinks he is better then the black people. Lawino used the animals the monkey and the giraffe because a giraffe is tall and proud and a monkey because it is shy animal to describe Ocol. She says that Ocol is supposed to be a good, afican Acoli man. But even thought he is trying to be a monkey, he will never be one.
Ocol is what Lawino would call a white man in a black skin. Because he left the Acoli culture for the white mans culture. To Ocol the white mans culture is better then the Acoli. This is shown through out the book. As he constantly tells his wife that she doesn't know how to do the things that white people do and therefore he doesn't want her. His arrogant behavior is shown when he doesn't eat the food of the Acoli and he doesn't want his family to visit him. He doesn't want his mother to visit him. And he doesn't want them to sleep in his house because he thinks that the Acoli people are dirty and evil. He says that black people are primitive and their ways are utterly harmful. (Page 36) He also says their dances are mortal sins and that they are ignorant, poor and diseased. Ocol has completely abandoned the ways of the Acoli. Because Ocol thinks he is " modern man" because he can read and write unlike his wife. This is why Lawino says that he is the dog of the white man.
But you behave like
A dog of the white man!
A good dog please its master,
It barks at night
And hunts in the salt lick
It chases away wild cats
That comes to steal the chicken!''(Page 115)
This quote shows that Ocol has become like a well-trained dog to the white people, he listens to them and does what the white people tell him to do. When a dog folds its tail between the legs when the master it calls, it shows that the dog respects the master. Lawino says that her husband really respects the white men. And therefore he has become like the dog, and the white people are the masters. He follows like a dog and when commanded, the dog does what is told. And to Lawino her husband has forgotten that he his self is black, and that he was born as an Acoli.
In this quotation Lawino feels bad for her husband and cries for him, because he cannot see what she sees. She wishes for her husband to stop being a white and to come back to being the black, African Acoli she knows. She wants him to know how he feels about him. And she wants him to change.
In conclusion song of Lawino, show how she used animals to explain what she means. And she shows how much the western culture is changing and it is clearly seen through out the book that Lawino is not a woman lost between two cultures but loves her culture. She does not want to leave behind the culture she has grown up with. She thinks the Acoli culture is better than the white mans culture. In fact Lawino feels sorry for her husband, who is the "white mans dog". Her husband exposes Lawino to the new culture, which is already lost in the new white mans culture. Lawino thinks this new culture is not fit for the black people but for white people and does not believe in it. In the song of Lawino imagery is used to describe Lawino's thoughts about the white culture. The imagery used in my essay is imagery that showed how the culture is really changing. This is a symbolizes Ocol's behavior. Ocols behavior is shown in how he talks to his wife and calling her a puppy. How he tries to pretend to be what he is not, like a graceful giraffe cannot become a monkey. And how he has become a white man.