The Rain Child, Margaret Laurence

Keywords: the rainfall child, rainwater child analysis, laurence the rainwater child

Margaret Laurence (1928-1987) is one of the most beloved freelance writers in Canada, she was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1972 that presents her reputation. Also 'The range and the quality of her work made her the best and accomplished of the authors of the 1960s' (New 265). She started out to create from get older 7, but nothing of her experiences was printed until she relocated to Africa, where she lived for seven years because of her husband's job. Her first released fiction, the Uncertain Flowering, was followed by several short stories, published in various journals, that were collected inside the Tomorrow-Tamer in 1963. The Rainwater Child is one of the short tales, which pieces in Africa and was influenced by Laurence's experience as a minority there. In addition, she regarded the 'section between their [Africans'] traditional ancestral history and their modern-day partly Westernized present' (New 265).

The plot of the story is fairly simple; an African woman, Ruth, who may have been informed in England steps back again to Africa with her father, and becomes a student in Eburaso Women' School where the narrator, Miss Violet Nedden is the English tutor. Her integration, her identity problems and behavioral changes are informed by Miss Nedden. These themes are available in the other brief stories as well, because they 'concentrate frequently on outsiders striving to handle their own identities' (New 266). In addition, Laurence shows 'special sympathy for those, both African and European, who no longer fully belong anywhere' (The Oxford Friend ti Canadian Literature 634) in her brief stories.

The main motif in The Rain Child is personality because every main persona has individuality problems. The narrator, Neglect Nedden is an English girl who relocated to Africa to instruct and she's put in there twenty-two years, but she did not turn into a real African, however she has adapted herself to the circumstences easier than her boss, Pass up Hilda Povey. Miss Povey is more close-minded than Neglect Nedden as she says at the start of the storyplot, 'twenty-seven years here [Africa]. . . and she still sensed acutely unpleasant with African parents'. Pass up Nedden is more open-minded, for example, she gives up to teach Daffodils and turns to Akan's poetry, and she joins to the girls when they go to the Odwira. On the other hand to her achieved integration, Miss Nedden continues her English personality, for instance, her garden seat which is similar to a throne on her behalf, and the audience can also sense the superiority over Africans in her thinking. However, she also cannot be a real English woman after spending so a long time in Africa. As she says it by the end of the short report: 'I think of that island of gray rain where I have to go as a stranger, when enough time comes'.

The other main personality, Ruth, is also struggling with identity problems because she's lived in England before she relocated back to Africa with her daddy. She seems African with her darkish skin but she cannot speak the Twi, the terminology of the region and she does not know a great deal about the African culture and traditions. For her, everyone seems peculiar and somehow barbarian with the original African clothes that they wear after classes and their odd beliefs, for illustration: Yindo's talisman. She does not feel as she is at home, she wishes to return to Britain: 'I wish I were again at home. ' Ruth becomes happier when she meets David, an British young man, but he makes her shocked when he says: 'I know you are not the normal kind of African. You're almost - almost just like a - like us. '. It isn't enough for Ruth, therefore she runs away to the forest and at the end of the brief storyline she leaves the institution and goes to another in the city.

Ruth's dad, Dr. Quansah also has got some kind of personality problem. He has worked in England for quite some time and there he has already established friends but he cannot find any neither Western european nor African in Africa. As he says: 'I still find most Europeans here as difficult to cope with as I ever before did. Yet - I seem to own lost touch with my own people, too. '. He has got a mixed personal information, because he also helps to keep western habits, but in a means he remains African in his thinking. For example: he eats european food, wears Western european clothes and talks English, but he's not indistinguishable to Europeans because he resents the Europeans' racism.

The theme of id also introduces the question of race and culture. Ruth is an African girl because of her roots, but she's been brought up in some other culture, therefore she feels herself more English than African. However, in the eye of other folks she will remain African, she can't be truly English, as David says she is merely almost like them. On the contrary, the conclusion of the brief story is approximately the power of culture above competition. 'Contest is insignificant and man-made, Laurence says; culture is real and inviolable. ' (Craig 115).

In addition to culture, the customs have got important assignments in the brief story, for case, the senior females are allowed to wear the traditional, colourful African dress. The main traditional event in the storyline is the Odwira festival. There happens something shocking to Ruth when she views Kwaale and a son doing the 'Take an arrow' ritual. The son shoots an imagenary arrow to Kwaale and she shows her naked body to him. It is a 'reminder that ladies are the way to obtain life', however Pass up Nedden is not sure that Kwaale and the young man really find out about this custom's so this means or source or they just care about 'the whip of their own blood vessels'.

Also the subject of the short story is connected to African culture since when Ruth was born her mom called her an African name which means ‹ child of the rainwater‹ . Her British name, Ruth is also interesting because it is seen as a biblical refernce. Ruth in the Bible was a poor, foreigner woman and her report shows the triumph of ingenuity and courage over difficult circumstences. That is somewhat sarcastical because in the torrential rain Child Ruth is neither clever nor courageous because she will not want to be an integral part of her new country.

Laurence used mainly Ruth's story to share with issues with which a whole nation and technology faced in those days. The themes - id, migration, alienation, integration, competition, sense of owed - she devote The Rainwater Child show a great sense of understaning towards these people. 'Laurence's [style] embraces mindful symbolism although it aims for the immediacy of normal experience' (New 265).

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