“Why do you let yourself love an infant so? I warned you, did I not, to school your heart against this? It was true. Aphra had seen three of her own babies into the ground before their first year, one through fever, one through flux, and one, a lusty boy, who had just stopped breathing in his bed, with nary a mark upon him. I had stood with her through all these deaths, marveling at her dry eyes. (Brooks, 2002)”
Author Yu Hua’s book Brothers tells the story of two boys who grow up during and after the Chinese Communist revolution. Yu Hua is the author of several other books, including Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, and is known as one of China’s preeminent contemporary writers. Yu Hua often tackles social issues in his works, and Brothers is no exception (Li, 2011). By offering the life story of these two brothers, Baldy Li and Song Gang, author Yu Hua also offers a strong social commentary on recent Chinese history (In Ji and In Wu, 2000). The story covers the lives and deaths of these two characters, while also offering insight into the changes China went through from the time of the revolution until the early 20th century. Yu Hua tells his story with few details about the physical and regional settings in which the events take place, and lets the action and the plot give readers the opportunity to imagine for themselves what the world was like in the years covered in the story.
The novel “The Inhabited Woman” by Giaconda Belli addresses the role of female empowerment and strength in the context of humanity and its relationship to nature. The story considers the transformation of a woman striving for equal footing in a largely male-dominated environment. This novel reflects a greater understanding of the different perspectives of individuals and their perceptions of the natural environment. This book also considers the role of nature and the ability of human beings to reflect upon relationships and how individuals behave around each other. It is these behaviors that shape the lives of human beings and support the development of new ideas and choices that impact the self and others in their circle. The author’s perspective will be conveyed in the following paragraphs and will address the protagonist’s journey through life and love.
‘Robert Cormier’s I Am the Cheese is a novel which has an entirely negative view about society and the state’s influence on identity. His view of law enforcement and government is that it is corrupt and a force for evil.’ Is this statement a fair and accurate view of the novel?
Bless Me, Ultima
Rudolfo Anaya’s novel, Bless Me, Ultima, occupies a unique place in modern literature. On one level, it is reminiscent of an enormous number of other novels in that it is a classic, coming-of-age story. The young boy at the center of the novel undergoes many of the same, traumatic changes that all children face as they move into the larger world around them. In these years, the isolation of the family as the child’s entire world is expanded, and the effects are as varied as the natures of the child and the surrounding culture. On another, Anaya has a very specific story to tell. His hero, Antonio, is Chicano, and the mid-20th century timing and New Mexico setting combine to create the unusual quality of this boy’s journey. Of a culture inherently divided within itself, the boy must also come to terms with the place his people hold in this world. Linked to this is the inevitable evolution of the Chicano people themselves, uneasily reflecting Native American ideologies while conditioned to embrace Latino Catholicism. Consequently, the novel addresses many crucial issues, and of deeply personal and social kinds. There is a real sadness to it as well, as a sense of loss must accompany any child’s transformation into individual. Beyond even this, however, Anaya’s novel is essentially a modern myth, rich in poetic imagery and powerful meaning. The real core of Bless Me, Ultima may be seen in its title, as it conveys the need in everyone to find truth and safety in a changing and often violent world.