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English Literature - Essay Example

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In “Beneath the Lion's Gaze“ Maaza Mengiste creates a story of one family in the times of just beforeand at the beginning of the Ethiopean revolution. In this paper, I will explore how the theme of family is presented in the novel. …
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Download file to see previous pages In this paper, I will explore how the theme of family is presented in the novel. So in the very first episode readers are introduced to doctor Hailu, a recognized surgeon, taking out a bullet out of the student’s body. The bullet was fired by the police at the back of one of the students who protested against the Emperor’s rule. Just as Hailuis doing an operation, his wife is dying of the heart failure in his hospital. Yet, this is just a beginning of all hardships this family encounters within the new regime. As Hailu has two sons, they have different views on the political situation in the country. While Dawitt is willing to protest against the old and then against the the new power, his father and his other brother view the rule by the Emperor as an acceptable option. Later, however, they are all involved into this struggle for truth. While Dawitt is engaged directly in the street protests, Hailu oppresses the Derg too, morally. It is clear why. Just after the military coup, the country expected a spring of political world. However, the Derb failed the expectations and started to rule in a neo-Stalinist era. They kill the officials of the previous power and some intellectuals without any at least trivial trial. Hailu comes to support his son and eventuallye finds himself on the verge of being arrested. The outstanding doctor is going to be arrested and imprisoned just because he is reported to have saved a victim of the torture from the upcoming torture by letting her die. Other members of the family suffer as well. Once a friendly family, it is broken in the “new” times. 2nd book - Julie Orringer: How to Breathe Underwater Topic: How the Title Informs the Book It usually happens that collections of stories or essays bear the title of one work from the book. However, this is not the case with Juie Orringer’s “How to Breathe Underwater”. This title does not belong to any of the short stories, but seems to have been deliberately chosen by Orringer to convey the message of hardship, of challenges, and need to survive prior to the reader’s reading experience. In my view, “How to Breathe Under the Water” is a very strong title since it is almost impossible to breathe under the water unless one is specially equipped to do so. So it may refer to “how to survive in conditions that are not fit for survival”. As one is reading the book it dawns that the title indeed is related to this interpretation. In particular, girls who are in their teens are portrayed as struggling against the gloomy and absorbing reality. Making their way through life without being guided by parents, the girls are basically successful although their limbs may be broken, or homes destroyed…They, as Orringer implies, have learnt to breathe under the water and have all chances to successfully go on. 3rd book - Helen Simonson: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Topic: Between Cultures In this part of my paper, I will explore the theme Between Cultures in “Major Pettigrew's Last Stand” by Helen Simonson). The theme is expressed through portrayed relationship between a man and a woman who belongs to different cultures and different religions, but manage to build a relationship contrary to public prejudice. To illustrate, “When Major Pettigrew, a retired British army major in a small English village, embarks on an unexpected friendship with the widowed Mrs. Ali, who runs the local shop, trouble erupts to disturb the bucolic serenity of the village and of the Major's carefully regimented life.” (Simonson, “Major Pettigrew's Last Stand”). Despite the fact that the Major and the shop owner belong to different religions and represent different cultures, they happen to share a common educational background. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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