What View of African Culture is portrayed in Veronica giving a personal view? Essay

Published: 2019-12-04 02:10:18
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Veronica is the story of two Africans who were brought-up together in a rural Africa. The narrator is a man called Okeke, he speaks from his own experience of his local village where he was born, bred and cared for before being released into the city to experience its life, Most essentially he remembers the tragic story of a women called Veronica, who he was friends with since their early childhood.

The story shows how two lives can grow up to become completely different people

Because one of them is lucky enough to be a male.

This is because, as the story shows how womens lives are hidden and broken and how their lives rot and weaken day after day due to the backward society and culture of African unease. The heroine of Adewale Maja-Pearce story is not a tragic isolated case, but represents the sexism and pain suffered by countless other African women.

As a child, Veronica was beaten by her father for trivial matters, and she, as so many girls do, inherited the responsibility of bringing up her brothers, due to her mothers weakness. Her father was a morbidly suspicious man who apart from his drinking companions, showed the door to guests and visitors. This point touches on two important thoughts, the first is the relation between alcohol and poverty, and the second is the fact that if visitors are not allowed the quality of life will be extremely diminished.

Veronica also had physical responsibilities one would connect with a man, in chopping firewood. Therefore what is being hidden as only taking over her mothers responsibilities is untrue. She is isolated and unable to live her own life, because she has become virtually the guardian and servant of the entire family. This state can be expanded to the whole countrys state to uncover the authors biased direction. Where Veronica symbolises the broken and mistreated people, her father may symbolise the government and their disregard for the peoples needs, and her mother may symbolise the weak onlookers that can do nothing because they have not the means themselves.

Veronicas extremely poor life continued up to her last breath, as she lay on the floor, dying from starvation during a civil war. She chose to give her life up after her good husband, and only child, instead of receiving medication. Okekes efforts to save her were in hopeless just as before when he asked her to leave the village for the city and she refused stubbornly. She was brainwashed into ignoring her own safety

Several topics are present in the story. Most of which seem to be supporting the need for westernising such places and get rid of their beliefs and customs. Probably the most sensitive and talked about concept that the story addressed is the condition of African women in such places. The story is exaggerated by far to focus these points. Okeke night after night¦would lie listening to her screams and all that she ever experienced was insult and abuse. The title itself, being of that nature, i.e. a name of an individual, indicates it is a story intended as an imaginary story of her life, and that it is used to gain support for the one mentioned. Therefore we already discover the opinion of the author from the first word; that Veronica is suffering and needs help.

The story shows Veronica to be a replacement mother in every sense. She catered for her sisters and brothers, probably cooked as well, and even undertook some of her fathers responsibilities. The author, Adewale Maja-Pearce, who telling from the

Surname has obviously some Western influence or blood in her, tried to reveal children as not living their childhood properly. She creates an image of children across the village being beaten by their cruel parents, and being forced early into work and responsibilities the parents themselves naturally have to undertake.

The fact that the story is basically contrasting the life of a poor woman living in a village with her family, with all the standards and values of backwardness, with the life of an apparently well-off man who adopted a city-life, living by Western values, is not accident. The author exaggerates both groups conditions until they are different in every aspect so that she can try to mislead the reader into thinking that Westernisation can improve the standard of life of these people. The medication she was offered to save her life is a symbol of western technology, as is the car, and if Veronica chose to take it she would have lived, but she refused it rudely and remained in her backward and diverse culture, therefore she suffered the consequences and died.

It is Veronica who was treated awfully, and even when she grew to a woman apart from the beating nothing had really altered. She had no freedom whatsoever and her future seemed programmed by her father. She was enslaved to serve and carry out tasks and was expected to keep silent in the face of all this suffering. Okeke on the other hand was respected as a child and had no physical responsibilities. He completed his education up to university level and became a doctor, with all the trappings of that lifestyle. How better can life get? Its all due to Westernisation; this is what Maja-Pearce is trying to say.

Another well-masked theme is breaking the family link. Veronica refused to leave her family because they are her family that is enough. Therefore she suffered the

Consequences. However, Okeke did leave his family to further his education and prospered. Moreover, when she was nearing her death she refused to leave her husband and childs memory although they were dead. The author by showing Veronica as stubborn in refusing to receive help indicates that if she chose to cut her family ties she would have survived, but she remained with her inane ideas and died as a result.

Civil war taking place is another concept that Maja-Pearce has mentioned. A civil war obviously means there is tension between two opposing political parties striving for power. The country in which the story is based can therefore be Ethiopia, or Rwanda or Sierra Leone or Nigeria and all historians know that the civil wars happened after independence from one of the European countries was granted.

Therefore what Maja-Pearce tries to point out is the idea that these diverse and educationally backward countries need Western rules to govern them, as if that is the solution. She tries to reveal these cultures as if they were living in the stone-age, with no democracy whatsoever. Indeed such cases arguably might exist but the reason why such politicians are present is because of the Western countries forcing the poor into farming cash-crops which they have to sell them at suicidal prices, paving the way for these selected individuals to govern them so that there could be no objection to these demands.

Maja-Pearce exaggerates the story to reveal him political view in a well-disguised manner. Her views are clear to me in trying to imply that Westernisation is the solution by representing them in Okeke as being successful and Veronica as dying painfully. Her ideas are biased and are intended to influence the average reader into thinking these diverse cultures are in no state to run their countries. As far as I am concerned her opinion is faulty and unsafe.

However, although she clearly does not favour village life personally, the author does at least pay praise to village women and blames and criticises the nature of city women. Veronica in the story is shown to be a plain and strong character, with many good of qualities. She respects her own culture and loved and catered for her family till the point that she chose to give up her life in order to hurry to their reunion. City women are, however, revealed as after material increase only, and this representation in fact can only slightly change the view of a reader of this story.

Although Maja-Pearce has kaleidoscoped the story it isnt all one-sided. Certainly she doesnt have many positive points to reveal about African culture, but veronica fatalism could be interpreted as faithfulness to African women. When she points out that city women are interested only in money and fast cars she indirectly criticises western values that these women have adopted. Her attitude is certainly feminist but can one not over step the mark in criticising her? By portraying the sufferings of women, her intention may be to attempt to raise awareness of such issues that go along without any mention whatsoever.

I believe Maja-Pearce actually does show some good points about African life, however her final, well concealed, message is to show western values as the way forward to freedom and peace, and that African backwardness is shameful to a human because it teaches them to be savages, morally wrong beasts, and ignorant beings who die having done nothing, not even create a name. Therefore what may well be a quite charming story, in my opinion is a story that sends out the wrong message. What she should be writing about is literature encouraging people to rise against cruel rulers and replace them with just ones, and not cover the way for more cruelty by so-called peacekeepers.

In my opinion backwardness, is purer and better than city life governed by Western values. In village life people have respect for others opposite to what is illustrated in Veronica. People are brought up with strong characters and they have a good choice of quality in personalities. Shameful and dirty materials are not available, and children are brought up well, even though the rulers may be corrupt. However in Western countries no one has respect for each other and all are concerned with their own welfare and wealth life is worldly and is starved of a sense of religion.

Women in Westernised countries are the ones that are disrespected, ignored and put down. They are the ones that are given absolute freedom, even the freedom to sell their honour at a daily basis. It is the people in Western countries that are brought up to try in gaining material belongings only and not concern themselves with cleaning their feelings from impurities. All that matters in such Western countries is money and power and yet you find people chasing these materials and making fun of diverse cultures for lack of needs when these elements have no great meaning to their lives.

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