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ENG2DG ISU RESPONSE 2 By Jared Warren RETELL The second half of “The Bite Of The Mango” featuring Mariatu Kamara shifts the theme from desperation, fear, suffering, and children at war to the brighter side of the spectrum, hope, sanctity, and freedom. To jog the memory the last section of the book ends on a horrifying note, Maritu’s baby, which was “planted” against her will, died after suffering many common newborn ailments. The second section starts with Mariatu joining a theatre troupe looking for a way to express and hopefully relieve her built up anxiety and false guilt over the ecent events involving the newborn.
Although this troupe has no real relation to the rest of the story in terms of main events, it seems to have built her character, after the event her decisions seem implemented with more confidence, and the troupe also gives her a light, friendly, social outlet other than her home at camp. Soon after the play, Mariatu is contacted by a social worker named Comfort (ironically) and is informed a man named Bill from Canada has read her story in the paper and wishes to support her.
After a brief geography and history lesson, Comfort informs Mariatu that a package is coming from
Canada with clothes, and money. Mariatu is very excited and hopefully looks forward to the arrival of the package, and perhaps even the next step, being brought to Canada by Bill. Weeks go by and the package arrives with what was stated, nice new western styled clothes and 150,000 leones (50$).
She is also told another, similar package has been sent again, by Bill. However, Mariatu is contacted once again by a social worker, this time, her name is Yabom. Yabom informs her that a man in London, named David wishes to fly Mariatu to England, and enable her with prosthetic hands. Mariatu agrees and leaves for London, lthough she has a bad feeling about not informing them about Bill, and her hopes of Canada. While staying in London, Mariatu is miserable. She is not enjoying the rain, she feels it is very “grey” and overall, she is uncomfortable. While waiting for her prosthesis, she explores the sights and attempts to learn some English. Before her final prosthesis is complete she is given a large, clunky, metal one which absolutely frustrates her to hell and back. She hates wearing it, because she feels like a freak and feels she can do better without it. One night, however, Yabom asks Mariatu who Bill is. Afraid she has been caught she tells he details of him, and Canada, and in return, is informed Bill wants her to come to Canada. Mariatu is very pleased and after a small blow-up and an apology to David Yabom agrees to help her. She flies back to Sierra Leone to get her visitors visa, and heads out to Canada, this time with Comfort. She immediately falls in love with the colour, the fresh air, and the friendliness of Canada, and really likes Bill. She is taken to Kadi and Abou’s house, a couple that is hosting a Sierra Leonean dinner, and Mariatu feels right at home. However one morning Bill wakes Mariatu up very early and drives her to Kadi’s house and drops her off ith a hug. Mariatu has a feeling she will never see Bill again, and she is right. It turns out that Comfort was threatening to take Mariatu back to Sierra Leone if she couldn’t stay herself. Afraid for her safety, Bill dropped her off in good hands to protect her. While at Kadi’s, Mariatu goes to school under the ESL program, and graduates high school with progressively impressive marks. Her story is spread and she gets a refugee status to stay in Canada. Once she becomes well off she goes back to Sierra Leone to see her family and bring supplies. To her shock the locale is in even worse state. The money raised during the war was ept by the government and now that the war was over, no more money was coming in. She meets her old friends, well, whomever hadn’t died and they tell her to turn around to go back to her life in Canada. She knows she must change this so she takes one step at a time, her story spreads she meets the president of Sierra Leone and is now working as a UNICEF special representative and is using the funds from this book to support poor children and children at war around the world. REFLECT It is very hard to try to relate the Mariatu we see in the first part of the book to the Mariatu we see in the second part.
The main difference here really is maturity, and self confidence. At the closing of the first section Mariatu is dealing with the loss of her child. She is in a dark place, she is depressed; unmotivated. In this section, however, we see her being more, proactive. She joins the theatre troupe as an outlet to express herself as well as to socialize or familiarize herself with other Sierra Leoneans, or more specifically, other war victims. From this point on, Mariatu only continues to grow. She is seen beginning to have goals, hopes, and reachable aspirations in which she does what is necessary. Not to say he is still without doubts, but she is much more hopeful and motivated. Another changing point for Mariatu is while she in London. She is given great opportunity yet she feels inside she is happy and truly desires to be in Canada, where she “belongs”. She expresses this to the adults, where she is shamed for being, “ungrateful”. Except something is different. Instead of being bosses around like seen in each other scenario, she fights the adults, specifically Yabom whom she trusts like a mother and fights for her rights and will, convincing them to trust her and that she really belongs somewhere else.
This is really a turning point, which is even stated in the text, where Mariatu learns to stick up for herself and changes into a much more confident person than before. THEME 1 The first clear theme in this section definitely hope. The second section of this book, being the lighter half, shows the main character that the world is not a perfect place. However, this does not mean it’s a bad one by any means. When people are in trouble, others will find the will to change and to help them and this is prominent. The first specific example would be Bill. Bill is an average family man living in Canada.
But something in Bill is changed when he simply reads and article about Mariatu. He wants to go out and help this poor girl not only have a better life, but to survive at all. He sends multiple packages to Mariatu and her family, which include money and clothes. Not only this but he wishes to rescue Mariatu from her terrifying reality and bring her to Canada, and give her a shot at life. He even goes as far as to hide her from Comfort, whom is trying to take Mariatu back to Sierra Leone. Another provider of hope in this novel is David. David wishes to support Mariatu by providing her with a rosthesis and bringing her to London for an education. Although she ends up leaving for Canada, David had tried his best to help her in her time of need. These are just two of the many people/situations that provide hope in this section. THEME 2 The second theme identified in section two of “The Bite of the Mango” is self-esteem. This part shows how important it is, and how successful you can become just having it. In the times of low self esteem, Mariatu is depressed, even suicidal. This however, starts to change as the others around her motivate and encourage her, and tell her how capable she is.
It all starts at the theatre troupe. She is told that without her, they refuse to perform as she is equal to all of them, giving her a hint that she is someone, not just some poor girl. This even changes further, when people from other countries want to help her. It makes her feel appreciated as a human being. Eventually the kindness all around really begins to develop her as a character, letting herself set obtainable yet impressive aspirations. The first big instance in this is where she tells off Yabom. This definitely shows self esteem because for the first time in the book, she is sticking p for herself and she makes progress towards her goals of Canada. By the end of the book she feels that she is a great and lucky person, and she is determined to help other children just like her across the world with their problems as well. RELATE This section of the book is much easier to relate to, simply because it deals with countries like Canada, charity, and more familiar teenage activity. RELATE 1 The first thing that popped into my head (involving my life) while reading this book was when people were donating to Mariatu and her family. I can relate to this on an almost 1:1 scale; my family donates to children in need as well.
Ever since I was alive (and even my parents before it) my family has been in a program donating to children in needy countries, like Africa. We’ve sponsored many children in a “dollar-a-day” program to help alleviate any major issues in their communities. Every month we receive a letter from the child we sponsor about his/her condition and what they have been up to. In every letter the child thanks us and guarantees us that the money they have received has helped their way of living tremendously. If everyone in countries like our participated in these dollar-a-day programs, it would be a huge step towards bringing these peoples ives to a sufficient level, where they can be called “lives”, instead of simply surviving. So far my family has given over 40,000$ to children and suffering communities around the world. Other than this program we also donated to Goodwill, the Diabetes foundation, any charity events, and many other time- specific fundraisers. We feel that if we were born in another country like Sierra Leone, a donation could possibly save our life, and that is what we wish to accomplish. RELATE 2 The second relation I can make with my book is between the self-esteem theme. Although cheesy, I have seen many movies that I am reminded of while eading a motivating and self-driven text. There are two movies that come to mind specifically, being “Charlottes Web”, a tale about a runty pig, kept only in this world by the miracles of a selfless spider, and “The Breakfast Club”, a movie where 5 completely different teenagers, from different cliques and ways of life, meet in detention and realise they aren’t so different after all. Charlottes Web reminds me of Mariatu’s story for many reasons. To start, I will deliver a brief synopsis of the plot. A pig is born to a typical farmers family. The pig, being a runt, is likely to be executed and birth for being disabled. This is until she is aved by Fern, the farmers lovely daughter and raised by a spider who keeps the pig, now named Wilbur, alive by writing messages in her web about the “pork chop”. This reminds me of my text because Wilbur to is disabled like Mariatu. And instead of being down his entire life (which he is near the start), he realized just because he is small, he is not inferior. With a little help of his friends he manages to win the “best pig” prize and is kept as the family pet, and feat the other pigs never live to, showing that he may be small, but he isn’t of any less worth than any other living creature. This is almost a parallel story to Mariatu’s.
With a little help from friends like David and Bill Mariatu is able to equalize herself with the citizens of very privileged yet for the most part unappreciative countries and because she truly values what she has, she is able to make the most of her experience. And although she did not win the blue ribbon for “best in breed” she wrote a fantastic inspiring, and not to mention award winning novel about her experiences. The other movie “The Breakfast Club” will also get a short mention because it emphasizes equality in even the most different of people, just like the equality Mariatu gets to experience in her life in Canada.
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