Identify and Analyze Quotes
1. “My brother, cut me another drink. Any form of work is work…is work…is work!”
The lines, “My brother, cut me another drink. Any form of work is work…is work…is work!” from the story “In the Cutting of a Drink” by Ama Ata Aidoo represents the theme of cultural transition and changes of social norms and values along the passage of time. The conflict between rural and urban values is evident in the above-mentioned sentence. When the narrator of the story finds her lost sister working at a nightclub in a big city called Mamprobi, he becomes astonished and asks her, “Young woman, is this the work you do?” In reply to her brother, Mansa’s comment reflects the theme of cultural transition and urban values in which she has passed her childhood and youth.
2. “She had soft, caressing, almost boneless hands of strange power—work of a beautiful design grew from those hands.”
In Bessie Head’s story, “The Collector of Treasures”, the above-mentioned lines reflects the feminist theme of the story that the heroine is mentally strong even in the face of male oppression. Women are traditionally perceived as physically feeble and weak. The imageries such as ‘soft’, ‘caressing’, ‘boneless’ necessarily uphold Bessie’s protagonist as a traditional weak woman. But the narrator tells that ironically those hands are powerful enough to produce works of design and even to castrate her oppressor husband. Dikeledi has to face the hardship of life bitterly to raise the children and Kenalepe has to puff of her husband. But, Dikeledi is a woman of practical field. Having been a reality she never argues about her children’s schooling or for herself. As a woman, she earns the matter of pride that she is able to feed and clothe them and pay for their primary school educations out of her small income by sewing and knitting for others in the village.
3. “Finally, assuming a respectful attitude, he said clearly: “Master!”
I felt a shiver run through me, for I knew then a lamentably thick wall had grown up between us”.
In Lu Xun’s story, these lines uphold the theme of changes that time brings to the spatiotemporal reality. Visit the narrator’s old home again revives the long-forgotten memoirs of his childhood, social customs, norms, and values of the past. As an agent of the present time, he can compare the present with his past. Consequently, he becomes heavyhearted and surprised to view the unbridgeable gap between the two. Such lamentation for the past of the narrator is vividly evident in the line: “I felt a shiver run through me, for I knew then a lamentably thick wall had grown up between us” ().
4. “At last he made his masterpiece. A model of his office frontage with himself at his post, a car at the entrance and the chief getting down: this composite model was so realistic that while he sat looking at it, he seemed to be carried back to his office days.”
These above-mentioned lines from R. K. Narayan’s story, “An Astrologers Day” build up a bridge between the past and the presence. Indeed the lines take the readers to the anonymous astrologer’s past and allow them to conjure up the city’s old picture where the astrologer once lived. Such a retrospective view of the city and the astrologer’s life enable the readers to know about the dark side of life, that is, cheating people. Indeed this retrospection of the astrologer’s old office and its contradiction with his present also let a reader know the humanitarian side of the astrologer.